Power Admin: Agentless Server Monitoring for Remote Locations

Monitoring servers, networks, and applications often detects performance issues early. Besides cloud-based, local, and virtual servers, today’s CIOs also have to deal with external systems such as SaaS and PaaS. “Our software monitors remote servers as easily as it keeps track of local servers,” begins Doug Nebeker, CEO, Power Admin LLC. Founded in 2002, Power Admin has many years of experience building professional grade system monitoring products. The company has a unique capability of monitoring systems in a remote data center without any monitoring agents, and without needing a Virtual Private Network connection because of its Satellite Monitoring Engine and usage of an outgoing HTTPS connection.

The company’s flagship product, PA Server Monitor helps enterprises monitor the standard ping, CPU, memory, and disk usage. It can also verify that specific events, such as backup completed or anti-virus file updates, show up in the Windows Event Log. Event Log entries can be specified by source, ID or event text. This same filtering is available for incoming SNMP Traps and Syslog events from Linux devices. When a problem is detected, PA Server Monitor can trigger various alerts including:

• Outgoing emails
• Push notifications to the iPhone (and soon Android and Windows Phone) application
• Making HTTP calls for creating tickets in a helpdesk system or Slack channel
• Writing to the Windows Event Log
• Sending an SNMP Trap
• Writing to a text file

Other checks can be performed by watching an email account for incoming messages, keeping tabs on web server SSL certificate expiration, web page content and load time, and file and directory changes, including for CIFS shares as are often used in manufacturing facilities. “Customers tell us PA Server Monitor is easy to configure, yet still flexible as you can get down to individual thresholds, alert recipients, and even poll-cycles,” says Nebeker.
Additionally, PA File Sight, PowerAdmin’s file access auditing solution, determines who is accessing files on the server. Using PA File Sight, it becomes easy to find out who deleted files or folders, or accidentally dragged one public folder to another. “IT pros appreciate that it does not rely on Windows auditing, which can cause performance problems when you’re watching all file access on a server,” reports Nebeker. “Instead, it watches files at the system level using the same approved techniques that anti-virus vendors use. This means it can report on not only who is accessing files, but also where they are accessing them from. No other product on the market can report the IP address of who is accessing the files, and if the access is local, which process is doing the access.”

Power Admin has been creating robust monitoring solutions for its clients since its inception. For instance, a pharmaceutical software company was facing issues in monitoring remote servers at hundreds of customer sites. Before PA Server Monitor, the client had to manually check and configure ad-hoc alerts to manage the servers. Now with the help of the Satellite Monitoring Engine, the client has been able to deploy monitoring functionality on one server at each remote location which then monitors everything else at that location. The monitors were configured with email alerting. Instead of having to manually manage those servers every day, the client now receives an email when there’s a problem at a particular server, reducing the effort that was previously invested in manual monitoring.

Power Admin continues to grow and innovate. Their passion for simplifying IT shows up in features like ‘Bulk Config’ which allows for easily making configuration changes in bulk. The company’s new version six will feature monitoring via server groups and monitor templates, and updated mobile applications. “We stay up to date with the technology industry, while listening closely to customer needs,” concludes Nebeker.

Power Admin

Olathe, KS

Doug Nebeker, CEO

Building professional grade system monitoring products for various industries around the world