Are you responsible for the operations of your company’s IT infrastructure? Then you probably have experienced what it is like to deal with an overabundance of system information. It is difficult to comprehend the full situation, due to information overload. Fortunately, a monitoring service is the solution to that problem.
Which systems are working right now? Can our hardware resources support 10.000 new customers? And why can they not create a new order in the sales system? As an operations manager, there are many questions coming your way, and you have probably experienced that it is not always easy to find the information to answer them all.
When a system reports its operational status, it typically does so via two channels: A Log file and metrics. The log file contains text entries detailing the activity of the system, and each metric series is a collection of numbers that describe the system over time (number of ongoing processes, average response time, memory consumption, etc). If you know your system well, and your system is not that complex, it is generally sufficient to use these conventional information sources for system diagnostics.
However, when working with larger infrastructure which contains many different systems and different technologies, it is not so easy. In this case, the diagnosis of the infrastructure becomes a much more overwhelming task.
Does this sound familiar? Fortunately, you are not the only one who has had to deal with an overflow of system information. There are many great solutions to manage, supplement, visualise and track the information. For example, open-source projects such as ELK (for log-aggregating) and Prometheus (for tracking application metrics), or a cloud-based total solution such as Datahog.
Depending on the function sets, the proper monitoring service can accommodate several essential needs:
It can collect and aggregate the conventional information channels from many systems and consistently present them. There will often be a visualisation of the information, so getting and overview of your systems is a simple task.
It can perform checkups of your systems, for example, by doing and API call, so you will receive a warning about problems in advance.
If the service is sufficiently refined it can track, link, and juxtapose processes multiple systems. This is particularly important when working with fine-grained infrastructure with numerous small systems with plenty of internal communications.
If a system behaves abnormally, the service will feature a selection of mechanisms to notify the system administrators. For example, the notification can be an email in the event of system failures, a call if the checkup failed, or is a process restarts because it has been running for an unusually time.
Image 1: Example of Datadogs linkage of processes in different systems.
All in all, a monitoring service is an essential tool if you are responsible for an infrastructure of a certain size. It can provide transparency in an otherwise complex IT-landscape and pave the way for quick and efficient handling of technical challenges.
In an established and inflexible system portfolio, it can be complex to integrate a chosen monitoring service with every system. Instead, you can reap some of the benefits by implementing an integration platform in your infrastructure and integrating it with the monitoring service. With an integration platform, typically, you will be able to monitor the traffic in the infrastructure and perform more complicated checkups of the systems in the infrastructure.
Do not hesitate to contact up. We will help analyse your company's needs and a monitoring service can contribute to and optimise your business free of charge.