A good comment was made by Peter McMurray in the LinkedIn Pick User Group: “Interesting idea based on a sound principle. However I wonder if anyone will pay for it.” My short answer is that there there is a lot of precedent for this in the “mainstream”, but to my knowledge no similar offerings in the MV space. So I’m just looking to bridge the gap.
As to the value of the concept: System monitoring is a huge industry unto itself. Popular names in this area include Nagios, Zabbix, SpiceWorks, Zenoss, VMware vRealize Hyperic, Monit, Pingdom, Ganglia, OpenNMS, AlertFox, WhatsUp Gold, PRTG Network Monitor, Xymon, and Icinga… I don’t think anything more needs to be said.
Many larger MV end-users have products like those, but I don’t think any VARs use them to provide value-add monitoring across a client base. Individual end-users either can’t afford them, don’t have the internal resources, or simply aren’t big enough to warrant something like this for themselves. But many end-users appreciate the value of server monitoring even if they aren’t quite up to the scale to invest in it themselves. They might welcome such an offering from their VAR – and many end-users look to their MV as their sole source for all IT support. That’s one of the benefits of our platform.
Further, I don’t believe anything like this is available specifically for the MV space. The platform I have now leverages Slack to provide a broad range of notification options. But based on demand it’s quite possible that there will be plugins created for any of the above mentioned products, so for example a company that already uses Nagios would be able to include their MVDBMS and applications in the set of monitored assets. This should be welcomed by admins who feel the constant pressure of having a system that (supposedly) just doesn’t integrate with anything else.
What I like about this now is that it can be easily used in smaller shops, multi-server environments, and by VARs and other support groups with hundreds of systems. The ultimate question is “how much does it cost to deal with issues that are left unchecked”. I think everyone can sit back and think about a scenario like that.
This product was “reborn” (having been put on a shelf about 8 years ago) because in the last year I’ve been asked to recover two systems that have crashed and died without a recent backup. With a lot of surgery these patients were saved (see the NuRSE metaphor?) but the systems were down for weeks. I really hate to see situations like this, but the unfortunate reality is that too many MV end-users simply don’t do backups and no one knows about it until literally the business is in jeopardy. Many sites do their backups but never check the media. Most sites don’t do off-site backups. And it’s not just backups but there are application issues and any number of other server issues that eventually lead to costly remedies.
So based on a well-established precedent of other tools in this space, and any number of anecdotes about problems in this MV industry without tools like this, I have no doubt about the value across a broad audience. I just want to make sure that I include the metrics and KPIs where people have been saying “I wish I knew when ‘this’ happens”. So I’m taking an open and collaborative approach to the development of this offering.