Why Your Server Monitoring (Still) Sucks

Five observations about why your your server monitoring still
stinks by a monitoring specialist-turned-consultant.

Early in my career, I was responsible for managing a large fleet of
printers across a large campus. We're talking several hundred networked
printers. It often required a 10- or 15-minute walk to get to
some of those printers physically, and many were used only sporadically. I
always know what was happening until I arrived, so it was anyone's
guess as to the problem. Simple paper jam? Driver issue? Printer currently
on fire? I found out only after the long walk. Making this even more
frustrating for everyone was that, thanks to the infrequent use of some of
them, a printer with a problem might go unnoticed for weeks, making itself
known only when someone tried to print with it.

Finally, it occurred to me: wouldn't it be nice if I knew about the problem
and the cause before someone called me? I found my first monitoring tool
that day, and I was absolutely hooked.

Since then, I've helped numerous people overhaul their monitoring
systems. In doing so, I noticed the same challenges repeat themselves regularly. If
you're responsible for managing the systems at your organization, read
on; I have much advice to dispense.

So, without further ado, here are my top five reasons why your monitoring
is crap and what you can do about it.

1. You're Using Antiquated Tools

By far, the most common reason for monitoring being screwed up is a
reliance on antiquated tools. You know that's your issue when you spend
too much time working around the warts of your monitoring tools or when
you've got a bunch of custom code to get around some major missing
functionality. But the bottom line is that you spend more time trying to
fix the almost-working tools than just getting on with your job.

The problem with using antiquated tools and methodologies is that
you're just making it harder for yourself. I suppose it's certainly
possible to dig a hole with a rusty spoon, but wouldn't you prefer to use a

Great tools are invisible. They make you more effective, and the job is
easier to accomplish. When you have great tools, you don't even notice

Maybe you don't describe your monitoring tools as "easy to use"
or "invisible". The words you might opt to use would make my editor
break out a red pen.

This checklist can help you determine if you're screwing yourself.


Read More here.