Keep watch over the activities of multiple servers and multiple systems

Do you have to manage multiple servers and multiple operating systems? If so, ViewPoint from Datametrics Systems might be just what you need. Windows NT comes with a nice pair of monitoring tools--Performance Monitor and Disk Monitor--but ViewPoint extends their capabilities. ViewPoint collects and displays more performance data than other performance monitors. Its features, such as programmable AutoAnalyze, AutoCorrelate, AutoCorrelate filters, AutoInvestigate, AutoReporting, Alerting, and extensive graphing capability, offer flexible and easy-to-use performance reporting and management technology.

ViewPoint can monitor, identify, and analyze the activity of 30 operating systems from one location. ViewPoint identifies performance problems with operating systems, with applications such as Microsoft SQL Server or Exchange Server, with memory and hard disk access, with a network, and more. You can set up ViewPoint to automatically alert you to a specific problem, such as a full hard disk, via an alphanumeric pager, email, or a custom alert mechanism.

ViewPoint consists of two components: the host software that collects data on the monitored system, and the client software that displays and analyzes the performance data on a PC. I reviewed ViewPoint 1.1 for NT host monitoring software. (The latest version, ViewPoint 1.2 for NT, runs on Intel and Alpha platforms and supports NT 3.51 and 4.0.)

ViewPoint is simple to set up and use. You create an administrative account for the monitoring software and manually install the software on each host system that you want to monitor. Finally, you install the reporting and analyst software on your workstation, and the fun begins.

The ViewPoint client is loaded with features. You can generate automatic reports or graphs that print on a predefined schedule. As Screen 1 shows, you can use many graphing formats: line, area, stacked, bar, scatter, pie, meter, gauge, high/low, histogram, statistics, and correlation. For example, you can use a line graph or high/low graph to show the history of CPU utilization; you might prefer a gauge or a bar chart to show hard disk capacity. You can set up alerts for any threshold violations that you want to monitor, (e.g., CPU utilization exceeding 90 percent) and then compile a log of the alerts. With the AutoAnalyze function, you can set up programmable scripts, or expressions (or use the included expressions) to create reports. The AutoCorrelate function lets you compare the behavior of a given variable with the behavior of every other variable in the same trace file or across all other open trace files over a specific period. The AutoCorrelate filter lets you remove extraneous data from your trace file and focus on the data that is important to you. AutoInvestigate lets you determine when a given variable deviates the most from other instances of the variable.

Using the client software, I monitored the CPU, disk, I/O, and memory usage of some servers in the Windows NT Magazine Lab. I set up ViewPoint to send an alert if any hard disks on the monitored systems were more than 90 percent full. This alert was useful because one hard disk filled up and I resolved the situation before it became a problem. ViewPoint also let me know that a server was running out of memory for a short time during the day.

ViewPoint is a full-featured monitoring and reporting package. ViewPoint lets you monitor several NT servers or multiple servers running different operating systems.

ViewPoint
Datametrics Systems * 703-385-7700 or 800-869-3282
Web: http://www.datametrics.com
Email: support@datametrics.com
Price: Starts at $5000 for a fully configured installation