March 17, 2014: Continuing our previous blog entry, today lets focus on the rest of the client environment.
Managing Network Devices
After the hosts, we come to the networking gear which includes Routers, Firewalls, IDS/IPS, Switches, WIfi devices etc. First we have to inventory them. We need to make sure that we know what is out in the network and get their software/hardware version numbers, serial numbers and configurations. We backup these configurations in a secure location. For these devices, we would require at the minimum monitoring them for Up/Down events, threshold crossing for performance and most importantly monitor their logs for any malicious or “out-of-policy” event happening. Need to make sure networking devices are secure and up-to-date.
Next comes the workstations, including laptops and desktops. Most CEOs, IT Directors etc. are concerned about the inventory. So we collect information on the hardware and software of these workstations. We also get a snapshot of what is the usage of the resources like Hard disk etc. What software is running on them and is it properly patched. Once the inventory is done, then the clients really want next is information about Employee Productivity. What we have seen is that they really don’t want information and reports on 100’s of operational parameters. What they really want to know is – is my employee being productive or are they wasting time or worse, breaking HR policies. No client really cares about the tons of information and charts and stats provided by Agent software. Good inventory, patched and optimized systems and employee productivity – that’s the work they want. That and making sure the employee data is backed up properly so that it can be retrieved when needed.
On the telephony side, we are beginning to see clients asking for the backup of Call Detail Records and also mobile device management. Backing up configurations and data, remote wipes, policy violations etc. That is what they want to address. With this “typical” environment defined, now lets focus on what are the client’s Managed IT needs..(to be continued…)