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Remote monitoring and alerting for IoT

How tools and practices used for monitoring cloud-native services apply to solutions that use IoT devices. Add operations visibility to remote locations.

Introduction

IoT devices produce many types of information, including telemetry, metadata, state, and commands and responses. Telemetry data from devices can be used in short operational timeframes or for longer-term analytics and model building.

Many devices support local monitoring in the form of a buzzer or an alarm panel on-premises. This type of monitoring is valuable, but has limited scope for in-depth or long-term analysis. This article instead discusses remote monitoring, which involves gathering and analyzing monitoring information from a remote location using cloud resources.

Operational and device performance data is often in the form of a time series, where each piece of information includes a time stamp. This data can be further enriched with dimensional labels (sometimes referred to as tags), such as labels that identify hardware revision, operating timezone, installation location, firmware version, and so on.

Time-series telemetry can be collected and used for monitoring. Monitoring in this context refers to using a suite of tools and processes that help detect, debug, and resolve problems that occur in systems while those systems are operating. Monitoring can also give you insight into the systems and help improve them.

The state of monitoring IT systems, including servers and services, has continuously improved. Monitoring tools and practices in the cloud-native world of microservices and Kubernetes are excellent at monitoring based on time-series metric data. These tools aren’t designed specifically for monitoring IoT devices or physical processes, but the constituent parts—labeled series of metrics, visualization, and alerts—all can apply to IoT monitoring.

What are you monitoring?

Monitoring begins with collecting data by instrumenting the system you’re working with. For some IoT scenarios, the system you’re monitoring might not be the devices themselves, but the environment and the process external to the device. In other scenarios, you might be interested in monitoring the performance health of the devices themselves, both individually and at the fleet level.

Consider the task of monitoring a human cyclist riding on a road. There are many different parts of the overall system you can monitor. Some might be internal to the system, such as the cyclist’s heart rate or sweating rate. Others might be external to the cyclist, such as a slope of the road, or external temperature and humidity. These internal and external monitoring goals can coexist. The methodologies and tools might overlap, but you can recognize these different domains—a physician might care about different measurements than the bike mechanic. Monitoring tools can be used to create custom monitoring views.

For example, you might organize your metrics into the categories that are discussed in this section. The specifics of how these are structured or combined will depend on the particular domain and applications.

Device hardware metrics

Device hardware metrics are measurements of the hardware or physical device itself, usually with some sort of built-in sensor. 

Firmware

Software running on the devices includes application software as well as the system software itself, which might be the operating system, or layers of a networking stack or device drivers. 

Application code

Application code on the device is specific to the role that device is performing in the system. 

External environment

Measuring the environment with sensors is often what people think about with regard to IoT devices. 

Cloud device interactions

An IoT solution is a complex system that includes software components that run both on the device and in the cloud. Understanding how these two systems interact requires you to understand what information each side has access to and how to bridge the two software runtime environments. 

Supporting systems

A complete monitoring solution requires monitoring both core and supporting components. Monitoring the application code on the device is an example of whitebox monitoring, where you’re interested in how the application is functioning. You probably also want to include some blackbox monitoring. For example, your monitoring software can probe APIs and other cloud services that your solution depends on. When you’re trying to respond to a problem, having these blackbox probes in place can lead to much faster resolution. 

Alerting

Alerting is about getting warnings or notifications, and helps draw your attention to important conditions. These in turn often lead you to check visualizations and often the associated log information.

A problem with alerting is that humans are good at learning to ignore annoying “noise” (think of traffic noise, repetitive emails, and so on). Alerts are only valuable if they can be responded to and then appropriately dismissed. If an alert reports an issue that can’t be addressed, the information in the alert should instead be another metric or visualization.

Source:

https://cloud.google.com/solutions/remote-monitoring-and-alerting-for-iot
https://cloud.google.com/solutions/iot-overview#operational_information
https://prometheus.io/docs/visualization/grafana/

Managed OS – Operating System Patching & Update Processes

Overview

Quality NOC provides reactive patching to servers with both standard and managed customer operating systems. For managed servers, patches and updates are available upon request to ensure no patches are applied without customer knowledge and consent, effectively reducing risks to application and data integrity. Data and/or reports are available for you in different ways, depending on the solution used.

OS Updates

On a monthly basis, Quality NOC Cloud engineers review all recommended patches made available by operating system software vendors. A subset of these patches and updates are identified by the OS vendor as Critical or Important to installed operating systems. The most recent version of our OS is given these updates and is then re-certified by Quality NOC before it is made available to be implemented with new server builds.

Managed Server Updates

As a part of making a server managed, more updates may automatically be applied to the server. Different Linux distributions and Windows are supported. Automatic updates can be pre-agreed with the customer and discussed in weekly status meetings.

Dedicated Server and Public clouds

Dedicated Servers and Public clouds platforms can be managed by our team of system administrator, Microsoft Windows servers and Linux distribution are supported.
We have deep experience installing new applications, scripts and applying system updates, or upgrades on Red Hat, CentOS, Ubuntu, Debian, and other linux distributions.
We can coordinate with your operations or devops team and schedule downtime, and do previous snapshots befoer patching or updating your OS or applications.

Extend your operations, DevOps or development team

We do weekly meetings with our customers, we can also do short daily meetings monday to fridays and continue chat on Slack/Wire/Skype, with your operations team, devops, or developers establishing a very fluid communication and reporting about progress and/or incidents.

All-in-One Monitoring Solution

 


We can use your own monitoring systems, we can install a new system for you and migrate the hosts or if you have a small operation you can use our own monitoring system.

Our NOC team help our customers with:

  • Website Monitoring
  • Application Performance Monitoring
  • Server Monitoring
  • Network Monitoring
  • Cloud Monitoring, Private and Public

We have customers of all sizes, from a large Telecom with more than 500 hosts, mid size and small companies with only 2 hosts. Our NOC team works around the clock 24x7x365.

Our customers save resources, their engineers have more time for important projects, we improve the operations and reduce downtime.

We have a custom solution for you.

Cool Dashboards with Grafana

Create good-looking dashboards for displaying time series data from Icinga2 with Graphite/Grafana

Monitoring your network and systems can be very cool using this nice tools

  1. Icinga2
  2. Graphite
  3. Grafana

This combination gives you the best from all worlds.

Precise monitoring using Icinga2, collect all data with Graphite and create good looking dashboards with Grafana.

Our NOC team can help you to get there and also take over all your system and network monitoring.

Linux Patch Maintenance, WordPress and Windows updates



One of the tasks we enjoy most is to provide Linux Patch maintenance to our customers.
We have many years of experience doing patch maintenance and OS upgrades on Ubuntu, Debian, Red Hat, Cent OS, and other Linux flavours.
OS and Application Maintenance
You should periodically update your Linux operating system (OS) and its applications.
Install Operating System and Application Patches/Updates
We focus on security patches, go trough security articles and follow up possible impact on our server managed customers.

For website owners it is very important to keep your WordPress site updated, that include plugins, themes, word press version, etc.

We can follow up Windows updates news and see how new updates could impact in the running services and inform our customer before applying.

The importance of NOC services

NOC services involve the continuous monitoring and management of an organisation’s IT infrastructure to keep it running smoothly and efficiently, 24/7. The NOC provides round-the-clock proactive monitoring and management to enable issues to be caught and resolved before they become potential show-stoppers. The effective NOC relies heavily on automation; in particular, the use of sophisticated remote monitoring and management (RMM) tools.

Next summer vacation at the office?

Thinking about vacation?

Quality NOC customers takes vacation when they need or want, they know we monitor all servers, databases, applications, backups and uptime. We keep your customers happy and we can fix stuff before calling your engineer.

Take a relaxed vacation knowing somebody is keeping an eye on your systems and will take care during your holidays.

Contact us, we have tailor made solutions for your company.

Quality NOC – Network Operations Center
Federico Piergentili, Founder, Quality NOC S.L., which provides remote monitoring and management 24/7 Network Operations Center (NOC) that enables monitor, troubleshoot and maintain IT environments.

Flooded with support tickets?

We have a solution for you!

At Quality NOC we have a Service Desk product to follow up your tickets, escalate, contact your engineers (email, sms or Phone), solve incidents based on your custom procedure manual, close tickets or create new ones.

Ticket handling: We can adjust to your SLA agreements, for example:

React: immediately after receiving an SMS alarm, ticket or call.
The ticket will be handle within 30 min max.
First contact: email or call, within 1 hour.
Updates: Hourly, or as agreed between customer and Quality NOC.

Quality NOC shall specify the log time elapsed in a convenient format.

We have 2 Options:

  • 24/7: Running service from 00:00 to 23:59 everyday
  • Off-Business hours: Monday to Friday (08:00 to 16:00) and Saturday, Sunday and Holidays (24 hrs).

Both options can be delivered with a fixed monthly price.

Please contact us to find out more and we send you a quotation.

Quality NOC – Network Operations Center

Quality NOC S.L., provides remote monitoring and management 24/7 Network Operations Center (NOC) that enables monitor, troubleshoot and maintain IT environments.

Cloud servers status?

Do you know how is the status of your cloud servers? 

If you have your systems in the cloud, you should know the status of your servers, it is very important to monitor http traffic, check CPU load, Mem load, Disk usage, processes, etc.

Quality NOC can use different tools to monitor your servers, we have a price list based on number of hosts, so if you have to monitor just 1 or 2 we do the job for a very convenient price, starting from € 15 per month for 1 host with basic monitoring and email alerts.

Let us know about your needs, we are glad to send a quotation based on your hosts and services you need to monitor.

We keep your systems UP and your customers happy.

Federico Piergentili, Founder, Quality NOC S.L., which provides remote monitoring and management 24/7 Network Operations Center (NOC) that enables monitor, troubleshoot and maintain IT environments.

What is DOWN & what is UP?

Start monitoring your systems with Open Source Icinga2.

We help you doing the migration and monitoring of your hosts/systems from Nagios to Icinga2. If you dont have any monitoring tool, we recomend to use Icinga2.

Quality NOC provides outsourced network monitoring, server monitoring, application monitoring, website monitoring, switches, routers, SIP Trunk monitoring, etc.

Federico Piergentili, Founder, Quality NOC S.L., which provides remote monitoring and management 24/7 Network Operations Center (NOC) that enables monitor, troubleshoot and maintain IT environments.