Application performance management (APM) isn't just for system administrators. It can and should be an integral part of the software development cycle. Some problems show up only after running for a long period of time, and APM is one of the best ways to make developers aware of them. Not every bug immediately produces incorrect results. Some of them make the application slow down over time. Some make it crash after a long period or when an unusual situation occurs. Code which works well with test data may not scale well as its database grows. Normal testing won't always catch these issues.
IT people often take DNS servers for granted. They perform an essential but simple task, and they're just supposed to work. Most of the time they do, but if they go wrong, the effects can be disastrous. An unreliable server means an unreliable Internet connection. A rogue server can let malicious sites impersonate legitimate ones. DNS monitoring can catch problems before they become major.
Network security is not what it used to be. Most likely, if you're in the IT security business, you probably just laughed at the understatement of the year. With the 'rise' of the internet, search engines, wireless communication, cloud technology, and hackers hiding behind every access point, the idea of securing a single unified network has become almost ridiculous. It's still necessary as part of your greater business IT plan, but impossible to maintain on its own in today's highly online business environment. An office building is no longer an island standing alone with its tower of isolated data, it is a hub through which data flows in and out of the network at lightning speed, which means it's time to start thinking about network security differently.
Topics: Network Security
Keeping a network safe requires a broad array of tools. Detection of anomalies plays the important role of spotting trouble early. Anomalies can happen in incoming, internal, and outgoing traffic. On the incoming side, recognition of attacks in progress provides an early warning. Within the network, malware that has successfully invaded one machine may launch attacks on others. Outgoing traffic could include attempts to contact command-and-control servers. When monitoring detects these events, security software or administrators can take action to stop the threat quickly.
Topics: Intrusion Detection
IP address management (IPAM) isn't a simple matter in a large network. It has to keep track of public addresses, network address translation, DNS connections, DHCP, and IPv6 addresses. Without a reliable set of IPAM tools, a network can waste address spaces, encounter address collisions, experience security weaknesses, and have poor resiliency.
Managed service providers need to stay on top of their clients' networks in many ways. The more complete and timely the information they gather is, the more satisfaction they'll deliver. It's possible to do this from the MSP's on-premises systems, but cloud-based monitoring offers many advantages. It's more reliable and scalable, and often more secure.
Every modern company has an IT infrastructure. Even small businesses with only a local computer and a wifi network technically have their own IT infrastructure made up of the workstation, router, network, point of sale devices, and any mobile devices currently connected to the network. Larger and more tech-oriented companies may, however, find themselves with an IT infrastructure with more than a thousand different points to consider. From local servers to cloud servers, mobile devices to workstations, and from in-house teams to SaaS IT services, a company's IT infrastructure can wildly balloon out simply by the nature of normal growth and department development.
Topics: Cloud Based Network Monitoring
Running a modern business is all about the data. While companies may vary from industry to industry and even location to location, this is only the logistical side of things. From marketing to inventory tracking, the standard aspects of business are all going digital. The information that travels just between employees and internal computers is massive, and the amount of data and network interactions only multiplies with a thriving company website.
Network engineers and network managers tend to think of application performance only in terms of speed: their goal is to make the application as fast as possible or, at the very least, as fast as it needs to be. Stability and predictability, however, are two additional factors that contribute to performance. A stable application results in a consistent user experience, meaning that it performs equally well during peak hours and off-peak hours. As its user base grows, even if suddenly (e.g., after a viral marketing campaign), the compute demands will increase. Therefore, a high-performance application should also be designed with predictability in mind. In other words, it should be known in advance how an increased load under various conditions will affect the infrastructure so that the appropriate actions can be taken to avoid performance degradation.
While everyone is still reacting to the wide-spread ransomware attacks that happened earlier this year, it's become clear that hackers are becoming bolder and far more motivated to shake money out of businesses in any way they can. Malware is getting nastier and the most prominent hacks have graduated from annoying and destructive pranks to outright theft. Though we've only recently found out about the epidemic, in the last year there has been an astounding wave of cyber attacks targeting hotels and, specifically, their payment processing information.