Modern IT environments are complex constructions that are composed of diverse systems and subsystems. They all work together to provide an organization’s computing power and the programs and applications that depend on it. As with many other types of complex systems, the failure of a single component can have disastrous effects. The introduction of cloud providers and services in the infrastructure mix has further complicated the task of ensuring that all parts of the environment are working efficiently.
While an IT infrastructure should be built to be resilient, there are limits to its ability to function when various aspects are compromised or subject to performance degradation. Fully protecting the end product of responsive systems and applications demands a combination of strategy and tactics. Monitoring is a tool that can provide useful strategic and tactical information that helps keep enterprise systems running.
What is IT Monitoring?
IT monitoring can be defined as a process employed to collect metrics regarding the software and hardware that make up a computing environment. Its purpose is to make sure everything is operating as defined when the systems were implemented. At its most basic level, monitoring simply performs device checks to ensure that equipment is functional. Advanced monitoring techniques drill down into the details of specific systems and provide information on their current states, usage, and availability.
Real-time monitoring furnishes tactical data that an organization needs to address issues currently impacting the environment. It’s used to identify malfunctioning parts of the infrastructure that demand immediate attention by the IT staff. The issues can range from a network outage, critical application server failure or a problem with systems hosted by a cloud provider. In all cases, appropriate personnel should be alerted by the monitoring system so action can be taken to remediate the problem.
Monitoring trends provides information which an enterprise can use to identify improvements that need to be made to the environment to maintain the desired level of functionality. Capacity planning is one of the ways that the data gathered from monitoring trends is used. Studying the way system usage evolves supplies insight into modifications that will enable them to continue to deliver the expected results to the organization.
Monitoring Best Practices
Several best practices should be incorporated into a viable monitoring initiative.
- Prioritizing the order of importance regarding the components of the computing environment is a critical step for effective monitoring. When defining alerts and thresholds, the systems which are vital for business continuity need to be treated differently than those that are used for testing and development.
- Defining detailed alerts is another part of implementing productive IT monitoring. When alerts are triggered, they should contain detailed and informative data that leads to actions that address the problem.
- Creating a process to resolve alerts is as important as generating warnings in the first place. In some instances, it may be necessary to notify upper management as soon as a serious issue occurs. Most alerts are more effectively handled by initially engaging the appropriate support team so they can try to handle the issue as quickly as possible.
- Reviewing the metrics that inform monitoring thresholds is necessary to reflect changes in the infrastructure and business needs of an enterprise. This practice maintains the utility of the alerts produced by the monitoring tool.
- Purchasing a professional-grade monitoring tool will produce better results than those from homegrown solutions. The complexities that need to be negotiated by a monitoring application demand implements with a proven track record. You don’t want to miss critical alerts due to defects in your in-house monitoring tools.
Monitor Everything From a Single Platform
Keeping tabs on the diverse systems that form your IT environment implies having eyes on a lot of different items simultaneously. Attempting to do this with separate tools for monitoring your servers, applications, and networks can be difficult. Monitoring teams can easily miss something when juggling multiple tools at once. Using more than one monitoring platform also impacts productivity by requiring users to master multiple interfaces and procedures.
IDERA’s Uptime Infrastructure Monitor is a comprehensive solution that enables organizations to be well-informed about all aspects of their IT environment from a unified dashboard. This increases the tool’s utility and enhances team productivity. Servers, network devices, applications, and virtual environments on-premises and in the cloud can all be monitored from a single platform. Uptime integrates with ServiceNow for automated ticket generation based on the application’s alert profiles.
Uptime includes advanced features that make it even more attractive as a monitoring solution. Monitor and alert on SLAs to ensure business commitments are met. SLAs can be tested and you can create customized dashboards to keep informed of performance related to SLAs in real-time. It also helps with enterprise capacity planning to make sure your organization always has the resources it needs to serve customer requirements. It provides a complete monitoring package that simplifies the complexity of staying on top of your computing environment.