IT administrators need to be sure everything from the servers to the applications are running smoothly and that users are employing their devices correctly to keep an enterprise data center running properly.
For example, if a user complains that his computer is slow, admins must be able to identify the source of the issue so they can fix the right problem. There can be many root causes that manifest themselves in the same symptoms: Maybe the user accidentally downloaded some malware, or he doesn't have any disk space left on his computer. But there could also be a bigger problem with the network connection, for example, and maybe other users experience the same slowness. With the right set of desktop monitoring tools, admins can find the answers to important questions associated with keeping desktops, applications and users running.
Dive into this comprehensive guide to learn more about desktop monitoring tools, including how they work, what Microsoft monitoring tools exist and where third-party monitoring tools come into play.
1Track desktop, app performance-
What desktop monitoring tools do and why they're important
Desktop monitoring tools are an important weapon in IT shops' battles to keep everything running smoothly, including desktops and apps. Admins can use desktop monitoring tools to identify the source of performance issues, keep track of inventory, deploy software, protect sensitive data and oversee apps. The key is finding the right product, and that task comes down to company size, what IT has to monitor and how they want to do it.
All the servers, networking and storage in the world are useless without functioning endpoints for employees to use. As a result, desktop management tools such as ManageEngine's Desktop Central and AppSense's DesktopNow Plus are critically important. Continue Reading
Desktop management tools cover five major areas: inventory, monitoring, software deployment, patching and security. It's important to find the tool that emphasizes your areas of need the most. Continue Reading
Small companies need desktop management tools that help with key processes such as monitoring and patching, but SMBs don't need enterprise scale. Tools such as Microsoft Intune and Desktop Central can fit the bill because they don't require physical hardware. Continue Reading
Web application monitoring tools can help admins manage Windows desktops from a cloud-based interface. Microsoft Intune is an obvious choice, but other utilities such as Mobile Device Manager from 2x may also be useful. Continue Reading
2Native tools and Sysinternals-
A look at desktop monitoring tools from Microsoft
Microsoft offers some native desktop monitoring tools such as Windows Performance Toolkit to help admins keep track of performance without having to look outside the Windows family. Windows Sysinternals utilities, including Process Monitor and Process Explorer can help admins examine Windows processes. Some of these tools come with the Windows OS and others are separate downloads.
The Windows Performance Toolkit introduces a host of features to make performance monitoring easier. For example, the Performance Recorder introduces a graphical user interface admins can use to point and click on the exact event they're interested in, rather than wrestling with the command line. Continue Reading
IT admins can use the Reliability and Performance Monitor tool built into Windows Vista to view change management and event log information in one place and determine if a workstation is stable. The tool tracks events such as installs and uninstalls, as well as hardware or software failures. Continue Reading
When users' computers start moving slowly and it's time for a cleaning, the tools Microsoft includes in Windows OS are often too basic for the task. Sysinternals' Process Monitor and Process Explorer are two free tools that pick up the slack by understanding exactly how Windows processes work. Continue Reading
3When native tools don't cut it-
Third-party monitoring tools
Although Microsoft offers a plethora of desktop monitoring tools, sometimes they just aren't enough for some organizations. That's where third-party monitoring tools such as WireShark, which allows admins to perform a network trace, and SolarWinds Patch Manager come in. These third-party tools are particularly helpful for organizations that need to meet more stringent compliance or security regulations.
Users are not forgiving when it comes to performance problems. With a network trace package such as WireShark, admins can watch what data is traveling between the network and the device to identify the source of any slowdowns and keep user complaints to a minimum. Continue Reading
Network analyzers are generally used to identify and fix application problems or analyze performance, but they can also keep tabs on user activity, including visits to nonwork or malware-infested websites. Continue Reading
In many cases the Active Directory audit tools in Windows Server 2008 and later cannot meet the regulatory compliance, security and monitoring needs of many organizations. As a result, many IT shops turn to third-party products such as Netwrix Auditor. Continue Reading
4Key desktop monitoring terms-
Take a look at some desktop monitoring tool terms you might not know.