What are IT Managed Services?

The proactive monitoring and maintaining of computers, networks, and software by either an internal or external party to make sure the technical infrastructure is operational.

Managed services, by any other name, off-load the responsibility of “up-time” to another party. For example, the Power Utilities, by strict definition are “managed services.” If there are problems with the electrical grid or an actual power outage, the Power Company is monitoring, aware, and automatically takes corrective action without end user (consumer) involvement.

Unfortunately, most IT is “Reactive”, only attending to a problem once it has reached a critical stage, impacts business productivity, or in extreme cases, a work stoppage level.

What if your computer told you its’ hard drive was about to fail? S.M.A.R.T. stands for Self-Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology. It was developed by a group of the major hard disk drive manufacturers years ago to predict the future failure of a hard disk drive. Almost every current generation computer has a S.M.A.R.T. enabled hard drive – but is anyone listening?

Managed Services are a set of monitoring and management tools that allow you to listen to what the equipment is telling you.

The examples below are all Managed Services even though they are all usually referred to by their individual function.  Normally, only IT Professionals and people who manage Technology refer to this group of individual processes as “Managed Services.”  For the rest of us, we refer to their common functional names such as:  Software Updates and Pop-Up Alerts.

Managed Services Examples – Consumer
-Windows/Mac Operating System Software Automatic Updates
-Anti-Virus/Anti-Spam Definition Updates & Alerts
-Printer “Toner/Ink Low” Alerts
-Any Software Application Automatic Update
-Any Software Update Subscription Based Service
-HP Firmware/Software Drive Alert Update Service

Managed Service Examples – Business / Enterprise
-Web Site Visible / Responding to Requests
-File Server Hardware Monitoring
(Power, Fans, Drives, Memory, Utilization)
-Application Server Monitoring – Are Services “up?”
(SQL, Exchange, Sharepoint)
-Internet Connectivity
(Web Browsing, Office to Office Connections}
-Power Monitoring for Line Quality
(Voltage Spikes/Brown-outs/Outages)
-Network Utilization
(Packet Loss – Server/Workstation Connectivity.)

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