The Windows operating systems publish detailed information on the health and status of the installed applications and their servers. Event Logs, Perfmon, Services and the Task Manager all play a role in exposing the changing conditions. These sources can provide a preliminary indication of a degradation in performance and threats to security. Although the data is posted immediately, investigations usually follow only after they caused a disruption to operations.
The ELM Enterprise Manager Core License upgrades Windows server monitoring from “What Happened” to “What’s Happening”. It provides real-time monitoring, alerting and reporting.
Centralized Windows Server Monitoring, Alerting & Reporting
Windows Server Monitoring
System Administrators will be notified of Error Events immediately after they are written to the event logs. Prompt analysis and resolution will advance system management to an active mode.
Security Managers will be alerted of failed logons and suspicious permission changes moments after the threats are detected. In addition, having the security events stored in a database provides a comprehensive source for verification and research.
Compliance Managers will generate custom and schedule regulatory reports that will satisfy any auditor requests.
The ELM Enterprise Manager Core License monitors the health and status of Windows servers just like System Admins would if they had just one.
Centralized Server Monitoring
The ELM Core License automates the monitoring Windows servers. It takes advantage of many of the same tools administrators use to investigate reports of declining server performance or a suspected breach in security policies. Instead of accessing the server and reviewing the diagnostic data sources locally, ELM would have already detected the changing conditions and presented the information in the central ELM Console. The monitoring tools in ELM Core Licenses include:
Event Collector Real-time event collection from any Windows event log.
Performance Monitor Tests performance objects, counters or instances against >,=, or > conditions.
Service Monitor Detects changes in Service status to Started, Started, Paused, Stopping and Stopped.
Process Monitor Monitors for new processes, failed processes and CPU thresholds.
File Monitor Scans for specified character strings in files and directories.
PING Monitor Automates a PING process and checks for Success, Failure and Quality of Service threshold.
Receiving an alert immediately after an Windows event or Monitor generated event has been written is a critical function of real-time management. Not only must it be launched promptly, it must be flexible enough to be useful under a variety of conditions. In ELM Core Licenses, the notifications can be combined or reused under multiple triggers. They can be activated only for certain times and on certain days. And to prevent them from becoming a disruption, barrage protection strategies defend against rapid fire alerts and routine notification of non-threatening conditions.
SMTP mail can be configured to include valuable information about the events that trigger them. The email message can deliver all or part of the event data and be customized with comments or descriptions. In addition, the From: field can be configured to indicate ELM, the Event ID, or the Computer Name as the sender for easy identification.
The ELM Advisor is a proprietary real-time notification method. Located in the Windows Taskbar Notification Area, the ELM Advisor icon indicates that an alert condition has been detected and delivers the event information as a popup message. The data is also presented in an event list. With the ELM Advisor, event activity from across the network can be monitored from a Systems Administrator’s workstation.
Taking alerting to the next level, scripts can be launched as a real-time notification option. They can automate a variety of tasks when specific events are detected. Command Scripts can be used to write helpdesk tickets, take immediate security actions, or trigger an out-of-band wireless text message.
When a critical event is written to a remote server, the ELM Enterprise Manager Core License has the tools to ensure System Administrators receive the information in real-time
Core Server Monitoring Reporting Features
With the performance and event data reliably collected and stored in a database, mining it can uncover trends and document security issues. In ELM Core Licenses, the ELM Editor generates and schedules performance and event-based reports. These reports can be customized with graphical, summary and detailed sections and delivered by email in a .pdf format.
Event Summary Reports
Security Audit Reports
Server Performance Reports
Process Resource Report
PCI, Sarbanes Oxley, HIPAA
Centralizing event logs and performance data with ELM Core Licenses provides a reliable data source for resource management, security and compliance reporting.
For reliability and responsiveness, ELM supports three (3) normalized databases. All utilize a user provided Microsoft SQL Server 2008 or later database.
The Primary Database stores the most recent data.
The Failover Database prevents loss of monitoring and alerting when the Primary is unavailable.
Archive Databases store longer term data for support of compliance and security policies.
Views and Notification
With centralized event log monitoring, alerting and reporting, a handful Windows events or Monitor generated events can be buried in the millions that stream in each day. The ELM Core License includes three display options, or Views, that filter through the noise and present the event data in an informative format.
When an incoming event satisfies the Filter criteria, it is inserted into that View. This provides a focused display of related events. In addition, each new event will trigger the notification options assigned to that View.
The Event Views list the selected events in real-time. The Time, Type, ID, Computer and the Message are all presented for each event. A Pause option is available to stop the scrolling during event storms.
The Security Views expand beyond the Event Views to include important security data buried in the event message. It includes sortable columns for Category, User Name, Domain, Workstation and Logon Type.
The Correlation Views display event sequences. When a specified “Start” event is found, it is listed in the View and the related “End” conditions are activated. A Match is determined when both the Start and End criteria are satisfied. They are displayed in the Matching View and the timer is stopped. A Time-Out condition applies when the clock expires before an End event is found.