Monitoring by system administrators

At a customer I work for HP Openview is used as a monitoring tool for their IT infrastructure. Openview is a very powerful tool with much functionality.

When a monitoring tool is installed, it contains little functionality. The specific functionality for the business and/or IT environment is to be implemented after the initial installation of the tool.

Such an implementation is a complex matter. Not only for Openview, but also for other monitoring tools, like Tivoli, BMC or Nagios. For a list of monitorin tools,check out this link.

Added value

My experience is that when system administrators see no added value in monitoring applications, the monitoring will not be used. If the admins see the added value of the product, they will embrace it.

For instance: When many alarms are generated by the monitoring system, but most of these alarms are false, or when one gets too little information from the system, the monitoring system will be experienced as unsuitable.

On the other hand, if system administrators experience that the system generates a relevant alarm, which will prevent the users from calling the helpdesk, the system will be found useful and will be used. An example is when the system informs the admins a disk is filling up. If the information is early, the administrators can increase diskspace before anything bad happens.


It is important to keep the monitoring tool up-to-date. When incidents happen that were not noticed by the monitoring system, the monitoring system should be improved. The next time such an incident is about to happen, the monitoring tool alarms the system admins before things go wrong. This means that every time an incident happens, the administrators should consider implementing extra checks of thresholds in the monitoring system.

It should be easy to implement such improvements. When changes can be made easily, the monitoring system gets more and more pro-active.

This entry was posted on Friday 16 February 2007

Earlier articles

The cloud is as insecure as its configuration

Infrastructure as code

My Book

DevOps for infrastructure

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

(Hyper) Converged Infrastructure

Object storage

Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Function Virtualization (NFV)

Software Defined Storage (SDS)

What's the point of using Docker containers?

Identity and Access Management

Using user profiles to determine infrastructure load

Public wireless networks

Supercomputer architecture

Desktop virtualization

Stakeholder management

x86 platform architecture

Midrange systems architecture

Mainframe Architecture

Software Defined Data Center - SDDC

The Virtualization Model

What are concurrent users?

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UX/UI has no business rules

Technical debt: a time related issue

Solution shaping workshops

Architecture life cycle

Project managers and architects

Using ArchiMate for describing infrastructures

Kruchten’s 4+1 views for solution architecture

The SEI stack of solution architecture frameworks

TOGAF and infrastructure architecture

The Zachman framework

An introduction to architecture frameworks

How to handle a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack

Architecture Principles

Views and viewpoints explained

Stakeholders and their concerns

Skills of a solution architect architect

Solution architects versus enterprise architects

Definition of IT Architecture

What is Big Data?

How to make your IT "Greener"

What is Cloud computing and IaaS?

Purchasing of IT infrastructure technologies and services

IDS/IPS systems

IP Protocol (IPv4) classes and subnets

Infrastructure Architecture - Course materials

Introduction to Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)

IT Infrastructure Architecture model

Fire prevention in the datacenter

Where to build your datacenter

Availability - Fall-back, hot site, warm site

Reliabilty of infrastructure components

Human factors in availability of systems

Business Continuity Management (BCM) and Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP)

Performance - Design for use

Performance concepts - Load balancing

Performance concepts - Scaling

Performance concept - Caching

Perceived performance

Ethical hacking

The first computers

Open group ITAC /Open CA Certification

Sjaak Laan

Recommended links

Ruth Malan
Gaudi site
Esther Barthel's site on virtualization
Eltjo Poort's site on architecture


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