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An Overview of IT Monitoring

Updated on January 9, 2018
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Tamara Wilhite is a technical writer, industrial engineer, mother of 2, and a published sci-fi and horror author.

What is IT Monitoring?

IT monitoring refers to any regular process checking the system in real time. IT monitoring takes place when you have hundreds or thousands of users on a system at a given time who will report problems.

Ideally, IT monitoring involves a mixture of automated tools and support personnel watching the system so that problems are identified immediately and corrective action taken quickly. You can use monitoring software applications to generate dashboards for IT staff, showing which servers and applications are performing normally, those that are experiencing problems and those which are shut down.

What are the benefits of IT monitoring, in contrast to waiting for users to report problems to IT?

Network monitoring may notify IT of problems before users start to report them.
Network monitoring may notify IT of problems before users start to report them. | Source


Monitoring IT provides practical IT solutions first and foremost in terms of time savings.

When IT monitoring is done via software and reporting tools, system administrators do not have to log into each system to verify that it is functional IT monitoring solutions can be tied into IT support communications so that system administrators are paged or text messaged when a system experiences problems according to predetermined criteria.

This can reduce the weekend or evening load on IT staff while still ensuring reliability and performance. This can dramatically decrease overtime costs for employers as well as travel and work time for employees.


IT monitoring provides practical IT solutions in terms of cost. Automating IT monitoring from network security to bandwidth eliminates the need for IT staff to spend all of their time verifying system status. They can then work on filling in network security tools, performing account audits and performing actual system maintenance.

IT monitoring solutions frequently reduce the demand for overtime by IT staff. IT monitoring solutions can also reduce the necessary headcount to support a large operation. And if reliability is improved, your payments for performance to service level agreements with customers can also go up.

IT monitoring tools can detect potential intrusions and suspicious behavior more readily than a human.
IT monitoring tools can detect potential intrusions and suspicious behavior more readily than a human. | Source

Reliability and Security

IT monitoring provides practical IT solutions to improve reliability. IT monitoring tools report immediately when a network security measure is breached, bandwidth drops to a crawl or a website is down.

Inefficient monitoring by IT staff is similar to acting like sentries, endlessly circling on rounds and checking up-time, security and performance.

In this mode, they are only discovering events that occur at the time they are passing by. IT monitoring tools identify repeated login failures occurring within fractions of a second, the sign of a password cracker at work, as well as someone using the correct credentials from unusual locations or out of the ordinary usage patterns.

This means the system may have been down for several minutes or hours, depending on the other duties they have to perform between rounds. Faster reporting of problems leads to faster resolutions. If IT monitoring is used in conjunction with remote system access by remote access, system administrators on vacation or stuck at home due to poor driving conditions are still able to support your systems.

Depending on the IT standards your company must meet, IT monitoring may be mandatory.


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