“Surprisingly often, system administrators first learn of
problems when the help desk hotline starts ringing off the hook.
It’s Bob in Accounting calling to complain he can’t print; it’s
Amanda in Sales frantically phoning, trying to find someone to
reboot the file server. Problems turn into crises unnecessarily
because network monitoring tools can readily detect many kinds of
problems as soon as they occur or as they emerge.
“While most organizations have some sort of network monitoring
in place–typically a collection of ad hoc scripts that check on
individual services and resources connected to the network–these
scripts tend to be an incomplete solution, and can become
nightmarishly difficult to maintain as a network grows and
knowledgeable staff leaves to join a startup in Maui. In many
organizations, maintaining and monitoring the monitors is a