Monitoring Using Mobile Devices – Rants

Just enough monitoring to ensure the health of the product. It shouldn’t be a replacement for SNMP or WMI. Requirements of such a system are

  • Real time monitoring of critical subsystems.
  • Simple and few number of interfaces for effective monitoring. (not SNMP or native monitoring and management agent)
  • Notify the user using device notification, SMS or email.
  • Extensible API for plugging in future products.
  • Interfaces for registering other products.

Architecture considerations

Embeddable monitoring agents where each products ships with its own agent. One of the advantages with this approach is not having to maintain any sort of dependencies with the monitoring agent itself. Users can register their devices with the monitoring agents. There are a few disadvantages with this model.

  • Not all organisations allow personal devices to be connected to the office network
  • Monitoring will be limited to the time the device is connected to the network which will make it not very useful.

Ideally we should be able to deliver notifications to the device directly through cell network. Since Apple allows only their Apple Push Notifications Service to be delivered messages like this and they expect each applications to register with the APN, we may have to have a central notification server which can aggregate messages from our customer premises and then forward them to Apple Push notification service. An aggregation server will have to perform necessary authentication and authorisation to ensure that the users requesting for the notification are indeed allowed to receive messages. Organization Application monitoring app on the device can perform these operations before registering with APN.

Prepare Yourself for the Big Change

This is part 2 of my 3 part series where I took the important decision of leaving a high flying corporate life and joined a starup. I mentioned various fear factors in my last article.

Having decided to quit, next task is to prepare for the change. Good management principles teaches how one should plan for his or her exit or growth. Ideally people in the leadership roles should be developing an exit strategy from the time they take a position, its an integral part of career planning.

Plan Your Successor

Nobody is indispensable in a work environment.

First thing to do is delegate responsibilities and become invisible over a period of time. I planned and introduced my team to customer engagements that I’ve been handling, inter team interactions where I had to take decisions and other organization level activities. Before I communicated my decision to leave, I mentored and ensured that my team can independently handle all the activities that I was responsible for. This is another management principle where one become invisible or irrelavant so that he or she can move to the next level.

Its always a challenge when you have to take up new responsibilities during your notice period. Most times, it will be simple enough where one needs to use the knowledge and experience that he or she amassed over a period of time.

End of the day, you need to leave lasting impressions. Make sure that your work and relationships in the organization are not impacted, instead the respect for you goes up.

Plan for Your New Life

This was easier than I thought. Once your financial status is clear, next set of tasks are:

  • Build your network and keep the contacts live
  • Update your linked in and let your connections know your plans. This will come handy in future
  • Aquire machines and software you need if you are heading to a startup.
  • Get cell connections, health insurance and such essentials. It will be difficult to manage these once you become nobody and when you don’t have a salary statement to produce.

Overall, my exit and transition to the new phase were uneventful. I just didn’t have breathing time as the work started with even more agression on the next day itself. More about that later.