Windows Server Monitoring - made really easy
February 21, 2019
Monitoring servers accurately and reliably does not have to involve the installation of complex software or spending hours configuring tools - a modern cloud monitoring solution must overcome the legacy difficulties experienced by DevOps and System Admins.
CloudRadar was created to do exactly that. Here's how:
What critical Windows server metrics is a must to monitor?
To start with, the “Heartbeat” check gives you minute-to-minute availability of your servers.
After that, you need to track the most critical performance metrics, services and processes:
- Keep on top of performance metrics including measuring your CPU load, memory utilization, disk space fill levels and Input/Output bandwidth.
- Monitor the run status of all the processes on the server and see immediately when a process has crashed in order to remedy the situation and avoid downtime.
CloudRadar addresses all of these requirements (over 50 metrics in total) in a simple, uncluttered and easy to use interface that you can use in three ways:
- Check the status of all your servers in one complete dashboard for an instant overview:
- Access a view with the state of all metrics per server:
- Delve into the historical performance with detailed graphs and analysis:
Knowing when you need to act
Monitoring performance is only the first step. It is not possible to look at your monitoring dashboard view 24x7, so you need to be reliably alerted when something goes wrong, or when an issue is developing (e.g. disk space reaching critical levels).
False Alerts - or not having the right alerts set up - is a common problem with setting up monitoring systems. the bane of any System Admin’s existence. Alerts can be complicated to configure, it often takes time, and often still goes wrong. The result is downtime, cumbersome interruptions and business impact.
CloudRadar has simplified this process - and ensures both completeness and reliability:
- Proven notification rules and pre-configured alert channels - this means that the solution is active right from the start with full and reliable functionality. For instance, as a pre-set, you will get a notification when any disk reaches 95% fill-level. No more wasted hours trying to figure it out.
- You can customise alerts and rules - or set up new ones - at any time. The Graphical Rules Editor allows you to customise the conditions for any check that triggers an alert. There is no limit to the number of checks that can be configured per server.
- No False Alerts - all alerts are triple-checked instantly to minimize disturbance from false alerts.
- Choose the channel - as a default, all alerts are sent to your profile email. Or set up more channels: Slack, Telegram, PushOver, WhatsApp, SMS or your own Webhooks.
Effective and fast setup
Monitoring server infrastructures can be complex, with hybrid setups - partly located on-premise, with third parties and in the cloud.
Agent-based vs. agent-less monitoring
The most efficient monitoring solution across these setups is an agent-based approach - a tiny, secure, one-way agent is installed on each server, transmitting metrics to a central monitoring console. It is true that some agents can put a strain on the servers they are supposed to be monitoring, thus reducing the performance of the servers and defeating the purpose of monitoring them (which is to ensure optimal performance). This can happen when the agent manages its own policy, rather than respond to requests from the monitoring tool. The benefit of using agents is the specificity of the information that can be collected. So, the ideal solution is to preserve this depth of understanding while minimizing the effect of the agent on the server.
Agent-based solutions also allow the monitoring solution to perform automated tasks remotely. In the absence of an agent, which acts as arbiter of commands from the monitoring tool, it becomes very difficult to develop proactive and automated actions. However, agent-less monitoring does allow for automated server discovery, which is especially useful in volatile IT environments - like ones that use auto-scaling, where the number of servers is always changing. And it is because of the absence of a medium that agent-less monitoring in those cases has some advantages.
Agent-less monitoring includes Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP). For Windows, Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) is also used, and provides a better solution than SNMP on its own. With SNMP, one is limited to data that is made available by the vendor, which is difficult to expand. Therefore, agent-less monitoring is far less customizable than agent-based counterparts. WMI, however, is an example of how some vendors have opened their products to deeper agent-less monitoring. The IDERA white paper on agent-based and agent-less monitoring suggests that a heterogenous IT environment, in other words, one which uses Windows and other platforms, would be better suited by a combined- agent-based and agent-less- solution.
In summary, agent-based monitoring offers a customizable experience which yields rich reporting, depending on the needs of the system administrator. It is also convenient in that it allows for certain tasks to be automated.
CloudRadar is designed to be instantly available and extremely easy to use. This is achieved with:
- Instant SAAS setup, without the need to install and maintain local software.
- Guided setup wizards for server/host creation and agent installation.
- Immediately active with pre-configured smart defaults on key checks/metrics and alerting.
All your server are not necessarily on the same software version.
Cloudradar had been developed to support Windows Server 2012, 2016, 2019 and Windows 7 and 10
(It also includes Linux servers - RedHat/CentOS, ubuntu, Debian and Suse)
Try CloudRadar with a Free Trial
To decide on the best monitoring tool for your IT environment, you need to be comfortable with the solutions at hand.
Realising that, you can try CloudRadar free for 15 days - so you can verify that it works for you. No risks, and no credit card required.
Get your Free account now and be up and running in minutes.
Author: Nicholas Thiede