October 23, 2017
If you’re running multiple applications on your network, you’re probably going to experience issues at some point. Traffic may spike unexpectedly, increasing the burden on your server and causing lag for your other users. An application may go down, making it unavailable when people are relying on it. You might even see app-specific issues, such as delays, depending on the circumstances.
If you want to prevent these issues, or at least respond to them as quickly and proactively as possible, you’ll need to instate regular application monitoring. But effective app monitoring requires diligence—along with a thorough understanding of best practices.
Use these strategies and tips to make sure your application monitoring system remains effective:
Choose the Right Software
First, you’ll need to find the right software for application performance monitoring, as there are hundreds of choices available. The right platform should be able to provide you with complete, transparent information that even an untrained user can understand. The platform should be easy to learn and easy to read for all users that have access to it, should provide customizable reporting to help you analyze your history, and should provide you alerts whenever an app isn’t functioning as it should. Review your options carefully, and move forward with the software that best fits your organization’s needs.
Check In Multiple Times Per Day
If you only consult your performance monitoring software after an incident has occurred, you’re using it wrong. Even if everything’s running smoothly, you should have someone checking your app performances multiple times per day. The best way to respond to a problem is to catch it before it does any damage.
Set Up Alerts
That said, you’re still likely to run into emergencies every now and then, especially when an app goes down unexpectedly, or when aberrant traffic patterns interfere with how the app is running. For these instances, make sure you have alerts set up. Alerts should come in the form of high-priority emails or text to everyone who plays a role in application monitoring. That way, someone can take immediate action, and you can quickly coordinate to find a solution.
Customize Your Reporting
Most software will offer a template for your app performance reports, but if you want the best results, you should customize them. Customization allows you to pick and choose the most important variables for each individual app, and arrange them in a way that makes the most sense to you and your team.
Have a Documented Response Plan for Emergencies
If an alert takes you off guard, your response time is going to lag. To prevent this and respond as efficiently as possible, you should have a “response plan” for how to handle various types of emergencies, and formally document it so it can serve as a reference point for your current and future team members. For example, who’s responsible for taking immediate action? Who’s responsible for coming up with an action plan? How do you plan to coordinate?
Use Data to Form Actionable Plans
When reporting on the metrics you’ve gathered, you should take the time to form actionable takeaways. For example, don’t just note unexpected traffic spikes as a peculiarity; think about what actions you can take to prevent this or better handle it in the future.
Adjust Your Review Process
Your original application monitoring process isn’t going to be perfect, so on a regular basis, quarterly or annually, you’ll want to review the impacts of your process.
Once your application monitoring system becomes routine, it’s going to be far easier to keep consistent. The hard part is getting it implemented. Fortunately, with the right software in place, your job will be made much easier, and after making your first few mistakes, you’ll be able to tweak your approach with precision.
It should be a matter of weeks before you and your team grow accustomed to the new system.
Read more tips about troubleshooting your systems at TechCo
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