Server and systems management tools have long been too expensive and too complex to actually use without spending thousands of dollars on consultants. Uptime Software has been trying to change that with a product that can be installed and useful within an hour. We tested the latest version (7.3.1) on a small network of Windows physical and virtual machines.
Like similar products, Uptime consists of a monitoring server that collects information from several scanning methods, including SNMP traps, WMI, and its own series of agents installed on each Windows and Linux PC.
The measure of a systems management tool is how wide a net it can cast and what it can manage. Uptime has been adding elements to both categories, and it can handle Oracle, mySQL, SQL Server, Microsoft Exchange, WebSphere, IIS, WebLogic, NFS and Windows file shares, various VMware events, along with many other applications and situations.
With its agents, Uptime also has the ability to automate some common self-healing tasks. You can set up profiles, for example, to detect when a Web server is down and can then automatically restart it without any need for operator intervention. This is a very powerful feature. You can also build scripts that can restart certain Windows services: these can run on the central monitoring station rather than as part of the agent code.
Like other systems management tools, there is a wide collection of user roles that can be set up in a very granular way. These roles can be applied to specific elements or action profiles, with the ability to view, add new ones, or change existing ones. This makes it easier to deploy it across your enterprise, where you might want to have the server folks only have access rights for monitoring those elements, and the network infrastructure folks to only have access to that portion of the product.
Once you install the monitoring server on any Windows or Linux 64-bit machine, (32-bit machines are no longer supported for running this server but can still be tracked) you bring up a recent vintage of a Web browser to configure it, run reports, and all other functions of the product.
This is similar to how CA's Nimsoft Snap monitoring tool and others work, which makes it easier for IT administrators to remotely track what is going on without having to be tied to a particular PC.
We had some issues getting the agents to communicate with the monitoring server running under Oracle's Virtual Box and had to allow traffic through the client PC on the monitoring port 9998 (or whatever you choose for the agent to communicate).
Elements such as monitored systems or particular application servers can be quickly added with an auto-discovery tool that can scan a range of IP addresses or look for specific systems. Once these elements are added into its database, the real utility of the product begins. Uptime will track outages, when a particular condition is met (such as a disk drive that is nearing its capacity or a CPU that is being heavily used), and provide copious reports for your viewing pleasure.
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