WhatsUp Gold: Daily Network Monitor Blog

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Posts Tagged ‘ microsoft ’

By Jason Williams

Yesterday we announced that we are providing systems administrators and IT teams with free tools to monitor application availability and performance for Microsoft™ Active Directory, Exchange, IIS and SQL Server applications. Systems administrators thrive in an open source world. These free tools are powerful, yet designed to be as easy to download and use as apps from the Apple or Google app store.  free

The four free application performance monitoring (APM) tools will pinpoint problems stemming from Microsoft IIS, Active Directory, SQL and Exchange.  Sysadmins can use these tools to help solve the problem they are currently having with these popular applications.

Ipswitch Free Tools that monitor availability and performance in Microsoft environments include:

Simple Solutions for Complex IT Problems

For organizations that need more robust monitoring solutions, Ipswitch WhatsUp Gold™ network and server availability monitoring software empowers IT teams in to improve the performance and availability of their complex IT infrastructure. Ipswitch WhatsUp Gold allows IT teams to gain the visibility and intelligence they need to solve problems on their networks, applications, and servers before end users experience problems.

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By Kaitlyn Myers

By Andrew Couture, Sales Manager| North America

Finally! After days, weeks, or maybe even months of researching, evaluating, budgeting, and securing approval, you got the green light to purchase new software. But now what? You know that the product meets your requirements because you were able to test it out during your evaluation period, but now the rubber meets the road, and you are tasked with implementation.

All eyes are on you and how quickly you are able to extract the value from the investment your company just made. It may be the key to your big promotion, and you know that if you could just move the deadline out a few weeks or could get some additional help, you could knock this out of the park because it is not difficult…it is just unfamiliar.

Consider this example: Let’s say you had no idea how to use Microsoft Excel and your boss suddenly needed some numbers crunched, preferably with corresponding graphs, and she needed it immediately. Now, Microsoft’s Office Suite programs are known for being pretty intuitive and there’s no doubt that with a few hours and a lot of patience, you would figure it out and do a fine job…the problem is she needs it now.

So what do you do? What most people do is find the resident Excel expert and get a crash course in the functions to use, the shortcuts to save time, the best way to display certain calculations, etc. and lean on that person to help give you the training you need in real-time. Your output is that much better, that much faster.It’s not that different when it comes to investing in Training or Professional Services for more specialized software. Sure, you can figure it out on your own and you’d do a great job at it, as long as you are given the time. But even with the most intuitive and easy to use products, tapping into a knowledge expert speeds up the implementation and provides visibility into things that you otherwise might not discover.

It’s kind of like this: Any experienced hiker can climb a mountain for the first time and eventually reach the summit, but given the choice, having a guide who has done it before will get them there the quickest.

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By Erin Hayes

Who Do You Browse With?

I wrote a blog nearly a year ago expressing my mistrust in Google Chrome and asserting my position that when Chrome became available for Mac (my preferred computer) I would not be jumping on that bandwagon.

Well, what a difference nearly a year makes. I did stay somewhat true to my word and I was not the first, the second, or even the thousandth to jump on the Mac compatible Chrome bandwagon last spring. But jump, I eventually did.

The bugs I encountered a year ago; the incompatibility with Google’s own commodities such as YouTube and Gmail, had been worked out. The browser offered a variety of sleek new skins with which I could customize it and the load time for my favorite sites saw a noticeable, albeit not huge, improvement from Firefox.

And according to the numbers released by W3School’s Browser Statistics Month by Month last week, I wasn’t the only internet user to take notice of Chrome’s advancements: Chrome was used for 10.8% of visits to W3School site in January 2010. A solid 3rd place after Mozilla Firefox (46.3%) and Microsoft Internet Explorer (36.2%).

Out of curiosity I used Google Analytics to get an idea of how the browser war was playing out with the visitors of WhatsUp Gold’s external blog www.whatsupgold.com/blog.

Sure enough, there was a marked upswing in visitors using Chrome to come to our blog in January as well. Our stats for January were about the same as W3School’s showing. Chrome rang in at 10% whereas Firefox held 33% of the use and Internet Explorer 51%.

But what was more interesting to me – and more impressive proof of this market trend – was the jump in Chrome use between November and December. In November Chrome barely showed up in our analytics. It was used for .03% of the visits, just coming in under Safari’s .035% share. Firefox counted for 22% while Internet Explorer dominated at an impressive 69%.

But December brought a noticeable shift; Chrome suddenly jumped to 7% of the use while Safari stayed around the same. Firefox stayed around the same overall percentage where Internet Explorer saw a drop off to 54%.

It’s my opinion that Chrome’s market increase is largely due to frustration with Internet Explorer. Security issues aren’t anything new with the browser, but renewed concern over it’s security led the French and German governments to advise people to switch browsers last month.

While IE still dominates the browser space, its market share has seen a steady decline; from 68.5% last March to 62.12% in January. Firefox hasn’t seen too much change in their market share over the last year; Mozilla’s browser suffered a one percent drop from their 23.30% in March mid year but caught back up to 24.43% last month. Chrome, however, held 1.62% in March 2009 and can now claim 5.22%. Google’s browser owes most of its jump to OS X users who did not have access to it until last spring.

I’d like to see Google Chrome’s market share continue to grow and challenge Microsoft to create a more user and security friendly Internet Explorer. While in corporate terms the Internet giant and computing czar are on a level playing field, Google’s Internet browser has a ways to go to catch up to Microsoft’s institution.

Google’s scrappy little browser could be the motivation Microsoft needs to create a level browser one should be able to expect from a company with resources like Microsoft.

It’s my opinion that the best thing to happen to any big company is a little competition. It keeps them from getting away with laziness and keeps prices and expectations in the market fair.

But then again . . . my opinion on the matter may be a little biased.

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By Sean Barry

The Basics of WMI and Why You Need to Monitor It

WMI is short for Windows Management Instrumentation. The technical definition for WMI is the infrastructure for management data and operations on windows-based operating systems. It is based upon the Desktop Management Task Force (DTMF) standard and is a specific set of extensions to the Windows Driver Model that provides an operating system interface through which instrumented components provide information and notification….

I know, that seems like a whole bunch of technical jargon that still sort of leaves you wondering, what the heck is WMI and why is it important?

Basically, the purpose of WMI is to define a  non-proprietary set of environment-independent specifications which allow management information to be shared between management applications. It prescribes enterprise management standards and related technologies to work with existing management standards such as DMI and SNMP, and compliments them by providing a uniform model. Based on the Common Information Model (CIM), which is an open standard that defines how managed elements of an IT environment are represented, WMI includes most of the Microsoft applications available today such as SQL Server, Microsoft Office, Internet Explorer, and others.

So why is the ability to monitor WMI enabled applications and devices? Well due to a constant increasing exposure of management data through WMI in windows, more and more IT administrators and managers started to develop scripts and automation procedures based on WMI. This has since lead most management software companies in the world to become WMI-enabled and capable of consuming and providing WMI information through various user interfaces.

WhatsUp Gold was one of the first network and application management solutions to fully support WMI and offer complete monitoring capability for WMI enabled desktop and server OSs and applications. Using WhatsUp Gold WMI monitoring capabilities, network managers can immediately understand the health of their servers and applications to pro-actively understand and resolve issues before they become real problems.

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By Peter Christensen

In an earlier entry, Back into the Fray, I listed what has changed and has not changed after I left enterprise networking and I joined Ipswitch. One of the items that changed was VoIP. VoIP seems to have fallen under what is now termed unified communications.

Both Microsoft and Cisco have staked places at the unified communications table. But what does unified communications really mean. Is it VoIP? Is it IM? Is it collaboration? Is it email? Or is it all of these things melded into one?

What ever it is, it means only one thing to network managers. How much effort is it going to take to manage?

From this one question we can deduce a number of other implications to an already saturated infrastructure and the ability to manage yet another cool technology someone just had to have.

If it is server centric, read Microsoft, this means more server focused hardware to manage. How will this server based infrastructure be managed? Not only is there additional server hardware to manage, but also license management (read CALs) to ensure EULA compliance. 4000 IP phones, means 4000 CALs, unless Microsoft is changing their licensing model.

Or networking gear centric, read Cisco, this fits nicely with most existing installed infrastructures and most of the management capabilities are already in place.

QoS management for VoIP is key to the whole effort of unified communications, QoS is network centric not server centric.

I’m not trying to take a slanted view of one company over another, just what make sense for an organization. If it was a network that I was responsible for, I would choose the network centric approach over the application centric approach every time.

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