Real-time hardware monitoring and challenges in monitoring hardware

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 or Hardware Monitoring Tool 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.

Hardware Monitor Challenges

When it comes to identifying and implementing a proper hardware monitor tool to maintain the health of critical hardware, companies face numerous challenges. We've listed some of these challenges of hardware monitor solutions 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 all 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 by choosing a solution that can monitor hardware in a distributed network environment.

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 to adapt and utilize advanced computing resources that will be developed eventually. 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

Hardware monitoring with OpManager OpManager is a highly resourceful hardware monitor software that monitors your network and servers. It offers intuitive dials, graphs, alerts and reports on the performance network's hardware. OpManager also lets you automate remote troubleshooting tasks when a hardware error is detected. This helps ensure an overall and all-round hardware health and peak network performance.

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