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Uptime simplifies system and server monitoring

David Strom | Jan. 13, 2015
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.

And by copious we mean dozens of reports on just about anything you can dream up: enterprise CPU usage, summaries of your service-level agreements, vSphere workloads, and more. Reports can be scheduled periodically, limited to particular date ranges, and sent out via email in a variety of formats, including HTML and PDF, and archived on the Web console for easy recall.

The latest version includes these enhancements:

  • Better VMware infrastructure monitoring. Uptime has always had some integration with vSphere, but it has gotten better. Now you can create alerts on additional VM-specific metrics such as memory usage, and CPU ready/wait time. This also includes an understanding of your network topological dependencies. So if a VM host fails, Uptime knows that the VMs running on that host also have stopped working and they don't have send to alerts about those VMs.
  • Expanded API-based element management. This allows integrators to build new synchronization, bulk management, or discovery tools to tightly integrate Uptime with tools such as CMDBs or asset management services. You can now add agent-based, WMI-based, and network-device elements, each with their own APIs. Also, all of the Uptime core features are now available through RESTful APIs, so you can query for current element status or alert acknowledgements. There is published documentation on these APIs here.
  • Customizable dashboards and plug-ins. Uptime has always been dashboard-heavy, meaning that their analytics are approachable, clickable (to drill down for further analysis and understanding of particular events), and visually interesting. And they continue to add new dashboards with dozens of fancy plug-ins. New to this version is an extensions manager to help you do this from inside Uptime itself. We had a hard time finding this tool (there is a small gear icon in the corner of the screen that kicks off a series of dialogs to add new plug-ins). You can add completely new dashboards or new service monitors (such as one that checks to see if SSL certificates are about to expire) to the appropriate places. If you want to get an idea of what else is available, see this list.
  • Improved auto-discovery. The automated scanning across your network happens faster, and you can control exactly what you wish to scan too.

Online documentation is well indexed and hyperlinked, making it easy to find explanations of commands and menus and configurations. You can download a fully functional 30-day trial and there is also a live demo environment where you can navigate around a working installation to see how a more complex network is being monitored.

Pricing for Uptime is very simple. Each element costs $99, with an element defined as whatever you are monitoring. So you can have the full version of this tool to try out on a few elements for a very reasonable cost, and expand it as your needs require. Volume discounts are available too. Pricing and support could change though as Uptime was recently acquired by Idera.


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