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@DevOpsSummit: Blog Post

Monitoring to Success By @Monitis | @DevOpsSummit [#DevOps]

Performance is no longer just one of the items we need to be paying attention to, it is THE item we need to be critically aware

The mantra of the day is – performance, performance, performance! It is clear that everything needs to be totally available all of the time, function at the fastest speeds and performance as close to perfect as is possible. In all the business discussions swirling around us we hear the words; application performance, website performance, transaction performance, server performance and on and on in regards to virtually everything digital that we live and breath with. Performance is no longer just one of the items we need to be paying attention to, it is THE item we need to be critically aware of every minute of every day! No longer are the words “it’s good enough” acceptable. The impacts to business can be catastrophic if the digital performance of your business is not at the highest levels. So the question we are all challenged with is how can we be sure that the performance levels we need are actually what we are achieving? The answer is monitoring! The only way to measure this is to monitor everything and to monitor it from end to end constantly.  It is the key that unlocks the door to success.


To be able to determine the real level of performance (and then improve and maintain it) we need to follow the principle of the 3 M’s – measure, monitor and manage. Let’s deal with some specifics that are definitive musts in regards to performance monitoring. To get where you need to be you will need to be monitoring across your IT world to include the following monitors: website, server, application, network, cloud, email, RUM and the custom monitors specific to your business and architecture.

Website – This needs to include the obvious of uptime for sure but that is just the tip of the iceberg. You will also need monitors to be checking the load times of your pages, to test the speed and completeness of your sites transaction and a load tester that can stress your site for you and let you see how much traffic you can really handle. It is a known fact that if your site slows down for any reason the impacts are fast and negative. A website (or transaction, that is slower than 3 seconds can cost you a very real loss of 20% of your customers and revenues.

Server – Your server monitoring needs to be able to capture the performance here of: CPUs, memory availability, storage and disk, network bandwidth, processes and services availability and speed, SNMP devices and it must address multiple TCP protocols, such as - UDP, SIP, IMAP, POP, SMTP, etc. It also should have agents for both Windows and Linux. With this in place you will be well positioned to see in real time the performance of your server and devices, will be able to isolate and clear troubles quicker and will be able to clearly anticipate additional server needs as your network demands increase.

Application - If your web application is up and running, everything must be fine, right? Not necessarily! Applications always come with the risk that while they may be running they are not running at optimal levels. At a minimum you will need application monitors for Email Round Trip, MySQL, Log, Oracle, Tomcat and Java/JMX. You will also want your monitoring system to have an open and easy to use API with the following:

  • Easy to use API with full documentation
  • SDKs for all popular languages including Java, Perl, Python, PHP, Ruby, C#
  • Open API monitoring scripts for:
    • Popular web servers: Apache™ HTTP server, Tomcat, Nginx, Node.js™ and Microsoft® IIS
    • SQL Server®, and NoSQL databases and storages: MS SQL, PostgreSQL, Cassandra, MongoDB®, Apache HBase™, Berkeley DB, Riak, Memcached
    • Microsoft Exchange, Active Directory®, ISA, SharePoint®, printers
    • Virtual and Cloud platforms: Windows Azure™, Amazon AWS, XEN, VMware®, Hyper‑V®
    • Mac OS®

Network – Your network monitoring should  provide agent based and agentless monitoring for a wide range of network devices, including switches, phone systems, and Windows®, Linux® servers. It should also allow you to monitor such items as  firewalls, switches, printers and VoIP devices.

Cloud – Day by day more and more of your world moves to the cloud so you had better be prepared to monitor this or it may quickly get out of control and you will have no idea. To not lose control make sure your cloud monitoring has features such as:

  • Track virtual server instances
  • Trigger event and notifications in case of server failures.
  • Oversee web servers, databases, mail servers, TCP ports and SSH access all based on user rules for existing and automatically launched new server instances.
  • Add monitors and notifications automatically for newly launched servers based on user defined rules.
  • Automatically deploy agents on new servers to monitor their performance and resource utilization.

RUM – User experience is an area that has gained significant importance of late and it should. If your users aren’t having a fast and efficient experience you will lose them for good. RUM today must have the ability be an advanced end user monitoring system that collects valuable data about your users’ interactions with your website. It then presents it in a concise view on your dashboard so that you instantly see your site’s strong points, weak points and a wealth of other valuable information. Have the best site you can based on real information and significantly improve your revenues. Minimum features that is must have include:

  • Total Pages Views and Load times
  • Top Pages Viewed and Load Times
  • Real Time Site Page Build Performance
  • Users’ Browser and Platform Performance
  • Geographic User Breakdown

This high level guide gives you an idea of the areas and disciplines that must be incorporated within your monitoring system. But there are additional key points that you should be keenly aware of, such as – how frequently does it run checks, how many locations does it test from around the globe, is it cloud based, do they offer a truly single view dashboard to make your tasks easier,can you get real time reports, does it offer 24/7 technical support and can it be customized to your exact business and IT needs? These are all just as critical as the items that preceded them and should be a must on your monitoring system shopping list.

To see exactly what Monitis can do for you and how we can help you monitor and make sure your performance levels are where you want them, visit our website and why not try it for yourself with a free 15 day trial.

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