To: The Manager,
From: Dell Corporation, 1 Dell Way
Round Rock, TX
Toll Free: 800-289-3355
Proposal Title: Dell Remote Infrastructure Monitoring Services
Due date: November 2010
Dell is a corporation dealing with computer hardware, software services and accessories. Among the services are Remote Infrastructure Monitoring, aimed at keeping track of operations and maintenance procedures based in remote environment.
This is a proposal based on remote infrastructure monitoring (RIM). Dell Corporation is a company that offers quick lasting solutions to all organization’s technological needs as far as the use of computers and computer accessories is concerned. Remote infrastructure monitoring refers to ability to critically assess and access assets that are placed in dispersed and sometimes hard-to-reach areas. This assess can be facilitated by use of detecting hardware and software as an approach to on-premise solutions. By being able to do remote infrastructure monitoring, a company is not only able to track performance in a remote area, but also perform proactive maintenance on infrastructure. Among the services that dell corporation offers in remote infrastructure monitoring are (Dell Inc. p.3)
Fault and performance monitoring
This technically means that an organization will be able to keep in check and make follow-ups on thousand of devices, widely distributed in diversified localities in order to check for any faulty connections or operations in the system. Some of the monitoring processes that the software is able to carry out are performance tracking, trending and thresholding. Trending refers to keeping track of operation levels and immediately sending notification to the main point of reference, in this case the main office, especially where the trends tend downwards. Thresholding on the other hand means that the monitoring software is able to track whether the boundaries within which levels of operation should be maintained are actually being maintained in the remote locality. Thresholding as an attribute in monitoring is a reliable method in which an organization is able to create a benchmark for comparison. A digress from or breach of this benchmark provides a basis for re-evaluation, review or redesign of a given system within the organization. Other services that come with the fault and performance monitoring software are notification e-mails when faults are established or thresholds rise above or fall below expectations, provision of quick fix of problems, provision of support for different software vendors like Microsoft, Advanced Interactive eXecutive (AIX), Linux, Solaris and Cisco included. The software also does away with the need to have an agent on monitored infrastructure or the need for private WAN because it provides service through the internet, hence reducing additional costs for interconnections.
Remote infrastructure monitoring software is created in such a way that it becomes possible to discover other external devices like printers, servers and storage assets and collect useful asset information, necessary for repairs in case remedies need to be done on the system. This it does by providing information on the hardware and installed software than evaluating the ones that need revamping or upgrading (Dell Inc, p.5).
Patch management refers to a system of monitoring of computer software with an aim of protecting it from attack by viruses and malicious coding that crushes the system. In more specific terms, it involves acquiring, testing and installing codes that have to be updated every so often in order to prevent unauthorized access to a company’s system by an intruder. The tasks involved in patch management include maintenance of current knowledge of patches available, selection of the most appropriate patches to install, ensuring that they are installed properly, testing that should be done after installation and a comprehensive documentation of the procedures followed in the installation process. Patch management software is suitable for use with Microsoft products, Adobe products among others. It works by pre-scheduling and automatic scanning of patches for deployment, closely monitoring and controlling of deployment and reboot procedures and downloading specific patches for specific sites, hence minimizing WAN use.
Vulnerability scanning is a monitoring procedure that ensures the whole IT asset base of a company is guarded against attack by malicious people, who ay want to hack the system with an aim of making it weak and unreliable, as though attacked by a virus. Vulnerability scanning helps to secure a company’s network and to protect it from weaknesses that may provide loopholes for attack. Vulnerability scanner software is able to detect registry entries in Microsoft operating systems, identify patches and determine whether they have been updated or implemented. The vulnerability scanner offered by Dell Corporation is able to scan over 2,800 known vulnerabilities, update a list of vulnerabilities expected to be detected before each scan on a daily basis, and risk reduction strategies (Dell Inc. p.5).
The above mentioned remote infrastructure monitoring services are offered by dell, but only through on-premise solutions that require the installation of hardware and software that may sometimes require upfront payments. If an organization is not ready for up front costs, then it can opt for a second option of monitoring, which is the cloud-based monitoring for remote devices. This is a system that comes with rapid deployment that removes the need for installation of a software agent on the existing hardware and devices. This is because the monitoring service is offered online and it can be used on non-Dell devices. The cloud-based monitoring also facilitates centralized inventory that caters for all devices in a single report, centralized monitoring, repairs and patching. Robust reporting is also characteristic of the system and this implies that the organization is able to make a centralized report and analysis. This report captures sales, tax report, profit report and top selling products and services. This is especially important for the accounting department (Emerson Network Power, p.192).
Why does this company need Dell’s Remote Infrastructure Monitoring software?
It goes without saying that when there are operations going on in the remote area, monitoring on an hourly basis becomes quite challenging. Limited or no visibility into a company’s IT assets located in a remote area can be a costly affair, as is evidenced above by the outcome of the services offered by the monitoring software. When an organization has assets that are not linked to the corporate network, it becomes very easy to incur losses from the remote network. This is why Dell has come up with a monitoring system that helps the IT department to cope with the monitoring and management of IT assets, and which ensures security compliance. One advantage of having this remote infrastructure monitoring software is that there will be a felt cost reduction effect on operations and hardware. This is because, as earlier outlined, the software keeps the devices in check against external attacks that would otherwise call for costly repairs every now and then. Dell RIM, which is Software as a Service (SaaS) enabled system, cuts down on the number of staff, required for proper maintenance of IT assets and other related investments. The client using the Dell RIM will within a very short period of time realize savings on maintenance costs. The only cost that will be associated with Dell RIM is a subscription fee that is charged on each and every device or hardware that is managed. It gives a client the certainty that making a large investment either in time or money gives them a solution that satisfies and meets all their requirements. Without such a monitoring system, it becomes costly, especially where there is no qualified staffs, to monitor remote assets, assess how they perform or make remedies on any performance errors. The system comes with skills and capabilities that are otherwise not easy to come along with human resource. Needless to say, Remote Infrastructure Monitoring is an efficient method of ensuring that operations continue to be carried out regardless of whether the company’s employees are present at work 24 hours a day or not. This is because RIM provides constant and consistent management of a client’s environment, by monitoring transactions for specific events and fluctuations in threshold levels, as well as detections of errors and faults occurring by omission or commission (Viswanathan, Saravan and Vignesh, p. 66).
Analysis of Dell RIM services
Dell RIM packages are designed with remote locations in mind and services come with a package of benefits that increase efficiency and effectiveness I any remote working environment. To begin with, it provides a large user base, such that the client can easy interconnect with many sources from which help can be found for monitoring, repair and maintenance purposes. In addition, it is quite flexible for use, bearing in mind that the RIM services can be provided through the internet, or the client company can install more hardware devices and software to implement the implementation process. The services are also easily replicated from one setting to another and hence network mapping capabilities. The web interface that comes with the software is very fast and easy to use. The Dell monitoring devices also gives you the client value for your money because it has a multiplicity of features which although not visible through the web interface, are easy to configure to fit specific needs to the client company. This is possible through the many configuration files that come with the software. This however calls for some form of training on how to do the configurations because they do not come with the web interface (Dave and Larry, p.126)