An IT disaster in a corporate environment may cause a significant loss of money and may also interrupt business relevant processes during production. Data loss is one of the worst parts of an IT disaster which sometimes may not be recoverable.

In general IT disasters leave their marks on businesses which people remember and learn their lesson from. While it is true that IT disasters are not fully avoidable, risks of such events can be minimized.

‘Planning ahead’ is a key element to prevent or to at least minimize risks in your IT infrastructure.

Events monitoring can be a very powerful, effective and at the same time affordable means to prevent system failures in a corporate environment.

Ultimately IT disasters do not happen suddenly.

You will always find useful traces, pieces of information and sometimes tiny ‘red’ signals in your IT infrastructure. So why not collect, analyze and assess such data which may be supervised by your system administrator?

I believe that a good assessment of available system data may help system administrators monitor, track and manage events, but more importantly will help prevent system failures more effectively and in a timely manner.

It’s no secret that there is currently a real demand for professional monitoring tools for corporate purposes. So what should you know about events monitoring in general?

A system can produce millions of events in a second. So obviously it is not possible to collect and store all events in one centralized database. Therefore, it is very important to understand how system failures can be recognized in the early stages.

Questions such as “What are the key parameters that lead to a system failure?”, “How can I make these parameters visible?”  and “Where will I find such parameters in my infrastructure?” are very important.

Such questions help you make the right decision when it comes to implementing an events monitoring process for your business.

When you have figured out possible leaks or risks in your IT infrastructure it is very important to work out whether there are useful system traces or events logs which may describe early signs that may indicate (directly or indirectly) a possible critical system failure.

As a system produces millions of different types of logs that are kept for a small amount of time it is very important to understand which log files may be relevant for analysis purposes. Furthermore, it is sometimes necessary to enable the logging of a system component as these options may be disabled by default.

It’s also a good idea to verify whether the system component allows you to customize the type and the format of events that should be stored (especially for analysis purpose) in a log file.

In general log files have a specific file size limitation, so it’s not possible to store all events in a log file. And it is known that log files are overwritten regularly as this is a normal part of keeping the file size small.

That is why it is necessary to collect the log files in time and to store the relevant events regularly in a centralised database. A good event monitoring software allows you to define a set of processing rules which should apply before events are stored finally in a centralised database. Furthermore, a real-time dashboard which indicates leaks or high risks requires some information based on the calculation of the pre-processed events.

Look out for part 2 of this article for more information about events monitoring and the assets of implementing it in your organization.

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