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10 Do’s and Don’ts of IT Monitoring

There are a few alerts that every SysAdmin should be aware of, and there are some they would like to forget they ever created. Just like anything else, there is a right way, and a wrong way, and IT monitoring is no different. Here are the top 10 Do’s and Don’ts of IT monitoring and some simple tips to help you to easily achieve or avoid some future headaches.


Setup your plugins to output streams of text

Finding that critical is like looking for a needle in a haystack.



You can use attributes to split up service checks, no more searching for the error in all of that text. Attributes allow you to spit complex service monitoring into easily manageable checks with clear output.

Let every user access everything

Do you want that person using your monitoring tool for the first time to be able to run a reload? And do you want your Windows Admin to be able to edit your database checks?

Fine tune who can access what and what changes they can make using the roles and tenancy features to make sure people who have access to your system aren’t the biggest threat to your IT!

Miss any systems

You do not wait for someone to spot a problem to find out a system is not being monitored.

Use Auto-discovery to scan you entire network and check that you have not missed any systems, you can even schedule a regular scan to spot new systems.

Waste time generating regular reports

No more reminders for that weekly report, or days wasted trying to automate.

Automatically generate reports and email them out to whoever needs them, just set up a template, configure who they go to and that’s another job off your list.

Here’s a bonus tip.  Use keywords or the Business Service Module and there is no need to modify the report template when you add new systems, you simply tag them with your existing keywords or add them into your Business Services and they will be set up for alerting and will be in your next report.

Be afraid to create or modify plugins

Have you got a service check that is not quite giving you the output you want or you cannot find a plugin for something you want to monitor?

With only a little programming knowhow you can easily create or modify service checks. Using NRPE you can use any programming language you feel comfortable with. So don’t be scared to write something up to fit your specific monitoring need.

Fill your dashboard with every Dashlet you can fit on

You do not want to miss that important metric or warning, in a jumble of information.

Use Business Services and keywords easily represent only the critical information on your dashboards. You can also automatically scroll through multiple dashboard tabs, allowing you to display a range of clear metrics in a way that is easy to interpret.


Name and group your systems when you add them to your monitoring tool.

There is nothing worse than getting an alert for something you named “System 1” six months ago and spending longer working out what it is than you do fixing it.

Keywords allow you to sort your systems into logical groups, these could be by device type, department, physical location or anything else that might be useful. You can assign multiple keywords to a single host you could even add all of them. They also make setting up reports and alerts a breeze.

Encrypt all your passwords

You would not leave the login credentials for all of your systems lying around for anyone to find, so do not let your IT monitoring solution be the hole in your security policy!

The Security Wallet allows you to encrypt any parameters you do not want everyone to see to keep the information viewable to only people who should have it

Let the Business Service Module take care of your SLA metrics

No more hours wasted working out those percentages.

Just define your business service components and your system redundancies and let your IT monitoring system do those calculations.

Fine tune your alerts to suit your needs

You do not want the same alerts at night as you do during the work day.

You can use alerting profiles to configure different alerts for custom time periods, only get the notifications you want at the times you need them, you can even change how they are sent.

There you have it.  Some simple do’s and don’ts of the IT Monitoring world.  If you need to learn more about some tips and tricks, feel free to check out our Resource section with eBooks and whitepapers on how tos and guides to get started.

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by Opsview Team,
Opsview is passionately focused on monitoring that enables DevOps teams to deliver smarter business services, faster.

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