Sunday, March 4, 2018

Windows Monitoring in 2018

The quest to find the perfect monitoring tool

I have begun a project in order to really work on re-vamping out monitoring. Frankly, I'm pretty tired of using Microsoft OMS and all of the pain that comes with it. Fortunately, there are a ton of tools out there, unfortunately a lot of them don't seem to fit our specific requirements. Enter our wanted features:

 Wanted features:

  • SaaS
    • It's 2018 after all.
    • Multi-tenant
    • I work for a Managed Service provider, and the more traditional tools don't really cover this.
    • We want the flexibility to install a lightweight agent, and get all of the information we need without spinning up a clunky virtual or even physical machine dedicated at each client site.
  • Automation
    • Personally, we're not there yet for Configuration management, so having a tool that can do simple automation would be a killer feature.
  • Inventory
    • It would be nice to get some basic inventory information, IP address, Server OS version, etc.
  • Patch management
    • 2018 - and I'm still doing patch management manually.
  • Web testing (local and remote)
    • Being able to do local webtest and figure out if a specific content delivery server is on the fritz is really helpful in troubleshooting.
    • Boring features such as DNS monitoring and certificate status monitoring.
  • Rich integrations
    • SOLR
    • MongoDB
    • .NET
    • MS SQL Server
    • Custom WMI or scripting monitoring capabilities.
  • Cloud monitoring
    • AWS
    • Azure
    • Also multi-tenant.
  • Key features that we care about
    • Minimum alerting time
    • Data retention
  • Other stuff for bonus points - but may be a long shot in a realistic world.
    • Log Analytic
    • APM
    • .NET, specifically.
    • Synthetics testing
    • Selenium based
Given my realistic and totally not overblown list of wanted features, I began to realize I wasn't going to get everything I wanted in one tool. The other thing I realized was that navigating and evaluating all of these tools by using Google wasn't going to work: I began to compile a spreadsheet of a ton of different tools and began a deep dive of each. I plan to share my findings for each tool in the coming weeks and outline where I think they win and lose.

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