|Managing a computer
system in an enterprise environment can be time consuming. You need proper tools to
determine whether your systems are running at peak performance. Heroixs RoboMon 7.0
is a system monitoring utility that can help you monitor your networks performance.
RoboMon uses a rules-based engine to collect data about your systems operations.
This engine lets you define a situation for the software to monitor and initiates an
action when it detects a problem. Collectively implemented, these rules become RoboMon
Contact: Heriox - www.heroix.co.uk
System requirements: Windows NT 3.51 (with Service Pack 5) or 4.0, 90 MHz Pentium,
processor or better, 32MB of RAM, 25MB of hard disk space, TCP/IP network protocol
RoboMon is fully network-enabled, so can use the product on multiple Windows NT servers in
your enterprise. You can create and manage the rules for your enterprise from one
computer. RoboMon stores all the data it collects in a central database. The installation
process also establishes the RoboMon event database as a Jet engine Open database
Connectivity (ODBC) data source.
To test the software, I installed the product on my dual-Pentium II NT Server 4.0
computer. This server also runs Microsoft Exchange Server and SQL Server. I used RoboMon
to monitor various aspects of NT and BackOffice components. The installation process is
routine. I had to reboot my system for the installation to complete.
RoboMons central management facility is the RoboMon Enterprise Manager. This
facility uses an NT Explorer-like interface to list RoboMons systems and rules. You
group rules into categories called processes, for each computer system. The left pane of
the program shows a treeview that lists the domains and systems in your enterprise
environment. The left pane lists the RoboMons processes that each server has
installed. These processes let you install each RoboMon rule on only the machines that run
the software that the rule monitors. The right pane contains a list of rules, but not
necessarily the rules for the process you select in the left pane. Unlike NT Explorer,
RoboMon doesnt automatically update the list in the right pane when you select a
process in the left pane. You select the process of rules you want to view in the right
pane through the Source Rule Computer drop-down list directly above the right pane.
Adding a new rule is simple. The RoboMon Rule Wizard takes you through the steps of
creating a new rule by asking you a few basic questions. You need to understand NT
Performance Monitor to specify what you want RoboMon to monitor. You cant tell
RoboMon which statistic or event you want to track; you must select the item to monitor.
Then the wizard takes you to the RoboMon Rule Designer, in which you customise
implementation. You can change the interval, the condition and the action of the rule.
RoboMon includes a scripting language you use to define the actions you want the software
to implement when a system needs a rules conditions. The software can perform dozens
of actions by default, such as sending mail to a party you specify or executing another
rule. The scripting language can create variables (to perform actions, such as controlling
program flow) that can use Boolean constructs to test. You can enable and disable other
rules. You can move rules from one computer to another by dragging the rule from the
source system to the destination system.
After I installed RoboMon, I had to configure the processes I wanted
RoboMon to use. Then, I had to start the RoboMon processes to begin data collection. I was
collecting data on my server in less than five minutes. Depending on your environment, you
have to run RoboMon for quite awhile to get enough data to analyse.
The product offers volume price breaks only at the 11th and 51st
seats. This price structure makes RoboMon reasonable in small environments, but, expensive
in large environments.