What Is HoundDog?

By Frank Ohlhorst  |  Print this article Print


Desktop-as-a-Service Designed for Any Cloud ? Nutanix Frame

As maker of one of the lesser-known remote monitoring and management tools for MSPs, HoundDog Technology is aiming to sniff out some more market share with its referral program.

HoundDog is a service that offers a collection of integrated tools remotely that are optimized for monitoring and maintaining PCs. Solution providers sign up for the service and then deploy client software to their customers. Solution providers are able to monitor and support those systems via an easy-to-use browser-based portal, which offers report generation, remote control and so on.

The HoundDog service offers 24/7 monitoring, daily health checks, e-mail and SMS (Short Message Service) alerts, asset tracking, remote access and patch management. For solution providers, the service also includes a browser-based dashboard, client portal, client reporting and workstation monitoring. HoundDog offers self-branding, which solution providers can use to "hide the dog behind the curtain" and take credit for the service for themselves.

To use HoundDog, a solution provider needs to register for the service; the company offers a full-function 30-day free trial for those wanting a test drive. Once registered, an Advanced Monitoring Agent needs to be deployed on each network that will be monitored. The agent "phones home" at regular intervals to upload monitoring data.  

There are two types of monitoring sets, one that reports data 24/7 and another that only performs daily checks. The 24/7 data collection monitors CPU, memory and disk usage, along with just about any system parameter that a monitored system can access. The daily check reports on additional elements, such as anti-virus status, system logs, application logs, SNMP information and "health" status.

Installing a server monitoring agent takes only a few minutes. The default monitoring triggers will fit the needs of most users. Solution providers can choose to customize triggers, alerts and many of the other parameters associated with the HoundDog agent.

The agent relays collected data back to HoundDog's central servers using an encrypted SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) connection. Solution providers can then use a browser-based dashboard to view what is going on with monitored networks and systems. The dashboard supports drill-down and report creation for solution providers looking to delve a little deeper into a monitored system's statistics.

The HoundDog dashboard can be configured to offer information based upon sites or a group, allowing solution providers to divvy up the monitored networks by customer or location or by most any other element they can think of. Systems can also be identified by IP addresses and subnets, which prove to be useful for asset tracking of monitored workstations.

HoundDog is priced based upon services needed and assets monitored. Prices start as low as $2.95 per month, and there are no upgrade or maintenance fees beyond the company's flat-fee billing. That makes it quite easy for solution providers to budget for services needed and then mark up those services accordingly. Solution providers can sign up for a free trial and find out more information on HoundDog's Web site.


Frank Ohlhorst Frank J. Ohlhorst is the Executive Technology Editor for eWeek Channel Insider and brings with him over 20 years of experience in the Information Technology field.He began his career as a network administrator and applications program in the private sector for two years before joining a computer consulting firm as a programmer analyst. In 1988 Frank founded a computer consulting company, which specialized in network design, implementation, and support, along with custom accounting applications developed in a variety of programming languages.In 1991, Frank took a position with the United States Department of Energy as a Network Manager for multiple DOE Area Offices with locations at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPL), Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), FermiLAB and the Ames Area Office (AMESAO). Frank's duties included managing the site networks, associated staff and the inter-network links between the area offices. He also served at the Computer Security Officer (CSO) for multiple DOE sites. Frank joined CMP Technology's Channel group in 1999 as a Technical Editor assigned to the CRN Test Center, within a year, Frank became the Senior Technical Editor, and was responsible for designing product testing methodologies, assigning product reviews, roundups and bakeoffs to the CRN Test Center staff.In 2003, Frank was named Technology Editor of CRN. In that capacity, he ensured that CRN maintained a clearer focus on technology and increased the integration of the Test Center's review content into both CRN's print and web properties. He also contributed to Netseminar's, hosted sessions at CMP's Xchange Channel trade shows and helped to develop new methods of content delivery, Such as CRN-TV.In September of 2004, Frank became the Director of the CRN Test Center and was charged with increasing the Test Center's contributions to CMP's Channel Web online presence and CMP's latest monthly publication, Digital Connect, a magazine geared towards the home integrator. He also continued to contribute to CMP's Netseminar series, Xchange events, industry conferences and CRN-TV.In January of 2007, CMP Launched CRNtech, a monthly publication focused on technology for the channel, with a mailed audience of 70,000 qualified readers. Frank was instrumental in the development and design of CRNTech and was the editorial director of the publication as well as its primary contributor. He also maintained the edit calendar, and hosted quarterly CRNTech Live events.In June 2007, Frank was named Senior Technology Analyst and became responsible for the technical focus and edit calendars of all the Channel Group's publications, including CRN, CRNTech, and VARBusiness, along with the Channel Group's specialized publications Solutions Inc., Government VAR, TechBuilder and various custom publications. Frank joined Ziff Davis Enterprise in September of 2007 and focuses on creating editorial content geared towards the purveyors of Information Technology products and services. Frank writes comparative reviews, channel analysis pieces and participates in many of Ziff Davis Enterprise's tradeshows and webinars. He has received several awards for his writing and editing, including back to back best review of the year awards, and a president's award for CRN-TV. Frank speaks at many industry conferences, is a contributor to several IT Books, holds several records for online hits and has several industry certifications, including Novell's CNE, Microsoft's MCP.Frank can be reached at frank.ohlhorst@ziffdavisenterprise.com

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