Monitoring NTP. And why it matters…

A guest post by one our intrepid Support Engineers in the UK, Antony Hawkins.

time-is-going-1415573-m“Catching the little problems you never knew you had (before they cause big problems you never want to deal with).”

So, you’ve configured and tested an NTP hierarchy through your estate and now all your devices run to the same time. You can leave it alone now, safe in the knowledge it’s working.
Can’t you? Read more »


Guest post by Ed Shaughnessy, LogicMonitor’s VP Finance and Corporate Development.

@SUBSCRIBED (Zuora’s annual user conference held in SF last week) I had the fun & privilege to sit on a panel moderated by Zuora’s CFO, Tyler Sloat.  I enjoy this continuous exposure to the Zuora Exec team, their thinking, customers and ecosystem. Zuora Subscribed offered a venue to have a substantive discussion about what’s really important to companies that are disrupting both in technology and business models to solve the problems of a global set of customers.

Last year I signed on as the head of finance and corporate development here @ LogicMonitor.  My first priorities Read more »


Last week I was traveling to and from our Austin office – which means a fair amount of time for reading. Amongst other books, I read “The Principles of Product Development Flow”, Reinertsen, Donald G. The most interesting part of this book (to me) was the chapters on queueing theory.

Little’s law shows the Wait time for a process = queue size/processing rate.  That’s a nice intuitive formula, but with broad applicability.

So what does this have to do with monitoring? Read more »


6 Important ideas to manage your host groups

Last week we posted about best practice monitoring for MSP/CSPs (cloud service providers). This week’s entry is a back-to-basics best practice about “managing host groups” — important for MSP/CSPs wanting performance monitoring to fit their preferred way of managing their business. Whether you’re a CSP that wants to know which customers are taxing certain devices, or a more traditional MSP wanting forewarning of service degradation for clients’ equipment at their own location, managing host groups provides you the organized structure you want to optimize the customer service experience. Managing monitoring to provide your support team visibility by device type, location, or product/service level agreement allows you to optimize your customers’ experience. Is the service up? Down? Degrading? As an MSP/CSP you want to know these answers while simultaneously trying to maximize the bottom line.
When using LogicMonitor here are the specific steps to implement this best practice: Read more »


Seven Best practices for MSP monitoring

Here at LogicMonitor we serve hundreds of managed service providers with our cloud-based performance monitoring platform. “MSPs” range from true blue service providers, to Cisco VARs, to Cloud Providers and System Integrators. MSP monitoring typically means using LogicMonitor to monitor their own equipment and hosted apps. Many also will drop a LogicMonitor collector at a customer site or remote sites to monitor critical customer side infrastructure. Our flexible deployment model avoids the hassle of setting up VPNs that legacy premise-based monitoring tools require.

Lately I’ve spent a lot of time in airports and freeways to better understand our MSP customers, and I’m amazed by their expert use of LogicMonitor and their willingness to share best practices to help other MSPs monitor better (and make more $!). I’d like to thank a couple of MSPs in particular – Sagiss (in Big D) and CIO Solutions (in our hometown of Santa Barbara) — for contributing to help us build a best practices guide for using LM within MSPs. Here’s the first in a series to help MSPs get the most out of LogicMonitor, and hopefully contribute to your success. Read more »


LogicMonitor is at VMWorld 2013

VMWorld 2013!  Time to get your virtualization on!  Last year was LogicMonitor’s first time at the conference.  In the past year we’ve grown a ton, have more product to show off, and look forward to attending the show again.  For those of you who have not been to VMWorld, it is a grand event.  It is held in the Moscone Center in downtown San Francisco, and the vendor exhibitor room is huge!  You could probably put 2 football fields inside.

This year we will be located at booth number 2412 (in the same aisle as Rackspace). Read more »


Greetings from PuppetConf 2013!

The LogicMonitor team is here in force and we are impressed by the showing.  The show is twice as big as it was last year!  If there was ever a question about where Puppet is going, it has been answered:  up up up.  What I find most interesting about the increase in attendees is the types of companies they are representing:  the larger corporations are taking notice.  Puppet is obviously helping to solve a pain point that everybody is facing.  We are really at the beginning of a sea change in how all parts of infrastructure and code are configured and deployed.  Configuration management, using tools like Puppet, is going to encompass all components of your infrastructure, from the operating system level all the way up to load balancers and network devices. Read more »


Monitoring our employees’ happiness.

This is a guest post by Elisha Saini, LogicMonitor Financial Planning & Analysis Analyst. Follow her on Twitter at @ElishaSaini

Recently I passed the milestone of the first year of my career, and my first year at LogicMonitor. Below is my commemorative blog :)

5 reasons I love working at LM…

1. The title/position you have does not nearly reflect the million different things you end up working on.

In 12 months I’ve done everything from employee onboarding, coordinating company events, organizing trade show logistics, moving an entire office to a new building, and becoming an excel wiz to create financial/business performance reports.  Being fresh out of college, I didn’t know what I wanted to do. What I did know, however, is that I wanted to try a little bit of everything to get a feel for what I enjoy most. That’s exactly what I got. Read more »


This article first appeared on blog.hipchat.com.

At LogicMonitor, we make a cloud based monitoring solution, which tracks billions of metrics a day for businesses around the world. While looking for a way to increase collaboration and community between our various team members who are spread across multiple timezones and continents, I started looking at my old friend IRC. IRC servers are still non-trivial to set up and secure, and still (especially for those not of the technical tilt) not the easiest platform to use, so I found HipChat.

Why HipChat? To me it is graphical, outsourced IRC. It’s simple to use. There is no setup. There is no server to maintain. Just like LogicMonitor, it is a SaaS solution, accessible to everyone. It is archived. It is searchable. It is available on my phone. You can interface with it via an API. You can do things in it that are simply not possible with traditional IRC platforms like paste screenshots, or attach files. So while trying hard not to say it: HipChat is pretty…hip. Nice work guys. All departments here at LogicMonitor now use it.

So just how has HipChat helped within our Operations group? First off, it is the de-facto meeting place for all team members. People outside of Ops know where to reach the operations team, and during emergencies, it is the place where everyone in Operations is expected to be. But beyond this increase in collaboration, it was LogicMonitor’s ability to interface (via WebHooks) with HipChat that really cut down the amount of email going to our team members, reducing internal response time to issues while still keeping the entire team informed.

Part of being in operations is dealing with alerts (in our case, those generated by our own SaaS-based monitoring system, LogicMonitor – it’s LogicMonitor alerting about LogicMonitor. Very meta.) Previously, all alert levels (warning, error and critical) were sent via email to the Operations team, with the on-call engineer also receiving notifications of error or critical conditions via SMS or voice-call. Now, instead of emailing all alerts to every team members (which leads to inbox clutter and extensive filtering rules), all alerts go to a Monitoring HipChat room where anybody can see them. While it is easy to see active alerts and reports of past alerts within LogicMonitor, it’s sometimes simply easier to scroll back through HipChat and see the status of things over the last few hours, or what happened during the night.

For day to day operations, the on-call engineer can choose how he will stay informed of ‘warning’ conditions: either by checking our LogicMonitor account via a web browser or by simply staying in the Monitoring HipChat room (he will be on HipChat anyway for company collaboration). It is his call as to how he wants to stay informed. Other engineers can keep tabs on warnings on an at-will basis as well, without the need of going through segregated folders where they have “quarantined” alert emails.

An even greater benefit is in how “error” and “critical” alerts – those that need immediate attention – are distributed. While these alerts are still sent out via SMS to the on-call engineer, they are simultaneously sent into the TechOps HipChat room where the operations engineers hang out. (This is a different room from the Monitoring room – alerts are sent there, too.) What does this mean? It means that any engineer who happens to be online is immediately informed of a higher severity error, even if he is not on-call. Our Operations team is better informed and quicker to respond to issues as on-call engineers are not always at their keyboard.

By virtue of LogicMonitor’s flexible property inheritance and WebHooks system, the possibility exists to have alerts destined for specific groups (DBA, Network, etc) sent to their respective HipChat rooms as well.

There is more to how we use HipChat (think automatic notifications of git commits to our production puppet code), but that’s for another time. Suffice it to say that HipChat is thriving at LogicMonitor, and HipChat coupled with LogicMonitor keeps everyone better informed.

If you want to integrate LogicMonitor with HipChat, check out our instructions on the HipChat integration page.

This blog post was written by Jeff Behl, Chief Network Architect at LogicMonitor. Follow him on Twitter.


This weekend I was catching up on some New Yorker issues, when an article by one of my favorite New Yorker authors, Atul Gawande, struck me as illuminating so much about tech companies and DevOps.  (This is an example of ideas coming from diverse, unrelated sources – something part of the culture of LogicMonitor. Just yesterday, in fact, our Chief Network Architect had a great idea to improve security and accountability when our support engineers are asked to log in to a customer’s account  - and this idea occurred to him while he and I were charging down the Jesusita trail on mountain bikes.)

The article, Atul Gawande: How Do Good Ideas Spread? : The New Yorker, is an exploration about why some good ideas (such as anesthesia) were readily adopted, while other just as worthy ideas (antisepsis – keeping germs away from medical procedures) did not.  So how does this relate to DevOps and technology companies? Read more »


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