This is a guest blog written by Michael Maniscalco of ihiji for CE Pro Magazine. The original article can be found on CE Pro’s website.

What are the most vital components and processes that integrators need to monitor remotely in a client’s home network?

Many integrators now offer remote network monitoring and management as a base tier of client care programs. By establishing these service programs, integrators are setting themselves up to “own” the network, ensuring the core of today’s integrated system is functioning properly.
This service leads to better performance, increased reliability, cost savings for the customer, and increased efficiency for the integrator.

Curious about what these remote network management packages actually do? In terms of systems monitoring and alerting, here are the 16 key processes and components that should be monitored.

Processes

The basics of network monitoring include automated processes that verify:

  • Internet Service Provider (ISP) uptime
  • Slow Internet connections (latency)
  • Network connection interruptions (packet loss)
  • Domain Name Server (DNS) issues

If there is a problem with any of these, either the associated services will not work as reliably as expected or the user could experience a degradation of quality. However, by implementing remote network monitoring and management, integrators ensure their client gets what they require from the ISP and are able to reliably access services such as Nest, Pandora, Rhapsody, Netflix, Hulu or AppleTV.

Components

Beyond ISP monitoring, integrators will also want to monitor the core of the system, which includes:

  • Routers
  • Switches
  • Wireless access points
  • Control processors
  • Touchpanels
  • Power Distribution Units (PDU)
  • Uninterrupted Power Supplies (UPS)

By maintaining the reliability and functionality of this core, integrators are taking the necessary steps to ensure that when the client needs to access any service, internal or external to their local network, they can do so without experiencing any difficulties caused by a device that is present in the home.

Finally, if the client’s budget allows, integrators can begin to add the “edge” devices in the home. These include:

  • Media extenders/players
  • ZigBee devices
  • PCs
  • Network printers
  • Audio/Video receivers

Monitoring these devices is especially beneficial when they operate on the wireless network where they are more prone to interference.

These devices typically provide status details such as online/offline (plugged, unplugged, dead), network latency (bad or slow connections) or dropped packets (network interference, bad equipment, bad configurations). All of this information is useful when attempting to identify problems with today’s complex integrated systems.

A lot of value can be gained from remotely monitoring and managing the core of the system, or “Digital Plumbing” as it is often referred to. Without this, key components are prone to failure or degradation and blindly attempting to troubleshoot the causes can be both difficult and time-consuming.

Simply put, it’s well worth the time and effort to begin implementing customer care programs.

This is a guest blog written by Michael Maniscalco of ihiji for CE Pro Magazine. The original article can be found on CE Pro’s website.

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