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Costa Mesa, CA - Big Brother Monitoring Consultants

Fintech Communications' professional IT consultants take care of your Big Brother Monitoring needs. We provide complete solutions to keep your small business running smoothly.

Big Brother Professional Edition

Big Brother is a framework for low-cost system and network availability monitoring. It is built for system administrators tasked with managing availability and performance of hundreds of servers-- without a budget to match.

Unlike monitoring solutions that are expensive to purchase and maintain, difficult to deploy and tax your systems with high overhead, Big Brother delivers an attractive alternative. Big Brother is inexpensive, simple to use and manage, and lightweight.

Guiding Principles:

Big Brother Professional Edition was designed by system administrators for system administrators. The guiding principles that were behind the creation of the software remain in place today.

They are:
  • Make it work, make it right, make it fast, make it simple
  • Make it understandable, make it extensible, and make it portable

These principles are evident today in the look, feel and function of the product. An experienced system administrator can install the core of Big Brother in about one hour. A simple green is good, red is bad paradigm makes the information understandable, even to non-technical staff. Big Brother is so popular and easy to extend, that the user community has developed over 700 scripts that do everything from adding client support (AS/400, OS 390, OpenVMS), to monitoring printer queues and tracking CPU temperatures.

Monitor any server, any device, on any network within minutes

  • Open and extensible. A community generated repository of more than 900 custom extensions in 40+ categories
  • Easy to understand color-coded format . Web-based graphical interface displays information in real time for quick problem detection
  • Provides an ideal solution for monitoring general availability and performance for hundreds of servers
  • Framework for systems and availability monitoring
  • Architecture makes it easy to deploy, maintain and customize and supports redundancy to ensure that a single point of failure does not cripple monitoring infrastructure
  • Integrates with Foglight for complete application-centric monitoring and Spotlight for real-time diagnostics

IT Challenges

Big Brother Helps To:

  • Improve/increase staff efficiency/productivity
  • Reduce risk of system and network failures
  • Reduce cost by leveraging current investments
  • Manage growth & complexity of IT infrastructure

Big Brother Community

Since its inception in 1996, Big Brother has become enormously popular. There have been millions of downloads which equates to an estimated 100,000 users worldwide. The availability of a non-commercial version has lead to the generation of a grass roots community with members who actively support one another and extend the functionality of the tool.

Low-impact, Redundant Monitoring

Big Brother is based on client-server technology and is composed of four parts:

  • Server processes to receive incoming messages and provide a Web display
  • Server processes to process all paging requests
  • Server processes to test network services
  • Client processes to send local information (CPU, memory, etc.)

The architecture of Big Brother allows for agent-less network and availability monitoring, with an option to install a client to deliver additional information about systems resources utilization. Big Brother also supports running multiple servers to build redundancy into your monitoring solution. This ensures that a single point of failure does not disrupt your monitoring initiatives.

Agent-less network tests include ftp, http, smtp, pop3, dns, telnet, imap, nntp and ssh. Big Brother clients capture data and forward it back to a central server to reduce the monitoring footprint. Clients are equipped to monitor disk space, CPU usage, message, and memory, as well as ensure that the processes you identify are running.

Notifications and Visibility into System Availability

The first concern of a system administrator is whether any component on their system is unavailable.
Immediate notification of such an occurrence is vital. Big Brother has a sophisticated rules engine that supports notifications based on time of day, machine or test that has failed. It also supports advanced features such as paging groups, acknowledgements, escalations, page-only-every defined amount of time and initial delay before paging (to eliminate erroneous notifications of self-resolved problems). When an alert occurs, Big Brother can notify you via email, or alphanumeric, numeric or SMS paging. To facilitate response tracking and problem resolution, Big Brother allows administrators to acknowledge alerts, which, in turn, delays additional alerts and lets other administrators know who is working on the problem.

To visualize your environment, Big Brother offers a graphical interface that displays, in near real-time, system status information on Web pages or in WML-based format for WAP-enabled devices (Unix/Linux versions only). The color-coded representation of which servers and tests are experiencing availability issues or performance degradation allows even the most non-technical users to identify systems in need of attention. A green light in the program's browser-based display indicates servers are operating flawlessly; yellow means something requires attention; and red denotes a serious condition that requires immediate attention. In addition, the background of the status page reflects the color of the most serious condition. Problems not directly visible on the screen are quickly brought to the attention of an administrator for quick
and proactive problem resolution.

Big Brother not only notifies you about system availability, but also tracks state changes over time. This information is used to quickly generate availability and service level agreement (SLA) reports.

Extensible and Open

One of the guiding principles for Big Brother is to be extensible and easily customized to suit your needs. Big Brother allows administrators to easily define alerts to meet specific monitoring parameters. Notifications can be configured to send SMS messages, email or pages based upon event criteria so that the proper personnel, at any level, are proactively alerted and able to quickly react to potential problems.
Big Brother's Web-based display is customizable to provide status reports on specific servers and processes that the user is monitoring, providing a custom view to suit departmental needs. Servers can be grouped by any criteria you define.
Most importantly, Big Brother offers support for user-written scripts and other products to further extend the breadth of monitoring an administrator may need to successfully manage a specified group of servers and processes. User-defined tests are easy to create, which means that Big Brother is able to monitor the availability of nearly every aspect of your extended computer network, with results sent to the centralized server for display and notifications.

Integration with Quest's Application Performance Management Solution

Big Brother integrates with Foglight(TM) and Spotlight(TM) to deliver a complete application performance management solution. Big Brother serves as a framework, and is able to provide a layer of broad systems availability monitoring to help system administrators manage large numbers of servers.

Foglight is designed to help businesses focus very specifically on mission-critical applications. With Foglight, application and IT managers can understand end-user service levels for critical business applications, notify stakeholders when those service levels are violated, and assign problem resolution tasks to the appropriate domain expert. Unlike traditional monitoring tools, Foglight maps business objectives to both system and application-specific performance information across every tier of the application stack to measure and improve the performance of packaged and custom applications. Big Brother integrates with Foglight by
allowing its alerts to display in the same environment as Foglight and gives a holistic view to the entire system infrastructure.

Spotlight is a revolutionary performance diagnostic and resolution tool that helps administrators rapidly pinpoint the specific cause of performance problems. When Big Brother alerts you to a system availability problem, you can launch the appropriate Spotlight (Spotlight on Unix/Linux, Spotlight on Windows, Spotlight on Web Servers, etc.) to drill down into the problem area and graphically identify the performance bottleneck. This helps speed the time to resolution when performance problems occur.

System Requirements
Supported Platforms:

  • Red Hat Linux 7.x
  • Red Hat Enterprise Server 3.0
  • SUSE Linux 8
  • Sun Solaris 6 or greater
  • HP-UX 11.0 or 11i
  • IBM AIX 4.33,5.1 or 5.2
  • Windows NT 4 Server
  • Windows 2000 Server or Professional
  • Windows 2003 Server

The Technology Support Solution Your Business Needs

vans Fintech Communications is a professional services firm that puts networks of all shapes and sizes to work for our clients. Our goal is to increase your bottom line and open up new avenues of profitability and competitiveness.

Our services are designed to cut costs and improve efficiency. This set of services encompass everything from PC Troubleshooting to Data Centers. Our objective is to provide end-to-end solutions allowing companies to focus on what they do best, their business.

Fintech Communications understands that it is important to integrate new products efficiently and effectively. We develop solutions for your business, and can:

  • Build it from the ground up
  • Add to your existing network
  • Upgrade / replace outdated equipment

Why Fintech Communications?

We have the experience and technical expertise to help you achieve and sustain operational excellence. Our suite of services bridges the gap between what executives, managers and staff have and what they need.

Contact us today and we can answer your questions about remote monitoring. We also buy and sell used cisco equipment in Costa Mesa, CA.


My network consultant was always friendly and helpful, I would like to thank you for making the whole process so trouble free and rushing the delivery of the network upgrades.

Tony Salamanca
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