Today I've decided to put some real-time, enterprise-level monitoring, alerting, and management into place. I have some pretty stiff requirements for the software I use, though, so the search for a solution won't be easy.
Requirements (in no particular order):
- Cloud-based service
- On-premise option
- Easy setup
- Mobile device interaction capability
- Deep system insight
- Multiple user accounts for role-based activities
- Server groupings to separate clients, networks, and server types
- Secure connectivity
- Audit trails
- Customizable monitoring
- Highly scalable
- Support for monitoring and managing a variety of operating systems
- Easy to maintain
- Remote connectivity
- Ability to resolve problems via an App or web browser
IT support people have always had the "Fast, inexpensive, safe--choose any two" adage ready when speaking to manager-level folks about service architecture. What I've done in my list is basically stated that I want fast, inexpensive, and safe--choose all three. If I can't have all of the 16 items listed, then either I need to program a solution for myself, which isn't going to happen or compromise several of my requirements for an existing solution that will never make me happy.
It is cloud-based and there is an on-premise option for enterprises that want to host their own internal Pulseway Enterprise Server (ES). I want something that's easier to setup so that I can actually get started today. Yes, I know I've put off monitoring for a long time, but today I'm an IT hedonist and I'd like my monitoring setup quickly and easily, today please. I can do that with the SaaS-based server. In less than 30 minutes, I can have my very own Enterprise Server ready to accept new or existing Pulseway-agented systems for monitoring, alerting, and management.
It's simple to point a Linux system to the new server by editing the /etc/pulseway/config.xml file. Enter the Account Username, Password, change UseCustomServer to "true", and enter your CustomServerAddress. Save. Exit. Restart the Pulseway service and you're done.
Windows systems are easy too. Enter the ES information into the Pulseway Manager application and click Apply to restart the service.
You can monitor Windows systems (XP/2003 and newer), Mac OS X systems, and major Linux distributions. You can use a web browser pointed to your new ES system or any mobile device using the Pulseway App.
Pulseway's agent gives you deep insight into your system including filesystem access, service access, shutdown, reboot, maintenance mode, Windows updates, hardware information, third party applications and services, command line interface, and PowerShell capability. All connectivity between the agent and the ES is encrypted. Your password inside the config.xml file is encrypted. And your communications between your App or browser, the ES, and your systems is also encrypted, so you have a very high level of security for your system interactions.
The two capabilities that intrigued me most about Pulseway's Enterprise Server are: the ability to create multiple accounts, from read-only (view) accounts to full administrative (root/Administrator) accounts and system groupings.
Multiple accounts allow you to grant system visibility, limited administrative access, or full access depending on your business requirements. They allow you to allow some read-only visibility to clients so that they can see that their systems are monitored, but they can't alter the system or cause any outages. For junior-level or first-level support personnel, you can allow certain functionality such as reboot, service restart, filesystem access, and so on. For example, if you want to create a group of administrators, but don't want to grant shutdown access, you can do that. This prevents administrators from accidentally shutting down a system from within Pulseway. However, it does not prevent administrators with Remote Desktop capability from doing so--that's managed from the system.
Groups help organize your system into logical collections. For example, if you have three networks: DMZ, production, and test; you can separate your systems based on their physical or logical location or their function. The default group is Default and you change the monitored system's group from the system itself.
Finally, Pulseway's on-premise or SaaS-based Enterprise Server is probably the most economical choice for enterprise monitoring, alerting, and management. At less than $2.00US per monitored instance per month, you can have monitoring, alerting, management, and peace of mind for a tiny fraction of what competing solutions cost. But its not just about cost, is it if the functionality you need isn't there? You can certainly spend more, but I'm pretty sure that you can get more for your money.
You don't have to believe me. Check out Pulseway's YouTube channel for yourself or request a trial subscription to the SaaS Enterprise Server. I freely admit that I'm a Pulseway convert. I have been for years. It's absolutely the best solution for enterprise monitoring that I've seen. Combine its pricing, its functionality, its mobile-enabled management, its custom alerting, its security features, and its depth and breadth of coverage of systems and third-party services and I just don't think anyone can touch it. And this coming from a guy who was a Tivoli Enterprise Monitoring administrator. I loved Tivoli so I don't say this lightly, but if I were still a Tivoli admin today, I'd rip and replace it with Pulseway's solution. It's that good. It's so good, so easy to use, and so thorough that I've actually considered becoming an MSP myself.
Try it for yourself and tell me what you think. I'd love your feedback and I'm sure the good folks at Pulseway would love to hear it too. Talk back and let us know what you think of the free trial.