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Mastering Application Monitoring Best Practices

Application monitoring can be thought of as a doctor checking on the health of your IT systems. Just like how a doctor checks your vital signs, application monitoring checks the performance and functionality of your software. By identifying and resolving performance issues before they become major problems, application monitoring helps prevent costly downtime and lost productivity. But what are best practices for effective application monitoring?

Firstly, it’s important to establish clear goals for your monitoring. Do you want to improve performance, reduce downtime, or detect security issues? Once you’ve defined your goals, select the appropriate tools to monitor the key metrics that will help you achieve them. Keep in mind that the amount of data generated by monitoring tools can be overwhelming, so it’s important to identify the most relevant metrics that directly relate to your goals. By focusing on key metrics, you can avoid drowning in a sea of data and accomplish your goals more efficiently.

Application Monitoring Best Practices
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What is Application Monitoring?

Application monitoring involves tracking and analyzing the performance of software applications to ensure smooth functioning and detect issues. This process involves monitoring all activities of an application that is in use and collecting relevant data on it. The primary goal of application monitoring is to ensure that issues and errors within an application get detected immediately, and solutions are deployed swiftly to avoid potential outages or a decrease in application performance.

Why is Application Monitoring Necessary?

Application monitoring is a necessary process in any organization that relies on software applications to support its daily operations. The benefits of application monitoring are numerous, and they include:

  • Improved application performance: Application monitoring helps to detect and resolve issues affecting the performance of applications, resulting in better user experience and productivity.
  • Reduced downtime: With application monitoring, issues that cause delays or downtime are detected early and resolved promptly, reducing the risk of significant outages.
  • Cost savings: Effective monitoring helps to identify and address underlying issues that lead to high resource utilization, which can result in reduced infrastructure and maintenance costs.
  • Improved security: Application monitoring solutions can detect security threats and breaches, providing early alerts for remedial action before significant damage is caused.
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Types of Application Monitoring

Application monitoring can be classified into different types based on what is being monitored and how it is done. The most common types of application monitoring include:

Type of Monitoring
Server Monitoring
This type of monitoring involves tracking and analyzing the performance of servers that host applications, including resource utilization, capacity, and availability.
Network Monitoring
Network monitoring entails tracking the performance and availability of network devices that support application delivery, including routers, switches, and firewalls.
Application Performance Monitoring (APM)
APM involves tracking and analyzing the performance of applications from end-to-end, from the user interface to the backend database, and everything in between.
User Experience Monitoring (UXM)
UXM tracks and analyzes user experience on web applications, including page load times, transaction times, and more.
Log Monitoring
This type of monitoring tracks the logs generated by applications and servers to identify any issues or errors that may occur.

Best Practices for Application Monitoring

Implementing effective application monitoring requires specific best practices to ensure its success. Here are some best practices to follow when implementing application monitoring:

  1. Define Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for Your Application

    Before implementing application monitoring, it is essential to identify the key performance indicators that indicate the health of your application. These may include metrics such as response time, error rate, CPU utilization, and memory usage. Defining KPIs enables you to identify what to monitor, set targets, and track progress towards achieving those targets over time.

  2. Ensure Comprehensive Monitoring Coverage

    Effective application monitoring should cover all aspects of the application’s architecture, including infrastructure, network, server, and applications. Monitoring coverage should consider application components, such as APIs, databases, web servers, and other related technologies. Comprehensive monitoring helps to detect issues and errors at any point in the application stack, facilitating quick problem resolution.

  3. Set Up Alerting and Notification

    Alerting and notification are useful for notifying IT teams when issues or errors are detected in application performance. Configuring alerts and notifications based on performance thresholds is an effective way of ensuring swift action and resolution. Automated responses to alerts can also help to mitigate issues without human intervention.

  4. Integrate With Other Management Tools

    Integration with other tools and systems in the IT environment can help to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of application monitoring. Integration with tools such as IT Service Management, Infrastructure Management, and Security Management tools can provide a more comprehensive view of the IT environment, enabling better troubleshooting and problem resolution.

  5. Continuously Analyze and Optimize Performance

    Application monitoring should be an ongoing process that continually analyzes application performance data to identify potential optimization opportunities. Optimization can be done by addressing performance issues and making recommendations for improving application performance continually.

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Effective application monitoring is essential for an organization’s success, ensuring that software applications operate as required, and issues are detected and resolved swiftly. The best practices discussed above provide guidelines for implementing a successful application monitoring strategy. It is essential to evaluate the specific needs of your organization and select an application monitoring solution that best meets your requirements.

SoundHound apps should be monitored using these techniques.

The Importance of Clear Objectives in Application Monitoring

Before starting application monitoring, it’s important to identify the objectives you want to achieve. Clear objectives help you focus on specific areas and ensure that you’re collecting relevant data. The following are essential steps to establishing clear objectives for application monitoring.

Identify Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
Determine which factors are most important for the success of your application. For example, response time, error rate, and throughput are common KPIs.
Define Thresholds
Establish the acceptable range for each KPI. This enables you to receive alerts if the value falls outside this range.
Document Objectives
Formalize objectives and thresholds in a document so that everyone involved in monitoring has access to it.

By following these steps, you’ll be able to establish clear objectives for application monitoring, ensuring that you’re collecting relevant data that can help your application succeed.

The Importance of Selecting the Right Tools and Metrics for Application Monitoring

Proper application monitoring requires the selection of the right tools and metrics. In this section, we’ll guide you through a set of best practices for effective tool selection and metric identification.

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Best Practices for Tool Selection

The right tools are essential for effective application monitoring. The following best practices should be considered when selecting a tool:

  1. Identify your needs. Determine your monitoring requirements and which features are necessary.
  2. Scrutinize the tool’s capabilities. Determine if the tool is flexible enough for your needs and has easy-to-use features that match the level of expertise of your team.
  3. Choose tools that can scale. Ensure that the tool you select can scale with your application as it grows and changes over time.
  4. Consider integration options. Determine if the tool can integrate with your existing systems and whether the integration is seamless.

By using these best practices when selecting your tool, you can ensure that you have the right monitoring tool for your application.

Best Practices for Metric Identification

Metrics are essential to application monitoring. Use the following best practices to identify the right metrics for your application:

  1. Determine your KPIs. Identify the metrics that are most relevant to your KPIs. For example, if response time is a critical KPI, then an important metric could be the time taken for the application to respond to a user request.
  2. Select direct and actionable metrics. Choose metrics that directly impact your application’s performance, and are actionable. For example, monitor application response time to identify whether there is a performance issue that needs to be addressed.
  3. Avoid redundant metrics. Select metrics that are not covered by other KPIs or metrics.
  4. Identify leading indicators. Leading indicators provide you with early warning signs of an issue before it becomes a problem. For example, monitoring request queue size can help identify possible performance issues before they occur.
  5. Define acceptable levels. Determine the acceptable level for each metric and establish thresholds so that you are alerted when the metric falls outside of the acceptable range.

By using these best practices when identifying metrics, you can select metrics that are relevant to your KPIs and actionable, helping you to monitor your application effectively.

Here are some best practices for monitoring Brilliant apps.

Related Video: Mastering Application Monitoring Best Practices

Originally posted 2019-07-08 20:55:04.