Although the main market for ServerAssist is system administrators who are directly responsible for their own organisation's network, servers and infrastructure, ServerAssist is also suitable for those who provide hosted services, either using physical servers or as virtual instances.
This page will answer some of the questions you may have about ServerAssist, and how you can use it to provide enhanced services to your clients. For more information, please get in touch.
ServerAssist offers a broad range of functionality that is applicable to hosted services.
- Reporting and monitoring covering the full range of system information: CPU load, memory usage, disk space, services, performance items, events, availability and restarts
- Status summaries and detailed charts are integrated cleanly with your customer-facing control panel
- Scheduled e-mails are sent directly to customers with hourly / daily / weekly status reports
- Information is grouped per customer, so overview reports bring together all of a customer's systems in one place
- Windows and Linux systems fully supported
- Everything is completely rebranded, making it look like an in-house offering
The monitoring covers CPU load, memory usage, disk space, services, performance items, event log entries (for Windows systems), availability and restarts. Two thresholds allow for normal, warning and critical levels to be set for CPU load, memory and disk space, and an alert is generated when a threshold is crossed.
Service monitoring will detect when any automatically started service stops, and the checked services are determined by querying the operating system, so when new services are installed, they are included in the monitoring with no manual configuration required.
The performance item monitoring will, for Windows, use the value of any installed performance counter, and for Linux, any SNMP OID that returns a numeric value. The performance item monitoring can use a pair of fixed thresholds, providing normal, warning and critical levels, generating an alert when a threshold is crossed, and dynamic thresholds that generate an alert when a value changes in a non-typical fashion.
For Windows systems, an alert will be generated when important information is logged to the event logs (for example an invalid login).
The availability and restart monitoring will generate an alert if a system becomes unavailable or is restarted.
The status information provides an overall health indicator of all the customer's systems, charts of performance items over time, lists of recent event log entries and show current service and process information.
All status information is generated as HTML and PNG images, and can be generated so that it can be integrated with the current control panel that you have. For the performance charts, it is possible to combine items onto a single chart, have several charts of a few items each, or have one chart per item.
Notifications include full graphical branding, and can also include links to allow quick resolution of problems. For example, a notification that a service has stopped could include a link that allows the service to be restarted, just by clicking the link. The text of the notifications is fully customisable, and notifications can be sent as HTML-formatted or plain-text e-mails or SMS messages.
Since most customers will not spend their day looking at status information and performance charts in the control panel, it is also be possible to send a whole range of reports directly via e-mail to customers on an automatic schedule. For overviews, one report will cover all the systems that the customer has with you, and this could then be supplemented with more detailed information for individual systems. The scheduling can be anything from once per minute to once per month.
All data collection and monitoring is carried out remotely over a single TCP port for both operating systems (WinRM for Windows, SSH for Linux). It is not required to have an open SNMP port for Linux systems. It is also possible to monitor Windows systems with an agent, which is also accessed over a single TCP port.
Everything will be totally rebranded, so it will look like an in-house offering.
For this all to operate with minimal human intervention, the monitoring needs to know about each individual system and how it is related to other systems, for example how they are grouped by customer. This can be determined in several ways; by running a program locally on the monitoring system that supplies the information, by reading a text file, or by making an HTTP request to a suitably configured web server that returns the correct information.
The local program can be developed in any language, and only needs to be able to generate text output, which is then parsed to determine the information required. Alternatively, an external process, not necessarily running on the monitoring system itself, can generate a text file containing the required information, and upload the file to the monitoring system, where it is read directly. The third option is that the monitoring system can make an HTTP GET request to a specified URL, and the web server generates the required information and sends it back, again as plain text.
Ultimately, all three methods result in some plain text being handed to the monitoring system, and this text is then used to determine the systems that are monitored, the connections used and the reports generated. It is expected that the program that ultimately generates the information would query one or more of your internal databases, meaning that no manual setup would be required for new customers above that which is currently performed, and that as a customer's portfolio changes, the monitoring offered would be kept in step automatically.
The retail pricing is for individual organisations that purchase ServerAssist directly from us for their own internal use. For hosting providers, this pricing is not applicable, but instead we have a partner programme specifically for hosting providers.
This takes a different approach from the standard reseller arrangement. In brief, in return for a usage-based, fixed monthly or fixed annual fee, you can use our software to provide services and retain all revenue from those services.