For a company, the phrase “all hell has broken loose” comes in different shades. One of the murkiest shades is when you hear the phrase “the server is down.”
That’s almost synonymous to hearing “White House down!”
Such a downtime has grave effects. Here’s a typical picture of a server downtime; employees have their hands up in frustration. Apps have crashed, logins are barely responding and projects are in limbo. The IT team looks befuddled, and they are scrambling to get the system up and running.
Every company that wants to avoid this kind of circus must prioritize its server monitoring because without a server, no company can function – not in this age where technology rules every space. But monitoring a server for monitoring sake is futile. Let’s take a look at 4 components/metrics server monitoring should focus on.
Let’s take a moment and get a fair idea of server monitoring is all about.
Server monitoring, according to Techopedia, is “the process of reviewing and analyzing a server for availability, operations, performance, security and other operations-related processes.” The primary goal of server monitoring is to ensure optimum performance of a server.
Most kinds of monitoring software have several layers of technology. Some of the commonplace protocols that are used in server monitoring include PerfMon (Windows Performance Monitor), WMI (Windows Management Instrumentation), ICMP (Ping) and SNMP (Simple Network Monitoring Protocol).
Now to the Parameters that should be measured
There are different kinds of servers and the aim of conducting server monitoring differs by servers.
For instance, web server monitoring may be aimed at observing speed and user load while an application server may be focused on availability and responsiveness of a server. Storage servers, on the other hand, may be monitored for capacity and data use.
There are excellent Free server monitoring tools out there which are likely to be a good fit for your needs. Here are four key items which should be measured at every point in time:
Your company’s RAM is critical to optimum performance. Without the requisite memory, your IT infrastructure grinds to a halt. For instance, if you are running a web server for your website, you must always ensure there’s ample memory. Without enough memory, your website will be slow and unresponsive. If there’s a lot of traffic, your website is likely to crash.
With memory monitoring, you can preempt memory challenges and address them before they balloon into a bigger problem. You can also gauge memory capacity and make upgrades where necessary. Alerts will be given when memory reaches critical levels according to your own presets.
The processing power of your server determines the performance of your server. CPU monitoring ensures your CPU usage is set to specific thresholds. For file and application servers, you need to monitor server CPU to make sure your company stays productive because overloading your servers will slow down your systems and also spike the risk of server failures.
3. Hard Drive Utilization
The disk space of your server is a key resource that needs to be always monitored. When your available disk space plunges to certain levels, you are likely to experience errors in server functions, data losses, and downtimes. Monitoring ensures proper planning and utilization of hard disk space.
Monitoring your bandwidth capacity is very important. Bandwidth capacity simply refers to the amount of data a link can transfer. Bandwidth monitoring allows you to keep an eye on your network interface and set limits so that once these limits are breached you get alerts for an appropriate course of action to be undertaken. Some of the key metrics that are observed during bandwidth monitoring include read/sec, write/sec, queue length, busy time, etc.
Stay on top of the issues. Don’t let an outage or server downtime take you by surprise, rather preempt challenges with a server through server monitoring. While there are many things that need to be monitored, some key metrics that should be observed included memory, bandwidth, CPU usage, and hard drive utilization.