Hi all. I've started a new job today, as VP Technologies for ObserveIT.
ObserveIT is an Israeli-based company founded in 2005 which has created a patented software that allows monitoring and auditing of human actions done on servers and workstations, either by logging to the console of the server, or on a TS/RDP session.
You see, recent studies show that human errors account for approximately 34% of total outages when counting the number of outages. After calculating the total effect of each incident (as measured by Mean Time to Repair and amount of lost data), as much as 56% of total server outage impact comes as a result of human error. This is a large number, and what amazed me was that prior to ObserveIT, no solution existed that addressed this issue. Sure, there are many system auditing and monitoring tools available that will scan your systems and perform an action if errors occur. However, no solution existed that could show you the human error factor.
Now you can.
The software allows the capturing of the human interaction with the server/workstation, and the most cool part of it is that it indexes all the screenshots and allows easy textual searches through the database. This way, if you suspect that one of your administrators made a change on one of the applications that are installed on one of your servers (virtually ANY application), you can easily perform a search of all the human interactions with that server during the previous X hours/days, and easily see what where the actions that were performed on the server. Clicking on the action will bring you to the exact point in time of the captured video, allowing you to see exactly what that user did, and what he did right before and after that point.
Even more so, you can easily search for all the similar actions that the user performed across your entire enterprise, because you may rightfully assume that if he did it once, he might have done it again elsewhere. This feature allows you to be sure he did not do it, and if he did, you can easily find out about it BEFORE your servers go down due to this misconfiguration.
The software also allows you to post a "sticky note" that will pop out and warn the user/admin BEFORE they click on that wrong checkbox. While it will not prevent them from actually doing it (you should use permissions to prevent users from messing with your systems), it will notify them before they press on that button or click on that checkbox, and thus help you prevent human errors.
The company focuses on the enterprise market, allowing an easy download and installation of the demo software, fully functional for 60 days. From what I've heard and seen, EVERY pilot of the program has ended with a successful purchase of a site license, because the capabilities of it are so formidable, that no enterprise-wide IT department fails to see its benefits!
So, if any of you guys are interested in learning more, or even of getting a demo set up for you wherever you guys work, contact me and I'll set you up. Trust me, once you see it work, you will want it!
So, wish me luck, I'm sure you'll hear more about us in the near future.
Last week Microsoft Israel held a major Windows Server 2008 launch event, with more than 350 attendees and many display booths. The event took place in Akko, and was sponsored by Mediatech-Hi-Tech. The main event was presented by myself. I spoke for over 4 hours about the exciting new features that are arriving with Windows Server 2008.
Some of the hot topics that I spoke about include:
New Management options and tools:
- Management Today
- Server Manager
- Roles and Features
- Event Viewer
- Performance and Reliability Monitoring
- Windows Backup
- WinRM and WinRS
- Remote Server Administration Tools
Active Directory improvements and features:
- Active Directory Roles
- DCPromo Improvements
- Read Only Domain Controllers
- Restartable Directory Services
- Directory Services Auditing
- Fine-Grained Password Settings
- Group Policy Enhancements
- Active Directory Snapshots
Terminal Server and Virtualization features:
- Terminal Server Enhancements
- Terminal Server Experience
- Terminal Server RemoteApp
- Terminal Services Web Access
- Terminal Services Gateway
- Hyper-V overview
And finally –
- Security improvements:
- Server Core Overview
- Server Core Supported Roles and Features
- Server Core Management Options
- Windows Firewall with Advanced Security
- Server and Domain Isolation
- Network Access Protection
- Group Policy Enhancements
You can download the PowerPoint decks for these presentations from the following link: