The title might make you feel it’s complicated, but I’ll try to put it in perspective for you. Consider this scenario and think to yourself whom you’ll blame.
- One day you open up your laptop and take your web browser and go to google.com and it fails to load. Who do you blame?
- Now another day you open up your laptop and take the web browser and go to your local government website and it fails to load. Who do you blame?
If you thought that your ISP was to blame for the first problem, but you thought your government website was to blame for the second one, then that means I can read your mind! Just kidding. The actual reason is the amount of trust you give to each and every entity that you know. We decide who is reliable or whom to trust based on our previous experiences. We know that Google never goes down and if it does, then you trust google so much that you blame your ISP for the internet connectivity problem. You never think for a moment that Google is actually down and your ISP is not at fault. The same thing happens in the opposite way for the local government website. They might have had a lot of downtimes when you’ve tried to use it which is far greater than the downtime you faced with your ISP. So you trust your ISP more in that case.
When you run a business, your web application or website is the face of your company and trust is a very rare commodity. You want your customers, present and prospective, to trust your company and its services. You need them to trust that your website will not go down at any point and they can trust it.
This is where a 24×7 monitoring service comes in.
So what is 24×7 monitoring?
We deploy applications into servers or cloud environments. A lot of management overhead goes into deploying your applications, running it and maintaining it. 24×7 monitoring service ensures that your application environment is always taken care of by the experts. Service status is verified, patching is done, logs are monitored and security issues are dealt with, with the absolute speed and precision that is required to keep the trust of your customers.
24×7 monitoring includes server monitoring, application monitoring, patching, security monitoring, cloud management and everything that is required to keep an application up and running without downtime.
Why should you use a 24×7 monitoring team?
So you might have searched on the internet how doing it and might have seen some solutions like Zabbix, New Relic or Data dog which are some big names in monitoring, but something you have to understand is that these are just mere tools. Tools are useless if the people using it are not experts. You can use the tools, but you need a good amount of knowledge to understand how to use them effectively.
That is where 24×7 monitoring teams come in. These are experts who have a very vast knowledge about each individual service in your environment and can take action based on the changing requirements of that environment.
Monitoring teams use tools like Zabbix, Cloudwatch, Vulnerability inspectors etc. To ensure that the system is running optimally and that steps are taken to minimize downtime in every way.
So what’s the advantage?
Two words, proactive monitoring. Panicking over a down application is the same as crying over spilled milk. There is nothing much you can do at this point. The deed is already done.
This is where proactive monitoring comes in. Proactive monitoring ensures that service issues or failures are discovered even before they become a problem. This is done from the years of experience and expertise of the monitoring team engineers. Advanced alerting systems and metrics are monitored to discover problems even before they surface. Vulnerability is learned about and patched before they are used by threat vectors to gain access to your environments. The system standards are improved to ensure better security. A lot of tools are in the tool belt of a 24×7 monitoring engineer that can ensure that your customers trust you more than any of your competitors.
We shall see what they are in detail:-
Real time monitoring:
Real time monitoring is the process of keeping track of all the important metrics in an application environment with a resolution of 5 minutes or less, ideally 1 minute.
Server metrics include the CPU, memory, disk, network bandwidth etc. That is currently being used by the server. This also includes the monitoring of the essential service applications like cron, web server service, firewall, NTP or chrony etc.
Log monitoring ensures that the actual application status is monitored at the runtime level to ensure that there are no errors that can cause the application to behave unintentionally.
Pre-planned capacity provisioning
The user load on an application can vary at different times. Your application might be hosting a flash sale which can drive user engagement quickly. Without pre-planned capacity provisioning, your application will not be able to scale up with that sudden surge in demand.
Any application environment needs proper maintenance. It could be something trivial like clearing logs or something complex like compliance enforcement. These tasks require automation to ensure that you have more time developing the application and provide the best solution to your customers.
User, password, system and billing are just a few of a whole lot of audits that are required to be done to ensure proper functioning of the application environment.
Each day a new vulnerability is discovered by security researchers. These are then fixed and released as patches by the OS or middleware vendor. Patching a system on time saves a lot of trouble when there is a massive attack of exposed vulnerabilities.
So what’s the conclusion
Keeping trust is difficult, and it’s more difficult when you have to do it yourself. Having a 24×7 monitoring team dedicated to keeping your application running without downtime and running well optimised lets you concentrate more on your application instead of running and maintaining it. The advantages of a proactive approach to monitoring is unmatched.