IT monitoring is the process of gathering metrics to operate the hardware and software of an IT environment to ensure that all functionality functions as expected to support applications and services.
Basic monitoring is performed by device health checks, while advanced health monitoring provides detailed views of health status, including average response times, number of application instances, error and request rates, CPU utilization, and application availability.
IT monitoring encompasses three areas, which are referred to as the foundation, software and interpretation.
- Foundation: The infrastructure is the lowest layer of a software stack and includes physical or virtual devices such as servers, CPUs, and VMs.
- Software: This part is sometimes referred to as a monitoring section and analyzes what works on the devices in the base station, including CPU usage, load, memory, and number of VMs running.
- Interpretation: The collected metrics are displayed in charts or data charts, often on a GUI dashboard.
IT monitoring can rely on agents or be agentless. Agents are independent programs that are installed on the monitored device to collect hardware or software performance data and report it to a management server. Agentless monitoring uses existing communication protocols to emulate an agent with many of the same functionalities. For example, to monitor server usage, an IT administrator installs an agent on the server. A management server receives this data from the agent and displays it to the user through the IT monitoring software interface, often as a graphical representation of performance over time. If the server stops functioning as intended, the tool alerts the administrator who can repair, update, or replace the item until it meets the operating standard.