That new hot shot application owner is guaranteeing that his new application solution is the best thing since sliced bread, and of course it’s more bulletproof than anything else you’ve never heard of.
As monitoring geeks we know deep down that we can help make that application everything someone else wants it to be. We’re going to monitor it, not just for uptime and utilization, but for application performance and reliability. We have the capability and responsibility to help the business deliver on those promises.
So, how can one even hope to perform this dark magic I’m suggesting?
Standing up for standards
Elementary! As monitoring geeks, we have a bevy of tools in the box; but just as important as those tools, we have standards. Standards that we adhere to, advocate, and answer to.
Setting Monitoring Implementation Standards for hardware and application platforms yields a standardized process tailored to each individual’s environment. This can afford a consistent and streamlined monitoring experience; even if the platforms and applications are diverse - the process can remain the same.
Eliminating the impossible
For starters, we’re going to eliminate some of the guess work by closely examining our scheduled discovery results; keeping an eye out for any wayward hardware platforms that require further inquiry and ensure they’re being attributed with the appropriate custom properties. Then start asking some critical questions to narrow our focus that may include:
- What does the app do and who utilizes it?
- What is it running on and where?
- What OS does it require?
- What database does it use?
- What languages are running the application?
- What processes and services are needed to make it function?
- Does it have a Web portal and ports that need to be monitored?
- Who needs to know when there is a problem?
- What alerts are needed? Up and down? Do you want to know when specific components go into warning or critical states?
Consistently asking these standard questions at the onset of every monitoring activity will help build your customized standard, allowing you to target the unknowns quicker and start amassing data points.
As your monitoring system continues to amass those data points; riddle me this hero: What good is the data if we never look at it?
The devil is in the data
Scheduled data review is incredibly important for trend detections and data integrity. Start digging into that mountain of data you’ve been collecting with canned or custom reports then schedule them to be sent straight to your inbox. Review them weekly, monthly, and quarterly. You might be surprised at what you find (Or what you don’t!).
After consistently reviewing the information you will be able to start to sorting and collating that data into quantifiable metrics to show, for example, the ridiculous availability and uptime of the hot shot’s new application.
This charted data is now powerful business intelligence for decision makers when budgets get tighter, or just a good measurement for regulatory reporting.
By standardizing the appropriate level of hardware and application monitoring, scheduling automated reports, and reviewing the data you ensure the business’ applications and services are delivered reliably time and time again.
What monitoring standards do you utilize to consistently deliver applications and services to your constituents?