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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Cold reboots via SMS

cold reboot via sms
Today we have launched release 8.0.3 of our Monitoring Software with an exciting new (patent pending) feature: cold reboot via SMS.

A cold reboot (also known as a hard reboot, cold boot or cold start) is when power to a computer is cycled (turned off and then on).

ServersCheck's PDU enable users via a secured web interface to perform power cycles onto any device connected to it.

With this release, power cycle signals can be sent via secure SMS to the PDU. This is done through the Monitoring Software which receives and authenticates the reboot command via SMS.

No matter where you are, via secure SMS you can now restart a router, server, etc... by performing a power off / power on cycle.

More info on this feature is available here: http://wiki.serverscheck.com/index.php/SMSPDU

Sunday, November 8, 2009

BTS Monitoring Solution - a 3D overview

We have just released the 3D video of our solution for monitoring mobile base stations (BTS). The solution is designed around four main focus points:
1. monitor all IP & SNMP devices & networks
2. monitor environment to safeguard equipment
3. monitor mobile services from an end-user perspective
4. monitor power usage & perform remote reboot
5. monitor I/O contacts (door, smoke, generator, ...)

Enjoy the video!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

BTS Monitoring Solution Released


At ITU World Telekom in Geneva we have released our monitoring appliance for BTS stations. These stations are small technical rooms in which all the equipment runs to make mobile communications possible. The BTS Monitoring Appliance is an industrialized version of our traditional appliance with additional sensors and a special end-user simulation module.

More info can be found on our new website: http://www.btsmonitoring.com

This is the press release that was sent out earlier today on the subject:

ServersCheck now monitors antennas of mobile operators

Zaventem, Belgium / Geneva, Switzerland, 6 October 2009 – As ITU Telecom World 2009, the world’s largest telecommunications event, got under way, the Belgian company ServersCheck presented its new BTS Monitoring Solution. This solution has been designed to monitor continuously the performances and the surrounding factors of antennas and other remote technical facilities. In the meantime, this solution has been the subject of tests among different mobile operators in the Asia-Pacific region.

A compact appliance that offers integral monitoring and simulates the end user
ServersCheck’s BTS Monitoring Solution has been developed, above all, to monitor the availability of the Base Transceiver Stations (BTS), crucial elements of mobile networks. A station such as a BTS is composed of a radio transceiver and all the expensive technical gear that goes with it together with an antenna and is directly in contact with all the mobile appliances that use the network. The continuous growth in mobile telephony and data requires greater performance from networks and the fastest possible solution of any failures, caused by problems with a BTS.

5-level control
The compact BTS Monitoring Solution offers comprehensive and continuous monitoring, and does so at 5 levels, which are essential for the operators. Through the BTS Monitoring Appliance and ServersCheck’s computer equipment which is connected to it, the solution monitors:
1. all the appliances connected to a network within the BTS,
2. all the surrounding factors (temperature, air humidity and water),
3. mobile services from an end user’s perspective (telephone conversations, SMS and 3G connections),
4. power usage, with the possibility of restarting appliances remotely,
5. all the I/O contacts (gate, smoke, backup generators, etc.)

According to Maarten Van Laere, ServersCheck’s CEO, this solution opens up new markets and new opportunities for BTS Monitoring: “We have combined our current network monitoring, detector and software expertise in this new product. The increasing number of mobile networks require high-performance networks and therefore reliable monitoring. With our BTS Monitoring Solution, we are the first to propose a comprehensive monitoring solution which is also capable of simulating the end user. That makes it possible for the operators to check and ensure optimal operation of all the telephone services while focusing on the data exchange services above all. Today, the actual customers are often the ones who have to point out the problems, which is not, commercially speaking, a good thing. Thanks to our solution, however, they are now warned of any defects in real time.”

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

ServersCheck v8 Released

We have released version 8 of our Monitoring Software.

Version 8 bring a whole set of new features making ServersCheck an even more unique solution compared to other players in the market.

What's new in v8

1/ Integrated MIB Browser & SNMP Scanner. To use a MIB file, simply drop it in the /mib foler. Go to the device properties in the ServersCheck software and scan the device. The mib will be used to make SNMP data readable and ready for monitoring.

2/ WMI monitoring: any WMI parameter, available in the Windows system being monitored, can now be analyzed.

3/ Time line reporting. You can now visually navigate to the alerting history of your monitoring solution. Simply move your browser over the report.

4/ RDP enabled remote devices? Through a single mouse click you can now connect to your monitored systems when looking at them in the device properties screen

5/ API: ServersCheck has innovated the monitoring market again by now offering an API. Anyone can now write custom checks using any of the check types available within the software. The first API made available is for monitoring routers from ImageStream.


You can download v8 from following url:
http://www.serverscheck.com/monitoring_software/download.asp

Friday, July 24, 2009

ServersCheck Overview Video Released

Earlier this week we released a 3D video describing the ServersCheck solution as clear as possible to anyone unfamiliar with what we do. I hope you'll like it. Sit back and relax while watching this 1m40seconds video.


Sunday, June 21, 2009

CommunicAsia - Singapore - June 2009

CommunicAsia is South East Asia's largest technology show. As we did open an office in Singapore early this year, it was a natural step for us to exhibit and promote ServersCheck during the almost one week event.

Time for us was right. Over the past 6 months we have setup an indirect channel with a dedicated and motivated distributor based out of KL, Malaysia who deals with our resellers in the region. At the same time we have setup a sales team for dealing with large corporate accounts in the Asian market. While having all processes in place, we were anxious to await the response and feedback from the market in this region of the world. On top of that, for the first time in Asia we would officially show our Monitoring Appliance.

Response has been overwhelming and it will require anyone's talent from our sales staff, distributor and resellers to make sure that every enquiry is catered for. However rest assured that we will do whatever it takes to make it happen. Singapore and its visitors have given the ServersCheck a very warm welcome this year and interest has exceeded our most optimistic scenario's with even deals signed at the booth.

For our new business partners: welcome to the ServersCheck family. To our new customers: a big thank you and rest assured that you can count on our support.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Monitoring Appliance wins Best Of Interop Finalist Award

On May 2nd, ServersCheck received the Best Of Interop Finalist award in the Network Management category.

Best of Interop recognizes some of the world's most innovative technologies across eight major categories. More than 160 companies submitted products for consideration. The panel of judges was made up of award-winning editors and analysts from InformationWeek Analytics who selected the products they believe will have the greatest potential to impact and advance business technology efficiencies.

"The Best of Interop Awards contribute to Interop's goal of moving business technology forward and driving adoption of the latest technology advancements," said Lenny Heymann, Interop General Manager. "We saw strong competition and innovation from this year's submissions and congratulate our 2009 finalists."

"Every year, Best of Interop highlights important technology that is ready for enterprise use," said Art Wittmann, Managing Director, InformationWeek Analytics. "The Best of Interop continues to showcase the industry's most innovative technologies."

At ServersCheck we are extremely proud of this award as it again underlines the innovative character of our products. This award complements our previous awards: Windowsnetworking.com Reader's Choice Award and Best Networking Product at ITProExpo Japan.

Also we would like to post a big thank you to our numerous supporters and fans at Interop and for their valuable feedback that will make its way into our product.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

ServersCheck Interview at Interop Las Vegas 2009



Interview by ITBuyerGuide.org with Maarten Van Laere, ServersCheck's CEO about the ServersCheck Monitoring Appliance showcased during Interop Las Vegas 2009 where the product received an award as Best Of Interop Finalist

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

WindowsNetworking Readers' Choice Award

I am very proud to announce that ServersCheck received the WindowsNetworking Reader's Choice Award as best Network Monitoring & Management product.

WindowsNetworking.com is a leading website for Windows system administrators and draws around 650.000 visitors each month. This award is given each year based upon a poll conducted by WindowsNetworking.com.

The award was won last year by SolarWind's IPMonitor with GFI Network Monitor as runner up.

The nice thing about this award compared to many others is that it comes from the user community. Users determine who wins. That being said, I would like to thank you all for your support as a customer, business partner and employee. I can only stress that this award is a big motivation to even try harder. Yes we can!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Server Monitoring Systems

Of all the things you might be concerned about when running a server, cluster, or even a full data center; the chances are good that a server monitoring solution can allay the majority of your fears, cut costs, and reduce down-time.

Server monitoring solutions come in many shapes and sizes and frequently boast a blistering array of hardware and software applications, combined with sensors and communication protocols. They can be needlessly complex, deceptively simple, and everything between.
Hyperbole aside, the tasks of any server monitoring system is three fold:
  • Integrate into your server hardware and software without the need to disrupt that hardware or re-deploy software.
  • Use software and hardware sensors to monitor environmental and networking conditions inside and outside of your servers.
  • Continually report back on server status, providing alerts for critical software, hardware, or environmental situations.
In reality this ideally results in complete environmental and systemic monitoring of your critical services so that you, your potential customers or employers, and even your insurers, are never taken off guard by unforeseen hardware damage or software failure.

Though many network administrators are all too aware of the need for continual network device monitoring, most assume individual, periodic hardware failure to be an inevitable but acceptable rarity. This is correct, and server monitoring equipment can certainly help, but there are far more serious threats to your server hardware, dangers which can take down an entire data center for many weeks and potentially demand the replacement of all server hardware.

Environmental conditions change and, even in the most highly secured custom built server room, there are still a range of risks which can wreak havoc upon your hardware. These come in the form of excess humidity and temperature, power failure or, in the most extreme cases: Fire and Flood.

Server monitoring hardware sensors can be deployed throughout your hardware and environment to keep tabs on these otherwise silent server killers. Admittedly, most data centers or corporate IT offices are equipped with air conditioning that controls overall temperature and humidity, but a simple failure of this single part –while unpleasant for human employees- can spell the end for server hardware.

Enough doom and gloom, now. Any experienced server administrator or technician will understand the damage which can be caused by overheated systems or excess humidity, and hopefully they have implemented a monitoring system to keep a watchful eye on these environmental factors. On the other hand, more pressing and frequent problems are caused by isolated software and hardware failures which, unless monitored closed, can go unnoticed for many days.

The range of software monitoring options can be dazzling and varied, and while most monitoring systems will allow for a range of monitoring options, only a few do so with ease and consistency. Systems being monitored can include a raft of server applications, based upon their assigned ports, these might include:

  • Internet Related Checks
  • SNMP Related Checks
  • Mail Related Checks
  • Media Server Checks
  • OS Specific Checks
  • Applications Specific Checks
  • VOIP Checks
  • Database Checks
  • File Checks

Suffice to say, the built in functionality of server monitoring systems should cover the majority of your needs but, due to the way the software monitoring system works, it should also be possible to set up custom checks on any running service you desire.

These networked software and hardware tests are carried out in three steps. First, the monitoring software needs to know which services you wish it to monitor, this can be configured manually (via I.P. and port specification) or, in the case of ServersCheck, you may be able to automatically map your network devices and services.

In either case, the server monitor will periodically check known IPs and Ports to monitor their response state and times. In the event that any part of the system fails and a response is not forthcoming, your server monitor can be configured to alert you in a variety of ways, such as:

  • SMS
  • MSN messenger
  • Email
  • Voice messages
  • Or audio and video alarms

This is also true for environmental warnings which might need human attention. In this way, there are multiple opportunities to track your server performance and environmental factors, any of which could give you a clue to why a server has failed or, preferably, that a server might fail due to one of the tracked statuses.

The final part in the puzzle is the tracking and display of these environmental and network environments over time. This is where a server monitoring system becomes far more than it might immediately seem. Using ServersCheck system as an example, you can expect graphs which display the following variables readings over time:
  • Server, environmental and network status
  • Temperature and humidity over time
  • Bandwidth usage over time
  • Many more.
A combination of these unique and robust server monitoring systems ultimately ensures you have total control of your server and its environment. When combined with time based reviews, you can gain unique insight and understanding of the many varied factors which contribute to the cost, up-time and failure points in your server. Ultimately, you’ll save time, money and steer clear of potential catastrophe.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Network Monitoring – Keep Your Network Running Smoothly

Network monitoring is a key component of any networked system. This monitoring allows technicians to determine the reliability of the network and prevent large crashes by fixing or replacing downed components. In certain cases, careful monitoring can point out problems in the network before they become large enough to affect network users. Careful network monitoring can also affect the percentage of downtime that is planned compared to unplanned, thus improving general network availability statistics.

Most network monitoring programs send periodic requests to different servers in the system and measure the response times. These response times are typically derived from port and service ‘pinging’ which tells the system administrator how quickly the servers speak to one another, or indeed, if they are offline.

Good network monitoring applications will also monitor the amount of data sent and the bandwidth used. This allows the system administrator to monitor and control network bandwidth usage by individual servers and systems. Of course, it’s also a great way to catch broken components and security issues.

This is not the only thing you can do while monitoring a network. Network tomography helps with the design of useful networked systems. Tomography uses the ends points of data sent through the internet in order to figure out the path that information takes to get from point A to point B. Using this information, it is possible for system administrators and computer scientists to design better computer networks, and better ways to connect servers. The idea is to reduce the distance and time spent in any server request through design. Thus improving the efficiency of your network, and improving usage of hardware.

Although it is not as common as using network monitoring systems to check the uptime of a server, network tomography is a growing field, and can be used as in a similar manner to regular monitoring to figure out where network delays occur. Tomography can also be used to figure out which links are naturally more lossy than others. This makes it possible to fix those links in the network and speed up network response times and reliability.

Ideally, any network monitoring would include alerts for failed server requests. Depending on the type of network monitoring system, these alerts can take the form of a visual/audio alarm or messages sent to the system administrator’s SMS, instant messenger, email or voice mail.

Features to look for in network monitoring systems:

How does it send alerts? Make sure that the system will send you alerts in a way that will definitely get to you. The system should be capable of being set to send more than one alert at a time. That way, no matter where you are, you will always be able to know when the network goes down. This will minimize unplanned downtime.

High ratings and/or good reviews. One of the best network monitoring programs on the market right now is ServersCheck. It has won awards for best network product at the ITpro Expo in October of 2008 and continues to release innovative new products and services in its network monitoring range. This is due to the ease of use, reliability, and the many different ways that the system can send alerts. Whether you prefer to get phone calls, emails or instant messages, ServersCheck will alert you to system downtime.

Free trial. It is a good idea to look for network monitoring systems that allow you a free trial. ServersCheck, for example, gives a free 21 day trial so that you can test out the program features yourself. Make sure that the free trial is at least three weeks – otherwise, you might not have enough time to test all of the program features. While you are testing the program, you should make sure that you run some tests to see whether or not the monitoring software is working properly.

Other features. Many of the network monitoring options on the market will only monitor the network, or are otherwise limited in their features. If you are only looking for a tool to monitor your bandwidth use, then this may not be a major problem. However, there are other options available that will give you many more features for your money. If you are planning on running a server for a long period of time, then you should look into a program that will monitor much more than uptime and bandwidth.

There are a few monitoring options that do not require downloads – these monitors can be accessed online. These options are often open source and free, however the features are usually limited.

Once again, ServersCheck can deliver – it promises to monitor with more than 60 different checks ranging from the standard network monitoring all the way to environmental monitors. This way you can keep an eye on your network up time as well as the physical environment around the servers. Why go with a type of network monitoring system that doesn’t also monitor server room temperature, humidity and under-floor flooding?

Overall, network monitoring has become a much more precise science in recent years. It is possible to find applications, software and hardware monitors to check almost any server room conditions. Although network tomography can help to study networked servers, your best bet will always be network-specific options. With proper network monitoring, you can keep your network running smoothly – and get immediate alerts when any servers go down.