Good morning everybody. This is Ryan sterly with Turley shank innovations. This morning I wanted to talk about the basics of monitoring and all things IT Services Bartlesville. So within an MSP or it services provider as we work on ourselves, there’s a, there’s a small difference between being and it place that does break fix, which is most computer support places and that’s usually just some guy doing out of his house or some kind of a retail storefront for uh, consumers. We try to, well we target businesses specifically just because they’re the ones who would see the most benefit from something like this. That’s not to say that a lot of consumers wouldn’t benefit from one of the main aspects of monitoring the a patch management and antivirus patching. So basically the two most basic features of any armor, uh, remote monitoring and management tool is to keep antivirus up to date and patches, more patch management and keeping them up to date.

Sometimes you don’t want to just push a patch because it just came out. Um, excuse me. That’s typical for most most professionals who’ve had any kind of experience in enterprise. That’s, I’m sure their horror stories all over the place about some patch killing a functionality that, I mean we, we are typically in that kind of environment. We’re definitely reactive because it’s few and far between that people actually read the patch notes before they apply the patch. So it’s just something to keep in mind. But it’s good practice of course to know what you’re applying whenever you hit update in any case. So we use solar winds and I’ve got our console up and I’m looking at kind of their, just their offerings and we kind of fell into solar winds mainly because we won’t, I watched videos put out by uh, Tom Lawrence from Lawrence Systems in Michigan.

He has a youtube channel and he has some great content, especially for an MSP if you’re looking to get involved in that area than he’s, he likes open source. So He’s, his business is pretty much open source. He likes to share content as far as how he does things. Because if I believe his words were, if you can come in and do what I’m doing better than me, then I probably shouldn’t be doing this anymore. So those, that’s a good mentality to have, especially with something like this. I know people, tech people typically like, uh, can have a big chip on their shoulder. I mean most people do to some degree, but tech people, if there was a professional from outside of our field trying to become involved in it, like starting a business or, or doing it themselves, we, we get, it’s not uncommon for the majority of them to become dismissive of that person’s ideas.

They may be good ideas, but still, I can think back to a post I saw on Reddit Msp, I think it was, uh, I think that this professional was actually, uh, uh, provider. I don’t know if there were actually a physician, but they were definitely in that field and they were looking at kind of transitioning into an MSP type role that they were interested in technology. And the first two thirds of comments, well, two thirds of the comments were basically, I’d say actually it is more like three quarters, at least. Quite a few of them were very dismissive and just saying how there’s more to this than you think. It’s not as easy as it looks. And you know, I would imagine that a physician would, who I guess, I think his story was he actually handled the technology in his office or an office that he was a part of.

So, I mean, he had experienced in the field, I mean, for some people who get started in this venture, they don’t really have extensive experience, uh, working with, uh, systems. Now they may have desktop experience, troubleshooting desktops or maybe some software, uh, issues, but, you know, trouble shooting and, uh, software in somebody’s house, you know, it’s like Adobe won’t, um, I can’t load this pdf or something like that. It’s completely different than working in an enterprise environment and working on, on a PR software like SAP. It’s, it’s just worlds apart. So in any case, I digress. So Seller Lens, um, Lawrence, Tom Lawrence had mentioned it in his ear that he had been doing this for awhile and he worked with the seller wins backup solution and he was very, very pleased with it and that’s kind of why we started looking at them. And you know, we’re relatively new.

I mean we’ve been doing this for a little bit. Um, our client base isn’t the largest, but we’re definitely working on that and its overall, that seems to be pretty solid. We haven’t had too many hiccups as far it’s, it’s been, I think most of our hiccups have been user error and we do figure it out eventually. And solar winds is we have an account manager who’s wonderful, who, excuse me, who will not hesitate to help us schedule a call with a, an engineer who can kind of explain and walk us through certain processes that are best practice with regards to their tool. But there are a lot of these tools out there and they, they, they all have a lot of the same functions. Like I said, managed antivirus, a patch management. They also do, um, reporting. So not only are they looking at antivirus and patch management, those are, those are the two common pieces, but they also do, it can also act kind of like a software firewall.

I’m looking at solar winds has that capability with the web web protection. I can’t imagine that being proprietary just to them. It’s been awhile since I’ve actually looked at all of the RMM tools and what their capabilities are. But it’s not, I think most will have that capability. Uh, a lot of them don’t publish pricing, so that’s, I know that’s one thing that people will typically have want to know first and foremost and it’s, you kind of have to reach out to them and let them know where, where you are. If you have existing clients, then you might come in as a low at a lower price point. But that’s, that’s entirely up to your account manager. Um, uh, so one of the, other than the, uh, kind of web protection, I guess that’s more of like kind of like, uh, uh, I would conceptually, it sounds like it’s just blocking certain websites, kind of like a firewall setting.

But I’m not sure at what point that really happens. I could probably get in there and figure that out. That probably wouldn’t be a better idea. So, uh, other than that, there’s also, um, backup and recovery. It is baked into ours. I’m not sure how that works with others, but the way this backup and recovery works is that you have the ability for just a very small amount to backup documents and that’s specific file types ending with, uh, a certain type of m extension so that, you know, top documents are typically like excel files, word cheat, uh, word files, uh, worksheets, things like that. They’re automatically saved and backed up to I think their IT Services Bartlesville cloud solution. And you can do on premise as well. Uh, they also include network path visualization. So what that means is they can monitor the points between your office and a web application.

Like, uh, I’m an, I’m not even really sure what web applications most businesses would use. Uh, like, like Athena, um, come from the healthcare space. And Athena’s used for, um, kind of the front end management as far as uh, red, uh, checking patients in taking payment and stuff like that. So this a network path visit visualization, watches, all of those points, all of the, it’s kind of like a tracer constantly running and you can tell when a one point goes down and you can kind of, I haven’t, we haven’t experienced that yet. Um, our client doesn’t really use a whole lot of web applications, but it can kind of alert you that there may be an interruption in service. I know typically with paths it’s, the backbone is pretty robust. So as far as traveling along those paths, it’s not a set path. So, but that can let you know if there, if a main node is down then hey, potentially you guys might experience a little bit of slowness and it’s not, it’s proactive.

So with monitoring you think of monitoring. It’s like I’m looking at your systems and I can tell you what, I can potentially tell you what’s going to happen before it becomes an issue. It’s not always the case. And that’s why we throw potentially in there because you know, working in it, Tony, Bill and absolutes, there’s nothing worse. I think that probably applies for most businesses. But in any case, so we also receive a monthly report that’s a, it’s called the executive report and it’s like I said, this probably isn’t just specific to solar winds, but it’s, it’s nice they’re put together in a very nice, uh, clear, concise summary that we can bring to the, um, to like we can bring them to a decision makers and say, okay, so this is what we’ve done. This is, uh, this is the overall health of your system.

I’m just running through in a report for one month and it keeps track of failed login attempts, um, percentage of machines that are getting backed up. Uh, what protection, um, how many devices we’ve have that enabled on a patch management. It’s a, it also throws in checks that we, that have a implemented like a disc space, uh, processing use. Um, let’s see what other checks we have here. So, uh, surfaces. It checks for services, the critical events. If there’s a plethora of critical events happening, then we’ll get notified and end each of these checks that there you should have some customization that you can set different thresholds. You can put in new checks, like say you’re monitoring a SQL server, you can make sure that you are monitoring for that SQL service and that it’s always running. Um, also checks for the number of failed logins, um, physical disk health, so that can kind of be proactive on checking for a potential disc issues that, so it doesn’t just kind of happen out of the blue. Um, yeah, so with monitoring with the, our monitoring tool, uh, these checks and reporting, it’s very nice, especially for, it basically quantifies what year do you are doing as an MSP with or an IT services company.

People, especially in our area, they do not fully understand what it does. And that makes it really hard for us to, well, it’s not hard, it’s just we have to approach it differently than if we were to approach somebody who has had extensive, uh, immersion with technology. It’s around here. It’s not that common. There are a handful of individuals who see the value in technology and they’re eager to get it, to have it worked for them, rather than them being reactive and saying, oh, we need to update all of our machines because windows seven is near end of life and we still have XP machines out. So it’s, it’s, it’s, that’s the reality. And I think that’s probably the case. Wherever you are, people are, has there business owners and managers can be hesitant to key, uh, stay up, stay updated as far as infrastructure goes because it just works.

I’ve, I’ve heard that before. It’s, it’s, it, it just works. It’s like a duck. You know, you see it just kind of gliding along the top of the surface of the water, but you don’t see the feet just kicking like hell underneath. So that’s really what this is about. So this, this, uh, our monitoring helps us stay proactive and keep, it’s like having a dozen eyes looking at everything in them and you tailoring it to each environment. No two environments will be the same. You can, but you can have a template and apply that. But it precise, it provides you with clear and concise information that since you’re the one that configured it, or somebody of your team who’s hopefully operating through some guidelines and knows what’s more important, like, you know, do we really need RPC remote procedure call enabled on this machine? You know, it just an example that, or the print spooler I do.

Some of these are obviously you need to know what each service is doing and whether or not it, it’s worth checking for that service, that straight out of the box, the default template. It works. It’s not intrusive. It doesn’t take up a lot of space, a lot of memory. It’s pretty lightweight. We haven’t experienced any IT Services Bartlesville issues or heard anybody complain about performance issues after we install this on a machine if that machine wasn’t already experiencing issues. So it’s, there’s really no reason not to have this as an IT services company or most certainly an MSP. This is kind of the bread and butter of the MSP space. So, other than the reporting that we send off every month that other than running through a of checks at pings us on outages, uh, it can enter a integrate with other solutions. So with, uh, solar winds, they have, um, a solution for a, I think it’s called their PSA.

I’m not really sure what the correct, what they really call it, but it’s essentially a, a, a portal that you can use to attract tickets, have tickets generated and they can generate within the RMM and turn and be pushed over to the PSA side so you can have workflows for tax. Um, I think there’s some customer relation management in there as well. Like I said, we’re, we really just focus on the kind of the RMM aspect right now. It’s the rest of it. We are trying to go the route of open source just because it’s, if you’ve set up something that’s open source, you have to, you have to be pretty familiar with it. And that will help, especially with, um, whenever you implement things that are similar infrastructure for other clients, it’s, you know, the price points great. And you’re offering your expertise. So you say, yes, I built this, I built this type of system, this is what we use.

That’s, that’s a good selling point. So, um, other aspects of monitoring the integration started Nicei can integrate with tip tip. I think most of these can integrate with at least some kind of PSA. Um, for those of you who aren’t familiar with what PSA means, let me see if I can find it real quick. On professional IT Services Bartlesville automation tool, which is essentially it’s the business automation for your business. I’m not theirs. So that’s the ticketing. Uh, um, I think you can actually track time in it as well for Cli or texts, things like that. So the integrations are very nice. Uh, some have more than others obviously, but it’s, it’s a very important piece in the eye. It’s really how monitoring exists. So other than that, um, you can actually do, I know with our Ironman, this probably the case for all of them. It’s also a remote tool to allow you to remote in and you can actually access the back end, which is really just running a command prompt from there.

And that that’s nice whenever you need to run some powershell scripts for just a single machine, you don’t have to actually remote in, have somebody there to allow you to remote in or if you have that set up. Um, also, not only can you monitor workstations and servers, but, uh, some of the wines actually just released a updated their RMM tool to watch network devices. And this is, I think these are mostly Snma s n m p checks or I think that’s what it was. We, we, we had a test set it out and we’d kind of disabled it because it was looking at printers, which we really don’t know why we would want to monitor a printer. So we kind of, we were just playing around with it a little bit and hold that and Yank that out pretty quick. So, but it’s nice to have that capability. Um, I know a lot of people use a Meraki and ubiquity for networking equipment.

On the, I think you Meraki’s probably a higher end for most organizations and ubiquity is good for the smaller, smaller offices. It’s, the reporting is great. You have a dashboard that kind of gives you a very clear picture of what’s going on, who’s connected, what devices or uh, things like that. So they were monitoring is a very piece meal kind of a concept. But with regard to the, uh, workstations that RMM tool has is most everything you need as far as monitoring goes. But there’s other tools so you can give you, they give you a bigger picture, um, more so than I think we can achieve with the network and device monitoring within our, our a man. But monitoring is, it’s getting, it’s a very exciting what they’re continuously updating these RMM tools that are, uh, adding it more integrations and it’s, it’s exciting. It’s really cool. Uh, and you know, some of these, uh, I know solar ones has a free trial for 30 days, I think it was, and it’s tested out. If you’re even the least bit interested, it’s, it’s a pretty cool tool. Um, I know I have heard that some enterprises actually use it to facilitate their infrastructure. And, uh, I, it makes sense. I mean, I, we don’t use it in the enterprise companies that I’ve worked at, but it, it would make it a lot,

a lot more manageable I guess. But that’s, that’s really all there is to say about monitoring. It’s, it’s great. It’s very, it’s a very big, can be very thorough. And it lets you really provide that edge against waiting for phone calls so you can be proactive and say, Hey, we fixed this for you. Just want to let you know where, well, the reports will justify the costs that they’re paying you, even though I don’t see you doing anything that it’ll, the work will be evident. So that’s, that’s all I really have to say about monitoring. So if you, thank you for listening and I’ll see you all later. Bye.