ITRS Geneos Review
It's easy to extend and to incorporate existing monitoring scripts/programs, steep learning curve but very powerful and scalable solution


Valuable Features

  • Excellent set of plug-ins for the financial industry.
  • Easy to extend and to incorporate existing monitoring scripts/programs.
  • Publishing monitoring data to many users is simple due to webservers included in Geneos.
  • Attribute-based viewing tree allows different views of your data for different purposes/users.
  • Very good maintainability due to groups/types: very effective build and change of configuration.

Improvements to My Organization

  • Trading desk has continuously updated view of full quotation process. Issues are displayed and alarmed about in near real-time instead of going unnoticed for longer periods of time.
  • Depending on the issue, the relevant group of people is informed in case of a problem and has already a head-start due to the specific information sent by the monitoring system.
  • All teams (operations/IT management group/users) have a common information base consisting of the generated dashboards and drill-down web pages leading to each running sampler. This immensely improved communication in case of production problems.

Use of Solution

5 years

Deployment Issues

No issues. Deployment is very easy also for large number of hosts due the feature of "self-announcing netprobes". This makes it possible to deploy to hundreds or even thousands of servers without manually configuring the connection between monitored server and Geneos gateway (where all data is sent to for evaluation).

Stability Issues

No issues.

Scalability Issues

No issues. If a gateway has a high load it easy to set up additional gateways to get headroom on each gateway again. If a netprobe has too many servers one can parallelize by running several netprobes per monitored server. Resource footprint of Geneos is generally very small.

Customer Service and Technical Support

Customer Service:

Excellent. If you address to the help desk you are immediately in contact with very knowledgeable personnel. There is no "first-level" support which can only handle easy problems. You can get right down to the issue at hand without being transferred (see tech support).

Technical Support:

10 out of 10. Service requests are usually acknowledged (by humans, not mail robots) within minutes and answered depending on the difficulty of the question but mostly within 20 minutes, often faster. The quality of the service is very high. You get code examples or links to the relevant sections of the large body of online documentation (videos, manual etc.). If needed your configuration files are proof-read and possibly corrected.

Previous Solutions

We used Icinga (a Nagios-Clone) before and currently still do in various areas. Geneos has been introduced due to the need for real-time monitoring and notification and for the excellent possibilities to publish monitoring results via web servers.

Initial Setup

Initial installation was relatively easy even though - due to the nature of the task - numerous components had to be installed: netprobes on every monitored server, gateway servers, dashboard webserver, webmontage webserver. Directly after installation, however, basic real-time infrastructure monitoring worked out of the box, more advanced monitoring after appropriate configuration.

Implementation Team

We had partial support for specific monitoring requirements by ITRS professional services staff on-site. They all were very knowlegedable and customer-oriented. It was obvious that in addition to solving the task given to them they really tried to transfer their knowledge to our staff.

ROI

Difficult to quantify. We have reduced stress level of all involved personnel and increased user satisfaction due to the real-time dashboards we gave them. Targeted notifications reduce effort due to false or misdirected alarms. Processes have been improved due to the insights gained by the Geneos monitoring.

Pricing, Setup Cost and Licensing

ITRS is quite flexible depending on the size and requirements of the customer. Given the benefits we have from Geneos and also compared to pricing of other solutions (e.g. job scheduling) costs have not been an issue so far.

Other Solutions Considered

Icinga (Nagios-Clone), AppDynamics, BlueStripe, Leutek. Icinga was too slow for our requirements and would have required - according to the company mainly supporting this open-source solution - major development efforts to accelerate it enough. The other solutions did definitely make a good impression but we went finally for Geneos due to its specific focus on the financial area (we are a bank) and also due to positive experiences with Geneos we had in the past in another time-critical business area (ETF Market making).

Other Advice

For the beginner there is a steep learning curve. To master the Geneos technology reasonably well, four to six months are realistically needed (within those you can already build up an initial monitoring though). For larger organizations it may make sense to centralize this know-how and re-use it for different monitored applications or processes instead of having many individuals learn about Geneos just to realize one specific monitoring each. Once set-up, Geneos proved to be a very powerful and versatile tool to real-time monitor our IT infrastructure and - most important for us - our critical applications and business processes.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.

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