Read more on "Server OS Spotlight" »

Windows and Linux System Monitoring With PC Monitor

By Kenneth Hess (Send Email)
Posted March 22, 2012


Monitoring software rarely evokes more than a yawn from administrators who install it, work with it and read its reports. From one to ten, with ten at the high end, monitoring software earns a solid 'one' on the excitement scale. It's a workaday tool. It's a necessary evil. And, it's gasoline expensive. MMSOFT Design Ltd's (MMSOFT) PC Monitor is a game changer in the otherwise lackluster system monitoring realm. PC Monitor

System monitoring must include more than simple 'ping' monitors or up/down status. It should include the ability to drill down into the system for problem details, a notification system via email or text message, a set of configurable parameters or ranges for acceptable performance, an alert console for first-level technicians and a management console for administrators.

Advanced features such as a web-based interface, a mobile device App and configurable monitors and customizable notifications are also desirable.

Agent Installation

PC Monitor requires that you install agent software on every system. Both Windows and Linux installation is easy, fast and generally proceeds without issue. As soon as you've completed the agent installation, it reports to the mobilepcmonitor.com site and collects your system's information. Each agent installation requires that you authenticate to MMSOFT's site for node registration. This is a typical scenario when using an agent-style monitoring solution.

The agent has the responsibility of monitoring the individual system and reporting its status to the central server. You have the option of using a hosted server solution or a local server solution that acts as the central repository for notifications, for alerts and a home for the web-based interface.

MMSOFT also provides a configuration export and import so you can streamline agent configuration. Of course, if you require specific ports or special monitors, you'll have to configure those manually.

Currently, MMSOFT provides agent software for Windows systems and for Linux systems only.

PC Monitor Dashboard

The PC Monitor Dashboard is a stand-alone Windows application whose sole purpose is to give a first-level support tech visibility into monitored systems. The Dashboard has no control ability other than to read and clear notifications. It is an alert console tool that someone in a network operations center (NOC) would watch. And, depending on the type of alert, the NOC technician would notify a higher level technician to investigate.

In a less elaborate setup, the system administrator would receive notifications directly from the system in the form of text messages, mobile device screen alerts or email messages. Direct messages enable higher-level technicians to respond rapidly to system problems.

PC Monitor Web Interface

The PC Monitor web interface, is the primary administrative interface in which higher level technical staff work. It contains a standard monitor view plus the ability to drill down on a system in its key areas: CPU, Memory, Network, Disk, Processes and Ports.

It offers the most complete set of system administrative tools and functionality without connecting via RDP or remote console. The web interface enables administrators to install Windows updates, send remote commands, examine and kill processes, reboot, shutdown, power off and place a Windows system into maintenance mode.

PC Monitor App

You can download the PC Monitor Mobile device App from your device's App Store or directly from the mobilepcmonitor.com site's Downloads page. The App includes all of the web-based interface features and tools. You now have the ability to monitor and to manage your entire enterprise from your mobile device through the App.

You can also configure your mobile device to receive notifications from the PC Monitor system.

PC Monitor Video

In the video, I cover the major features of the PC Monitor Dashboard application and the web-based interface. You'll also see actual system alerts and notifications in action in both applications, learn how to kill a running process and browse a Windows file system.

Bottom Line

I like PC Monitor. I've used and administered several enterprise monitoring tools and none have ever excited me like PC Monitor has. From its easy installation and configuration to its elegant notification system to its web interface, it had me at 'Hello.' I have to give MMSOFT's PC Monitor a 9/10, a fist bump and a high-five. Overall, it's an excellent monitoring system.

Please note that I based my evaluation of the product on the free, three system trial. There are advanced features available to you in the licensed versions such as modules for Active Directory, IIS, Exchange, Hyper-V and VMware. MMSOFT also offers several APIs for virtually unlimited customization.

Page 1 of 1

Read more on "Server OS Spotlight" »

Comment and Contribute

Your name/nickname

Your email

(Maximum characters: 1200). You have characters left.