In the continuing quest to make IT support as proactive as it can be – working to stave off disaster before it strikes instead of just reacting to a crisis – one vital component is technology monitoring.
To be effective, an information technology system must provide information to users when they need it and how they need it. The challenge, of course, is that there are many factors that can render the technology less effective and reliable, slowing it down or stopping it in its tracks, for example:
- Insufficient computer resources (e.g. the server runs out of space to hold all the information, or the network gets clogged with too much information)
- Equipment failure (e.g. a server’s hard drive failed, or a cable breaks)
- The impact of malware/viruses (e.g. all shared files are maliciously encrypted and therefore can’t be read)
- Countless other issues that can go wrong with computer networks
Through proactive monitoring, however, we can keep a constant technological eye on the hardware and software that makes a system function, actually preventing many of the things that can cripple it. When monitoring is conducted, IT staff can be alerted to dangerous trends, sometimes before they begin to disrupt users. For example, we can often determine when hard drives are going bad before they actually fail, or see that network lines are getting fuller before they get totally clogged. If noticed in time, IT staff can replace the hard drive before it fails or increase network speeds before users are negatively impacted.
Monitoring can give us information about how all aspects of the IT system are running, therefore IT best practice is to monitor as much of the IT environment as possible, both across a wide range of devices (e.g. servers, network infrastructure, ISP/WAN circuits) and also deeply into those systems (e.g. disk space, memory, CPU utilization, significant error messages). The more we monitor, the better chance we have of noticing issues or events before they impact users. At the very least, monitoring enables us to shorten the time users might be impacted.
TNSC offers a variety of managed services for monitoring issues and events on Windows servers and workstations, patching, antivirus software, various applications, and firewalls. It also employs various additional tools for clients to also monitor other network infrastructure, such as switches, routers, and ISP/WAN circuits. Whether you choose to have a company like TNSC monitor your environment, or install your own tools to do so, proactive monitoring of your technology, both broadly and deeply, will produce more effective and reliable technology – resulting in more business productivity. And who doesn’t want their business to be more productive and successful?