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Sightline offers a real-time operations intelligence solution focused on analytics, root-cause analysis and correlation of data from any source — critical IT systems, applications, storage, databases — down to the process level. Sightline’s powerful analytics go beyond point-in-time data to include over time and real time trend analysis, with abnormal behaviors or events dynamically communicated for appropriate actions. This position will be in our Fairfax, VA office.

Qualified applicants should send a cover letter and resume to recruiting@sightline.com.

Job Description

Responsibilities:

  • You will map Sightline performance monitoring solutions to customers business drivers.
  • You will manage technical leadership and ownership of key customer Proof of Concepts for Sightline performance monitoring solutions.
  • You will present to both Technical managers and IT Architects, as well as Business-Level IT stakeholders (Application teams, Development teams, LOB teams that rely on applications, C-Level execs)
  • You will stay abreast of competitors and the performance monitoring industry and trends, in order to serve as a trusted advisor to customers.
  • You will guide and lead sales teams in applying the appropriate Sightline Performance monitoring solutions to customer needs.
  • You will work with Sales Executives in a supportive position with the main focus on pre sales activities – including (but not limited to) technical presentations and demonstrations to “Fortune 1000” accounts in the local area.
  • You will design performance management solutions for customers through RFP responses, architectural diagrams and proposals, coverage gap analysis, and customer specific business value/ROI analysis studies.
  • You will drive enablement of partners to position and demonstrate Sightline performance monitoring solutions. This may be in the form of a WebEx, onsite training, lunch and learn, etc.
  • You will engage regularly and proactively with the SE and Sales leadership.
  • You will ensure that accurate & regular reports are completed and submitted as per business processes.

Qualifications:

  • You have a BS/BA degree in CS, EE, or MIS
  • You have skills in pre-sales role within the local area with a focus selling to Fortune 1000 type accounts. (7+ years’ experience)
  • You can successfully complete sales presentations on your own.
  • You enjoy traveling, working odd hours, and being very available.
  • You have skills in hands-on troubleshooting, configuration and implementation of enterprise applications and networks.
  • You have the business acumen to translate Sightline Performance Management technology into business advantage when speaking with C-level individuals.
  • You have skills in application instrumentation and IT Ops or Application Ops needs around monitoring and performance troubleshooting. Knowledge of both .NET and J2EE applications strongly desired.
  • You have in depth knowledge of vmWare, Linux and Windows server performance monitoring and tuning.
  • You have broad and deep knowledge of various performance monitoring and management instrumentation techniques including packet capture/analysis, flow capture/analysis, SNMP, and application server instrumentation.
  • in depth knowledge of advanced networking, SDN, virtualization, and storage architectures is beneficial but not core.
  • You have a deep understanding of enterprise business process related to APM and NPM.
  • You have wide industry expertise in Performance Management solutions in order to translate Large Enterprise business requirements into technical requirements and solutions.
  • You have worked with both Network Operations and Application Developers in large Enterprise accounts and understand how NPM and APM are applied across both disciplines

We offer all of the advantages you would expect from an industry leader including a competitive salary and comprehensive benefits package including medical, dental, vision, and life insurance, holiday and vacation pay, 401K, stock option plan, and much more.

Do You Need an Alerts Team?

alerts team

If you’re part of a team that’s involved with increasing or monitoring system, component or infrastructure performance, you already know about the “alert flood.” It’s that constant deluge of emails to notify you that the systems you or your team is responsible for has an issue. And thankfully, we’re working on decreasing that flood in our next release of EDM.

The flood part is because there are so many alerts. It’s a problem that we often hear from teams. To solve it, many choose to simply filter their reports, choose to not receive them, delete them or change their monitoring thresholds to receive less alerts.

Yet, those alerts may be part of a company’s SLAs or other agreements. When the important alerts happen, IT staff might simply miss the message. These alerts are important and in cases where there’s an internal review, it might come down to who was alerted and who was required to react. The results of that review might not be good for individuals who were required to react.

One idea to minimize that problem might be to create an Alerts Team to not only manage alerts but also set the rules on what’s monitored, develop new thresholds based on accumulated historical data and use industry or company best practices to minimize the flood to something more akin to a kiddie pool. Plus, as components are added, the Alerts Team can set the rules based on their expectations and not simply rely on the monitoring solution’s default settings.

We’ll agree that alerts can be a necessary evil. Yet, when one user changes the thresholds in order to minimize their alerts — it might be a mandated threshold alert for another staff member. For companies with a wide variety of operating systems, storage solutions and other devices, team members should reflect experts with knowledge of each system. For instance, few would want a Windows expert to set operating thresholds for a Linux server.

The concept is simple, with expertly-set thresholds the Alerts Team can keep alerts to a minimum and deliver the right message to the right person. For larger organizations, the establishment of an Alerts Team can help experts understand their role in the overall infrastructure and limit the amount of alerts going to the teams.

Virtual Appliances Made Easy With Oracle Linux

0811_3It’s no surprise that most of today’s IT world lives within a virtual computing environment.  The ability to cut costs, save energy, and reduce hardware footprint are just a few of the many advantages of being virtual.  However, the pains and headaches of installing operating systems and other various software applications still persist.  Enter the beauty of the virtual appliance.

A virtual appliance is a pre-configured, self-contained virtual machine that typically includes a pre-installed minimal operating system along with other desired software applications.  Virtual appliances are usually exported as an OVF (Open Virtualization Format) file.  This file can be re-deployed to an existing virtual environment, then simply turned on for use.

During the build process of our Sightline EDM virtual appliance, Oracle Linux was selected for several benefits including:

  • Free and redistributable operating system
  • Reliable, tested operating system from a trusted company
  • Option for enterprise-class support at a significantly lower cost from Oracle if needed
  • Small footprint with a minimal OS install
  • Quick operating system boot, which leads to faster Sightline software startup.

Many obstacles were presented while building the Sightline appliance. However, the finished product made the journey well worth the time.  Creating the appliance not only involved installing Oracle Linux and our software, but also included a number of system configurations,  such as:

  • Setting the software services to start up in a certain order on system boot.
  • Opening firewall ports.
  • Adding a few simple scripts to pre-populate files before being read on system boot.

Different applications will require different needs from the system, so not all journeys will share the same path when creating an appliance. Some paths may be harder than others, but in either case, the finalized appliance can be extremely beneficial to both vendors and their customers, as the appliance can:

  • Simplify deployment – users won’t have to worry about resolving any potential errors from installing all the required components needed for the software application to function. The appliance can simply be deployed and started without the hassle.
  • Become an excellent selling tool – the last thing a salesperson needs is to watch the customer run into a problem with installation. Even with a sales engineer by their side to help fix the problem, the situation can leave an embarrassing mark for a company. The ease of deployment through an appliance allows the salesperson to focus on what they do best: present and sell a good product from a team that knows what it is doing.
  • Reduce customer costs – since the appliance comes pre-installed with a redistributable operating system, customers won’t have to worry about using or obtaining any extra licenses to stand up a clean OS to install a vendor product.

With the creation of any virtual appliance, there’s a great deal of planning and strategy in order to ensure a great product presentation. At the conclusion of the project, Oracle Linux was clearly the right choice. Not only did it give us a free and distributable operating system — it answered our customers’ needs for support, reliability and dependability.

Using Root Cause Analysis to End Your Next Infrastructure Fire Drill

firedrillImagine that you’re in a house and the room next to you is burning. You would never simply close the door to the room and go about your business, because you know eventually that the fire will consume the house. The obvious reaction is to put out the fire. Yet, when companies see a crucial part of their infrastructure on fire, many times they simply close the door and go about their business.

It’s an overly simplified analogy but in today’s enterprise networks, their sheer complexity not only makes it hard to put out a fire, it often makes it hard to tell where the fire is. Teams do their best by making educated guesses with a preference for operational uptime and performance – goals to ensure that the least amount of users are affected by the fire. The solutions crafted by some teams often do minimize the problem but don’t fix them.

Back to the fire analogy, teams might close the door to the room next door but need to access the room on the other side of it. When a part of an organization’s infrastructure goes down, IT teams are asked to ensure that the least amount of end-users are affected. So they create pathways to circumvent the room, or build additional rooms to get around the fire. In the real world, that could mean adding more capacity with new servers, expensive emergency services and engineering untested solutions that lead to more complexity to an infrastructure that still has a burning room within it.

The better answer is in root cause analysis (RCA), a methodology that looks at current and historical infrastructure data to set a benchmark for how everything should run in a stable environment and using analysis to tell IT teams where the problem is within their infrastructure.

With a powerful root cause analysis solution such as EDM, IT teams spend less time searching for the problem, less effort on guessing how to minimize the issue and less money on trying to circumvent the problem. We believe that teams should spend more time fixing an infrastructure problem the first time and less time searching for it. Root cause analysis enables teams to keep the infrastructure they have, open the door and simply put out the fire.

Interested in finding more about automating root cause analysis? Read our ebook that details the five steps proactive IT operations teams take to leverage anomaly detection and event correlation to reduce mean time to resolution.

Configuring Array Alerts in EDM

The ability to set alerts is a powerful feature that allows you to monitor your systems for abnormal events or behavior without actually seeing the event occur.

An alert can be configured for all subscripts of a single metric. This eliminates the need to create an alert for each subscript of the array. For example, a disk array may have several subscripts, and configuring individual alerts would be tedious and time-consuming, as well as error-prone. In addition, subscripts may be different on different systems. Thus, the ability to configure an array alert that can be applied to multiple systems provides many benefits.

Click here to read more about configuring array alerts.

What Can EDM Do for Me?

If you’re a long-time EA/V user, you might be asking yourself that question right now. As we know, EA/V is a phenomenal tool. We’re not suggesting that you get rid of it, but with the addition of EDM into your environment you can gain some incredible capabilities. Below is just a sample of what I am talking about.

  • Web-based Access
  • EDM is a Java-based application, so it’s available from any web browser. Whether you’re in the office, at home, or on the road, you can user your desktop, iPad, or mobile device to look into the production of your IT environment. This also answers the question on how to easily share reports with management and others. All you need is your EDM login and Internet access and you can create, view or manipulate your reports from anywhere. Agent administration is easier, too. It’s no longer necessary to access each system to update the Power Agent’s configuration file; just access it directly from EDM.

  • Create a multi-platform world view
  • With EDM you can look at your environment in a single pane of glass. View your world as a whole or look at individual systems or groups. Perform deep dive analysis and look into systems, workloads or processes. And then send the URL to your team so they can see the same thing that you do.

  • Alert Tracking
  • When an alert is triggered in your environment, EDM doesn’t just send the notification and forget about it. EDM keeps track of your alert, so that you can see how long they’ve been active and when they were resolved. In EDM you can assign alerts to a user, add your resolution notes or simply see which alerts are active most often. And assigning alerts is easy in EDM, too, using alert groups and connection templates!

  • Scalability
  • EDM is designed to scale to the largest environments. Because EDM is a Java-based application, it scales it to whatever size your environment may be.

  • Clairvor for Automated Root Cause Analysis
  • Clairvor should be the determining factor when looking at EDM. Clairvor is an EDM-specific tool that lets you go from triggered alert to issue diagnosis in a matter of minutes. With Clairvor you can quickly get to the root of an IT issue, and reduce system outages, downtime, slow response time, etc. Clairvor gives you the power to correlate, drill down and visualize in a matter of minutes, all through our automated RCA process. In a test environment, Clairvor can give your team the ability to predict abnormal occurrences and have the solutions ready. Clairvor is proven to reduce your downtime when it matters most, and by doing this Sightline is able to save you money in lost labor, lost productivity and most importantly lost revenue.

Would you like to see EDM in your environment? Contact us today!

Sightline Clairvor Providing Clarity Into IT Like Never Before!

Root Cause Analysis (RCA) is a problem-solving methodologyfocused on identifying the root cause of a fault or problem, rather than its symptoms. Currently, many IT professionals use a combination of cause-and-effect determination and thetest-and-retry method to identify and resolve problems in the IT environment.
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Problem analysis and resolution can go something like this: an issue is detected, the IT team investigates, a suspect system or application is identified and the owner is contacted; the owner denies that there is a problem; the above steps are repeated. Finally, the issue is identified, resolved, and documented. Going through these steps is like finding a needle in a haystack. It is time-consuming, frustrating, and ultimately costs money in both resource hours and service disruption–a critical system or application issue or outage can cost tens of thousands of dollars.

Clairvor helps you analyze the situation and quickly diagnosis the issue before the impact is felt and outages occur. Clairvor helps ensure the stability of your IT environment in three easy steps—going from alert to diagnosis in minutes and ensuring your IT team resolves issues before the impact is felt.

Choosing a Capacity Management Tool

What is capacity planning, and why do I need it? Capacity planning is the process of determining the production capacity needed by an organization to meet changing demands for its products. In the IT world, though, people often refer to capacity planning when they really mean capacity management. Capacity planning is an integral part of capacity management, but there is a lot more to it.

ITIL breaks capacity management into three sections: capacity management, service capacity management and component capacity management. The combination of all three results in businesses attempting to meet the demands of each group in a cost effective manner to achieve their goals. To optimize IT performance and efficiency it is important to make sure that you have a solid capacity management program in place, and that it includes performance monitoring, analysis, tuning, and capacity planning.

What is the right tool for me? There are two main types of solutions for capacity tools in the IT environment. The first is the modeling method, which lets you create situations, put them into a simulator, and observe the potential outcome.

The second is the forecasting method, which lets you look into the future and predict what your environment is going to look like in the days and weeks to come. This method is based on the depth of data available and the math behind the scenes. For many companies this may be the best option, because it ensures that you have the correct information to make accurate assumptions based on your current environment.

Consider the following questions when choosing a tool:

  1. Can this tool work on everything across my environment?
  2. Can it accurately perform forecasting and trending?
  3. Can I analyze workload data with this tool to identify over-allocated capacity and eliminate waste?
  4. Can this tool audit changes to my infrastructure?

Why Sightline? Now that we know what a capacity management solution should do and why, the new question to answer is, “Why Sightline?” Sightline combines all of these capabilities into one tool and by doing so provides the best solution to the performance data management and capacity management needs of any company.
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Third Party Data in Sightline

Speaking of data, what about third-party data? Is there a way to pull third party-data into Sightline? And if so, how?  Yes! Sightline offers multiple methods of pulling third-party data into Sightline for display and analysis by EDM or EA/V. We offer an SDK, the Log File Interface Agent, and the configurable SNMP Interface Agent. The SDK allows you to write your own Interface Agent to get data into Sightline. The Log File IA can be used to read instrumentation data from custom applications and also standard logs such as the syslog and Apache HTTP server. Finally, SNMP has a mapping file that lets you pull data from any SNMP sub-agent. If you would like to look and any of these options, contact us and we’ll help you get it implemented at your site.

Firewall Settings for Sightline Communication

A frequently asked question for us here at Sightline is, what ports do I need for communication between the EDM and the Power Agent?  

Sightline uses TCP/IP to communicate between EDM and the Power Agents and firewall rules are often required to allow this communication. All port settings are configurable, but we’ve created a document to provide specific settings that will get you up and running quickly. Click here for details.