Frequently Asked Questions

Capabilities

Yes. In addition to our standard “monitoring, alerting, and reporting” services, iGLASS offers optional tier-1 remediation of IT infrastructure outages. We will work with you to develop a “runbook” to troubleshoot and fix common problems encountered in your network. Examples include opening tickets with carriers or vendors, killing/restarting applications, resetting interfaces, rebooting hosts, and executing remote scripts.

Yes. SNMP (v1-v3) is one of many protocols and methods used to monitor customer networks. iGLASS also employs ICMP Ping, TCP, HTTP/S, WMI, JSON, XML, CLI, LogMatch, and custom pollers amongst others.

With some major caveats, yes. Some customers have invested heavily in both manpower and budget to buy, build and deploy existing NMS platforms. What they lack are the 24×7 eyes and ears to act upon alerts after hours, weekends and holidays.

For these customers, iGLASS offers three options:

1) We can simply register and call out on the alert emails we receive.
2) We can register the alert, validate it on your NMS and then either call out or attempt runbook-based remediation to resolve the alert.
3) We can blend our full monitoring solution with one of the first two options.

A key consideration has to do with how many alerts your existing NMS  generates. For this service, we bill per incident, so an NMS generating numerous false-positive alerts can get very expensive, very quickly. If your NMS is finely tuned to generate just actionable alerts, this can be an excellent opportunity to gain 24×7 coverage without increasing your head count. For anyone else, it can be cost prohibitive.

iGLASS offers industry-leading capabilities as a fully-managed network monitoring platform and service, and utilizes multiple methods to filter out the noise and let you sleep at night. If a true outage condition occurs, we’ll either call you or take action to resolve the problem directly.

Absolutely, in fact it’s our specialty. It’s one thing to know a server is pinging or a web page loads up in a browser. It’s quite another to know your underlying critical applications are working and operating as expected. iGLASS uses a variety of methods to monitor applications, including synthetic transactions, multi-step scripts, SQL queries, log parsing, and good old-fashioned manual verification.

Deployment & Onboarding

Absolutely! For qualified prospects, we offer a 30-day evaluation of our services. To get started, we normally begin with a Web Demo to show you iGLASS in action at real customer sites. No smoke or mirrors here, just real live screens depicting the good, the bad, and the ugly (depending upon what’s going on when we show it to you). Following the Web Demo, we’re happy to offer you a 30-day onsite evaluation to experience the benefits iGLASS has to offer you in your own environment. Serious inquiries only please—thus far, close to 100% of the customers who try iGLASS, keep iGLASS! During evaluations, we do not offer tier-1 or tier-2 remediation, inbound call handling, or custom development. Short of that, you will enjoy the full feature set and power of our platform.

As part of our onboarding process, we’ll provide you with an installation checklist and sample device list. We’ll need a public and private IP address issued for our equipment, and a list of hosts with basic information like IP, hostname, SNMP community string, location and any metrics you desire to have monitored. We’ll assign one of our tier-2 NOC analysts to walk you through the entire onboarding process. If you opt for tier-1 remediation, we’ll also introduce you to one of our NOC managers to start scoping out an initial runbook (we have samples of those too).

Not long at all! Once we have agreements in place, most customers can expect deployment and onboarding to be completed in just two or three weeks.

Architecture

For most typical deployments, iGLASS utilizes a locally installed, security-hardened monitoring server and SonicWALL (VPN) firewall with each installation (both are included at no additional charge.) The server has multiple NICs and the SonicWALL establishes highly-encrypted IPsec tunnels back to our core facilities. This architecture provides us with a reliable link to your private IP network space, while also maintaining a high degree of security. In environments where a physical polling server isn’t possible (or desired), iGLASS may optionally deploy as a virtual server under VMware, Citrix, Azure, EC2, or similar virtual environments.

There aren’t any! iGLASS is offered as a fully managed Monitoring as a Service (“MaaS”) platform and so all hardware, maintenance and NOC services are included in our monthly service fees. For most installations, we deploy an onsite monitoring server (we call it a “probe”) custom-built to our specifications by Dell. We also provide a SonicWALL firewall to handle our highly encrypted VPN tunnels connecting our server to our core AWS-based data centers. We’ll need 2RU of rack space in your data center or headend and two 110 volt outlets, preferably on UPS. As an option, we may also deploy on a VM built to our specifications, or possibly even monitor your (publicly addressable) network across the Internet.

Absolutely not. Proprietary monitoring agents are typically more trouble than they’re worth, and if the device running them goes down, you may never know about it! iGLASS is agentless and offers an unparalleled degree of flexibility because we own our own source code.

iGLASS can monitor hosts running on most any operating system out there. We monitor hosts running Windows, Linux, UNIX, MAC and many others. We also monitor the applications running on those hosts.

No. Many of our competitors build their services around either open source or commercially available monitoring software. iGLASS is different. Since our earliest development efforts back in 1997, we decided to build iGLASS from the ground up. Other platforms tend to be too restrictive and limit you to what someone else thinks would be the best way to monitor your network. One of the greatest benefits we offer is our flexibility and adaptability to tackle the many different challenges our customers face. With iGLASS, you’re getting one of the most capable and customizable monitoring platforms on the market. And because we offer iGLASS as a fully managed service, you don’t even have to learn how to set it up or maintain it—we do that as part of the service.

No, you do not require a VPN connection to access our monitoring portal. iGLASS uses Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption on its Internet portal, eliminating the need for a VPN connection. SSL encryption is the most user-friendly and secure method to access a secure website and is widely supported by all modern browsers. If you have a browser and Internet connection, you can access the iGLASS monitoring portal.

In addition to monitoring your network, we also monitor our own network—which includes our monitoring infrastructure and on-site servers. If our connectivity is ever interrupted, we’ll know about it instantly and notify you or your data center provider. Our on-site server will continue monitoring your network performance, even when disconnected from the Internet, and will synchronize with our core systems once connectivity is re-established. Any queued alerts will then immediately go out, our NOC will follow up and historical data will be updated. In the event of a critical hardware failure or impairment, we’ll ship you one of our spare monitoring servers via FedEx priority overnight. If a high-availability (“HA”) solution is required, we offer inexpensive HA redundancy options as well.

Yes! Several of our customers have integrated their iGLASS alerts with their existing tools. Examples include IVR systems, web dashboards, and trouble-ticketing systems like Zendesk and Service Now. All iGLASS alerts are structured, allowing other platforms to easily parse them, and if your tools offer an API, we can look at implementing omni- or bi-directional integrations.

Have more questions about quality outsourced NOC services?

General & Pricing

iGLASS bills clients monthly based upon the total number of hosts (physical or virtual) and metrics monitored. A host is any machine, device, node, etc. with a unique IP address or fully qualified domain name you wish to have monitored. Metrics are things like CPU, memory, bandwidth, load, etc. Each host includes 20 metrics, which may be pooled for use on any other host. For our optional inbound call handling, tier-1 remediation and tier-2 support, we bill on a per incident, per hour or project basis.

Since iGLASS is offered under a “Monitoring as a Service” licensing model, all maintenance, updates, upgrades, new releases and 24×7 staffed NOC services are included at no additional charge. iGLASS provides a turn-key network monitoring solution. You pay one low fee per month for just those network devices and metrics you wish to have monitored.

No, iGLASS is offered strictly under a MaaS licensing model. iGLASS has made a multi-million dollar investment in our primary and failover core network facilities, hardware, software, and 24×7 staff. Aside from our locally-installed monitoring servers, there really isn’t a standalone component to our platform—without the core, nothing would function. We’ve also found that stand-alone monitoring platforms often become outdated and quickly lose value unless there is a dedicated team of analysts, programmers, and NOC engineers who are fully trained to operate and maintain that monitoring platform. iGLASS is more than just software—it’s a fully-managed NOC services platform. Our expert staff operate, monitor, and maintain the platform, freeing you to focus on running your business. There is no cost-effective method for us to provide the iGLASS platform as a stand-alone product.

iGLASS specializes in the midsize to enterprise markets. Our average customer has between 100 and 1,000 hosts. There are, of course, exceptions. Our smallest customer has fewer than 10 hosts and our largest in excess of 10,000. iGLASS is scalable to meet the needs of customers both large and small. It isn’t so much the quantity but rather the critical nature of the infrastructure monitored. If it’s important to your business, it’s important to iGLASS.

In a word, ownership. Our services are different because we own them. We own our company, we own the technology, and we own up to any mistakes we make and take responsibility. We believe in old-fashioned values like integrity and honesty. We don’t play politics or point fingers. This shines through in every facet of our business.

The “i” in iGLASS refers to information, which is one half of the “information technology” that is your network. The “GLASS” is representative of a magnifying glass. The general idea is we place the health and operation of your (information) technology network under the close scrutiny of a virtual, 24×7 magnifying glass—iGLASS.

Our logo also represents that vision. The top and bottom “swooshes” are representative of an IT network, while the V and dot represent an expert technician (or sentry/guardian) with outstretched arms, watching over that network (and the swooshes + dot look like a watchful eye, too).

Ready to see how our NOC services can improve your network operations?