Blog Summary for Week of August 15

1. Virtual Machines: Usage & Performance
Virtualization is the process or system that separates the physical hardware from its operating system to provide greater utilization of IT resources and a more flexible system. Virtual machines are a software representation of a physical computer with its own set of virtual hardware within which an operating system and applications are loaded. This post is an overview of virtual machines, including general definitions as well as best practices for backups, performance, and implementation.

2. Monitoring Local and Remote Printers via Monitis
In this article, we’ll show you how to track printer status and performance by adding a new page to the Monitis dashboard and creating a custom monitor for each printer. This monitor tracks printer status real-time and creates a new data entry on the Monitis dashboard every time a print job occurs or the status of a printer changes. If there is no change to a printer’s status, or no print jobs are handled, no data will be pushed to the Printer Monitor. The open source scripts for this monitor are available free for download on GitHub at :

3. How to Protect Your Network: Firewall Best Practices
This article is the first in a series in which we discuss protecting your network using network monitoring and firewall management. In the other articles in this series we discuss:
– Popular Firewall Products
– ISA Server Best Practices & Performance Monitoring
– Monitoring ISA Server with Monitis
While the last two articles focus on Microsoft ISA Server specifically, in this article we talk about some common best practices for managing network security and setting up and managing your network firewall.

4. Monitis New Features May – June 2011
We’re always hard at work improving our service with valuable new features. This post covers some of the features we added to Monitis between May and June of 2011. The main additions are our free global traceroute tool, improved management of external monitoring locations and time zones, an improved Plan Builder and API enhancements.