What is Managed Service really? We get in the act.

Home / Computers / What is Managed Service really? We get in the act.

What is Managed Service really? We get in the act.

Continued from What is Managed Service really? Some history

From 2000 on I have been looking for ways to use the large systems management programs to make our engineering department and our network clients life better.  I kept trying to get our engineers to put a really large square peg in a pretty tiny round hole.  Products like Tivoli, HP Open View and Microsoft Systems Management Server were robust, full featured and mature products but designed and priced to meet the needs of multi-national corporations with thousands of P.C.s.  They could be scaled down to networks around a thousand and even to 500 to 700 PC networks but they broke down when working with multiple domains meaning multiple separate companies which are the networks we support. 

In 2005 I discovered several programs to address this problem that were finally at a level of maturity to be worth looking at.  The programs we looked at were N-Able, Level Platforms and ManageIT.  All had pretty good capabilities but N-Able added a business training aspect that would they claimed would take you from a reactive to a proactive mind set.  You might remember the program about a Law School where the opening was the professor saying he wasn’t going to teach them the law he was going to teach them to “think like lawyers”.  N-Able understood that it was not enough to simply add a  monitoring system.  The mindset of the engineering department had to change. 

I was tired of the fact that we could only react to problems after they showed up.  I was tired of EVERYTHING being an emergency.  I was tired of not being able to see in advance when a network was overloaded or when a disk drive was showing errors days before it actually went out and we had no reliable way to catch the problem.  I was tired of never being sure that a clients backup was actually going to restore since I had no control over the removal and storage of tapes.  In late 2005 we purchased the program and embarked on a path of change that was a far more costly and difficult path than I would have imagined.  During that time we replaced all our engineers and not just once.  We have had setbacks and successes, rousing accolades and a few more challenging moments.  But through it all I was absolutely resolute in the knowledge that the only way to change the way network support was done was to give the engineers the tools we had just discovered and then work hard to get them to see the vision of using the tools to look into the future and start making more things planned and less things reactions.

That was alot harder than I thought.  The imaturity of the business itself was fighting me, there was not a shared peer concensus on the best way to deal with networks.  Engineers were typically passionate about computers and learned by getting in and doing but lacked alot of discipline around the processes.  The best of them developed the discipline out of neccessity but they were all inventing thier own.  One of the most pervasive problems though was the desire to be a hero.  While it’s stressful and difficult to deal with the user who is frantically trying to get to a network resource it is immensely rewarding to fix the problem and literally have people call you superman or my hero.  It was hard to get some engineers to let that go. 

The managed systems software we have in place today allows us to work to two major goals.  1.  Every thing on your network that will result in a user symptom or risk will send an alert before or when it happens and we will know about it.  2.  Every alert we get is something we actually care about.

The more closely we can get to these two goals the more perfectly we can achieve a truely managed service and the more we can get away from everything is an emergency.

Next:  What a managed network looks like

Recommended Posts

Leave a Comment

Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

Start typing and press Enter to search