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Server Density Offers Dead Simple Monitoring Agent

By Kenneth Corbin (Send Email)
Posted Jul 20, 2011


There's no arguing the complexity of maintaining the server environment, particularly at a time when administrators are walking a tightrope that spans on-premises, virtualized and cloud based-environments.

Firm touts its server monitoring tool as an easy-to-use solution to push out performance metrics and alerts ahead of critical events.

Those challenges have cast the importance of real-time, full-view monitoring in sharp relief, according to Server Density, an outfit that offers a minute-by-minute monitoring tool that collects data about memory, disk I/O and a host of other metrics.

"Traditional monitoring tends to be very complex and time consuming to set up, but Server Density makes it easy to start monitoring core metrics and deploy automatically across virtualized, cloud and physical servers," said David Mytton, Server Density's founder and CEO of Boxed Ice, the parent company behind the monitoring application.

Server Density's monitoring tool provides notifications and alerts through email, text messages and applications for iPhone, iPad and Android devices. Mytton said that the alerting is aimed both to provide general wellness updates about a company's server environment and to push out early warnings ahead of critical events that can help prevent downtime.

Mytton explained that the chief advantage Server Density offers over some freely available open source alternatives is the ease of configuration and usage. The Server Density monitoring agent must be installed on the server, but it does not require root access and users don't need programming knowledge to complete the installation.

"The biggest challenge is convincing people that their time is worth significantly more than they think," Mytton said. "You can download one of the free, open source tools at no monetary cost, but the actual cost is days spent setting things up, configuring alert gateways, ensuring notifications get delivered, maintaining the system and monitoring your monitoring systems."

Server Density offers an unlimited 15-day trial, and then begins a tiered pricing model that bills per-server, per-month. The first 10 servers are billed at a base price, with discounted rates assessed for larger deployments.

Server Density began in 2009, when Mytton was working as a developer and searching for a robust server monitoring system that would be essentially self-sustaining, requiring only a minimal management and set-up process.

"As a developer, my day job was not running a monitoring infrastructure," Mytton explained. "Obviously, now it is, but that allows our customers to get on with their core business and let us deal with monitoring."

When first launched, Server Density catered to smaller firms with limited IT requirements. Over time, it has evolved into more of an enterprise-oriented technology, and it has won some major clients, including Intel, Motorola and The New York Times Company.

As it moves ahead, Server Density is looking to expand its system monitoring to develop a holistic dashboard that precisely correlates server performance metrics with response times.

"This is all about combined monitoring -- a single dashboard with visibility into your entire infrastructure," Mytton said.

Kenneth Corbin is a freelance writer based in Washington, D.C. He has written on politics, technology and other subjects for more than four years, most recently as the Washington correspondent for InternetNews.com, covering Congress, the White House, the FCC and other regulatory affairs. He can be found on LinkedIn here

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