Turning a reactive network environment into a proactive one

Tom Pesik, Senior Unix Administrator at Midwest Security Insurance, uses and recommends GFI Network Server Monitor to identify issues and fix unexpected conditions before end users report them.

"At Midwest Security Insurance, we spent quite a while looking for a cost-effective, easy to use, rich-featured product that could help us in our goal to turn our reactive network environment into a proactive one. We couldn't have our help desk finding out from an end-user that one of our servers was down. Now when we get a call to the help desk, we can say we are aware of the issue and are working to resolve the problem," Mr. Pesik explained.

Deploying the product
"We chose to implement GFI Network Server Monitor by actually installing it on two servers and have each version monitor the other: GFI Server #1 monitors all of our equipment and GFI Server #2. GFI Server #2 is also monitoring all our equipment and monitoring GFI Server #1."

Mr. Pesik described the set-up as follows:
GFI Server #1 - (Alert method: Broadcast and email notifications - Key systems may trigger pages) GFI Server #2 (Located next to the help desk) - (Alert method: Call a batch file which plays a loud wav file stating that equipment is down).

These are just some items Midwest Security Insurance is monitoring via GFI Network Server Monitor:

Key NT/2000 services
FTP site reachability and transfer functionality
Web site reachability/functionality
SQL reachability and table access
Reachability on all routers and switches
CPU thresholds for a capacity planning. (i.e., time to budget for bigger SQL box and research possible issues)
Disk space for capacity planning (i.e., time to budget for more drives and research where space is going).

Keep up the good work
"Midwest Security has contacted GFI with suggestions on improving the product; instead of our suggestions falling on deaf ears, we found that the GFI Development Team was very receptive to any suggestions that we could make for a better product," Mr. Pesik affirmed. "We are very, very happy with GFI Network Server Monitor and look forward to the many enhancements that will be present in the next version."

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