Membangun Monitoring Solution dengan PRTG
Building the Perfect Monitoring Solution (by Dirk Paessler)
Creating software that is powerful AND easy to use is the Holy Grail for any developer. But, sometimes achieving that perfection is tougher than it sounds. Why? Users want software that does a lot of things, giving them broad, powerful feature sets that are also simple and easy to use.
Developers must be careful not to overwhelm the user with too many options at the main UI, but provide just-right features right at your fingertips, plus the ability to drill down into the level of detail that is appropriate and desired for the end-user. And, by all means, the best software should be fun to use—so much so that the UI itself almost disappears into a seamless user experience.
In some cases, a difficult UI can even be a limiting factor in the software itself. The lack of flexibility to enable innovation and feature expansion can bring a software solution to its knees and hinder further development. When the UI is maxed out, developers have few options but to make it more complex to achieve the necessary feature expansion, which runs the risk of creating an overwhelming user experience.
Network monitoring software is no different. Even though the majority of users may have advanced technical knowledge, there’s no reason it should force users to test their limits just to perform basic tasks. In many cases, the only option is to start from scratch, with a fresh perspective, revamped architecture and dynamic technology.
Putting the G in GUI
So much of designing a user-friendly interface centers on making it pleasing to the eye. The use of familiar elements—even those not commonly seen in a software suite—can help to make the UX comfortable and intuitive.
We’ve incorporated this philosophy into the new PRTG UI as well, reinventing the tables of text and numbers in previous iterations as vibrantly colored gauges, much like you’d see on the dashboard of your car. Why? Because it’s familiar, comfortable and easily interpretable at-a-glance. With distinctive colors for various settings and various statuses (e.g. red, yellow and green—another familiar motif), the new gauges show live data in a way that is simple and easy to digest.
Sensor and device settings can be adjusted with just a click of the gear icon (another familiar symbol), for a more customizable UX than previously available.
See What You Want to See
Another critical aspect of designing elegant software is giving the user control over creating his or her own personalized experience. The new PRTG UI weaves user customization into virtually every aspect—from specifying what sensors appear as primary graphics on the device overview page to adjusting the thresholds for warning and critical state. We’ve given users the ability to define priorities and favorites, and sort lists as desired for devices and sensors across the network. This ability to create a user experience that works best for each individual user provides the ultimate in intuitive design—only you know what you want to see, so we’ve given you the ability to design it to fit your needs.
In addition to giving users dominion over the UI itself, the new PRTG interface also reveals never-before-seen insights that can amplify the power of the suite. A new heuristic calculation algorithm shows “similar sensors,” comparing data across all sensors that display similar behavior. This completely automated and sensor-agnostic system helps users spot correlations and interconnections within the IT infrastructure and even find conditional relationships that you may have never known existed to spot trouble faster.
For example, perhaps the CPU load of a particular server is nearly crippled under heavy traffic on a certain day of the week, but you can’t figure out why. With PRTG’s “similar sensors” function, now you can see that this event happens in conjunction with a peak in traffic on the switch in the payroll department. A quick inquiry with the department manager can uncover that this event coincides with payroll processing each week. Mystery solved. And, now you also know that this event is legitimate, and not tied to any intrusion or other nefarious security threat, which might cause a similar network traffic pattern.
Power to the User
The ultimate goal of any software should be to provide maximum functionality with optimum usability. Balancing these two main ingredients has been a primary focus of our work at Paessler in creating a robust, elegant network monitoring solution that virtually anyone can use. With an interface that practically disappears, visually appealing graphical representation of sensors and the ability to customize views to suit your own personal preference, the new PRTG interface puts the power to monitor and troubleshoot even the most complex IT infrastructure quickly and efficiently right at your fingertips.
Author Profile: Dirk Paessler, CEO of Paessler AG, is an engineer, entrepreneur, computer networking professional and software guru. To learn more about Dirk and his expertise in network monitoring, visit his blog athttp://www.paessler.com/blog.