Lot's of companies offer Monitoring

Why should you choose us to do it?

Outsourced IT vs. "monitoring":  Good question!  Lot's of companies advertise computer monitoring services.  And a small handful of those companies offer the kinds of services that we do.  Most, though, are offering a very low cost, low end service that is certainly better than nothing but falls far short of the "outsourced IT" business that we are in.  Just like a junior Tech with a MCSE certification goes around calling himself a "Network Engineer", many companies that do some type of computer monitoring are calling themselves "MSP Providers". MSP is still a very new and not terribly well understood business model... even among professional IT Managers.  If you have ever run a NOC or have been a systems administrator, you may have some idea of what differentiates us from the other guys.   If not, it's mostly about knowing what kinds of questions to ask to find out what you are really getting.  7x24x365 monitoring is not the same thing as professionally staffed 7x24x365 monitoring!

What is a NOC?:  Typical Network Operations Centers come out of a business need to have enterprise services available 7x24x365.  Most companies have at least some computing equipment that absolutely must be up 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.  But very few companies have the financial resources to build a professionally staffed NOC.  You can conservatively spent $250,000 just for the hardware and software needed to do the monitoring.  And you need to figure on at least $300,000 in annual labor costs to keep it running.  This is certainly far out of reach for most Oregon companies and for most businesses in the USA.  

Low end monitoring:  Many companies that got into the "MSP business" did so by acquiring free or nearly free monitoring software and installing it on a windows or Linux server somewhere out on the Internet.  The monitoring service runs completely unattended, typically "pinging" devices to see if they are alive and sending out e-mail or pages if a failure is detected.  Some products are a grade above this, using SNMP or another protocol to do port or transaction testing, but the resulting product is the same.... no one (an intelligent human) is actually monitoring your equipment.  You don't need to be a customer for very long before you realize what a nuisance all of those false down pages you get are.  Your pager goes off in the middle of the night.  You dial in to your network and check the system that you were paged about.  Everything is fine, it turns out... just some spurious event that confused the monitoring software (again).  Where's the value in that?  This is not the business that Easyrider LAN Pro service availability monitoring is in.  Ping/port check monitoring is not the same thing as professionally staffed 7x24x365 monitoring!

High end monitoring:  There are a tiny handful of companies in the USA that do what I would call "high end" monitoring MSP.  These services use professional grade monitoring software like HP Openview or BMC Patrol or perhaps proprietary software that they have developed themselves.  They have a professionally staffed 7x24x365 NOC that looks at messages that your computers generate.  If the NOC sees anything suspicious, they probably investigate further and if the problem appears to be real, they call whoever you specify as a source of solution for that particular event.  The differentiator here is that high end monitoring utilizes expensive, fully featured monitoring software capabilities coupled with intelligent Technicians who evaluate the messages that come in and don't just send out pages when something looks suspicious.  This is a lot more like the MSP business that Easyrider LAN Pro is in.

Easyrider LAN Pro MSP Vigilance service availability monitoring:  We do offer the kind of "low end" service monitoring capabilities mentioned earlier, if that's what you want.  But that's not the core of our business.  We do high end monitoring using the same kinds of monitoring software that "the big guys" use to monitor their networks.  One of the competitive difference between us is that we have much lower overhead.  We pass on our lower costs to you as big savings on professional grade monitoring.  We invite you to price the other guys!  Our least expensive competitor charges more than twice as much as we do for the very same services.

Does the equipment have to be in Portland, Oregon for us to monitor it?:  Absolutely not.  All we need is a TCP/IP connection into your server(s) to perform our monitoring.  Generally this is done through the Internet but we can also arrange for a VPN, point to point or out of band connections to your equipment if need be.  Our only real geographic limitation is that we are only able to report problems to English speaking customers.  If your "local" MSP wants to charge you $15,000, $20,000 or more for the same service that we can provide for $5k, you'll find it well worth your while to give us a call.

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Last modified on March 8, 2003
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