Advanced Rendering – 10 technical features your enterprise needs: tools that monitor and alert system performance
By Jeff Brand | April 9, 2014
A few months ago I announced a new blog series on Advanced Rendering and which technical features enterprise organizations need to succeed. This week I’ll talk about the sixth of the 10 important items: tools that monitor and alert system performance.
My car has an excellent monitoring and alerting system. If I turn off the car without turning the lights off, it lets me know. If one of my tires has low pressure, it lets me know. If I’m getting low on gas, it lets me know. This helps me to take better care of my car, and gets me to where I need to go (like work) on time. Wouldn’t it be great if everything had a monitoring and alerting system: a fridge that lets you know when you’re almost out of milk, a pet that reminds you when it’s time for their annual checkup, and an Advanced Rendering system that lets you know when a component is in an alarm status? The first two we’re still working on, but the third one we’ve definitely perfected!
Monitoring and alerting to achieve service-level agreements
Enterprise systems are vast and complex with many moving parts – hardware, software, databases, networking – each of these components can fail at one point or another, which can cause loss of service unless high availability architecture is in place (as is with Adlib). Even with high availability, a component failure can sometimes prevent the system from achieving its required service-level agreement. IT administrators need tools that help them to be proactive and resolve component failures before they impact users and processes.
Using a monitoring daemon
To help IT professionals in enterprise organizations better manage their systems, Adlib PDF provides built-in monitoring and highly configurable alerting to help keep the system healthy and always available. Each platform component sends a signal – like a heartbeat – to the system database at regular intervals, letting the system know that it is alive, well and kicking. A monitoring daemon is actively checking whether any component has stopped sending heartbeats. If a component heartbeat is older than expected, the component is marked in alarm state and an alert is sent to IT via email. Multiple alerts can be sent on an interval basis for the same component, and an email can also be sent when the component comes back online.
The subject, content and email address of the email alert are configurable through the Adlib management console. The email contains all of the information about the particular component that has failed, including component type, component name, computer name, number of heartbeats and last heartbeat date and time, so that IT has all of the information at their fingertips. Custom content can also be added to the email, such as a link to the console where IT can find more information on the alert.
Adlib’s management console
The management console provides a dashboard-like graphical overview of the system and indicates which components are in alartm status. A list view is available to filter and sort issues based on component type and status. Component alarms can be acknowledged individually once the IT administrator has investigated the issue and has a plan of action. This allows them to easily distinguish new alarms from older ones.
Helping IT become aware of issues in real time
Having worked with multiple enterprise organizations in a variety of industries – from Life Sciences to Government to Financial Services – we understand that it’s important for IT adminstrators to be aware of any issues within a system as soon as they arise. This allows them to act on the issue before it impacts end users and they are flooded with a plethora of service tickets. Although implementing high availability architecture is an important part of a successful enterprise platform, issues (such as hardware malfunction or network failure) can still affect service, especially if there are multiple problems.
Adlib’s monitoring and alerting system provides robust solutions to help keep the software running at all times and provide Advanced Rendering across the enterprise. Improving business effeciency of document-centric processes is what Advanced Rendering is all about, and the monitoring and alerting system is just one of many components. Check out this short video on the many other aspects of Advanced Rendering that help IT departments and end users achieve effeciency.
Next week I’ll be discussing the necessity for system reporting within an enterprise. Stay tuned!
If you missed any of the previous posts in this Advanced Rendering series, check them out here:
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