WhatsUp Gold: Daily Network Monitor Blog

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Posts Tagged ‘ WhatsUp Gold ’

By Steve Hess

openssl-logo-300x81As you may already know, there was a recent Security Advisory about new vulnerabilities in OpenSSL released in early June. This specific flaw requires a vulnerable OpenSSL library active on both the client and server ends of the transaction. The flaw allows a savvy attacker to sit between the client and server and turn off encryption, silently exposing information exchanged between those two end points. Technologies that only use OpenSSL to accept web-browser (HTTPS) connections will be vulnerable to this flaw only when the browser is using a vulnerable version of OpenSSL. Chrome for Android is the only major browser that is currently susceptible.

Security is a top priority for Ipswitch and our customers. Since this announcement, the Ipswitch Security Team has been working to determine the impact and issue patch fixes where vulnerabilities were found.

Impacted Ipswitch products include:

  • MOVEit Mobile & Cloud
  • WS_FTP Client & Server
  • MessageWay
  • IMail
  • WhatsUpGold

Through your Customer Portal you’ll be able to access instructions to properly implement the Security Update for impacted versions as available.

As with any security advisory, we understand that our customers may have additional concerns. If you should have any questions or concerns, feel free to reach out to the appropriate technical support team:

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By Lourdes Engel

WhatsUp Gold software products have recently been certified under the Common Criteria Evaluation and Validation Scheme (CCEVS). (see today’s announcement for more details).

Most folks call it Common Criteria. If you are not familiar, it’s an internationally recognized standard. It allows organizations to confidently assess the security and assurance of IT software. Specifically, to ensure they meet an agreed-upon security standard for certain government deployments.

CCWith Common Criteria certification in place, our customers have the added confidence that our WhatsUp Gold products have been validated against rigorous security standards. These include user data protection, fault tolerance and authentication.

There’s a lot of work involved. We worked with an authorized third party. Their approach was rigorous and standard and repeatable manner at a level that is commensurate with the target environment for use.

What’s significant about Common Criteria certification for you? It might just get a little easier to procure and use WhatsUp Gold.

If you work for a U.S. Federal government agency:

A U.S. Federal mandate requires that security evaluations of IT products are

  • Performed to consistent standards
  • Encourage the formation of commercial security testing laboratories
  • Meet the needs of government and industry for cost-effective evaluation of IT products
  • Improve the availability of those products

If you work at any organization in any of these 27 countries:

The Common Criteria Mutual Recognition Arrangement has 27 member countries. It includes all of North America, most of Europe, Australia, Israel and beyond. The arrangement leverages the use of Common Criteria certificates by each member nation so that products can be procured without the need for further evaluation. 

WhatsUp Gold software products that now meet Common Criteria standards include:

We’ve been making lots of noise in the security space this year. Last month we joined the Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP).  Additionally, MOVEit® Managed File Transfer software achieved Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) certification.

 

 

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By Daniel Okine

When the IT Administrator at an Italian manufacturing company started his job, the IT team was manually monitoring the network on a problem-by-problem basis. It was a understandable drain on resources. And was also affecting the quality of service provided to their business users.

His team set about looking for a proactive network monitoring tool. After looking at a few options they tried out WhatsUp Gold from Ipswitch.

WhatsUp Gold

It Takes Two

High up on the list of important things to monitor were two applications they needed to be sure were running optimally. Namely,  their document management system and SAP. If these two were not in synch the IT team would suffer the wrath of unhappy users. Manually monitoring for problems after they started affecting application performance was not going to cut it.

The company’s network uses a data exchange service that transfers digital documents from their SAP system to their document management system. If the service between the two applications stops or disk space runs out, the documents don’t move. If they don’t move, users won’t have access to the latest information.

Putting this worry to rest, WhatsUp Gold lets the IT team monitor both the service and the disk space. This ensures the documents are immediately and consistently available to business users.

“An increase in server availability and uptime reduces the cost of doing business because our users are always productive,” said the IT administrator.

Interested to see what WhatsUp Gold could do to keep your big applications humming along? Download a free trial and give it a whirl for 30 days.

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By Sarah Meyer

A major southern US city school district with more than 40,000 students reached out to the Ipswitch WhatsUp Gold team for help after a failed attempt to implement another company’s network monitoring software. Increased security concerns were driving the school system to increase investment in building and campus safety precautions. But the monitoring software wasn’t cooperating.

In testing the other company’s software, they found it:

  • Didn’t have the Level 2/3 discovery granularity. This was required to identify and monitor everything from servers to applications, to component-level information in servers. As well as switches and other devices like security cameras.
  • Couldn’t create a complete map of a network of schools stretching across the city. That would make it hard to determine what was new new and what was old so they could upgrade efficiently.
  • Couldn’t identify or monitor many SNMP-addressable devices already in place. Devices like metal detectors and the security cameras. Because it didn’t have MIBs for them in its library of devices.

CaptureddBut each area the IT director found fault with could be remedied with WhatsUp Gold, the director was promised by an Ipswitch sales engineer. “I was told it wouldn’t take more an hour,” she said. Skeptical, but intrigued, the director took the plunge and downloaded the software. Less than an hour later she was pleasantly surprised to have in hand a complete map and a detailed inventory of all the devices making up the city’s widely distributed network of schools.

Peace of Mind

Now the school district had the information they needed determine what they could keep and what they’d have to replace. This allowed them to enhance student and staff security and control vandalism of school properties. Unlike the other software, WhatsUp Gold allows administrators to add MIBs for devices not already in WhatsUp Gold’s library in just minutes.

Once the first wave of safety improvements was in place, the IT director used WhatsUp Gold to monitor the health of all the network devices. They were able to take action quickly if WhatsUp Gold detected a problem with any device. For instance, one of the high school’s metal detectors went off line late one afternoon. An automated alert and an intuitive trouble-shooting interface allowed the staff to identify the root cause in minutes and reset the system.  

“The major benefits of using WhatsUp Gold include increased peace of mind, a reduced administrative workload and higher device service levels,” the director reports.

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By Sarah Meyer

Two regional auto parts companies merged to increase their competitiveness with national chains. But they almost immediately ran into an unexpected network monitoring problem. The IT manager tasked with consolidating the two companies’ network infrastructures found that neither company’s network monitoring products had Layer 2 and Layer 3 discovery capabilities. This would give them enough detail to determine what devices to keep and which to upgrade and force them to spend more than they had budgeted for the project. 

network monitoringThe only answer was to be a lot more selective about purchasing new gear. But his existing Layer 2 discovery software was no help. It didn’t gather enough detail on existing gear and utilization levels. This could help him decide what to keep and what to toss. He couldn’t afford to travel offsite to gather the additional information. Could Ipswitch help, he asked?

Based on what you told me, you won’t need to travel anywhere,” the Ipswitch sales engineer said. Ipswitch WhatsUp Gold network monitoring software, combined with a WhatsConnected network mapping and topology software plugin, would give him the additional information he needed without having to leave his office.

It offers:

  • Full integration of automated Layer 2 and Layer 3 topology discovery and visualization
  • Rich mapping
  • Automated discovery of full port-to-port connectivity on networks of all sizes, regardless of location

Skeptical, the manager downloaded a trial copy of WhatsUp Gold network monitoring software and the WhatsConnected plugin suggested by the Ipswitch sales engineer. A few days later, he conducted a successful test audit of his data center’s network. With complete with Layer 2 and Layer 3 details on every network device in hand, he bought the products. Ipswitch had also uncovered underused resources he could reconfigure for higher efficiency. Based on these results, he was sure he could find similar savings throughout the various sites slated for modernization.

Not long after, the manager reported to us that his staff completed the upgrade successfully and on budget. They had been able to recycle and repurpose a good amount of their network inventory. This helped them pay for new routers, switches and firewalls needed for the combined networks to operate under a single WhatsUp Gold user interface.

As a nice side benefit, they were able to reduce the cost of network monitoring over the combined network by 35%.

 

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By Sarah Meyer

Today’s tale from the front lines of network management comes to us from an IT operations specialist who works at a British university.

mi_cerebro_es_electronico_1969His team supports a network used by more than 8,000 students, faculty and staff. His story was a long one so we’ll sum it up:

Lighting up Shadow IT: The IT operations specialist had been plagued by network and laptop issues. Students had been downloading torrent programs and other software that isn’t allowed. IT now knows who has downloaded what program and can share policy with those who skipped their class.

Keeping it cool: When there’s a power outage, a UPS system kicks in to keep the servers from frying. The IT team uses Application Performance Monitor to track the time remaining on the system so they can initiate scripts to shut down server groups based on importance and priority.

Dude, where’s my PC?: There are 350 PCs in the five story library for students to use but sometimes the students can’t find an available machine. The IT folks created custom SNMP monitors to track PC availability and display them on Layer 2 Maps. “We display these maps on TV monitors on each floor and color code the PCs as green, red or gray depending on the status.”

Get the max for the minimum: “WhatsUp Gold not only shows us the source of a network management problem so we can address it, but gave us more features than other products, at a lower price.”

 

 

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Take Your Turn

September 5, 2013 Network Monitoring Comments

By Sarah Meyer

Servers, networks and applications aren’t the only remote devices that some companies need to manage. Did you know WhatsUp Gold can also monitor point-of-sale devices such as vending machines, in-store video games and ticket turnstiles? In fact, any device that supports ping, SNMP or WMI management protocols.

fictional-amusementparks-cartmanlandThis is my lead-in for today’s tale from the front lines of network monitoring that comes to us from a network administrator who works at a big theme park company based in France.

He was tired of managing crises related to malfunctioning turnstiles. Any time a turnstile didn’t work, lines backed up, customers grew unhappy, and confusion rippled through the crowds waiting to get in. The last straw for our customer was when a frustrated park manager emailed him a video of children crying because they couldn’t get in right away.

The turnstiles were supposed to be “self-managing” but their built-in reporting required a separate dashboard and alerts that were hard to adjust and investigate. There just wasn’t enough IT staff to dedicate someone to monitor the turnstiles and learn all the intricacies of the alerts. When turnstiles don’t work, customers either turn on you, or turn away. 

After using WhatsUp Gold for two weeks, the network admin convinced his boss that he’d found the solution that would not only monitor their network and servers, but also remotely monitor the IP-connected entry turnstiles using SNMP. 

Now both the centralized IT team and onsite engineers get an alert immediately when a turnstile’s performance has dropped below a threshold, and the network administrator can trace the root cause from the same dashboard he uses for any other network issue. Theme-Park-kids-coaster

But don’t take my word for it. Here’s what our customer had to say: “WhatsUp is extremely simple to use, very reliable and has become essential to our day-to-day infrastructure management. I would highly recommend it.”

Now it’s your turn.

 

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By Gregory Tompkins

Today’s tale from the front lines of network management comes to us from a company that’s been in business for eleven decades. They’re a logistics company with offices around the U.S. And they literally started with a horse and a cart. They have bought several companies along the way, keep their eyes on the future, and learned the value of technologies that help them grow.

Horse-Before-CartBuying other companies means buying incompatible systems that are managed with different tools. The IT team at the company decided they needed to do three things before system issues got out of hand:

  1. Choose one network management product
  2. Centralize monitoring for all locations
  3. Commit to an internal service level agreement

They agreed that the network management product they picked would have to scale for dozens of locations and hundreds of devices, handle the distributed environment, and give them the ability to be more proactive. They assumed they’d buy a solution from one of the big vendors, but, as one IT manager said, “Not only were these solutions high-priced, they required extra dedicated staff and extensive training. It was not cost effective for a company of our size.”

Then a network administrator spoke up and recommended WhatsUp Gold from Ipswitch. He had used it at his last company. According to the IT manager, “We downloaded a trial and liked it right away. We quickly saw that WhatsUp Gold could monitor what we need to monitor – it had what we needed without unnecessarily complicated features or excess cost.”

So the company that started with one horse and a cart, and grew because they knew how to look ahead, picked WhatsUp Gold. Scalable? Check. Distributed monitoring? Check. Support for proactivity? Check.

piggy_coin

Oh, and the price not only fit within the budget, they actually saved money by replacing lots of licenses for different tools with just one license for WhatsUp Gold Premium and the plug-ins they needed for managing network bandwidth, configurations and applications.

Happy? Check.

 

[Care to take our product out for a spin?]

 

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By Gregory Tompkins

Today’s tale from the front lines of network monitoring comes from a sysadmin from a large CT-based financial services company. One day not long ago he was performing routinely scheduled website maintenance at his office in Tampa, FL. Everything seemed rather normal. The web servers were humming along.

Until the complaints started pouring in. About a problem they couldn’t see. And neither could he.

invisibleAs it turns out, users – including middle management – hadn’t been able to get access to the website for 45 minutes. And they were seriously unhappy.  

Naturally, I was blamed for the outage,” he reports.

He used WhatsUp Gold from the network management division of Ipswitch to see the problem he had only heard about. A few minutes later, after checking out the single dashboard and glancing at a few reports, he saw that HTTP/HTTPS/Ping had gone down on several sites. He traced the problem to an F5 load balancer issue.

In a flash, he restored access to the site.

donkey“[Without WhatsUp Gold] it would have never been solved and I would have been blamed for a production outage! CYA – cover your ass – because the blame was pushed off of me and my maintenance!”

“Also, people actually being able to work again was a nice bonus.”

If you’ve found yourself in this situation (or are looking not to be), you can try our software free for 30 days and see for yourself.

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By Jason Williams

Our services team recently assisted a casino with their WhatsUp Gold install. The casino outsourced network management to a third-party consultant, whom we called to get the credentials for their core router. He told us he would “call us back”.

 

Sunglasses on a craps table

Three weeks passed. No return call from the consultant.

Enter WhatsConfigured. A quick analysis revealed a back door through the casino’s firewall and core router, exposing sensitive data assets. Back of the house compromised.

Third parties, disgruntled employees – or just simple human error – it’s critical to ensure your network is properly configured. Find out if your network security is tight – run WhatsConfigured on your network free for 30 days.

WhatsConfigured provides businesses with security and control over critical infrastructure & configuration data:

  • Archiving authorized configurations
  • Scheduling regular configuration audits
  • Alerting when configurations have been changes
  • Comparing running configurations to authorized configurations

Learn how to uncover common IT vulnerability – run a free scan of your own network to see if you’re secure.

download

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