Monitoring with our Souter app

A vital part of ensuring the ongoing integrity, security and availability of your network is to monitor it properly. At Dental IT, we tested many of the leading IT monitoring systems out there, thought we could do better, and decided to write our own.

'Souter', our monitoring app monitors everything we need to know, and nothing we don't - so we don't get irrelevant and spurious "noise" or false positives, we just get to hear about actual problems that need fixing. The system works 24x7, and is cloud based. All messages come from the network to the cloud services, so there is no need to open your firewall. The logic in the cloud services determines the severity of the fault and raises tickets with Dental IT as required.

In addition, our system has a unique feature for added peace of mind. Not only do we monitor for faults and alerts, but we have an entirely separate cloud service running what we call "HHF", which stands for "haven't heard from…". This is configured by our engineers to expect to received notifications from a customer's backup system. If the system doesn't hear anything at all (either good or bad) it raises a ticket with our helpdesk for investigation. This way, we not only catch anything actively reported by applications, but even notice when applications stop sending anything at all.

Souter monitors include:

  • The configuration and status of Windows updates. This is vital to prevent the type of ransomware attack that attacked NHS organisations in early 2017.

  • Disk space usage. A common problem that brings systems down is running out of space. But if you know about this in advance, you can sort it before it becomes a problem.

  • HP and Dell agents. These give us all sorts of alerts about actual or pending problems with HP or Dell hardware; if a disk is failed or failing, or the machine is overheating - we get to know about it and fix it, often before it becomes a problem.

  • Backup jobs and statuses. We know if your backup job fails, and can investigate and fix remotely, so your backups don't ever get more than a day behind.

Our Souter software works on all recent 64 bit Windows Server systems, and recent Windows client operating systems (Windows 7, 8 and 10). For optimal integration, we support the following third party software and agents:

  • HP ProLiant (Management) agents
  • Dell (OpenManage) server agents
  • Symantec System Recovery (all versions)
  • Backup Exec (all versions)
  • Backup Assist (all versions)
  • Veeam Backup and Recovery (all versions)
  • Dental IT HighTide