HP Mercury SiteScope

SiteScope is a Java tool that runs as a background process on a computer with a connection to the central network. It monitors network and server activity, sending alerts and generating summary reports.

The object-oriented SiteScope components fall into six broad categories: WebPage, Scheduler, Monitor, Alert, Script Alert and Reports.

The WebPage feature displays the browser-based user interface. The Scheduler specifies when each monitor (such as each device or server status tracking process) runs. The Monitor gathers statistics for each monitored device or server. The Alert module sends e-mail, pager messages and SNMP alerts when SiteScope detects a problem.

The Script Alert program can run a script, restart a background service or run an external program when a problem occurs. The Reports code generates Web pages that contain network statistics in a graphical or tabular format.

HP Site Scope thumbnail: Click to enlarge

Using what was formerly known as the Topaz Watchdog, SiteScope's monitoring feature monitors even itself. Once every day, or if SiteScope crashes, a situation we didn't encounter, the watchdog restarts SiteScope.

SiteScope includes monitoring components -- called monitors -- for systems, applications, Web servers and network devices. The systems monitors collect basic server metrics. The applications monitors watch over specific software products. The Web server monitors keep an eye on Web servers, Web site links, e-business servers and Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP)-based Web service sites. The network-service monitors detect, for example, device and port availability via ping operations.

Its monitoring generally worked well in tracking the status of each of our servers, applications and devices, but we noted SiteScope's ping monitor sometimes missed detecting devices that were up and running. Although easy to get used to and navigate, SiteScope's user interface is somewhat sluggish. We also were put off by SiteScope's automatic daily restart -- a monitoring tool should be robust enough to run more than 24 hours without causing problems.

SiteScope used e-mail and pager messages to alert us, and its reports summarized overall network-activity levels and error events. SiteScope's clear and comprehensive online documentation is easy for even novices to follow. It installed in less than an hour.

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