This week, we officially launched our premium managed cloud and monitoring service, Intelligent Monitoring. Powered by INAP’s new infrastructure and support platform, INblue, the service is an important milestone for our cloud business and one we expect to set new benchmarks for managed services transparency and support experience consistency.
You can take a closer look at Intelligent Monitoring and its many great features in the video below or over at our product page. Today, however, I’d like to share some insight into why we developed Intelligent Monitoring, and why we think it will benefit the countless businesses who rely on service providers to enable meaningful IT transformations.
1. To Retire the Concept of ‘Just Trust Us’ in Managed Hosting
We built Intelligent Monitoring because traditional managed hosting is stuck in an innovation rut.
Automation transformed data center operations. It made networks faster. It made the cloud possible by pushing the limits of scalability. But there’s one item automation hasn’t yet cracked: the disjointed, opaque experience of working with a managed service provider after the infrastructure is online.
Any managed infrastructure service inherently relies on the concept of “just trust us.” Hand over the keys to your critical infrastructure and hope the provider knows what they’re doing if something goes wrong. What too often results from this is a gauntlet of service-related pain points: reactive and inconsistent troubleshooting of regularly occurring issues, a rotating cast of anonymous technicians, unreliable response times, and the inability to see what is being done to the server or cloud environment and why.
Intelligent Monitoring acknowledges that “just trust us” is no longer acceptable. The service combines the very best elements of advanced monitoring automation with a proactive, software-defined support experience that values transparency and consistency above all else.
Here’s how it works. A lightweight and secure agent installed on your servers and VMs tracks virtually every aspect of the environment—hardware, resources, network, application metrics, available patches, open ports, etc.—in real time. If a monitoring threshold is triggered for subscribers of our managed cloud service, INAP technicians will respond to alerts before performance degrading issues arise. Tickets are created proactively, and issues are mitigated using a proprietary Smart Workflow System that assists our experts with finding accurate solutions.
Better yet, customers will immediately know who on the INAP team is assigned to a task via the event’s unique Action Item page. From this single screen, users can track progress on the open task, communicate directly with the technician and view forensic information associated with the event using logs and data from correlated past issues.
2. To Streamline the Actions That Follow Alerts
We built Intelligent Monitoring because an infrastructure management strategy is only as good as the actions that follow alerts.
While there are plenty of standalone tools available for monitoring, patching and managing remotely hosted environments, they often take a significant amount of time to configure. Certain monitoring programs are limited to read-only outputs. Meaning, admins have to manually remediate identified issues or jump to separate tools to complete the job.
Intelligent Monitoring and the INblue platform seamlessly integrate with customer server environments, allowing IT pros to not just keep tabs on the health of their infrastructure, but take control of it via a powerful toolkit that includes universal log management, patch automation, service controls, and remote execution and script management. With the INblue platform, users are also able to manage their accounts, provision new services, manage firewalls and reboot servers. By hosting with INAP, organizations will eliminate the need for many third-party tools.
With Intelligent Monitoring, fully managed cloud customers will enjoy the backing of INAP’s Service First Support team. For the do-it-yourself IT admin, we also offer the Intelligent Monitoring toolkit for a low per-server cost. To compare our Service First and Insight editions, download the product overview guide. At launch, Intelligent Monitoring is optimized for Bare Metal customers. Multicloud functionality and support is on the way in future releases.
3. To Help IT Pros Make Time for What Matters Most
Finally, the most important reason why we built Intelligent Monitoring: IT professionals want to be the centers of innovation at their organizations, but are too weighed down by time-intensive, routine infrastructure tasks to achieve that goal.
Late last year, we interviewed 500 IT professionals about time spent on infrastructure upkeep. Unsurprisingly, the No. 1 task IT professionals spend too much time on is infrastructure monitoring. Additionally, a majority of respondents (52 percent) say the time it takes their teams to address critical patches and updates leaves their organizations exposed to security risks.
While maintaining the performance and ensuring the security of infrastructure is critically important, our survey respondents acknowledged that the extent of the effort detracts from the broader mission of their job function. If hypothetically given back 16 hours of their week previously spent monitoring and troubleshooting infrastructure, IT pros said a majority of that time would be dedicated to activities like researching new tech, developing new apps and/or products, skill development and application performance optimization.
Overall, 77 percent of IT professionals agreed they could “bring more value to my organization if I spent less time on routine tasks like server monitoring and maintenance.”
We believe that Intelligent Monitoring and INAP Managed Bare Metal are just the vehicles for giving IT the time to make a truly value-added difference. I hope you’ll take a moment to see for yourself.