In today’s digital word it is urgently critical that we are constantly monitoring the performance of our networks efficiency. If we don’t maintain the highest levels of IT network processing efficiency than we trigger the results of “poor performance, lost effectiveness and client dis-satisfaction”. Processing power, and speed, are requirements for doing business and keeping customers satisfied, whether they be your internal customers or your online external customers. If a business cannot complete fast and easy business interactions then the business will suffer with clients giving up and going somewhere else. As the opening sentence states, the key is to know what to monitor, develop a monitoring road-map and then to implement it. While businesses almost always monitor their the uptime of their website they all too often don’t follow through in their plan by monitoring the underlying infrastructure components and this is a critical flaw. It isn’t enough just to be connected anymore, today’s world demands connecting fast and processing at the highest performance. Don’t ever let them see or even sense that your network is having issues!
To help establishing and maintaining the highest possible processing performance you need to always be looking at key components, such as, CPUs, Memory, Bandwidth and Storage and Disk utilization. Once you have established this level of granularity in your overall monitoring road-map, then you can be assured that you have taken the steps to help your business avoid service effecting issues and thus succeed. Two of these monitors, CPU and Bandwidth, can be especially challenging in that their performance naturally fluctuates, depending on the demands being made on the network and infrastructure. What is imperative then, is to determine what are the normal network demands and what will the associated processing and bandwidth performances be. Once this is established you can set thresholds that will alert you whenever your CPUs are experiencing demands that are not expected and thus may cause delays to customer requests. The same is true when we look at bandwidth and the demands on it.
Let’s assume that you have been monitoring your networks CPU utilization and during the peak load of the day your clients are consuming 65% . You can now set this as your maximum threshold and be confident that if your CPU exceeds this you will be alerted. There are a number of reasons why you might see spikes in processor consumption and utilization, such as increased users.
If this is the case then you may want to look at shifting the scheduled workloads of certain processes that consume a significant percentage of the CPU to another time when there is much less active user demand, or if that is not possible, it may be time to upgrade or shift other loads. It is also possible that your user demand has nothing to do with the fact that your processor load is excessively high and over your threshold. It could be caused by failing hardware or possibly some malware. The key point here is that the only way you will know that you have a service issue and a degradation that is impacting your clients is if you are monitoring. There is a famous saying, “If you don’t plan then you have planned to fail.” This is especially true when it comes to monitoring. You have to have an overall plan to monitor your IT infrastructure, otherwise you are left in the dark and exposed and “have planned to fail.”
Just as serious a threat can be seen in regards to monitoring your bandwidth. All to often, businesses ramp up their bandwidth when they start and then forget about it until they have customers screaming at them. This is really sad and completely avoidable with simply putting in place a monitor to pay attention to your bandwidth performance, because as consumption goes up the quality of the user experience goes down. With Monitis bandwidth monitoring you will always be monitoring your:
- Input/output traffic speed (B/sec)
- Number of Sent/Received error packets
- Number of Sent/Received dropped packets
As your users consumer greater and greater amounts of your available bandwidth their experience will degrade into slower and slower response times from you, until the finally get frustrated and just give up (for sure not something you want to see happen). But by taking advantage of this monitor you can set thresholds that warn you well in advance of such a negative experience and thus give you time to implement the needed solutions.
As I said in the opening, it is imperative today to have a well thought out monitoring road-map, an effective and careful setting of thresholds to warn of any service degrading. If you monitor it then you can manage it.