System administrators face many day-to-day challenges. Specifically, when they’re troubleshooting and resolving user issues. The last thing on their mind is probably to look at performance data and make meaningful sense out of it. While this may be a daunting task, data analysis is key when solving issues that may arise from monitoring your servers and applications. This is especially true when you have mission critical applications running in your servers. Therefore, SysAdmins must be proactive to ensure there’s no downtime with their servers.

     

Data analytics will only be as good as your application monitoring solution. It’s key to have an effective monitoring solution so your analysis and predictions are accurate. Major considerations to keep in mind when you’re shopping for an application monitoring solution include:

   

Application Health and Availability

You can analyze how many applications are up or down for a given week or month. Further, you can drill down further to see critical application status and component issues. Data analytics will show you the performance of business applications and whether or not there are deviations in performance. In addition, you can analyze patterns and see how each application responds to user requests and compare against your baseline. With analytics, you can look at application storage and estimate and predict storage growth for critical applications.


Real-time Alerts

When your applications reach their threshold, you should instantly receive an alert. This helps you look at changing up your threshold settings and analyzing the number of alerts you receive per week for a desired application.


Server Performance

Look at server performance and analyze a range of metrics, such as: response time, CPU load for any given time, memory utilization, node details, number of applications in a server, real-time processes and services, storage volumes for a given server, etc.


Hardware Health

To effectively look at server environment and performance, you need an integrated console which shows you a range of hardware components. You can analyze the performance of each component and their metrics to ensure failure of hardware components doesn’t negatively impact application performance. In order to do this, you should analyze the performance of hard drives, arrays, array controllers, power supply, fan, CPU temperature, CPU fan speed, memory, voltage regular status, etc.


Database Optimization

To optimize SQL performance, you can look at various critical metrics and analyze the performance of each. You can also identify expensive queries and see how long it takes for the query to run. Badly written queries will affect database performance. Similarly, look at other components in SQL server such as, index fragmentation so data searches occur faster. Storage utilization, transactions, average response time, etc. will have to be analyzed proactively. This will keep you aware of performance and availability of the database, avoid performance bottlenecks, offers you scalability to monitor more databases and instances, and maintain server hardware and keep it healthy.


Operating System

Depending on your environment, you may be using different operating systems. It’s essential to analyze the performance of your operating systems. Therefore, you should drill down in to your server operating system and analyze the performance of CPU utilization, physical memory, virtual memory, and disk performance. This will help show what’s causing a strain on the server, operating system, and applications.


Benefits of Analytics

  

Receiving answers to what-if situations and determining where problems may occur can be made easy. You can also get a meaningful relationship to your IT components, application performance metrics, customer experience monitoring, and end-user monitoring. To have optimum application performance, today’s SysAdmins in both small and large enterprises are expected to analyze these patterns and come up with substantial information to help make further IT investments and determine ROI.

  

To conclude, SysAdmins can certainly take a load off their shoulders by utilizing the proper monitoring solution. In turn, analysis and predictions will be more accurate. That being said, the aforementioned considerations are important to keep in mind when searching for an application monitoring solution.