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A Burglar Alarm for the Internet

A Burglar Alarm for the Internet

(PRWEB) August 15, 2004

Computer Advocacy (1985) announces Perimeter911, a surprisingly unique Internet monitoring and alert service. The service brings together two previously unrelated technologies: computer remote monitoring and central station monitoring & alarm dispatch. Although available for some time, it is only now being more widely released.

“The central station alarm monitoring industry is quite sophisticated, but knows little of the IT world”, said Alan Cohen, Perimeter911's chief architect. “Grown-up versions of traditional burglar alarms now detect a variety of anamolies but, to use IT terminology, these are predominantly related to hardware, with little attention paid to the monitoring of software. They do a fine job, but dispatch operators cannot tell you that your FTP site is down.”

They cannot, for instance detect:

An e-commerce web-site that becomes mysteriously inoperative or unavailable.

Email POP3/IMAP/SMTP servers that are not properly responding.

A company's web page that gets hacked and may now be serving up pornography.

A denial of service attack that may now be underway.

A company's domain name that may have been hi-jacked.

A squirrel that may have chewed through the telco line a mile away.

A CPU that may be quietly over-heating.

“Two challenges are involved,” explained Cohen. “The first is monitoring. We can monitor a service listening on a TCP/IP address & port, speak its protocol, watch for customer specified status indicators and detect an inappropriate response.

“The second is alerting. Although we provide cell-phone/pager notification and do so for as little as $ 25.00 CDN/month, we also knew that these alert methods were less than entirely effective.”

To raise the bar, Perimeter911 formed an alliance with Securitech, a central station service bureau. Hidden away in an underground security vault, Securitech alarm panels are attached to some interesting devices that link up to Perimeter911. “We had to design and build some special purpose equipment and implement some special procedures,” says Terry Schmidt, Head of Technical Services at Securitech.

Companies that do in-house internal monitoring are acting responsibly but that does not cover all the bases. They will not know, for instance, of a problem originating miles away. Their alert mechanisms may fail at a critical moment. Case in point: For PageMart Canada, P911 was a backup to their self-monitoring. When a major feed to their paging network went down, they appreciated that backup.

One customer used Perimeter911 log records as evidence during a litigation process. His ISP claimed that connectivity was stable, but the log records proved otherwise. (There is something to be said for 3rd party confirmation.)

One customer's activities depended on the timeliness of data made available by a weather service bureau. That customer was concerned that the weather data might not be available or might simply be out-of date. Not only did he want to be notified, but he arranged for notification to be sent directly to the service bureau in the event of failure.

One customer's web-site contained critical links to a trading partner. They needed to know if things were not functioning properly at their trading partner's site.

Perimeter911 has had customers ranging in size from large enterprises to mom-and-pop small businesses. Locally written software ranges from sophisticated scripts to nothing at all. Monitoring tasks range from “Is the CPU down the hall over-heating?” to “Is my web server running?” In all cases, Perimeter911 customers have one characteristic in common. When something goes awry, they need to know.

About Perimeter911

Perimeter911 was initially introduced as a custom service offerred by Computer Advocacy Inc (1985). The company's philosophy has always been to act as an IT advocate on behalf of its customers. The scope of Perimeter911 has grown to a point where Perimeter911 has become its flagship service.


Alan Cohen



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