By Matt Cline, Senior Systems Administrator at Optim Healthcare, a network of hospitals and orthopedic medical practices based in Savannah, Georgia.

Stethoscope on a Computer Keyboard

The ultimate goal for our business – IT included – is to deliver the best care and experience for every patient and community we serve.  And this all depends on two key IT resources:

  1. The electronic health record (EHR) system that our 1,400 internal users access to track and update patient records. When this system is unavailable, the staff must revert back to paper records and update the EHR system later. If that happens, patient information could get lost in transition.
  2. Our website and patient portals are also a critical component of our success – much like any company’s websites. Current and prospective patients expect 24/7 access to our portals, whether they want to pay a bill or research our services, and it’s our job to ensure that need is met.

The quicker we can diagnose an application performance monitoring problem – before it impacts our staff or patients – the better.

I use WhatsUp Gold Application Performance Monitor from Ipswitch. In this post I will cover some highlights from the first phase of its implementation. At that time I created and then began using profiles for:

We first tested the Ipswitch IIS profile on a production server and immediately discovered the unknown: 3-4 major deficiencies were the root causes of slowdowns in our database. We found a similar problem in our Microsoft SQL server.  If we hadn’t run the test, we wouldn’t have found these deficiencies issues until a significant slowdown or, even worse, downtime.

The unified dashboard is the best interface I’ve used for these types of tasks. I get a single view at a highly granular level and am getting the data I need to proactively fix problems and eliminate downtime.

I’d be glad to hear about your experiences managing application performance. Feel free to post a comment.

Several months ago, Ipswitch engaged Enterprise Management Associates (EMA) to research and EMA White Paper Coverprovide an independent opinion on network management software licensing options, which base price on either devices or active elements being monitored. One outcome of this research is a white paper EMA authored, “What You Should Know about Licensing for Network Monitoring Solutions.”

I recently met with Daniel Okine, Senior Technical Product Manager here at Ipswitch and our resident guru on pricing strategies to ask him why we engaged EMA to research this subject. “IT professionals know that licensing options can be confusing and that clear information on the true costs of ownership is valuable,” commented Daniel. “We also wanted an independent point of view to challenge our pricing approach and be sure it is the best option for our customers.”

The EMA research paper explains the three most popular pricing strategies for network management systems, each of which is based on the number of:

(1)    Devices or

(2)    Active interfaces/ports or

(3)    Active measurements/test.

EMA discusses the pros and cons of each approach, and the reader can complete a questionnaire to help him/her determine the best pricing strategy based on their organization’s requirements.

“Ipswitch follows the device-based licensing approach,” Daniel explained. “With device-based licensing, IT can more easily calculate the total cost of ownership (TCO). We have learned that this type of licensing also delivers the best TCO.” EMA agrees that device-based licensing is the best alternative if your network changes frequently or if you are uncertain how many interfaces or ports you will need to monitor on-going.

One of the biggest problems with element-based pricing is that it’s hard to calculate accurate license count requirements. Some vendors, for example, will undersell the license count and then exercise their audit rights at the end of the year. If they find that the customer is using more licenses than what they paid for – which often happens – they will charge the customer with “True up” costs. Nothing disturbs the CFO more than True up costs.

The white paper is a quick read, and for those of you have yet to buy network monitoring software or are reviewing your current costs, you may want to keep this research and the short questionnaire handy.

For those of you who have purchased a system, please share your experience on what pricing strategy works best for you and why.

Ipswitch Network Management Division is proud to announce that our award winning IT management solution WhatsUp Gold v16 is now offering its web interface in German, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Japanese, Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese, at no additional cost. Instructions to help you transition WhatsUp Gold from English to the language of your choice is available in Japanese, Chinese and Russian.

For more information and to download WhatsUp Gold v16 in your preferred language click here!

Five years ago today the United States and Canada began Data Privacy Day as an extension of Europe’s Data Protection Day.  The goal of this day is to educate and empower people to protect their privacy and control their digital footprint.

This effort is run by the National Cyber Security Alliance, a non-profit, public private partnership focused on cyber security education for all online citizens.  To learn more about Data Privacy Day and how you can stay protected or get involved, visit

Ipswitch offers many products, resources, and tools to help protect your infrastructure against security threats and loss of key information. Learn more about solutions available and get a free 30-day trial of the WhatsUp Gold Suite.

We are honored to be nominated as a finalist in four categories for the 2013 Network Computing Awards!

According to the Network Computing site, “The Network Computing Awards were set up to recognize the solutions and the companies that have been most impressive in helping organizations function better through getting the most out of their networks.”

Ipswitch has been considered for four categories this year:

– Network Management Product of the Year
– Software Product of the Year
– Product of the Year
– Contribution to IT 

We need your help and your vote to win!

Vote Today!

Amazon and Google were in the headlines in 2012 for their highly visible outages, proving just how susceptible companies are to IT disruptions, and the negative impact on sales and productivity they can have.

Before jumping into your 2013 projects, IT Managers must establish baselines to understand exactly where they stand.

As networks become more complex (virtual vs. physical, wired vs. wireless, etc.), the pressure is on to improve performance and availability of business-critical and customer-facing applications.

To get better control of your network, here are four important baselines to create:

  • Inventory baseline: You can’t control what you don’t know exists.
  • Performance baseline: Start with the ‘big five’ – CPU, memory, disk and interface utilization, as well as ping latency – gauge key application consumption and optimal thresholds.
  • Configuration baseline: Understand how current configurations impact security, compliance and overall control of the network.
  • Bandwidth and data flow baseline: Measure what’s happening on the network, when and how much bandwidth is consumed.

Are you interested in learning more? Download our complete how-to guide on establishing effective IT baselines.

Looking back on 2012, it has been a great year for WhatsUp Gold.  The Network Management Division has won countless awards and recognitions from prestigious IT publications and associations.  Some of the highlights of this past year include WhatsUp Gold being named network management product of the year by Network Computing and receiving the Editor’s Gold Award from Windows IT Pro for best systems monitoring product. Congrats to all who helped us achieve such great recognition as we continue to make IT management simple in 2013.  Feel free to check out the rest of our spotlight moments from the past year!

The WhatsUp Gold team is thrilled to announce the addition of the first UK WhatsUp Gold Authorized Training Centre (ATC), designed to help UK customers leverage the full power and functionality of their Ipswitch network management solution. The ATC is run by Ipswitch Network Management Division Gold partner Level 8 Solutions and is the only currently authorized provider of WhatsUp Gold training in the UK.

To become an ATC, Level 8 Solutions had to undertake extensive training over several weeks and pass a final certification exam from Ipswitch. It can now offer courses to any UK WhatsUp Gold end user that wishes to get the most out of their WhatsUp Gold installation, whether it be creating a custom home dashboard, creating and applying an action policy, or any of the other 30 tips and tricks covered during the sessions.

“We are pleased to be the first accredited training partner in the UK for Ipswitch WhatsUp Gold products,” says Dave Thornton, director, at Level 8 Solutions. “We provide a flexible approach to learning, where customers can opt for either a live webcast or onsite training for the entire WhatsUp Gold suite of products.”

Level 8 Solutions will offer two courses, designed by network engineers for network engineers. They give participants an overview of WhatsUp Gold features and functionality, and develop configuration and management skills. The two-day and three-day courses cover building optimized configurations and creating effective monitoring, management and alerting strategies. The three-day course also utilizes a practical, hands-on element to develop best practices. The courses can be delivered in an open classroom, at a customer’s facility, or online, depending on requirements and time schedules.

“While it is something we take pride in, the simplicity of setting up and configuring WhatsUp Gold can also mean that users are not aware of its full functionality,” stated Ennio Carboni, president of Ipswitch Network Management Division. “We have worked with our partners to design the new training programs to help our customers maximize their investment and harness the power of WhatsUp Gold to develop management systems that will improve the configuration and management of their network, and enhance the visibility and knowledge of their environment. As a result, network administrators will be able to identify and solve problems more quickly; improving the service they offer to their organizations.”

The WhatsUp Gold team is thrilled to announce that we have signed our 100th reseller in the UK – Edinburgh-based Grant McGregor, provider of corporate-quality IT expertise and network computer support services!

Grant McGregor joins the Ipswitch Network Management channel programme as a silver partner and will bolster the line up of seven Gold, 15 Silver and 78 Authorised partners. Grant McGregor is capable of serving as its client’s entire IT department with support, project and IT consultancy services. The addition of WhatsUp Gold to its range of products enables Grant McGregor to provide technical prowess in delivering enterprise level service, regardless of the organisation size.

“Ipswitch Network Management Division’s suite of solutions was something that we felt would perfectly complement our existing portfolio of products. This accompanied by the comprehensive and mature approach of the programme made it really attractive to us,” says Grant McGregor director Jon Towers. “WhatsUp Gold delivers real, tangible benefits to the end user and is capable of monitoring the physical network as well as the virtualised environment through the various plug-ins. We are delighted to be working with Ipswitch Network Management Division and will look to introduce WhatsUp Gold to our ever expanding customer base.”

To read the full press release about this exciting announcement, click here.

Want to prove you have what it takes to get the job done? Ready to become a WhatsUp Gold Certified Professional and take your career to the next level?

Join the ranks of WhatsUp Gold Certified Professionals and show certified proof on your business card, on your office wall, in your email signature, in your online profile, and on your resume. Purchase any WhatsUp Gold Training and receive a WhatsUp Gold Certified Professional Exam, a $99 value, FREE.

Ipswitch’s WhatsUp Gold Training provides 33 practical, hands-on lab exercises in a cloud-hosted network environment. Delivered live by the same experts that created WhatsUp Gold, instructors are ready to answer your questions and respond to your requests in a personal and interactive setting.

To register for classes or get more information, simply:

Sign up for hands-on training today. Seating is limited. You must purchase by June 30th to take advantage of the free WhatsUp Gold Certified Professional Exam (a $99 value)! (You must purchase training before June 30 to take advantage of promotion, but may take training later.)

The WhatsUp Gold team is thrilled to announced that WhatsUp Gold Product Family has been awarded the “Best IT Product for Manufacturing” by the Network Products Guide!

The 7th annual achievements and recognition awards program with active participation from a broad spectrum of industry voices, the coveted annual Hot Companies and Best Products recognition program encompasses the world’s best in organizational performance, products and services, hot technologies, executives and management teams, successful deployments, product management and engineering, customer satisfaction, and public relations in every area of information technology.

Why did the WhatsUp Gold Product Family win this coveted award?

Manufacturing firms today seek to improve operational efficiency and consolidate IT resources whenever possible, to deliver the most cost-effective infrastructure possible.  Networks are living entities and planned and unplanned changes happen all the time.  It’s important to really understand your network – what you have and how everything is connected, so you can monitor and protect it.  WhatsUp Gold and WhatsUp Log Management monitor the health, availability and performance across all your infrastructure components, including network devices, servers, applications and virtual resources.  These powerful IT management solutions even provide an integrated view of layer 2 topology maps, performance and event logs auditing information, from a single interface.    

 Being a network engineer for a manufacturing firm of any size isn’t easy – especially when your network serves hundreds, or even thousands of people, who depend on seamless integration between your business and theirs.  Now more than ever, manufacturing firms must establish a secure, efficient and regulatory-compliant IT infrastructure.  Operational efficiency and cost efficiency rule – and its mandatory to consolidate and leverage every possible IT resource – including your staff.  

WhatsUp Gold offers all the capabilities you need to better balance your professional and personal life with the ability to react to events immediately.  And, WhatsUp Gold is cost effective from the beginning while scaling to handle growth.