When people talk about businesses using the cloud, we often think of companies in the classic sense – some global, private enterprise or even a mid-sized company deciding to re-apply resources and save by switching data storage and apps virtually.
But all kinds of organizations are benefiting by using cloud applications. Take schools and universities, for one.
There are many wonderful and productivity-enhancing applications that academic institutions use on the cloud to manage all facets of administration. For example, there’s Blackboard, which offers software to help schools manage courses, process transactions and e-commerce as well as oversee online communities. Another course management system housed on the cloud is the open-source Moodle program – also used by many schools and universities around the world.
But, as I’ve said many times before in this blog (it’s always worth repeating, though), cloud computing is great – but even better when you can employ cloud-based services, such as monitoring, to ensure security and a solid, safe and satisfying user experience.
There’s a lot that could go wrong, and thus a lot that needs monitoring! Internet business processes such as shopping carts, forms, internal search engines and logins all rely on servers and web applications. If a failure occurs, your customers can’t continue the order process, and they won’t be able to use your application. Those customers, visitors and users will go elsewhere, and as a result, you’ll lose revenue and repeat visits. And that means a loss of future business, too.
To keep things running smoothly, you need a service to continually monitor your transactions and alert you when any of the various steps in a transaction don’t work correctly. Thus, you increase revenue and enhance your reputation for quality and performance online.
One mark of a good monitoring service is its ability to simulate real customers, visitors and users and monitor from within the browser. So, monitoring is performed from the same perspective as that of the end-user.
Since this is the business I’m in, you might be a bit skeptical at the advice I’m offering. But if you don’t want to take my word for it, listen to Jeff Paul Solomon, systems administrator at Loyola Marymount University, who employed Monitis to monitor its course-management system:
“We had just brought up a highly-visible, web-based application. We could monitor the servers, but really needed a way to monitor user-experience – not just verifying that the web page was up, or even if the user could log in, but how long it took and what the user could see on subsequent pages. We found Monitis, which gave us fantastic transaction monitor features, and allowed us to tune our application and be notified before users started to call. The support we received was unbelievable, great and responsive. I would definitely recommend Monitis.”
Bottom line: you don’t want frustrated website customers or end-users of your cloud-based app calling to report a problem that you’re unaware of – all the while losing money and prestige. Back up your business or system with monitoring services and avoid potential troubles.