Understanding ServiceNav concepts

Introduction

ServiceNav uses a number of solution-specific and industry standard concepts. We detail these concepts below to ensure that they are properly understood, as they occur repeatedly in various sections of the various user guides and software documentation.

Concepts

  • Host
  • Checkpoint
  • User Service
  • Status
  • Contact
  • Users and Roles

Host

The purpose of the monitoring solution is to return the state of a given IT component. Such components are referred to as a “host” within ServiceNav.

Host Categories

A host may belong to a number of categories:

  • Camera (an IP camera device)
  • Printer (a device such as a networked printer, networked scanner/copier)
  • UPS
  • Router
  • SAN/ NAS
  • Server (server hardware: HP UX, VMware, AIX, AS400, etc.)
  • Linux server (hosts that are exclusively Linux servers)
  • Windows server (hosts that are exclusively Microsoft Windows servers)
  • Windows Agent server (hosts that are Windows server devices, monitored in Agent mode only).
  • Switch
  • Telephone (IP telephone)
  • Other (a host with network connectivity but which does not fit into any of the preceding categories)

Host categories allow the system to filter host templates and show only those compatible with the type of host to be monitored.

Host Templates

A host template is a logical grouping of service templates (services) designed to meet a particular monitoring requirement for a given host category (e.g. Windows servers).

Example:

The “Windows Server” host template includes the following checkpoints:

  • checkpoint: CPU
  • checkpoint: C Drive
  • checkpoint: RAM
  • checkpoint: …

Service

A service monitors a specific component. For example, the CPU service check retrieves the percentage processor usage on the host to which it is applied.

Service Templates

Service templates are based on checks, which are then fine-tuned to match the component to be monitored. Service templates are pre-populated with default values to minimize the number of parameters that need to be configured.

 

Example: CPU service template

 

When applied to a host, the CPU service template allows the various arguments (alert threshold, critical threshold and SNMP community string) to inherit default values from the template, along with the sampling period and interval.

User Services

A user service is designed to represent an actual business service provided to users (messaging, printing, business function, etc.) by the IT department or an IT service partner. Such services may comprise, hosts, checkpoints and user services. Each of these components may have either an inhibiting (“blocking”) relationship or a degrading relationship with the user service. Depending on the statuses of the various components, the overall status of the user service will be: OK, Degraded or Down. The second purpose of the user service is to calculate the corresponding uptime in order to enable accurate monitoring of service level agreements between the provider and users.

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UK ServiceNav Product Development Manager; my priority is to be needful of the particular requirements of all ‘English-speaking’ markets where ServiceNav is sold. I have over 20 years experience of the IT monitoring field - covering a wide variety of products and technologies.