Last week I wrote on why Applications are important. This week I want to touch on the importance of Monitoring the underlying operating system, or OS.
Is monitoring the Operating System Important?
Yes, without an operating system our applications would not exist. I am always amazed at the lack of attention our server operating systems get.
In regard to the Operating System, or OS for short, lets discuss performance trending. Ask yourself these questions about a important application’s OS in your environment.
- On a daily basis how much CPU does the OS consume?
- Does the CPU usage change during end of month or start of month?
- Does the CPU usage change at different times of day?
- What does Physical and Virtual Memory usage look like?
- Does the Physical and or Virtual Memory usage change correspond with the CPU usage?
- What about Disk, do you have any idea on the growth per volume, or disk/lun over time?
My point is that with all the challenges of working in the Data Center in 2012, most of us do not have time to be in running perfmon in each server. As Virtualization rockets our server count, in most cases our Server, or System Administration Staff count says the same. However, the Business needs in many cases require things like the above to be reported on, or alerted on.
Another viewpoint is as follows. Let’s say, you have a IIS server , and users are calling reporting sluggish web pages.So, being the Admin, you remotely login to the server, check for errors, finding none; check the system performance metrics via perfmon. Assuming the usage is not 100%, or you don;t know good vs bad; you're stuck either making a judgment call on what normal is, or passing the buck on to the network or storage team. However, if you can go back and look at a trend report, or even better, a graph of the resource in question, you can rule the cause out, or determine it is the cause,
Here are some examples from Solarwinds Server and Application Monitor.
Just the ability to know what your underlying operating system calls normal is a huge step for a lot of folks in my opinion, Then if you couple in features like alerting, reporting, and trending, it is the first step into maintaining a health Data Center, and guaranteeing that our Applications have a solid foundation to live upon.
Next time I will dive into Application Monitoring. Until then!