Monitoring your applications is essential. Active monitoring lets you keep visibility into whether your applications are up and running smoothly, or if they’re experiencing decreased performance and down time. An effective monitoring strategy gives organizations significant benefits including:
- A single pane of glass visibility into the health of your infrastructure
- Protecting revenue and brand reputation
- Identifying and resolving issues before customers are impacted
- Creating feedback loops and stability
- Gathering information on usage and usability
But what makes for an effective monitoring strategy? Rather than “set it and forget it” while hoping for the best, take these tips into consideration for a proactive approach to application monitoring:
Tip #1: Get Input From Stakeholders
Consult with the application developers and support group to understand the best methods for monitoring the health and performance of the application. The developers can provide insight into how the application is built, while the support group can tell you where they see the most issues. The bigger your knowledge pool, the more information you have available when outlining your monitoring strategies.
Tip #2: Use Synthetic Transactions
Synthetic transaction monitoring provides a proactive approach to validating the performance of applications. Synthetic transactions mimic the actions a real user would take when using the application, and allow you to:
- Test the impact of third-party applications on company systems
- Detect performance degradation issues that might cause downtime
- More thoroughly test new applications
- Determine the impact of new features on users
Tip #3: Track All Your System Resources
There’s a lot of supporting infrastructure that goes into keeping your applications running. You need to be accounting for items like the performance of your CPUs, current disk utilization, loads, memory, and responses from any database resources. Failures at any of these points could knock your users offline and cause your company to lose revenue.
Tip #4: Leverage Log Files Effectively
System and application log files can be a critical resource for understanding current and past issues. The intelligence that results from monitoring log files may be used to develop additional monitoring capabilities to prevent recurrence.
Tip #5: Take Geography Into Account
Your company may be looking to use an application or website in a new region or country. If you’re branching out into the Asia-Pacific region, it’s important to test out and observe whether your applications provide the same functionality they provide when used in the U.S. If not, why not? Do you need to deploy localized infrastructure to ensure consistency?
Tip #6: Review Data Trends
You should be collecting data for insight into the flow of your application and usage at various points. Look for things like usage spikes during certain periods, how quickly applications respond to actions from users, and where your infrastructure might need further support. Account for both short-term and long-term patterns when developing troubleshooting strategies and doing capacity planning.
Tip #7: Be Aware of Scheduled Maintenance
Maintenance is a requirement to keep applications patched, updated and running smoothly. You should be aware of scheduled maintenance in order to minimize false positive alerts. You can also eliminate maintenance windows from your SLA reports.
Tip #8: Establish Intelligent Thresholds
While it is important to establish baselines for what is considered normal performance from your hardware and software platforms, it is also critical to establish intelligent monitoring thresholds to detect deviations from those norms. For example, implementing time-based or multi-metric based thresholds provide more effective alerting capabilities. Knowing what to look for helps you create policies to stay on top of those deviations from the set standards.
Tip #9: Be Careful Not to “Over Monitor”
Keeping an eye on your systems is critical, but be careful not to over do it. You don’t want your monitoring efforts to actually impact the application’s performance or availability. Ideally, your monitoring services should run in the background with minimal usage or overhead.
Get Help With Application Monitoring
Trying to maintain proper application monitoring during day to day IT operations can be complicated and daunting. Consider outsourcing your application monitoring to an expert NOC partner. iGLASS Networks is here to fill the gap, assisting in the creation of robust, consistent application monitoring strategies. Contact us at (888) 968-7662 to find out more about our solutions.