Recognizing the Narrow Value of UC Monitoring & Alerting
September 4, 2018
Blood Pressure – An Indicator of Overall Health
A few months ago, my father-in-law was admitted to the hospital for some pulmonary concerns. When I got to his room to visit him, he was already tethered to a myriad of machines, each monitoring a different part of his overall health: pulse, blood pressure, oxygen saturation, temperature, etc.
Every time I visit my doctor, they take my blood pressure. Since my blood pressure is not currently a concern, an occasional check of my blood pressure to ensure I am within healthy levels is sufficient. For my father-in-law, an occasional check of his blood pressure was not sufficient. Blood pressure became a critical indicator of his body’s ability to function. He needed constant monitoring and, if something went beyond an appropriate level, the medical staff needed an alert. When overall health is critical and there is a high potential of variability, ongoing monitoring and alerting are crucial.
In my last blog, we covered the benefits, limitations, and success factors of reporting; in this blog, I migrate up the workload hierarchy to monitoring and alerting
What UC Monitoring and Alerting Are
Generically, UC monitoring is the practice of systematically reviewing the quality of a UC infrastructure over a period. By constantly and consistently checking the status of key performance indicators (KPI’s) like CPU, drive space, etc., UC monitoring helps ensure a healthy UC environment by alerting when key components are not operating within established thresholds.
One night, my father-in-law’s pulse became dangerously low and the monitors sent alerts to the nurses’ station. Nurses and doctors were able to respond immediately to stabilize him. If the system simply monitored his pulse and did not bring the dangerous levels to anyone’s attention, they could not have reacted and addressed my father-in-law’s critical health situation. Monitoring is only effective if someone knows that something is outside of the preferred and thresholds. Without alerting, monitoring is completely ineffective because no one is given the opportunity to proactively act to help “heal” the environment.
What Makes for Good UC Monitoring and Alerting
The keys to reporting are knowing what indicators are fundamental to the environment’s health and performance and what thresholds warrant various levels of alerting. To build an effective UC monitoring solution, a company must have a deep understanding of the UC platform and infrastructure and what components impact the ability of the environment to function. They must also understand what levels are viable within each of those components. More so even than in reporting, domain knowledge is a critical requirement for any effective monitoring solution.
The best monitoring solutions intelligently track the appropriate health indicators and effectively alert the enterprise or their managed service provider if certain processes or components are out of compliance and could impact the overall health and functionality of their UC environment.
What UC Monitoring and Alerting Are Not
Reporting tells you what happened. What happened can be valuable, but it is reacting to an incumbent condition.
Monitoring tells you what is happening right now and how it could impact performance. It is a good indication of overall infrastructure health and, with proper alerting, can allow an enterprise or MSP to avoid a dip in functionality or an outright outage.
If you want to be able to correlate various data points and diagnose want went wrong with poor UC calls or broader outages, you should expand your search to diagnostics vendors.
If you want to simplify the overall management UC environment, you should refine your search to a tool that can provide combined reporting, monitoring, and correlated diagnostics