The Silicon Review
Automation is deﬁned differently depending on where you look and is highly context dependent. A generally accepted deﬁnition is that “Automation is the use of machines, control systems and information technologies to optimize productivity in the production of goods and delivery of services.”IT monitoring that works with automation tools can scale with the speed of your business, discover new infrastructure, and self-configure.Automatically deployed and configured monitoring is intrinsically more available and reliable -- giving you an important edge in preventing costly outages of monitored assets.Opsview provides unified insight into dynamic IT operations on-premise, in the cloud or hybrid. Opsview is a modern, scalable monitoring platform that enables digital transformation.Opsview is trusted by hundreds of businesses, government organizations and service providers globally. Customers include Sky, Cisco, IBM, Comcast, Telefónica, PayPal, British Telecom, Norfolk Southern, CIT, Fujitsu, HMRC and AAA.
When a problem occurs on your monitored equipment, you will want to know about it as soon as possible just in case you are not watching the display when the event happens, or it is 2AM and you are the stand-by engineer.This is where notiﬁcations come into their own. Most modern APM / IT monitoring systems allow users to setup alerts so that when a problem occurs they get an email alerting them of an issue occurring. The more advanced solutions allow users to choose from multiple methods, along with speciﬁcs on which hosts to be alerted for, which services on those hosts, etc.In Opsview Monitor, they have the concept of “notiﬁcation proﬁles” which allow users to choose speciﬁcally how, when and what alerts they get receive. This automation allows administrators to be informed immediately for only the problems they want to be aware of, instead of the dreaded “notiﬁcation spam” whereby they get alerted for every change in state. This alert reﬁnement, along with the ability to choose when and what for, and to have the option to get the notiﬁcations via a multitude of methods, allows administrators to be aware immediately of problems, so that they can ﬁx them faster.
The next stage of automation is service desk integration. Some of the higher-end APM / IT monitoring solutions can integrate with your service desk using API’s, in order to automatically create tickets when they occur.This removes the cumbersome need for an administrator having to view the problem, login to the service desk, raise a ticket, and then add that ticket number against the original issue. With service desk automation, in the event of an error occurring, Opsview Monitor will automatically create the ticket for you in the service desk group / project desired (depending on CRM/Service desk), and then take the ticket number and add it as a comment next to the original error within Opsview Monitor. This allows subsequent administrators to log-in and see what the issue is, and what the ticket number is, in order to prevent duplication of tickets, etc.This service desk automation allows administrators to keep an eye on the ticket queue speciﬁc to the monitoring system, i.e. the Opsview Monitor queue, and work tickets raised based upon the criteria given during setup.
One of the beneﬁts of automation and monitoring systems is to have the monitoring solution actually solve the problem for you, leaving you to spend time ﬁguring out why it failed, rather than actually ﬁxing it.By using event handlers, we can specify what a service should automatically do when the service check turns critical, from nothing (default) but alerting, through to automatically restarting the service, etc. via scripts, meaning it can do pretty much anything imaginable.
Automation is a key factor in IT monitoring; without it unnecessary duplication of tasks and human intervention would be required, hampering IT support and operations teams worldwide. The more advanced the monitoring tool, the more automation it should provide. Done right, IT monitoring provides clarity and promotes operational effectiveness. Done wrong, it can make your staff crazy and limit business. For larger organizations and more complex IT estates, achieving high operational efficiency with monitoring demands ongoing work to gradually build and optimize customizations and integrations supporting team efficiency and productivity. Best practice is to implement effective monitoring using enterprise supported, domain-specific monitoring templates, then gradually customize as appropriate for your IT estate. It makes good sense to begin by iterating over notifications, since these will impact personnel and workflow most directly: working to reduce unneeded alerts and deal with more conditions proactively, within standardized process workflows.
Mike Walton Founder and CEO of Opsview
Mike Walton hasover 30 years of experience in software and consulting sales, management and company leadership. The first half of his career was with large IT and software companies and for the second half of it he has built start-up and high growth businesses as a founder, co-founder and C.E.O. He focuses on raising funding, company development, executive leadership, strategic sales management and all aspects of company operations. He also provides strategic guidance to other high growth technology companies in a non-executive capacity.