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Information Technology

As Wikipedia Mentions

Information technology (IT) is the application of computers to store, study, retrieve,


transmit, and manipulate data,[1] or information, often in the context of a business or other
enterprise.[2] IT is considered a subset of information and communications technology (ICT).
In 2012, Zuppo proposed an ICT hierarchy where each hierarchy level "contain[s] some
degree of commonality in that they are related to technologies that facilitate the transfer of
information and various types of electronically mediated communications." [3]

In Easy Terms

Information Technology also known as IT or Computers or something which makes


life simpler
Information Technology is retrieving some information be it for Farming, Education,
Corporate internal Data, Banking transaction data for an individual or corporate, be it
a project document for a student in School or high college.
Information Technology for a person might have two fronts one for his office work
like a manager might want to find number of sales transaction done by his team or
number of loans disbursed and same individual might try to find information on his
own banking transaction status, help his kid do some research or buy some product
for his family members. Everything I do virtually is related to IT.
Usage of IT or computers for NASA was for space launch and the technology has
grown or developed so much that now you can have Advertisement to take a Pic at
Space
IT is being used in School, colleges, Railways, Airline, Shipping, Manufacturing,
Hospitals and then they rely internally for internal database and externally on Paid
domain or Free information on Internet
IT has made communication on email domain so easy, that 100s of GB or unlimited
Space has become easily available
Technology has evolved from hosting internet sites to hosting your infrastructure
leading to a point that small business can look for same email features which are
available for a big corporate with same level of security at very cheap price
IT has created jobs has created threat for security have created environment of
fraud and created jobs to avoid fraud and write standards and bench mark processes
for corporate or Individual to follow
Police cops have started hiring basis parameters of technical knowledge compared to
Physical abilities and prime reason being using internet to reduce crime and be
better than criminals
Environment around every Individual has changed and has to led us to develop
Positive

Life made simpler and cost effective


Communication Simplified and large data storage
Better analytics available for corporate to take decision
Relations between business and end user simplified and more responsive
Banking portals making finance reach far distance.
Online shopping and online purchase makes comparison easy for end customer.

Evolution

IT has evolved over the years


Imagine Youtube link not available or say you want to post a status in Facebook and it gives
an error the database server was not being monitored by Facebook IT team and hence this
error difficult to imagine correct? Yes there are few things which we cant imagine to be not
available, due to the amount of high end infrastructure that is invested and real time focus
to keep it up.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b-e2CAxlgPs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sP3G8axSMJc

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YcJcq7DGfX8

Has IT actually made life simpler for the IT PROFESSIONAL?

Lets take below as a small example of infrastructure and complexity involved to keep it up
and running
Above Diagram have few Key things:

Database Server which is heart of all transaction and reporting


Web Server which is the interface for end user or internal employees to extract or
input transactions
Network Devices which allows communication in between all devices
End User device which is used by business user to communicate with these servers

Data Flow of transaction could be like this

WebPage accessed by user using end user machine user enters data Web server
receives the data passes it to database server using network devices gives an
acknowledgement or desired result to end user

Imagine the number of transactions for a large corporate


Number of log files or alerts, system errors, application or data base errors which gets
generated and are to be handled by IT team and the key to It is any Hardware log getting
missed to be reacted will lead to a bigger downtime

Key Things a IT team monitors, there can be many sub or more monitoring of processes or
setup, depending on how big the infrastructure is

1. Hardware layer
2. Network Flow
3. Application Layer
4. Operating System
5. Data base system
6. Application Tools

Hardware Layer

The servers, network devices, Storage, Backup, security and Voice setups
Every hardware has its own set of OS, releases and criticality associated
Logs of failure, errors and other system logs
Constant monitoring through tools and apps generates logs in huge size

Network Flow

Speed of network over WAN, or LAN


Packet drop, speed response, delay in communication or slow response of the apps
Real time monitoring of transactions is key for ensuring the customer experience and
ensuring packets are not dropped
Application Layer

Web Page, Application for business process


Database applications hosted on servers
Lot of system logs, application logs, database logs, error logs specific to hardware,
and other layer, which directly impacts end user experience

Operating system

Multiple Operating system in an environment generates different types of logs


Logs of Operating system are key for application hosted and services offered on
those applications

Database System

Database holds all the data required by application for processing


Speed of database, errors in database, availability of database is key to the business
processes
Database applications have multiple logs to retrieve data and monitoring of logs
becomes key along with the error or system logs this system generates to keep high
up time

Application tools

Lot of tools are purchased by the team for connectivity of multiple IT setup
Applications tools which flow data in between different flavors of server are key for
the infrastructure
This tools play key role like other components and they generate log errors

Above few components of IT infrastructure requires good monitoring tools or analyzers


Monitoring Tools

When you have a small/medium/Big infrastructure you need more manpower or specialized
manpower to maintain the infrastructure, being reactive is going to cost high amount of
revenue or business loss and is not a recommended IT setup

To avoid downtime or to avoid de graded service and to run the show with available
infrastructure you need to have a real time monitoring. You cannot keep on investing in
Active-Active types solution for every service you provide, Critical setup definitely needs
planning of high availability but you need to keep a tab on investment in capital for
infrastructure and running operational cost.

To avoid this IT team needs a good robust monitoring tools, which should raise flags and
alert the team proactively and most important should also be able to integrate with ITIL
process like Incident management to Capacity management

https://www.gartner.com/reviews/market/IT-Infrastructure-Monitoring-Tools
https://haydenjames.io/20-top-server-monitoring-application-performance-
monitoring-apm-solutions/
http://www.siliconindia.com/news/enterpriseit/Top-10-Best-Network-Monitoring-
Tools-nid-131075-cid-7.html
https://blog.pandorafms.org/network-monitoring-tools/
https://www.pcwdld.com/best-infrastructure-monitoring-tools-and-software

We will cover some monitoring tools for the respective domain like Infrastructure, Network,
Application or Database and understand how they help business running smooth on IT
setup.
(Have taken few monitoring applications on random basis, just to give some insight on what
to expect, not promoting any individual application, you can search few more basis your
own requirements)
Nagios

Refer details at Nagios

Summary of Nagios features

1 Comprehensive Monitoring
2 Problem Remediation
3 Reporting
4 Extendable Architecture
5 Vibrant Community
6 Visibility & Awareness
7 Proactive Planning
8 Multi-Tenant Capabilities
9 Stable, Reliable, and Respected Platform
10 Customizable code

How Nagios Works

1. Nagios is installed on a central monitoring server


2. We tell Nagios what hosts, and services on those hosts, that we want to monitor.
3. Nagios polls the hosts and services periodically, checking for "alive-ness". For a server,
this means it must respond to ICMP ping requests. For a service, such as an HTTP
server, Nagios checks that it can make a successful connection. The frequency of these
checks is configurable.
4. If a host or service fails to respond, or returns a not-good reply, Nagios will alert the
configured contact by email or SMS. Once this happens, the service or host is
considered to be in a Critical state.
5. Whoever responds to the alert Acknowledges it via a web interface. This lets other
system administrators know that someone is working on it.

6. Once the problem is fixed, Nagios will detect this and return it to an Okay state.
Nagios XI monitoring image
Some details about above image

Central monitoring server having ability to email, sms, communicate to some


ticketing tool etc as a feature monitors a server/any device having client
Central server keeps on polling or sending a request to the server and if there is no
response it sends an alert to the IT Administrator

Video on Nagios

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wXpcpLrGfA0
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBtsw5JtQ8A
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bX0UOM26yb0
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UMGIj28tER0
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eWNUJtzi3V8
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AF4CmF2fEuk
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BgWi7pFmEwY
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NjlDHvNkpes
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2sERxhMZ4G4
Solar Wind

Summary of Solar Wind features

1. Multi-vendor network monitoring


2. NetPath critical path visualization
3. Performance analysis dashboard
4. Intelligent alerts
5. Network Insight for Cisco ASA
6. Network Insight for F5 BIG-IP
7. Fully scalable

Solar Win monitoring image


Video of Solar Winds

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7XvODWliBPw
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3_R6H4Ud2w0
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JyyQd2S5PxA
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JyyQd2S5PxA
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7XvODWliBPw&list=PL8pOWG6OnnGYyn0XxczFLy14ulC9X7Egl
There are lot of further level of monitoring which above tools can do and there are many
other good softwares which can be hosted locally or over the cloud.

The basic requirement of monitoring is to identify real time or proactively threat which can
disrupt a business.

Monitoring of data help in many ways in terms of analysis of possible causes and most
important do capacity management, so for an e.g. a online website selling or running a
promotion can identify the number of visits the webpage had, and response time for every
access, and basis of the analytics data they will be able to define the minimum hardware or
the recommended hardware configurations.

Another aspect of monitoring is Security level monitoring of the infrastructure, where the
infrastructure or application level filtering is done to track every transactions/specific
transactions or behavior to be sure that the there is no threat to Data, integrity or Business
core.
Disclaimer

This document is not intended for any commercial usage or promoting any product, this
blog is more for IT beginners