Server monitoring best practices: 7 dos and don’ts
Enterprise security heads can often find themselves in a tough situation when they become the last to know about the website outage. Most IT professionals go through this. Key enterprise personnel may be taking a coffee break or checking their phone. At the same time, they may miss seeing tons of missed calls and emails – customers getting angry and boss(es) asking about what is happening – making everyone curious.
This is where having the right set of monitoring solutions can be put to best use. Such solutions can help your business to stay ahead of the game. If not, then the first step is to start with hiring cloud monitoring services. Even if you are acting, be adaptive and look for ways to improve.
Here are some do’s and don’ts to look at ways to improve the server monitoring.
#1. Don’t: Reinvent the wheel
The idea of “not invented here” describes IT professionals’ natural tendency to prefer to work independently rather than using existing software. While ‘build’ versus ‘buy’ is a good debate to have in many contexts, it is critical to know that server monitoring is not one of them. Setting up internal assessment tools is too costly when sensitive data is at risk.
Also, there are perils of initiating cloud monitoring as it requires you to build your source control tools for every new project or your server and operating system.
#2. Do: Set up an exact, visual representation of your servers
Once you decide not to create your monitoring tools, it is best to decide what you want and get your server’s design. It would help if you got out of this. You should have clear and thorough data and metrics on how the server performs by roping in the cloud monitoring services.
To understand the reason, think of how you operate a car. You have a dashboard where you get data to aid in the operation of your vehicle. And as part of its dashboard, you have a series of lights and indicators that warn you of potential problems and where you need to be focused.
#3. Don’t: Hire and rely on people for login and checking
Now that you’ve found your tool, setting it up and configuring it is necessary. Getting the nice visual reads on the server health would mean that that you’re doing pretty well at server monitoring in general. But you’re not done with this.
First, users want to make sure all of the necessary systems have logging in, which, without a doubt, will result in more errors. A person having to login into something is more challenging to manage than receiving a randomly delivered message. Lastly, this is a lot less efficient than having the person receive directed news.
#4. Do: Set up detailed, well-structured alerts
A clear and actionable alert is necessary for those receiving cloud alerts. So, when you set up the IT Cloud monitoring software, it is crucial to know who considers it and how are they planning to react to it. A lot will depend on what they do next, which includes answering the following questions.
- What is the severity of this issue?
- What are the logical implications—who or what is affected?
- What is the critical, relevant data that triggered the alert?
- What should the person receiving the alert do next? (Preferably, link to a recommended procedure).
You are much more likely to get warnings that lead to fast problems if you think about these aspects while setting up your alerts and the circumstances that cause these.
#5. Don’t: Use the only email for alert notifications
Move beyond the conventional methods of getting severe monitoring notifications. Simply relying on the emails for getting server alerts may risk the business functions. Therefore, it is critical to set up a secondary method for notification when server monitoring.
Make sure that the IT infrastructure monitoring involves implementing multiple alert mechanisms and pay attention to both. Whatever the method, ensure prioritizing speed and precision of alert, ranging from being physical system alerts to even cloud alerts, including alarm, SMS notification, and more.
#6. Do Monitor server health from several sources.
Investigating other aspects of server monitoring is crucial. Any list of the server monitoring best practices must incorporate a way to prevent false positives. To monitor your application, you need to set up the application at more than one location or provider.
They can have a monitoring tool in Asia, but the tool is hosted in North America. If your monitoring-tool fails to communicate with your server, it will notify you when the server becomes inaccessible.
But do you know yourself that the servers are down? What if some nodes along that path go out, and some of your customers can still use your service? The outage is a problem, but it’s not entirely your problem if the concerned departments affected due to the downtime are not yours.
#7. Don’t: Think that no news is good news
Here’s a trap to avoid once you have a monitoring system in place. Up to this point, it has been assumed that no news is good news. … the fact is that no news is satisfactory in short periods. As a rule, the good news is better, but there is a severe caveat to this. Systems will require repair. It is not feasible to expect no issues for an extended time.
If months or even years go by and you have never heard a peep from your alerting system, you should be wary. Attempting to address a potential problem requires ensuring that your monitoring software was running and configured correctly.
Following the do mentioned above’s and don’ts enable CISOs and security managers to drive best practices to make monitoring easier. This remains applicable to whether you are monitoring a physical machine, an operating system, your web app, or all of the above. You also have a variety of server monitoring tools to choose from.
Make sure you hire a dedicated team for enterprise application monitoring that provides robust server protection. You can also drill down into the source code, function, database, or API call causing the problem.