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Archives / 2014 / August

Monitoring Software vs. a Website Monitoring Service

In our last post we discussed the advantages and disadvantages of using an open source monitoring solution vs a monitoring service solution.  In this post I’ll look at another option for monitoring which is 3rd party installable software. A quick google search for monitoring software returns a wide variety of options, features, prices and licensing models.

 

The advantages of using a locally installed monitoring application include:

  • Total control - You can configure and have total control over monitoring setup within the limits of the application you select.

  • Inside the Network View – Fewer security concerns when monitoring secured resources since access is done from the local network.

  • Rich Monitoring options – Monitoring applications may also include the ability to monitor low level OS and hardware systems providing deeper monitoring capabilities.

 

Of course there are some disadvantages to going locally installed software including:

  • Needs hardware - Depending on your IT infrastructure you may need to find a server on which you can install the monitoring software. This increases your cost to get started as well as presenting an on going cost in terms of server maintenance and support. In these days of security issues you can no longer setup a server and just forget it, security updates must be installed on a regular basis both for the operating system and the monitoring application. Failure to do so can lead to dangerous vulnerabilities being exposed on your network.

  • Remote access – If the application you select has the ability to be remotely accessed you’ll need to open the required ports on your firewall and potentially expose your network to outsiders. Without exposing the application you’ll only have the ability to access your monitoring information from inside your network. This may present challenges if staff need to access the system remotely.

  • Cost – Depending on which application you select, licensing costs can add up quickly. In addition to the initial license cost you’ll need to include the cost of any ongoing maintenance or support plans.

  • Installed on your internal network - While monitoring from your local network is a good first step there are several types of issues this type of monitoring wont catch since its only able to monitor from your own network. Connectivity and routing errors can affect the ability of customers to reach your website but may not be detected by internal monitoring. Website performance issues can also be a result of upstream network issues that may not be caught by local monitoring.

 

If you have the expertise in house and the time then a locally installed application can be a good approach to a monitoring solution. It’s important though to keep in mind that you’ll have the initial license fee as well as ongoing costs for support, hardware maintenance. In addition you’ll need to make sure the server its installed on is kept up to date with patches, etc.

Website Monitoring Service solutions

A website monitoring service like elkMonitor.com can provide many advantages over an internally managed application.

Among those advantages are:

  • Quick and easy to get started - Because there is no hardware, OS and application to configure you can quickly get started monitoring. In 10 minutes you can be monitoring your website or other services.

  • Single Point of Support - With a paid service you’ll have a single source of support, no need to hunt around the net for solutions to arcane error messages or configuration questions.

  • No hardware or Software to maintain - Since the service maintains all the hardware and software you don't need to spend time doing so. Updates to the monitoring platform are automatic with no intervention on your part. Failed hardware at 2 in the morning, no worries, it’s the service providers problem.

  • Monitoring from outside your network - By monitoring from outside your network a service can detect issues with performance and connectivity you may not be able to detect internally. Also most services have test agents in multiple locations providing you with a better feel for your site’s performance from across the globe.

  • Web based interface - You can reach your monitoring service from any web browser or mobile device  simplifying access and eliminating the need to poke holes in your firewall to expose access to your internal monitoring service.

 

So why choose elkMonitor.com ?

  • Free 30 day Trial - Create a trial account and experience the power of elkMonitor.com with no commitment, we don’t even ask for your credit card details till you decide to signup. During your trial you’ll have full access to all the features of elkMonitor.com as well as our support team.

  • Easy Setup - Getting started with elkmonitor is pretty easy, first set up your monitor(s) and then set up your contacts who will be notified in the event of issues.

  • No long term contracts - We don't believe in locking you into our service for some ridiculously long period of time. Our plans are monthly but you do have the option to save money and commit to a longer period if you wish.

  • NC Based Tech Support - All our support team is based in our North Carolina offices where all our development is done as well.  Contacting us is easy via phone, email, chat and our online forums.

  • Help setting up your monitoring - We been working with web applications for a long time and we are glad to help you in setting up your monitoring using the experience we have gathered over the years.

So sign up for a free trial today and see how we can save you time and hassle.

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