IT monitoring is the process to gather metrics about the operations of an IT environment’s hardware and software to ensure everything functions as expected to support applications and services.

The essence of IT monitoring is simple, which is to ensure that your IT equipment is available and performing to the level expected and required to maintain ‘business as usual’ .

In basic monitoring solutions this is often done by simply sending a ‘ping’ to the device and awaiting a response. If a response is obtained, then the user can be assured that the server or router or switch is ‘up’ and hasn’t been powered off or crashed etc. This function allows a system administrator a simple view into their IT estate, and to ensure that IT systems are available at the most basic level.

More advanced monitoring solutions allow detailed views into the operational status of those devices.

How IT monitoring works

IT monitoring covers three sections, called the foundation, software and interpretation.

Foundation. The infrastructure is the lowest layer of a software stack and includes physical or virtual devices, such as servers, CPUs and VMs.

Software. This part is sometimes referred to as the monitoring section and analyzes what is working on the devices in the foundation, including CPU usage, load, memory and a running VM count.

Interpretation. Gathered metrics are presented through graphs or data charts, often on a GUI dashboard.

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