The Computer Officers run a system monitoring server which tracks things such as disk and memory use on monitored systems. It also carries out regular tests of services that are meant to be running and sends alerts automatically about problems. We can therefore catch problems on systems very quickly. The systems we monitor include our servers and all of our managed workstations.
The system monitor stats can be seen at http://hobbit.ch.cam.ac.uk/xymon/ by anyone registered as belonging to the department of Chemistry. Most problems automatically raise email alerts.
The monitoring software we use is called Xymon and was formerly known as Hobbit.