As we explore in our previous article on the importance of effective server management and the aspects that are included in effective server management, it is essential to evaluate server monitoring as a critical step of the process.
Even though the widely held notion is that servers are primarily self-managing, server monitoring is at the essence of keeping the server functional at optimum productivity. Even though it can seem like a simple process, server monitoring comprises a comprehensive range of steps that need to be followed to ensure that further steps can be taken to keep the server functional at optimum efficiency.
The general concept behind server monitoring is pretty simple; the process comprises the collection of server data and its prompt analysis and evaluation to ensure that that server is fulfilling its intended purpose. The core data used during the course of the monitoring process often allows the server managers to have a clear idea of the steps that are needed to improve the functional performance of the server.
Here are some of the best ways to effectively monitor your servers and keep them functional at optimum productivity levels.
Evaluation of Core Server Factors to Conduct Server Monitoring
Even though from the outset, it seems like server monitoring is a singular process, in reality, the project is actively divided into multiple categories to prevent any negative impacts on the functioning of the server. The eventual purpose of having server monitoring is to ensure that server managers have the right to make decisions pertaining to the well-being of the server.
Here are some of the most critical processes that are part of the server monitoring practice.
Server Evaluation ROI
Putting in the effort to evaluate the costs related to the server can be a great way to get started. Server downtime can be costly for businesses primarily due to the loss of business and sale potential, which also suffer from penalties for failing to meet the SLA requirements. By effectively evaluating the costs involved for server monitoring, companies can essentially improve their evaluation process and start to focus on critical areas to check for any problems or potential issues.
Key Performance Indicators are benchmarks that are globally used to evaluate the performance of the servers. These indicators can be a great way to assess server productivity over time and have a quantifiable approach towards a server performance improvement in the future. Some of the most commonly used KPI's include the following.
- Requests per Second (RPS) – Requests per second is a great way to evaluate the number of active requests being sent out to the server. Generally, these requests are referred to as server load. Monitoring the server load allows you to have a clear idea of the interactions your applications are having.
- Average Response Time (ART) – ART is a great way to measure the general response cycle of the applications. The core purpose of ART is the evaluation of how fast the server is responding. The result generally reflects the speed of the application and is one of the best ways to measure the performance of the server.
- Server Uptime – Server uptime allows us to have an idea of how the server has been up and running. It will enable us to have a clear picture of how reliable the server is. Generally, having an extended uptime value is preferred due to its relevance to reliability.
- CPU and Memory Utilization – This variable denotes the amount of time the applications take from the CPU while processing a single request. This variable usually is calculated to have a clear idea of how much of the processor's current capacity is being utilized effectively. Aside from the processor usage, it is also essential to evaluate the memory usage to make sure that the server is efficiently using memory through its processes.
Monitoring Server Event Logs
Server event logs provide a detailed description of the significant events occurring on the server. These logs provide around-the-clock coverage of all major events happening across the server and ensure that you stay updated with the latest events. Reviewing server logs is really important to keep on top of any potential threats to server integrity and security. These logs often include a detailed list of any possible attempts to penetrate server security. Having a clear update can allow server managers to take pre-emptive steps to thwart any upcoming threats.
Reviewing Application Updates
Even though we delved into the topic of Application updates in our previous blog, it is essential to emphasize the importance of monitoring application updates on your server. Application updates allow you to keep your running applications like WordPress up to date with all the latest tools and features. Previous versions of applications are also known to have potential security issues that can impact the general integrity of the server and cause negative results in the future. Even though the monitoring aspect of the server updates is limited to reviewing available updates and forwarding them to the server manager to ensure that the right updates can be installed in the future, in some cases, it is better to retain previous versions of the applications to prevent compatibility issues from happening between applications. In these cases, it is better to let the server manager make the decision on the eventual updates that need to be installed.
Server monitoring is an essential part of effective server maintenance and management. Even though a vast number of people prefer to let automated options dictate their servers, having a manual monitoring process allows qualified data to come forward to the server managing to make core optimizations and improve the decision-making process eventually. By following through on the aforementioned steps, you can ensure that your server stays efficient and is able to provide ideal results. These results ultimately translate to improved cost efficiency and higher uptime. The central KPI's are also quintessential to the technical process moving forward due to their role in determining resource allocation.