What to look for in Server Monitoring

Let’s understand some basics of Server Monitoring and what you should look for to proactively monitor your servers, and data you need to troubleshoot your issue quickly.

Server performance monitoring is the process of automatically scanning servers on the network for irregularities or failures. These scans allow administrators to identify issues and fix unexpected problems before they impact end-user productivity.

Server and application monitoring will also help you determine if the issue that’s affecting your application is really a problem with the network or with a server, and can help identify a root cause.

Key Server Components to Monitor for Server Monitoring:

CPU Monitoring

  • CPU usage is critical for all the processes executed by the computer. There must always be some portion of CPU available to handle workload; CPU usage should never be 100%.

When the CPU usage impacts server performance, you have to either, upgrade the CPU hardware,  add more CPU’s, or shut down services that are hogging these critical resources. Charts and graphs can help you visualize CPU load over time to determine normal usage – match workloads to CPU capacity to save on power.

RAM Monitoring

  • Random Access Memory (RAM) is a form of data storage. A server can load information required by certain applications into RAM for faster access thereby improving the overall performance of the application.
  • RAM is flash-based storage and is several times faster than the slower hard disk (physical moving components).

If a server runs out of RAM, it sets up a portion of the hard drive as virtual memory and this space is reserved for CPU usage. This process is called swapping and causes performance degradation since the hard drive is much slower than RAM.

Swapping also contributes to file system fragmentation which degrades overall server performance. So, it’s important to have constant visibility into RAM usage. One way to balance rising RAM usage is to add more RAM. This is an economical way to boost server performance. You should monitor RAM utilization to determine which processes are causing spikes in usage for effective server monitoring.

 

In Part 2 we'll discuss Hardware Aspects of Server performance monitoring.