IT System Monitoring – The Right Choice

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website monitoring

A while back I was reading an article from TechWorld titled “5 Reasons why you need IT Monitoring” and they are as follows:

  1. To maximize your return on network investments for business application delivery
  2. To anticipate and resolve issues before they’re problems
  3. Make your staff more effective
  4. To ensure quality and service levels
  5. Move things forward!

Thus your IT mantra should be “monitor, monitor, monitor.” Whether it is your website, servers, applications, network or custom integrations of service, the holy grail of maintaining a fast, efficient and stable IT world is to have the best monitoring you possibly can.  The bottom line being that if you can’t monitor it then you can’t manage it and if you can’t manage it then your efforts, your department and your business are doomed to be continually jumping from here to there in a nonstop race to patch up trouble after trouble. A business with a high quality monitoring system in place sees troubles before they affect the business and customers. It optimizes the IT investment and assures an improve ROI. A properly designed and deployed monitoring system lets you see the load your network is carrying and how efficiently it is running, automatically checking and keeping things healthy and humming along.

Recently I was doing some research and testing of the major competitors to see who was doing what and doing it well. One of the APM companies I researched and tested is a company named Monitis. They are the elder statesmen in the industry as a cloud based monitoring platform provider. Visiting their site you can see that they are truly a one stop shop in that they provide monitoring for; websites, servers, applications, networks, as well as RUM, custom and cloud monitoring.  After reviewing their capabilities I took advantage of their free trial so that I could get a first person feel for what the real capabilities were, how user friendly the services are and finally to stress it with real world, hands on tests. I learned a long time ago that it is way too easy for a company to say they can do things so I like to personally go through the process and see what the reality is.

Since it is the crazy super cyber season I decided to start with the obvious – website monitoring. We know all too well the importance of a fast website that is always available and able to handle large traffic loads and transactions. If a website is too slow to load (over 3 seconds) then the business suffers and it suffers tremendously. A single second of delay in loading a web page can cost a business from 7% to 10% of its revenues. I completed the setup process so I could test; uptime, full page loads and transactions. The setup was smooth, quick and very easy to understand. I established multiple test and monitoring sites from an extensive list of various cities around the globe and in a matter of minutes I was seeing the data on the monitors right on the dashboard of my laptop. I do need to say at this point that the dashboard Monitis has for seeing and managing your monitors is sleek, intuitive and concise and was a real pleasure after seeing some of dashboards of their competitors (the snapshot below is one of the ways I had it set up).

website monitoring

I was able to set up a complete alerting system (again from around the globe) that was efficient via the parameters I assigned and the alerting was fast and accurate. While I was testing I didn’t miss a single alert and even better, I wasn’t driven crazy or annoyed with useless false alarms that a lot of the others companies I tested sent me when I tested them.  Between the monitors I had set up and the report formats they gave me it was easy to see not just what pages were loading slowly but it was crystal clear what components were creating the lag. It was all very impressive.

alerting system

After getting my test sites running nice and quick I decided to stress test my site so I could see just how much traffic it could handle before the service would start to degrade for my customers. The Monitis Web Load Tester is an extremely valuable tool as it lets your stress your website and you see exactly at what traffic level it starts having issues. You can have this traffic come from up to 5 different locations and each location can thrust up to 2000 simultaneous requests at your website – you decide.  So whether you are a small little website with minimal traffic or a mega website and will be getting lots of traffic you can stress it and test it all. This way you don’t get caught short by being having an untested site that isn’t ready for your customers. Always be prepared.

Monitis

They also have a very nice Real User Monitor that bundles together a wealth of information so that you get a true picture of how all your diverse users experience your website. You can immediately see critical information like; total pages views, page load times, top pages viewed, real time site page build performance, browser specific performance, platform performance and a geographic breakdown of where your users are at. What was really neat was that once again the information was crisp and clear and easy to see. By reviewing the information it was simple to understand what users were having great experiences and what users weren’t and why.

Real User Monitor

I also took extensive time to work my way through Monitis other monitoring for; Servers, Applications, Network, Custom and Cloud. I was impressed at how well everything was brought together, presented and documented at the support site. All in all my testing was extensive and I have to admit, I try very hard to find faults and negatives, but the results were very good. The entire APM platform was complete and dynamic and it was an extremely positive experience for me. So do yourself a favor and go check them out, take advantage of the free trial and I am sure you will be as impressed as I was.

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