Fixing the Fix with Cloud-based Monitoring

Sometimes, even the technology you employ to simplify computing makes things a bit more complicated, and then you need a fix for that, too.

For example, as enterprises adopt a decentralized computing model based on distributed systems with a wide variety of configurations, it often becomes impractical to staff an operations center with people who know all the skills to address all of the specific troubleshooting required. That’s why many organizations, including educational institutions, are using event management systems (EMS) that are capable of handling alerts from monitoring tools; they consolidate, standardize, and centralize the management of distributed environments.

But combining EMSs with monitoring tools can be a complex proposition, too. You want to make sure that event notifications come from all across your enterprise resource planning (ERP) environment – a unified system that encompasses all of the essential business processes that support an organization’s operations.

Integration within an ERP may make sense from a business perspective, but there are higher risks, too. For example, using an ERP forces an organization to put “all of its eggs in one basket.” An outage impacts all operations, and an extended outage can often be devastating. Organizations can take additional steps to keep their ERP system running smoothly, for example, by ensuring that unscheduled outages be quickly identified and that the proper support teams are alerted.

This is a goal for educational institutions as well as companies, and I recently read about how Temple University Computer Services has built an EMS within its ERP. Rather than solely relying on its small team of IT folks monitoring varied software services 24/7/365, the school began using a broad mix of proprietary and open-source monitoring solutions that spawn numerous alerts.

Yet, the challenge raised by this is that each of these tools issue many alerts, a lot of which are in a non-standard format. And then there’s the job of determining the seriousness of alerts and which situation should be addressed first.

One of the great things about cloud-based monitoring solutions, such as Monitis, is that they automatically perform a variety of tasks, including managing alerts, that would otherwise require a great deal of manual labor. That frees up IT staff to focus on more strategic projects and plan for future growth.