Monitor Everything

Tue Jan 6 21:40:00 2015

In October we 'soft' launched[1] a trial version of our new subsciption based monitoring solution, ShadowNMS, today we open the service to pre-orders before the official launch of the full service on Monday 12th January.

ShadowNMS is based upon the open source network monitoring system, OpenNMS, one of the most powerful and mature monitoring systems available. ShadowNMS implements OpenNMS in manner intended to be more accessible and friendly. We have a vision of taking a complex specialised skill, that is the generally in the domain of network gurus, and making it accessible to a wider audience.

The underlying principles that have guided our development:

  • If you have a service (we call services benchmarks as we can measure them) that you rely on, or a device that carries essential services, you need to monitor it;
  • Local installation of a solution may be time-consuming or impossible so the product should work 'in the cloud';
  • Not everyone is an expert, or has the time to learn to be one, yet everyone should be given easy to understand advice and a product they can understand;
  • The minimum response should be 'is this available' we call this the 'HeartBeat';
  • Not everyone understands what they need to monitor and what is an acceptable response to a query so there needs to be an expertly configured metrical range of operation, the performance range - the range gives us our 'performance values' that we pre-configure the system to understand and to report on when they are exceeded;
  • The product should be accessible from almost any device, with a familiar user experience to increase familiarity and ease of use;
  • The user experience should be easy and getting devices configured trivial. Our minimum user input is an IP address then ShadowNMS will discover for itself all the services (we call them Benchmarks) that are available for you to choose to monitor;
  • There should be the option to customise for those with more complex needs or a greater number of benchmarks or devices to monitor;
  • But the biggest principle is simplicity of use and clean design.

With the final point in mind let's take a look at a few screenshots.

The opening screen lets you see at a glance if everything is functioning and respective numbers of devices in each status band.
If you open a device list you see the names of all the devices in that status group (blurred on purpose).
This is the alert centre. The default view for our alert centre is every alert across all devices, it shoes a historical view of the issues for analysis.
If you select a device then you will see a snapshot of the benchmarks (services) and our 'Heartbeat' which shows system status. We like to let the system reveal information in layers, each stage is a simple representation but more information can be revealed if required. You might notice that our alert centre has also changed, it now only shows the alerts for the selected device. You can close this view by hitting an [X} in the top corner.
Clicking on any benchmark graph will drill into that service to show more detailed status information.
You can see the last hour...
...all the way back to 7 days in the past with the flick of a finger.
We have tried to include help at every stage to make using the system as easy as possible.

We appreciate that people are busy, they are mobile and they crave reassurance, ShadowNMS has been designed to accommodate these three essential elements. But we have a lot of power underneath the self-discovering system and simplicity of interface. This allows us to build a custom response for those people who require it.

ShadowNMS is a new system built upon a stable core that has been under development for over a decade. Our goal is to provide you with ease of use and flexibility of product with minimum overhead. We are constantly adding new features to the system and are working closely with our 'development partners' to add new features to the system. This is the start of a service that we will grow and improve. We already feel that it is a strong service product and have great plans for the future.

Partners

ShadowNMS will launch as a managed service but we are also seeking product partners for further development. We offer three types of product partnership:

Supply Partners

A supply partner is a reseller of the ShadowNMS platform, this can be either selling under the ShadowNMS name or a 'white box' version with their own branding. A Supply partner will act as the first level of customer interaction but the whole of the underlying technology will be managed and maintained by ShadowNMS and will develop at the same pace and with the same features.

Systems Partners

A Systems Partner is a customer who has taken our highest (Premium) level of service. This is a Partner who is working closely with our internal team to integrate our offering into their systems and to whom we supply a complete, customised, monitoring service. Since this will be based upon the existing ShadowNMS service it will benefit from future development.

Service partners

Service Partners will have an existing product that would benefit from integrating advanced monitoring such that ShadowNMS can supply. We will work closely to ensure the smooth integration of ShadowNMS with your existing system and develop a custom approach. Development will rely on a close understanding of the existing product and will be a custom solution, however our aim is to integrate any development of features or enhancements across all our partnerships.

Now is the time to look at an Advanced Monitoring solution, Visit ShadowNMS at shadownms.com for more information.





Notes

[1] Our soft launch was aimed at testing the system outside of the development environment with a number of 'guest' users and businesses. This helped us to shake out issues and get valued feedback on our process.





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