What Keeps You Up at Night?

For IT professionals, sleep loss from worrying about what can go wrong in the night back at the data center can be a major problem.

And a new survey of more than 350 network and system administrators in the U.S. that I read about reveals the #1 cause: nearly four in 10 attributed their insomnia to worries about a breach of network security.

An additional 38% worried about risky user activity. Meanwhile, recovery plans or the lack of them, kept 32% up at night.

Compared to the survey taken in 2009, employee use of social media emerged as a major concern. Again, four in 10 are highly concerned, and amongst them, 22% are “moderately concerned,” while 18% are “extremely concerned.”

It’s interesting that at least 40% are worried about both social media use and security breaches, and the research company took note, too. “Of course, there are many possible reasons for worrying about a breach to a network, and we are not saying that there is necessarily a primary causal relationship between employee use of social media and network breaches,” said Steve Birnkrant, CEO at Amplitude Research, who was quoted in the story I read. “But the results do indicate a statistically significant relationship between how concerned network administrators are about employee use of social media and how worried they are about a security breach to their network.”

It’s a real shame that IT folks actually lose sleep over worrying about what can go “bump” in the night. But it doesn’t have to be that way. I’ll never forget one client telling me that he got the most comfortable sleep in years shortly after he began 24/7 monitoring of his servers and networks with Monitis.

What’s so comforting about it? Well, if something did go wrong, instead of finding out about it the next morning (when it could already be too late to address the problem), Monitis sends notifications that allow administrators to fix the problem right away. Monitis employs the following notifications:

  • Live-voice: we’ll call you at the phone number of your choice anytime, day or night
  • Email: we can send unlimited emails, as well as weekly and daily SLA and performance reports.
  • SMS (short messages)
  • IM (instant messengers, including ICQ, Google Talk)
  • Twitter

Well, you may be asking, what if my network is down? How can monitoring proceed?

With some monitoring agencies, for example, Open Source Nagios, Cacti, Zabbix, Zenos  or commercial Solarwinds, or Whatsup Gold, that may be a problem. You have a good chance of missing a critical alert if your network, monitoring server, mail server, SMS, firewall or router is down.

But because Monitis operates from the cloud and its server isn’t deployed on your local network, the technology will notify you even if your network is not functioning. Monitis checks (and from multiple locations) whether:

  • your internal monitoring agents are alive and responding,
  • remotely, if web services are accessible

Read more here on the blanket coverage Monitis provides to help you get a good night’s sleep!