7 Replies Latest reply on Sep 7, 2012 1:59 AM by superfly99

    Application Monitoring, Are Applications Important?


      Applications are important. Ultimately, they are the drivers for the technology we all love. Do you monitor your applications today? What about the OS underneath?  In today’s world of IT, with smaller support staff contingents, Server and Application monitoring can be even more daunting. Couple this with more complex and higher demand applications, and you have quite the challenge.


      Server And Application monitoring can be a complex topic. Today I want to say a few words about a couple of the driving factors behind Server and Application Monitoring.


      Why applications? Applications are the tools company’s and organizations use today to generate revenue. It could be a single application, or a suite that offers a service to the customer. This often defined in a SLA.


      What is a SLA? The service level agreement is a business driven document, defining the services and replication ship between the provider and recipient. The official definition from Wikipedia is “A service-level agreement (SLA) is a part of a service contract where the level of service is formally defined. In practice, the term SLA is sometimes used to refer to the contracted delivery time (of the service) or performance. As an example, internet service providers will commonly include service level agreements within the terms of their contracts with customers to define the level(s) of service being sold in plain language terms.”


      Is a SLA important? It defines customer needs, and allows both parties an understanding of scope. It allows faster issue resolutions, and defines expectations.


      What does a SLA provide? A SLA is often required, because it can define some of the following:


      •             Application or service provided

      •             Server, and Application Performance, tracking / reporting

      •             Application / Problem management

      •             Compliance or legal resolution

      •             Security

      •             Termination

      Source http://www.sla-zone.co.uk/


      If you do not have a SLA requirement, you may have a requirement to report on OS and Application performance. Or you may have a requirement to report Server or Application alerts or Downtime. Perhaps Disk capacity, or maybe application resource capacity is a driving factor.


      Next time I will focus on talking about Monitoring the under laying OS.




      Roger Lund

        • Re: Application Monitoring, Are Applications Important?

          Our model is basically as listed below.

          Bronze:  Basic up/down monitoring

          Silver:  Bronze + Interface/CPU/Memory/Disk utilization monitoring

          Gold:  Silver + Application monitoring (services, log file scraping, processes, etc)

          Platinum: Gold + Transactional based monitoring such as done by SEUM or User Experience Monitors


          For us it all depends on the needs of the app owners or capabilities of the box.  We do have SLAs based on the type of application.

          • Re: Application Monitoring, Are Applications Important?

            Our monitoring service (provided via SolarWinds products) is offered one of two ways; either as an included component with our managed systems and as a stand-alone service. 


            If the monitoring service is part of a managed system then the monitoring level provided is equal to that of which we manage.  We may manage just the OS or we may manage the OS, IIS and SQL (as an example).  If we manage the OS, IIS, and SQL then we will include monitoring for those as well as part of the managed service.


            If on the other hand you purchase monitoring as a stand-alone service we have two different types with two levels each...


            Passive: System Monitoring

            Passive: Application Monitoring

            Active: System Monitoring

            Active: Application Monitoring


            In the case of the Passive services we only collect the performance statistics and give you a login to the system so you have it for reporting and capacity planning purposes.  The Active monitoring includes alerts that are sent to our 24x7 NOC who will respond to the alerts by following an escalation process that the customer provides us.


            In addition to these we also have a managed SIEM or Security service in the works and also offer custom monitoring solutions.


            What guarantees we provide all depend on the specific level and type of service.

            • Re: Application Monitoring, Are Applications Important?

              I like Mike Driskell's bronze/silver/gold/platinum method and it looks like he's putting the onus on the app owners (whatever their needs are determines what should be monitored).  We actually have business resistence to defining SLAs for apps, and we are basically told to monitor everything....it kind of turns into a mess fairly quickly.

                • Re: Application Monitoring, Are Applications Important?

                  While we have in the past put the responsibility on the app owners we are looking to change that mentality.  If it is considered to be a tier 1 app for instance we are looking to say you are getting platinum monitoring if you want it or not.  Since these high level apps have great visibility within the company we are moving into this model.  We are just starting this so we will see what resistance we get out of it.

                • Re: Application Monitoring, Are Applications Important?
                  Sohail Bhamani

                  Just to add to the importance of applications...


                  My career has been as a network engineer mostly.  A wise boss (there is such a thing) once shared that we were not network engineers in its pure sense.  We were application delivery engineers.  Applications need a network to provide their services and without applications, the network was unneeded really.  This was many years ago before the advent of modern IT technologies.  All kinds of things are network enabled now, virtualization is a reality and very highly utilized, and the essentially the "network" is merging with "services" such as those provided by apps and what not.  His statement is more true now than ever.


                  If you aren't thinking of applications now, its almost without doubt that you will have to eventually.


                  That is all


                  Sohail Bhamani


                  • Re: Application Monitoring, Are Applications Important?

                    I currently don't monitor applications. Working for a large corporation, my team is responsible for voice and data. So we use Solarwinds to alert us to any issues and with trouble shooting. Applications are another team's problem.


                    Over time this may change. Other teams are now interested in using Orion's IPAM. So it may expand to other modules.