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Differences Between Rear View Mirror and Proactive Monitoring Techniques

by Maurice McMullin
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As IT systems have grown more complex over the last few decades, solutions have been developed to help Operations staff monitor infrastructure to help keep it running. These solutions range from built-in alerting in server operating systems to full-blown monitoring tools with integrated knowledge bases.

Traditional Event Watching

Differences Between Rear View Mirror and Proactive Monitoring TechniquesThese traditional solutions are good at what they do and have helped to support the growth of IT infrastructure through the WinTel server, virtualisation, and Cloud-based evolution. But what these solutions don’t provide is the insights and guidance that are required to avoid application and service delivery issues before they impact user experience.

Traditional monitoring solutions tend to monitor thousands of items in an IT infrastructure on a simple basis. For example, a storage unit is over 90% full – generate an alert to console and Admin. Write it to a log or database. This network interface is causing a lot of traffic on the network – generate and alert to console and admin. Write it to a log or database. And so forth. With thousands of pieces of information flowing into the solutions database and console, it’s no wonder that operations staff faced with all this data tend to set alerts to only trigger when something has already failed or has gotten to a stage where service has degraded. This is like monitoring systems via a rear-view mirror.

360 Proactive Intelligence

Today’s enterprises require a more intelligent way of monitoring their application delivery infrastructure. KEMP 360 Vision is our answer. It provides organisations with a 24/7/365 service that provides actionable, content-based insights on infrastructure performance to prevent application outages. It goes beyond simple 1:1 mapping of events with issues by taking a broader view of the application delivery stack.

As an example, consider a server farm and load balancer configured with the capacity to support traffic bursts during high traffic events like an annual sale or a live sporting event. A seemingly innocuous change to a firewall that causes the same IP to be used internally for all external requests. As a result of this change, the load balancer will route all requests that come via that firewall to the same application server, so that session affinity is maintained for users. Under typical daily load, the single host getting all the requests will probably be fine although it will likely have a higher utilisation than usual. Under normal solution monitoring this issue probably wouldn’t be caught as the metrics set for alerts will likely not be triggered. However, when the external events that the system was designed for occur, the sudden increase in traffic will all be routed to one server which will be overloaded. Leading to unplanned downtime.

With KEMP 360 Vision in place the change in the firewall configuration, and the raised traffic to the application server will be captured and reported to a KEMP Engineer who will review, analyse the situation using multiple metrics plus the knowledge KEMP has built up during over 40,000 LoadMaster deployments, then devise actions that can be taken to remedy the identified issue.

The Operations staff looking after the application delivery infrastructure with the issue are sent a notification, using a delivery method they have designated. The information includes the problem identified and suggested remedial actions. They have the option to accept the recommended corrective actions, defer them to a later time, or to talk to a KEMP engineer to further discuss the issue and the options available.

A Virtuous Circle

KEMP 360 Vision provides organizations with additional external expertise to supplement their internal staff. It provides an ever-improving solution that includes machine monitoring, with KEMP Support team’s expert review for any highlighted issues, which in turn feeds back into the machine monitoring rules and configuration. This feedback loop delivers an ongoing virtuous circle that is continuously improving the service received from KEMP 360 Vision. If traditional monitoring is like looking in the rear-view mirror, KEMP 360 Vision is like having a heads-up display.

KEMP 360 Vision is part of KEMP’s application delivery fabric which gives your organisation a modern, cost-effective, cross-platform, smart system that provides a better service to your users, and allows your IT staff more productive. Contact us today for more details or to discuss your needs.

 

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