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Help with monitoring software

Posted on 2011-05-04
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-08-13
We're setting up our new production web environment and need recommendations on monitoring software.  

We have about 7 server in all.  They're all HP and we wish to monitor the basics such as RAID, memory, temperature and maybe monitor a few services.  We'd like to get alerts when something goes bad.  

I looked at HP insight and it looks like it's designed for huge enterprise.  Also I can't figure out if the servers need to be equipped with some kind of management add-on.  

Can someone recommend a product?
Question by:wrinklefree
LVL 47

Expert Comment

ID: 35691547
Well, if HP insight is a bit overwhelming, then your options are to go with something like a windows or linux based shareware product (google "SNMP management software", and you'll find a lot.)
All these will require setup/installation and downloading MIBs for the HP hardware.  Some commercial products have native support for SMARTArray RAID, but if you think HP Insight is too big for you, then those products will be overwhelming, plus realistically you'll pay $5000 or more for licenses, implementation/training and setup.

There are too many freebie SNMP packages out there to even recommend, as I've probably used a dozen different ones, and they all have strengths and weaknesses which may be deal killers for you.

Having said this, you have to realize that all the decent software IS designed for enterprise, because to get a return on investment, you pretty much need a large number of nodes to warrant the setup / implementation and training costs.

Personally, HP insight is what you should use.  Find a local expert pay him/her $500 - $1000 to set it up and train you, and you will be much better off.
LVL 35

Expert Comment

ID: 35691549
Check out Spiceworks: http://www.spiceworks.com/

It's free software and easy to set up.
LVL 47

Expert Comment

ID: 35691684
(PS, since both WIndows and UNIX/LINUX based systems run "services", then you might follow-up with more specifics, like what operating system(s) you use and whether they are implemented via some virtualization software like VMware.)

Both windows & UNIX/LINUX have a great deal of built-in capability to monitor & report health of the hardware & services, including the RAID, then you probably have everything you need except for the most basic of SNMP management software.

But if you want to FIX anything and really have it pay off, you want HP Insight manager, since this product can push out driver and firmware updates.   You can use it in combination with a freebie SNMP package.  The real problem is getting up to speed and configuring whatever you get.  That is why I suggested paying somebody to go on site for a day or two and just doing it all.   No matter what, if you don't have anybody on staff with this sort of experience, then learning curve is pretty big, and a seasoned sysadmin with this skillset can set up a lot of automated actions.   So you should strongly consider farming implementation out to somebody local.
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LVL 47

Expert Comment

ID: 35691741
Torimar - I've never used spiceworks -- how annoying is the advertising they built into the software?   Do you get spam email, is advertising limited to the desktop management station only?

Author Comment

ID: 35692924
These are all running Windows Server 2003 Enterprice x64 with about half of them running SQl Server 2008.  

I will take a look at the recommendations, thanks!

Expert Comment

ID: 35693318
I would recommend taking a look at some of the products that Solarwinds offers. Whatsupgold by IPSwitch is another one. Both will allow you to monitor services and hardware and are scalable from small business to large enterprise. Personally I use Microsoft SCCM and SCOM I believe personally those are hands down the best.
LVL 15

Accepted Solution

wwwally earned 2000 total points
ID: 35696226
Have a look at System Center Essentials, it’s a combination of SCOM and SCCM for organizations with less than 50 servers.

Author Comment

ID: 36347246
We ended up going with a combination of SCE and HP Insight manager.  Worked out great, but there's def a learning curve

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