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In Case of Emergency, Rely on Single Pane of Glass (Don’t Break It)

By: jmancini
August 28, 2018

Push notifications – whether sent to your smartphone, computer, tablet or watch – can be some of the most important messages you ever get. How else will you know when a blockbuster trade hits your fantasy football league or when to leave for a meeting because of traffic issues on the I-405? Of course, allow too many apps to notify you of every little thing, and you begin to ignore them in short order. And by the time you get around to looking at what buzzed at you hours earlier, the trade goes through without your veto or you’re stuck in gridlock instead of your meeting. Workplace alerts can be similar.

Let’s say that instead of another document update notification or Facebook update, it’s one of your e-commerce servers that isn’t available. If you’re the manager of your company’s data center, that’s an alert you can’t ignore. But it’s only human nature to want to ignore it if it’s the fifth time you’ve gotten it today and it appears that some routine process is triggering the alarm. By the fifth time you get a notification, you’ve turned The Boy Who Cried Wolf into The Server that Cried Malfunction. Of course, even though you know your team is working on a solution, it could always be that there is something new that’s gone horribly wrong so you have to check.

Finding a Balance

How do you strike a happy medium? One approach to solving the above-mentioned over-notification problem would be to rely on the user’s judgement. Any monitoring system worth its salt lets users set thresholds so that the tool will automatically generate alarms when those thresholds are exceeded. Netreo’s OmniCenter includes that functionality and then some. To the point about limiting notification oversharing, a truly intelligent appliance like OmniCenter is able to calculate threshold exceptions over user-defined time frames. This way, if the situation calls for it – and only then – alerts will be generated for affected parties, explaining the situation and what is being done to correct it.

Another monitoring tool imperative is the capability to detect anomalies and respond accordingly. When it detects a potential problem, a top-notch monitoring system will be able to compare real-time performance statistics to previous days, weeks, or months and will alert you if something unusual happens. On the flip side of that, if the issue is part of a recurring pattern and hasn’t crossed preset thresholds, there’s no need to disrupt your dinner with another alert.

A Better Way

Don’t you deserve a system built by people who can identify small but important pain points like these before they build it and make sure they never exist? You want a company like Netreo that’s got more than sixteen years of institutional experience-based knowledge to anticipate not only the giant errors possible in every complex system, but the little things that can drive you crazy as well. That experience is one reason OmniCenter is the  most intuitive at-a-glance interface in the business along with these and many other customer-friendly functions.

Moving from servers to application monitoring, sometimes the most annoying problems don’t even exist. No one likes false alarms. That’s where a feature such as intelligent fault handling comes in. If a system with intelligent fault handling detects some kind of failure in an application, it should be able to automatically retest to make sure there’s an actual failure. If instead there’s a connectivity or host issue, it should be able to suppress an alert. Don’t you wish car alarms had a similar function?

When the monitoring appliance does need to generate an alert, it should be flexible enough to be configured to send that alert in whichever format you prefer, whether that is via email, SMS or even integrated with other management or trouble ticketing systems.

Why we simplify

We constantly refine OmniCenter based on the needs of our customers. The two examples mentioned in this post – anomaly recognition and intelligent fault handling – are just a taste. We can further fine tune these and other functions to simplify the system and overcome pain points our customers may be experiencing.

Application and server monitoring and notifications are just a couple considerations out of dozens whenIntroducing Netreo OmniCenter deciding on which IT management and monitoring tools are right for you, but they loom a lot larger should you get what seems to be an important alert in the middle of a personal milestone such as your wedding or, say, your fantasy football draft.

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