MONITORING SOLUTIONS

Managed Systems Monitoring

Photon managed
systems monitoring

An expert monitoring service, deployed and delivered by monitoring experts.

Photon is a subscription service for engineering led, business aware and actionable monitoring of the full stack of critical systems and applications. It is provided on premise, in the cloud, or a hybrid of both. Photon is built on a common technology core that underpins Breakpoint’s expert monitoring solutions.

Photon’s benefits

Photon is an expert monitoring service, deployed and delivered by monitoring experts. It is fundamentally geared to address the reason why most monitoring investments fail to deliver returns. Photon relieves the operations (or worse, development) teams in an organisation from the responsibility of deploying and maintaining monitoring services to the organisation.

FOR operations teams

Faster deployment and time to insight

Better visibility and dashboards

More accurate thresholds

More reliable alerting

Minimal effort for maximum gain

FOR business

More reliable service because of improved capacity forecasting

More reliable service because of faster root cause analysis

Better utilisation of computing assets

ESSENTIAL FEATURES

Photon is a best-of-breed systems monitoring platform, with functionality that extends into the Application Performance Management (APM) space. As such, it offers all the elements you would expect from a monitoring system, but delivered in a way that lets you fully realise the benefits of monitoring. 

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Agent or SNMP based monitoring of nodes

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13 months of data retention included as standard

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Alerting

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Log Event Tracking

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Managed Monthly Reports *

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Incident Reports *

* Extra cost add-ons to the standard service offering

UNIQUE FEATURES

More often than not, the quality of any monitoring implementation gradually declines – and eventually fails completely – due to the general neglect of the critically important administrative tasks that are not being performed on a continuous basis. This occurs primarily due to a lack of skill and a lack of dedicated attention by monitoring experts. 

Photon was conceived by Breakpoint engineers out of long term, first hand and deep experience with customers who have experienced these failures. It is geared to address this deficiency at a fundamental level, and therefore the Photon subscription also includes the following key elements:  

Correlation and Integration with Analytics and Digital Experience Monitoring

Because Photon and the other services in Breakpoint’s Vantage suite share a common technology core for end-to-end service monitoring, it offers a single pane of glass view of your service landscape with monitoring using synthetics, analytics, real user monitoring and systems monitoring in an integrated manner. It is easy to create a dashboard that correlates the user experience with any available systems metric or complex business analytics.

Reliable Metric Collection and Ingestion

Photon is designed and built with robust mechanisms to deal with network interruptions or service disruptions, so that you don’t lose metrics. When the agent is not able to hand off metrics to the data store, it will buffer the metrics up to a configurable limit. An additional caching mechanism on the VantageD collector, which is deployed in close proximity to the monitored nodes, ensures highly reliable metric delivery for your critical or time sensitive applications.

High Resolution Metrics

Most of the leading monitoring solutions provide at best one minute resolution, which is insufficient resolution for troubleshooting highly volatile or transient application or infrastructure issues. Photon is able to provide up to 10 second resolution for nearly all available metrics, along with reliable ingestion and visualisation of high velocity monitoring data.

Managed Operational Dashboards

Collecting and storing metrics are only half of the solution. One has to present these metrics in a meaningful and easy to interpret manner in order to make the data useful. Part of our service is for our experts to build out the real-time dashboards required to visualise monitoring data for various stakeholders according to their needs, and to maintain these dashboards on an ongoing basis with new or changing requirements.

Managed Reporting Dashboards

Real time, operational needs are different from reporting needs, which focus more on long term trends, forecasts and capacity planning elements. Our systems expertise, combined with data analysis and visualisation skills, means we know what data to look at in order to inform capacity planning and forecasting needs.

Managed Monitoring Environment

Monitoring environments are complex and data rich, and as such they require careful management and maintenance in order to perform reliably and optimally. Moreover, monitored environments are almost never static. This part of our service ensures that the databases, software stacks, systems and agents are optimally configured, maintained and updated. We also add and remove nodes that are introduced or decommissioned. This good hygiene and housekeeping ensures continued optimal output from your monitoring investment.

Managed Custom Integrations

Standard, out of the box monitoring is almost never sufficient when it comes to optimising application performance, or troubleshooting performance or reliability issues. However, building out visibility and insights into the more esoteric aspects of app or infrastructure issues can be incredibly difficult. Our experienced team is able to work with our customers and their application vendors to provide instrumentation and hooks into applications, or read from any exposed interface or log file, in order to extract and visualise the necessary data for monitoring purposes.

Managed Thresholds

A common failure of monitoring deployments relate to improper implementation of alert thresholds – not getting alerts for critical conditions means that impactful conditions get overlooked. Even worse, too many alerts could lead to fatigue and a low signal-to-noise ratio, which means that serious problems get lost in the noise. Our team is dedicated to having the finger on the pulse, and are constantly tuning thresholds based on observed baselines and system behaviour, informed by service quality metrics.

deployment modalities

Photon is offered in three tiers, depending on customer requirements. The tiers are Basic, which aims to provide essential dashboards using standard metrics for operations personnel, Standard which adds full alerting and custom monitoring capabilities, and Managed, which is monitoring as a service that requires almost no effort from you.

Photon relies on an agent deployed on monitored nodes for reliable collection and delivery of metrics. The agent is a light weight, single binary that supports Linux and Windows platforms. In the event that agents can not be deployed on a host, Photon can collect metrics using industry standard interfaces such as SNMP.

In the cloud

In this mode, you are required to deploy a virtual appliance that we supply on your infrastructure (one in each datacenter where you have monitored nodes), and to open HTTPS traffic outbound from this appliance to a single address in the cloud for metric ingestion. Your dashboards are hosted by us and you access your dashboards via web browser. Alerts are dispatched from Photon to the cloud based integration of your choice

On premise

For hosting Photon on premise, you need to provide four server instances (two databases and two front end servers), as well as a virtual appliance in each datacenter where you have monitored nodes. Our team will take care of managing the environment over site to site VPN

A hybrid of both cloud and on premise

In this mode, your primary means of operation is as with the cloud model, but with the on premise component providing a local hot standby instance containing only the short term monitoring data. In an emergency, this provides a local fallback in case of network failures between your environment and the cloud, so that you have continuous visibility.

The deployment of the Photon platform and all agents are conducted as part of our service, with the assistance of your personnel where required.
All metric flow and communications are secured by industry standard TLS encryption, and all authorisation between agents and Photon servers are securely tokenized.

Metrics supported by Photon

In addition to the many standards-based metrics that Photon supports out of the box, the agent can also natively collect and ingest metrics from the applications and services listed in the table below. Managed Custom Integrations further enhance Photon’s extensibility to nearly any application. Photon can also extend monitoring using existing vendor tooling, such as those from Oracle or Microsoft databases, Huawei or NetApp storage systems, VMware clusters or Cisco networks, to name a few.
View Applications/Services Supported
activemq dovecot jti_openconfig_telemetry nginx_plus salesforce
aerospike ecs kafka_consumer nginx_plus_api sensors
all elasticsearch kafka_consumer_legacy nginx_upstream_check smart
amqp_consumer exec kapacitor nginx_vts snmp
apache fail2ban kernel nsq snmp_legacy
aurora fibaro kernel_vmstat nsq_consumer socket_listener
bcache file kibana nstat solr
beanstalkd filecount kinesis_consumer ntpq sqlserver
bind filestat kube_inventory nvidia_smi stackdriver
bond fluentd kubernetes openldap statsd
burrow github leofs opensmtpd swap
cassandra graylog linux_sysctl_fs passenger syslog
ceph haproxy logparser pf sysstat
cgroup hddtemp lustre2 pgbouncer system
chrony http mailchimp phpfpm tail
cloud_pubsub http_listener_v2 mcrouter ping tcp_listener
cloud_pubsub_push http_response mem postfix teamspeak
cloudwatch httpjson memcached postgresql temp
conntrack icinga2 mesos postgresql_extensible tengine
consul influxdb minecraft powerdns tomcat
couchbase influxdb_listener mongodb powerdns_recursor trig
couchdb internal mqtt_consumer processes twemproxy
cpu interrupts multifile procstat udp_listener
dcos ipmi_sensor mysql prometheus unbound
disk ipset nats puppetagent varnish
diskio iptables nats_consumer rabbitmq vsphere
disque ipvs neptune_apex raindrops webhooks
dmcache jenkins net redis win_perf_counters
dns_query jolokia net_response rethinkdb win_services
docker jolokia2 nginx riak wireless

Alert integrations supported by Photon

Photon supports many notification channels for alerts, and it can be integrated to your bespoke or existing notification or ticketing systems by our team, using email, SMS or webhook integrations.

View Alert Intergrations Supported
Name Type Supports images
DingDing dingding yes, external only
Discord discord yes
Email email yes
Google Hangouts Chat googlechat yes, external only
Hipchat hipchat yes, external only
Kafka kafka yes, external only
Line line yes, external only
Microsoft Teams teams yes, external only
OpsGenie opsgenie yes, external only
Pagerduty pagerduty yes, external only
Prometheus Alertmanager prometheus-alertmanager yes, external only
Pushover pushover yes
Sensu sensu yes, external only
Slack slack yes
Telegram telegram yes
Threema threema yes, external only
VictorOps victorops yes, external only
Webhook webhook yes, external only

 

WHY BREAKPOINT?

Because it’s
not just about
the tech.

A large part of our success comes from partnering with top tier vendors and distributors. Our relationships allow us to assemble complex deals that require intricate co-ordination for multi-vendor solutions, deal structuring, budgeting or financing options.

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Experienced Team

We have over a decade of experience with deploying and managing monitoring solutions in challenging and regulated environments.

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Sustained Relationships

We enjoy a high renewal rate for a number of years now as our clients receive excellent customer service.

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Customer Centric Approach

Because we understand industry challenges, we focus on forging strong relationships with our clients in order to provide them with the best service.

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Monitoring Services

We offer 24/7 monitoring services because we understand how important delivering fast response and great service to your customers are.

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Tailored Solutions

We work closely with our clients to set up meaningful dashboards tailored to their exact needs.

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Constantly Evolving

As business needs grow and monitoring needs are realized, we assist clients to develop more complex monitoring solutions for their needs.

Ready to get started?

For more information about Inquest for your organisation, or workflow and interface examples, please contact us!