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the IT department

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realtime monitoring of computer systemsA few weeks ago I went to an evening networking event about 50 minutes drive from home. Not long after I got onto the motorway, I noticed that the car was running a bit “rough”. It felt like a faint vibration from the engine. It wasn’t terrible, but knowing the car so well, I could feel it.

As I got near the venue, it got worse and soon I heard a loud rubbing and banging noise coming from the back end. Now I was worried.

I parked and as I suspected the rear tyre was flat. The event was due to start soon so I went into the hotel and found the conference room. I met some friends (and made some) had some coffee and did all the networky things.

By the time it was over, it was dark. It had started to rain; that drizzly dampness that seems so light but permeates everything. I got out the jack and extracted the spare from its hidey hole under the floor. I removed the wheel – it was heavy – did I say it had big, wide, alloys? Using the light from my phone, I finally got the wheel changed and inflated it to the correct pressure. I wrestled the old wheel into the boot, threw in the jack and other bits n’ bobs and headed home.

Turns out the tyre could not be salvaged. It had probably already been soft and leaking air when I left the house, hence the vibration I’d misdiagnosed earlier. If I’d known that, or recognised the symptoms I might have saved the tyre (and £120)!

So, what’s this got to do with IT?

I have now fitted a tyre pressure monitoring system. From inside the car, I can see the pressure in each tyre on a small display. It even alerts me with loud bleeping if it falls too low.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could be alerted when something started to go wrong with your computer – maybe even before there were any noticeable symptoms? It might save you money. It might even save your business. Maybe it will just give you peace of mind.

Well, you can.

We use a system that allows us to monitor our customers’ servers, PCs, and other IT equipment and software. It continually measures hundreds of parameters and alerts us when something is not right, whether it be a runaway program using too many resources or a hard disk on its last legs. It lets us know when backups didn’t complete successfully. It even tells us when software updates and security patches are needed and lets us implement them remotely – before disaster strikes.

eek a mouse

About the Author:

John Sanderson is the Chief engineer at the IT Department, a division of Clantec Solutions Limited,
helping individuals and small businesses with their IT challenges.

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