Your company’s server may very well be the bedrock of your business. In the short term, a server going down can cause work to slow and waste company productivity. In the long term, an extended problem with the server may lead to massive losses in revenue and customers, which can be difficult to rebound from.
Most of the time, servers aren’t just “up” or “down.” It’s more complicated than that. That’s like saying a person is either dead or alive. Much like a person, your server’s health is a better judge of how it is doing. Is your server healthy? Or does it need to go to the hospital because it really should be on life support? Here we go over some server monitoring best practices that will help your server stay up and running.
Why Does Server Monitoring Matter?
Monitoring and maintenance is important because it ensures that the server is properly prepared for all of the demands your company will put on it. Server monitoring tracks the condition of your server so you know how it is performing and if any maintenance needs to take place. This lets you find and address issues before they create larger problems.
What Key Metrics Should You Track?
It doesn’t matter how optimized and perfect your programming is if your physical server is damaged or unable to function. If you have a physical server, you need to start with measuring its tangible status. This should include tracking:
Depending on your server’s setup and size, you might consider taking temperature readings from multiple locations within your server racks. This will give you better insight into any potential hardware issues and where those issues are rooted. If you only use cloud servers, there’s no need to worry about the physical status of your hardware.
Cloud Metrics to Track
After you have established the metrics for your physical hardware, it’s time to focus on the server itself. Your server’s job is to always run your software and/or perform data logging. That means you need to keep track of the available space it has to do those functions, as well as the processing power to complete them.
That means you should track:
Page file usage
Disk queue length
This list is only a starting point of metrics that you should keep an eye on as you monitor. Depending on the needs of your company and server, you might have to change or add to the list. Find the metrics that matter the most to your situation and track them.
6 Server Monitoring Best Practices
It’s critical to stay on top of server monitoring because a fault in the servers can lead to costly mistakes. Here are six monitoring and alerting best practices that will help make your job much easier.
1. Know Your Server’s Capacity and Capabilities
When you’re first learning how to monitor a server’s performance, step one is to get to know what you’re working with.
Think of each server as a different car. You know better than to take your clunker—that’s held together by duct tape and hope—around a sharp corner at 70 miles per hour. A dragster might be able to perform that stunt, but this lemon definitely can’t.
In the same way, your server is unique and will have its own capacity for what it can handle. You need to understand its limitations, size, structure, and capabilities. The more you understand its limitations, the better you can monitor it and understand its safe running levels.
2. Utilize Automated Monitoring Software