Websites, businesses, apps and several other entities rely on servers to be successful. These servers provide a wealth of different services for computers and those who use them. While it would be lovely if these servers were always working as expected and functional, that isn’t always the case. Websites and businesses experience downtime frequently.
When a server is down, it can be very difficult to understand why or what caused it. Not only that, but server downtime can be very costly at times. Companies can lose millions of dollars, not to mention many users or clients, if downtime persists. Thankfully, server monitoring exists and can help developers, companies, and businesses with a wide range of things.
They can help you get visibility on the health of your servers; help you scale and make sure you know what is happening at all times. In some instances, they can even help you see when an issue is approaching. However, server monitoring can be done right, but it can also be done wrong. You want your monitoring efforts to be as optimized as possible.
With that in mind, this blog post is going to look at all you need to know about server monitoring in 2020. In general, we are going to look at some tips and best practices when it comes to successfully monitoring servers.
Use the Right Tools
If you want your server monitoring to be as optimized as possible, you need to be sure to use the right tools. There are many different tools that can help you monitor your servers such as Loggly and even network monitoring. These tools allow you to measure resource and bandwidth usage, packet loss and many other helpful types of information.
Monitoring your servers without the use of tools will be next to impossible, with just how many things need to be kept track of. Be sure to consider or try out multiple tools to make sure they work for your unique needs.
While building your tools is something that a lot of companies or developers may do, this isn’t always the best idea. It can be expensive, may not even work out, and it could put your sensitive information at risk. In the modern-day, with many affordable options at your disposal, consider using them instead of building your own.
Go Over What Are the Most Important Things to Monitor
In theory, you can monitor nearly everything from your systems to your databases and everything in between. However, everything might not need to be monitored as intently. Some things aren’t as vital to the success of your servers or company, and thus don’t need to be tracked.
You need to take time to decide what should be monitored and what might not be as important to track so closely. You ultimately do this by creating priorities. The things that are at the top of the list will be the things you need to monitor the closest. This often includes backups, databases, and systems that are critical to how your business operates.
These are things that can have a huge negative impact if they fail, go down or are compromised. The other things can still be monitored if you so choose, but they can wait until after your high-importance items are dealt with first.
Utilize and Set Up Helpful Alerts
While using tools to show you all the important metrics and information on the health of your servers is great, it isn’t enough. You still need people to be able to check that information to ensure everything is in order. However, constantly logging in and checking the dashboard isn’t very efficient and can lead to errors.
Instead, use alerts. By having detailed alerts that get sent to people when an error or potential issue arises, it will quickly allow them to respond and deal with the issue ASAP. These alerts should include how serious the issue is, who or what is affected and what triggered the event. All of this should help the recipient know what to do next and this should help the event be resolved quickly.
Document Everything and Keep All Team Members on the Same Page
Every company will set up and utilize server monitoring in a different way. They will monitor different things, at different intervals and there could be dozens of other differences present. As a result, be sure to document everything about how your server monitoring solution is used or set up. Also, be sure to mention why you are monitoring what you are.
All of this will ensure that everyone will be able to refresh their memory on your specific setup. Also, be sure to keep this document or set of documents in an easily-accessible location and make sure changes or edits can be made to it easily.
Test Everything Frequently
If you are monitoring your servers, and nothing is happening and no alerts are going out, it may seem like good news. This is because you would be alerted if anything bad was happening. However, getting no alerts for months at a time might not be as good as it seems.
See, issues happen. Even the most high-quality server will experience some hiccups. If you are getting no alerts of problems, it could mean that your monitoring software or alerting system is experiencing issues itself. This is why it is so important to test everything and make sure it is working up to par.
Without testing your alerts and the tools you use; you won’t be able to monitor your servers as effectively as you should be. Yes, tests can be time-consuming and frustrating, but they are certainly important to do every now and then.
In conclusion, this article should be able to help you learn and understand all you need to know about server monitoring. Without server monitoring, the experience of your end-user simply will not be as optimized as it could be.