Industry : General
IT Support : IT Monitoring
Keeping your systems running so staff productivity is not impacted is key to your business’ profitability. The last thing you want is for systems to be down when the day begins. ITeam Consulting monitors your systems 24×7 and provides support after hours for critical issues so that we can resolve them before staff are impacted. But not all MSPs offer the same level of support or monitor your environment the same way. This case study outlines the ITeam Consulting approach to System Monitoring, and Greg Jones, ITeam Consulting Chief Operating Officer, explains why this approach can make a difference.
How to monitor 1,000s of devices and process.
Each of ITeam’s customers have a myriad of IT devices and operational processes – so how do we make sure these devices and processes are healthy?
How does ITeam overcome the enormity of IT devices and operational processes that some clients need to be monitored, this seems as if it would be cost and time prohibitive, to have a human check each device and process manually?
Just one of ITeam’s clients will have more than 50 IT devices. For this client, ITeam monitor over 5100 operational events per month, as well as almost 1000 health and performance attributes for these devices.
Policy-Based IT Monitoring
At ITeam, we follow a policy-based IT model where all critical devices and critical operational events have to be monitored. This policy-based approach allows complex networks and systems to be monitored in a simplified and flexible manner. Policies are technology-independent rules allowing managed devices, applications, and events to be monitored without modifying the underlying implementation. This allows for a certain degree of programmability without the need to interrupt the operation of either the managed system or of the management system itself. Policy-based management can significantly increase the range of measured attributes of the distributed system or network, leading to more reliable system behaviour.
Policy-based computing examples.
- Do not just say that we run Anti-Virus on every machine; we monitor to make sure that it is running
- Do not just say that Bitlocker (disk encryption) is enabled on laptops; we check to confirm that it is.
Within the Policy Management Systems ITeam can manage risk using leading indicators to detect a problem before it is about to happen. The system also monitors critical operational events to ensure they happen to prevent potential future issues. The final element includes preventative maintenance to ensure devices are equipped with the current tools and patches such as Anti-Virus software to avoid malware infecting the system.
A lot of what significantly impacts business is not about what you can see, rather more about what you can’t see that can bite you on the backside – what we call rocks below the waterline.
Monitoring is about removing/minimising the risk of impact. Some examples
- Making sure that Anti-Virus is running on every machine we manage and alert when it is not.
- Making sure that backups run as expected.
- Making sure no critical systems run out of disk space.
- Making sure a client’s ERP system is processing inbound electronic orders on time.
- Making sure that redundancy within critical systems is as expected
To achieve this, we use a combination of IT-Management Software from a range of 3rd party providers including Kaseya and Webroot. We also use software, devices and tools from Sonic Wall, Meraki and VMWare to ensure the networks are protected.
To supplement these tools, ITeam Consulting has developed a Custom Monitoring Solution (CMS) with proprietary tools developed and maintained by ITeam engineers. Years of IT experience allow ITeam engineers to know what is essential to monitor; you can drown in data overload. ITeam doesn’t monitor everything with the same priority. Our inhouse CMS integrates with the Connectwise automation platform to ensure we track and manage every event allowing a historical database to accumulate trends and statistics to be fed back into our continuous improvement system through our Post Incident Review (PIR) process.
Monitoring systems are not set and forget; they require constant review and evolve as your business, and IT systems change and grow. What you monitor and measure will improve, and it may be small incremental changes that highlight a significant future issue. Like a frog sitting in warm water, the gradual increase in temperature can lead to eventual death, don’t be the frog.
Remove the risk of downtime
Whilst prevention is the ultimate aim the reality is that monitoring is about removing the risk of downtime impact, it’s not a case of if but when, and if you don’t monitor, you lose valuable time to address issues.
Our priority is to stop IT from breaking in the first place and getting in the way of the business. ITeam’s next focus is to remove impact when IT breaks through fast diagnosis and repair to minimise any impact on the business. Using data to review systems performance will provide input to strategic decision making and the IT roadmap, which may result in changes to technology or additional redundancy being implemented. Our ultimate aim is to increase client uptime and minimising impact.
ITeam’s CMS provides clients with the peace of mind working with an IT provider ready to respond to an issue before it escalates. Our feedback process focuses on the cause of the problem, and our Post Incident Review ensures we put systems in place to prevent it from reoccurring.
Do you need assistance securing your IT Infrastructure?
ITeam Consulting offers IT solutions designed to give business owners and managers peace of mind, you can ‘sleep easy’ knowing that your IT department is working around the clock, keeping the business infrastructure running. No surprises.
Our corporate IT services include :
IT Project Management
At ITeam, we have delivered many successful projects to our clients for over 19 years. A key difference with us is that the Solutions Architect, that envisions and designs your solution is also involved with the Project Manager to ensure we deliver what was agreed. This ensures total transparency and delivery throughout the process, as opposed to other IT providers who simply make a sale then hand-off to the team that implements it.
Managed IT Services
Managed services, outsourced IT, whatever you want to call it, we package solutions to meet your needs and exceed your expectations. Our Managed IT Services either complement your internal specialists or can deliver your total IT Services at a lower cost than if you had your own dedicated IT staff. You will have access to a team of specialists with a broad range of skills and experience, who keep up to date with the latest features and techniques to ensure your systems are providing increased benefit to your staff.
IT Procurement Services
ITeam can manage the full life cycle of your IT assets. Your IT assets are not just the physical devices you can touch, they also include maintenance or service agreements, warranties, domain names, web hosting and many more categories. Don’t ever miss renewing something critical to your business. We track all types of items in our system, get automated reminders for expiry and can report on the status or pending renewals at any time.
IT System and Computer Security
ITeam Consulting implements security solutions to protect your business from threats that are not just from hackers. Breaches to your environment are more likely to occur through users being tricked via email or unknowingly accessing compromised infected websites.
Computer and IT Consultancy
As the size and nature of your business changes, so will the needs of your IT systems. Our Consulting Services will architect solutions whether your systems are on-premise, in a data-centre or in the cloud.
Computer and IT Support
We will deal with your day to day IT support, while also providing long-term strategic input into your IT requirements. We monitor systems remotely to ensure that everything is working correctly and when issues are detected, we make sure they are fixed before they turn into problems.
If you already have comfort with your current IT Services partner, then congratulations! Otherwise, contact us to arrange for a no-obligation review of your environment. We offer 24/7 computer support and after hours emergency assistance.