Few have accused systems management vendors of making revolutionary technology innovations. However, in an industry where incremental technology advances really do add up, there are clear signs that genuine progress is being made toward dramatically reducing support costs and freeing up IT for more strategic pursuits. BMC, which built its business on agent-based monitoring, is now espousing a hybrid approach that blends classic Patrol monitoring with an agentless architecture that promises to save companies a hefty amount in maintenance costs.Since way back in the 90s when distributed management first received a lot of attention, vendors have been working on ways to help companies cut costs, automate some administrative functions and eliminate, or at least lower, overall downtime. Though taken for granted by many IT professionals today, functions and features such as remote configuration and Web-based monitoring have been instrumental in ushering in the current era in which network reliability is absolutely expected.
A lot of things played a role in getting us to where we are today, including the advent of the aforementioned Web-based management applications and systems that simplified access performance stats and event data. Also important have been the advance of network management standards such as the ARM (Application Response Measurement) feature of RMON 2, which allows management applications to gather sophisticated performance information. And let's not forget better management applications to support increasingly complex enterprises. IT professionals now have a lot of well-designed management tools and services to choose from that handle everything from backup and desktop configuration to intrusion detection and prevention .
Of course it is not just management technology that has improved. IT staffs are creating and executing policies that help protect their companies from the threats of the 21st century. Last week's poll showed that, thanks to successful patching strategies, the overwhelming majority of our readers made it through the Zotbot Worm and the two other major viruses of two weeks ago unscathed. And speaking of the Zotbot worm, Friday's arrests of the alleged Zotbot perpetrators gave cyber crime fighters a mark in the win column.
So going back to the beginning, I am interested in hearing your thoughts on agent and agentless monitoring. Is this something your organization will accept, or are security concerns keeping you from exploring the option? Please take a minute to participate in our poll.Few have accused systems management vendors of making revolutionary technology innovations. However, in an industry where incremental technology advances really do add up, there are clear signs that genuine progress is being made toward dramatically reducing support costs and freeing up IT for more strategic pursuits.