Benefits for IT Personnel

You have plenty of local systems to manage already.  Sharp Moon Inc.’s founders have decades of experience working in library and campus IT.  We feel your pain, so we do everything we can to minimize the workload impact of our systems on you.

We start with operating everything possible as true services (SaaS).  All Sharp Moon services operate on our systems hosted in Amazon Web Services data centers.  We manage all the databases and other storage, web servers, security, backups, etc.  We design our systems to require as little configuration by customers as possible.  This reduces the support impact on you and us.

The Callisto service does have one component that must be installed at your site.  However, we’ve done everything possible to make the Remote-Access Probes as simple and maintenance-free for customers as possible:

  • Customers have confirmed it takes only 1-2 minutes to install a probe, and only a few are needed for your whole institution.
  • Probes install as a Windows service on any networked workstation(s).
  • Anyone with Windows administrator permissions can install them.
  • They store NO data locally and require NO configuration — therefore there’s absolutely no concern about backing anything up for the probes.
  • The probes upgrade themselves automatically when necessary.
  • The probe software is completely unobtrusive — users will not be bothered by it at all and most won’t even notice it.
  • Resilient (load balancing + failover) behavior means that if you install a small number of probes (2 or 3 recommended) on different workstations within each network you’re concerned about, it will help Callisto continue to detect and report access anomalies over time.  Sometimes machines get turned off or replaced, so the other probes would continue to report status for that network’s access.  Callisto will notify if it loses contact with ALL the probes in any user-configured regions of your campus.
  • NAT and firewall friendly.  Callisto works fine even if the networks you need monitored use NAT and/or firewalls.  No in-bound ports are required and the only ports that typically need to be open outbound are 443 and 80.

Besides minimizing impact on IT, there are direct benefits to you.  Some examples:

Example Scenario 1:

Occasionally user complaints of access problems get escalated to you because others can’t resolve them.  By this time, the problem may be several days old and is relayed second or third-hand to you.  Many e-resource access problems are localized and/or transient.  Being able to look in Callisto’s history to see whether and where the relevant e-resource provider had problems at that day & time is very helpful.  In fact, when your librarians have Callisto it’s much less likely they’ll need to escalate such questions to IT personnel.

Example Scenario 2:

Suppose you are assigned the ongoing responsibility of updating the EZproxy configuration when e-resource systems change.

Callisto can help you do this in a couple of ways.

First, talk to your Callisto Site Administrator so you can receive email alerts from Callisto for subscription changes only.  This way you’ll have increased awareness of when your organization gains or loses access to subscription content, but you will not be distracted by irrelevant alerts for content provider outages.

Second, Callisto has the ability to test access to your online resources through EZproxy and identify those which aren’t working as expected.  It will show you which hostnames need to be added to ezproxy.cfg.

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