Freeing up your IT resources â€“ Itâ€™s the summer and even Techies need a holiday...
Itâ€™s the summer holidays; a time of year when families fly off to hotter climes and offices quieten down. But while your employees enjoy sunnier climates, your IT systems canâ€™t. They need to keep running and performing at their best, which is why it is important to have a support team on hand at all times.
While individuals need to be available to fix issues and keep systems running, it doesnâ€™t mean they canâ€™t go on holiday. By using network monitoring and automation, the remaining members can rid themselves of any additional stress while maintaining a fully functional IT infrastructure.
Network monitoring solutions come in a couple of guises. First, there are the systems included with network hardware. These provide an in-depth view of a device but are limited to that specific manufacturer or model. An alternative choice is a universal monitoring solution, which can be either open source or commercial. These use standard industry protocols and interrogation to give an overview of infrastructure, no matter who the manufacturer is. While open source options appear to offer you the same or similar functionality as commercial products, they are often reliant on a community of coders and therefore may have little to no support.
Network monitoring solutions, such as those supplied by Mutiny, can be used to reduce the need for the time consuming manual checking of devices and pre-warn of issues before they escalate. Centralised dashboards give a single view and the ability to drill into devices without being physically there with the machine. This reduces the number of individuals required to police the network and allows them greater visibility of the infrastructure. This means, while members of your team are away, the remaining staff can still see and react to issues and keep the systems running at their best. Automated alerts further empower your team by making them aware of issues via SMS and email, wherever they are.
When it comes to network automation, again there are a number of options. As with monitoring, there are the device specific solutions. Most enterprise network device manufacturers offer their own software to automate network configuration and change management (NCCM). There are also third party and open source solutions that take a vendor neutral stance on the devices they support. These solutions make them a more universal option and a better candidate for heterogeneous networks. Open source solutions can be free, but for peace of mind, third party paid-for solutions often have the usability, finesse and most importantly support and training you need.
Automating network configuration allows your team to schedule periodic network scans and get a complete view of all the changes in configuration and device settings. Adding to the alert capability of the monitoring solution, automated configuration tools can warn your team when unauthorised or and non-compliant changes are made.
Automated configuration backups allow you to restore the systems quickly and painlessly when issues occur; this reduces the requirement of device specific specialists having to be present all the time. An additional benefit of these backups is the ability for changes to be reviewed. If a senior team member or vendor specific specialist is away, when they return they can clearly see and scrutinise any configuration changes which have been implemented during their absence.
The implementation of network monitoring and automation can offer real benefits to your IT team. When employees are on holiday, these systems can relieve the added pressure by reducing reliance on manual processes, giving a centralised view of even large networks and ensuring that issues are reported or fixed without the need for staff to be onsite.
If you would like to talk to us about your monitoring options, please get in touch.