The main problem, from among all the IT-related issues, when talking about financial services, is reliability. 100% uptime and 100% reliability are not just goals, they are mandatory terms. Even a second of downtime may result in massive losses – say, if online trading is taking place. There may not be downtime, there may not be faults. Several seconds can cost millions; long periods of downtime can become fatal for the organization.
Network services for financial firms are developed with redundancy, security and fault tolerance in mind. All the services have their backups, and every piece of software is subject to many a test prior to be used for real. However, even redundant and fault-tolerant setups are not prone to failures of network devices, pieces of software and so on. Early warning about possibility of hardware and software failure becomes a must, as well.
To sum up, any financial service’ network should be properly monitored, measures should be taken to provide early alerts and ability to see all the reports on network services’ state and traits of probably problems. Only if this kind of watching is also performed 24/7/365, the services will either prevent massive failures, or will restore their normal state very quickly and without significant losses (data losses, most of all).
IPHost Network Monitor provides out-of-box solutions for the problems that must be handled in this case.
Quick and reliable alerts – those with fast and guaranteed delivery – become the crucial part of all the monitoring scheme. All the media types used for receiving alerts should be used; there should not be email only, SMS only etc. setups. All the alert types can and should be used, under normal circumstances. Make sure all the staff in charge receive all the alerts of critical importance, no matter what time of day/location they are in.
Networks monitoring must be set up efficiently: make sure vital services, applications and so on function, but do not overburden those with monitoring. Since financial services intranets are heavily guarded against external unauthorized access, Remote Network Monitoring Agents can be used, in active mode, to prevent opening holes in security just to allow monitoring from friendly computers.
Depending on the services and applications used, Web Transaction Monitor, HTTP/ODBC/SMTP etc monitors can be used to watch over every vital component of the whole network.
Access to real-time reports should be granted to management staff – to observe trends and to plan possible changes/upgrades in case bottlenecks or other weak parts are revealed.
Note that, to harden the security, TLS/SSL should be used wherever possible, to prevent possible data leaks.
Web Transaction Monitor is the tool to simulate real human user’s activity in the browser: follow links, entering forms data and so on. It also allows to check for expected text chunks on the resulting page loaded. Using this tool, you can check the web services function as expected from the viewpoint of end user.
SNMP custom monitors and SNMP traps provide universal means to verify arbitrary parameter of the target network device. SNMP traps should be used wherever possible, since they mean immediate alerts in most cases, not just polling the server for any services status changes.
SMTP network monitor allows to make sure mails both accepted and sent; email is a vital communication media; failure to provide it can quickly lead the business to a halt.
ODBC monitor provides means to check for database presence and for validity of its structure (by running a specially crafted SQL query).
Depending on the platforms used, other types of servers monitors can be used. The existing ones are enough in the absolute majority of cases, to provide relevant and fast monitoring facility, able to prevent huge losses.
Free 30-day trial version of IPHost Network Monitor is available. During your trial you can get support by e-mail, please use contact form to send all your inquiries on IPHost Network Monitor features and purchase.
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IPHost Network Monitor 5.3 build 14150 of December 25, 2020. File size: 68MB
Related topics:Windows server & application uptime monitoring