Monitoring is a major part of a Managed Service Provider or MSP. After all, it emerged as remote management and monitoring (RMM) of servers. However, today MSP’s scope is well-defined and distinguished from standard RMMs. Nevertheless, monitoring is still a key service that these companies provide to their clients.
Managed service providers take care of all the IT infrastructure of their clients. So naturally, it’s their job to ensure that the infrastructure is running optimally and delivering on the performance goals set by the business. This requires consistent monitoring with an analysis of key metrics and also ensuring the security of the whole infrastructure. That’s no easy task, to say the least.
What to Look For in Monitoring Tools for MSP?
As an MSP, you need to opt for reliable monitoring tools that check the health of servers, networks, and overall infrastructure. While MSPs can use their in-house tools or a monitoring tool from a vendor for a specific part of the infrastructure, such as virtualization. However, you’d be juggling with too many tools. What you need is a powerful solution that caters to all the monitoring needs of your client’s IT ecosystem.
Here are some important things to consider:
Any tool, especially the monitoring tool, you choose to incorporate in your services, shouldn’t come with complexity and a huge learning curve. You want something simple but efficient that your staff can learn in a matter of days. It should be compatible and ready to integrate with your current catalog of tools and services.
The monitoring solution, be it for any part of the IT infrastructure, should come ready to use out of the box. If it requires weeks to set up and extensive training sessions for your agents, then perhaps it’s not the best fit for the MSP market, which needs to move fast and deliver results instantly.
Automation is the lifeblood for MSP service provider. Why? As the number of clients increases, so does your workload. Ideally, you would want to automate as many tasks as you can. Fortunately for MSPs, monitoring is something that can be rather easily automated, but with the right tool in your arsenal.
Automation can help you focus on the bigger tasks at hand and expand the business even further by taking on more, bigger clients. For instance, if you’re still stuck on manual reporting, the processes would not streamline as well as they potentially can. Plus, key issues can slip through the cracks in monitoring and reporting.
Pricing is important for MSP IT systems as the third-party expenses ultimately factor in the price you charge your clients. You should go for solutions that are flexible in terms of pricing and scalable. Their pricing model should ideally align with your own pricing models.
Use-based pricing models are becoming increasingly popular, and sooner or later, you’d have to provide that option to your clients. This would mean that the tools you’re using should also reflect that flexibility; otherwise, you may end up paying more than you can afford.
Remote access is in the very MSP definition. Therefore, you’ll also need to remotely monitor the servers and devices in your client’s network and infrastructure. The monitoring software you employ should ideally be agentless, having remote control access to the IT components you’re monitoring for your client. This just makes it seamless, as you don’t physically need to install anything on the client’s server or devices.
Focus on Security
It goes without saying that security is the number one priority for clients. As an MSP managed service provider, it’s your job to ensure security for the infrastructure and digital assets of your clients. Monitoring should heavily focus on finding security flaws and blocking internal and external attacks.
Log analyzer within the monitoring solution would help detect intrusions while also pointing out performance drawbacks. Similarly, it should also maintain the inventory of the devices in the clients’ IT infrastructure to keep tabs on the access as well as the movement of data. Basically, it’s your job to find security loopholes in a system that you haven’t even designed, and that can be a tedious task.
Consider this as an extension of the security clause, as effective alert management is part of the security implementation. You need a monitoring tool that doesn’t just sound the alarm but also points to the solution. Again, the onus of managing the client’s infrastructure and delivering a near-perfect uptime is on your shoulders as an MSP.
Alerts are a key part of monitoring as they can help bring issues to light when they are still budding. Resolving them in due time would ensure they don’t result in something big. It should help you take proactive measures rather than prescriptive ones. This also translates into cost-effectiveness as you shield your client from exorbitant repair costs.
Data is everything in today’s world. With the right data presented in the right way, you can make the right decisions. MSP take on a huge risk as they are supposed to optimize performance and ultimately help the clients grow and increase revenue. All of that is impossible without analytics and reporting.
It works in two ways: you improve your services and help put clients at ease with hard data. They get an executive overview of all that you’re putting into their business. Similarly, you can improve practices internally and the effects would reflect throughout your management portfolio. And again, it all comes down to how all of the data that goes into reporting is being monitored and recorded.
Managed service providers or MSPs have a monumental role to play in their client’s success. A building block of that success is monitoring. VirtualMetric’s monitoring solutions such as Server Monitoring, Database Monitoring, and Network Monitoring can be immensely helpful for MSPs.
These tools meet all the requirements of a modern, adaptable, yet flexible monitoring tool that’s focused on security, growth, and convenience. With these tools in your arsenal, you can take on even the most daunting of enterprises with ever-growing infrastructures. Learn how your customers can benefit from using the VirtualMetric monitoring suite.