Hardware Monitoring

It's easy to forget how important hardware resources are in a complex technological environment. The explosive growth of the IT industry over the past few decades has made it increasingly important to monitor a wide range of hardware resources. When dealing with huge networks that run business-critical applications and enable global operations on a routine basis, it's crucial that the fundamental building blocks of these network environments are protected. Hardware monitoring ensures continuous uptime, maintains peak-performance, and minimizes business risks. 

What is a hardware monitor?

A hardware monitor is an application that communicates with various hardware components, fetching and representing data from different sensors (designed to monitor various hardware properties) in a format that can be used to interpret their physical state. 

In other words, physical components (PSU, battery, fans, motherboard, CPU, memory, disks, etc.) have built-in hardware sensors that detect and measure specific changes in physical properties, e.g. temperature and voltage. These properties are then represented as numerical values.

The role of a hardware monitor is to present these values to the end user in a manner that is easy to understand; this way the user can interpret the state of a particular hardware component, as well as its effect on the performance of an associated network device or an entire network. 

Challenges of hardware monitoring

When it comes to identifying and implementing a proper hardware monitor to maintain the health of critical hardware, companies face numerous challenges. We've listed some of these challenges below to help you make the right decision when it comes to hardware monitoring.

Multi-vendor network environments

The most common challenge is the sheer multitude of vendors in the market. In such a multi-vendor network environment, you have to monitor a variety of hardware from different original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in order to ensure good performance in your network devices. Without the right hardware monitor, this can be challenging. Put simply, you need to ensure that the hardware monitor you intend to use supports the devices in your network.

Distributed hardware resources

Another major challenge is the distributed nature of your network environment. As an example, you may have datacenters that require hardware monitoring across the globe; however, your hardware monitor only supports monitoring your local hardware. This is a pitfall that can be avoided with proper awareness, allowing you to ensure your network's sustained performance.

Proactive hardware monitoring

Research suggests that over 50 percent of network downtimes are caused by hardware failures. That's a huge number, especially considering that natural disasters only account for roughly 6 percent of unplanned outages. This emphasizes the importance of proactively monitoring your network's hardware. A hardware monitoring software that helps you take control of faulty hardware before it takes down your network can go a long way in supporting your enterprise.

Implementation and configuration

In an environment that consists of many different network devices, it's time-consuming to identify, add, and configure device types manually when you're setting up a hardware monitoring solution. A smart alternative is to deploy a hardware monitor that provides an out-of-the-box, automatic discovery and configuration feature. This will help you achieve a healthily monitored network environment.

Support for hardware upgrades

It's important to allow your network adapt and utilize advanced computing resources that will be developed in the near future. In order to achieve this, your hardware monitoring software should provide support for new hardware vendors or upgraded devices; this way you don't limit the scope of your network infrastructure's development.

 

Hardware monitoring with OpManager

OpManager is a highly resourceful hardware monitoring solution that monitors your network and servers. It offers intuitive dials, graphs, alerts and reports on the performance of your server and network hardware. OpManager also lets you automate remote troubleshooting tasks when a hardware error is detected. This helps ensure hardware health and peak network performance.

Real-time hardware monitoring

Get real-time information on the status of monitored hardware such as servers, routers, switches, firewalls, VMs and storage devices. This information is presented in the form of tables and graphs.

  1. Temperature
  2. Fan Speed
  3. Power Supply
  4. Processor Clock Speed
  5. Battery
  6. Disk Array

Hardware monitoring dashboard

1. Temperature:

Monitor the temperature of critical components to ensure optimum performance and long life from your network hardware.

Graph of hardware temperature monitor

2. Fan Speed:

Ensure your racks, chassis, routers, and other critical components are well-ventilated with proper air-flow distribution.  

System fan speed monitoring graph

3. Power Supply:

Monitor the voltage and current supplied to various hardware components and PSU redundancies to prevent device failure or short circuits.

Graph of power supply monitor

4. Processor Clock Speed:

Monitor the rate at which your processor completes its processing cycle to ensure maximum utilization of the available resources.

Graph of CPU fan speed monitor

5. Battery:

Monitor the batteries in your Dell servers to prevent cache data loss, BSODs and abnormal shutdowns.

6. Disk Array:

Monitor the status of multiple disk drives to prevent any storage or data transfer issues.

 

Support for multi-vendor hardware monitoring

OpManager can be deployed as a hardware monitoring tool to track the health and status of your Dell, HP, Juniper, Cisco, and Checkpoint hardware out-of-the-box. Using custom device templates, you can also monitor the hardware in other devices.

Supported multi-vendor hardware devices list

 

Instant alerts on hardware issues and errors

Receive instant alerts via email/SMS or sound alerts using OpManager's notification profiles. This helps you identify and stay on top of any network performance issues due to hardware failure before they affect the services in your network.

Hardware monitoring alerts

 

Troubleshooting hardware errors

OpManager's comprehensive features enable you to automate routine maintenance and preliminary troubleshooting tasks. You can configure it to automatically reset or shutdown a device, refresh data stores, or terminate processes whenever a hardware error is detected.

Hardware troubleshooting tool

 

Distributed hardware monitoring

With the help of a secure and sturdy probe-central architecture, OpManager lets you monitor your network's hardware resources across multiple locations from a single console. If your business operates on a global scale with datacenters in different regions, you can use OpManager to monitor your network hardware from your headquarters' network operations center (NOC). 

 

Hardware resources monitoring

Besides monitoring the temperature, fan speed, power supply, etc., OpManager also enables monitoring CPU, memory and disks. These are critical resources that power services and monitoring over 25 different CPU, memory and disk metrics such as utilization, speed, idle time, I/O reads and writes, free space, processor queue, and so much more, can provide the visibility you require to sustain critical workloads while maintaining peak-performance.

CPU utilization, memory utilization and disk utilization graphs

 

Hardware health reports

Hardware health reports provide an in-depth overview of the condition of your network hardware. These reports allow you to select a monitored hardware parameter (e.g., temperature, fan speed, power supply, clock speed, disk array, etc.) to view its value, along with a timestamp, which enables you to analyze the data for performance, uptime, and availability.

Hardware health check reports

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