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I work for an IT consulting company, and we use WhatsUp Gold to monitor our and our clients' servers. WUG works, and provides all the data we need in a reasonably useful format. However, management wants to use it as a sales tool. They want more attractive reports that they can hand off to clients and prospective clients to show off how slick our monitoring software is.

Is there a third-party solution that will generate more attractive reports based on data in the WUG database? I have already suggested using reporting services to build our own reports, but that idea was rejected.

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1 Answer 1

This is somewhat of a meta-answer based on similar things at my own employer.

Be very careful here, providing any reports directly out of software can cause issues if that software needs to be replaced and the replacement doesn't have an exact matching report, this is worse if the reports have somehow entered the customers contract (this often happens when contracts are renewed and all services added since the last contract get locked in).

I would suggest some form of script that could generate the information as HMTL with images that could then be provided directly, or encoded as a PDF. Also remember to filter your reports, it's highly likely you're monitoring things that the client's won't understand or are company internal.

If your management aren't willing to spend the dev work now to prevent grunt work every month (or whatever interval) then it's unlikely the reports will be reliable and profitable for the company to offer.

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Also be careful of automated reporting to clients of service availability. I've seen a checking service incorrectly state that some facilities were down and it took quite some effort to assure people that the monitoring service had a problem that day not the service it was monitoring. (I assume rotard finds the monitoring service reliable, but care needs to be taken just in case) –  David Spillett Apr 7 '10 at 13:43
@David: We have found WUG to be quite reliable, with the caveat that one of our customers has many small locations with unreliable Internet connections. When the connection drops, the location is reported as down, even though the hardware we are monitoring is fine. That's not an issue as the real-time monitoring is entirely internal. @LapTop: I don't know the extent of the plan, but I suspect the reports are primarily for marketing, and anything that is handed off to a client would definitely be reviewed internally first. But it sounds like the only solution is to build our own reports? –  rotard Apr 7 '10 at 16:28

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