Prospects of Website/Application Monitoring Business – An Insight Analysis

Multiple technical, and commercial factors such as growth in cloud investments, increasing data security threats, expanding online retail market, and new emerging markets and technologies augur very well for the website/application monitoring business globally.

monitoring service

Technological innovation in business, and emergence of new IT technologies are changing the landscapes of global businesses very rapidly. Newer business models and technologies are making inroads in every market all around the world to realize the business goals via capitalization of the market potentials. The rapidly increasing cloud infrastructure, mushrooming of mobiles apps, grand success of container technology, and fast rising threats to the data on the internet are driving the needs of comprehensive business automation, and real time monitoring of websites, servers and applications in the global business ecosystem.

In this article, we are going to dive deeper into the prospects of website and application monitoring business in the light of some fundamental technical and commercial factors. The main driving forces of online monitoring industry are discussed below.

·        Whopping Threat of Data Breaches

data threatThe recent research of Juniper Networks reveals that the cost of data breaches will cross a whopping $2.1 trillion mark by the year 2019. It will be four times the cost that existing market is bearing in 2015 with an average increase of over 25% annually. Meanwhile, the research has also found out some very important things that the consistent growth of data breach on mobiles and internet of things (IoT) is becoming an alarming factor in near future. According to Dell Corporation research report, more than 50% of the company executives anticipate a huge increase in the security budgets, which will increase the possibilities of increase in monitoring demands too.

To cope with such a huge threat to data, an online monitoring and automation of different processes will be required at a large scale. So, it will prove one of the powerful driving forces for increase in the demand of website, server and application monitoring services.

·        Grand Success of Container Technology

container techCisco systems research discloses the fact that the change in technology has become a very consistent phenomenon. More than 25% of the global companies are seriously considering investing in the change of technologies; and more than 40% of incumbent companies are displaced due to digital disruptions, says Cisco research. The newer digital disruption in the marketplace has emerged in the form of container technology in the domain of cloud computing and application development. The container technology has made deep inroads into the cloud computing; the grand success of Dockers Containers and the running of all Google software in the containers are a few very important examples to estimate the power of container technologies in near future. Docker software platform has been downloaded for more than 400 million times, and more than 75,000 applications are available in Docker Hub currently. It is also important to note that more than 50,000 third party projects are running on Dockers presently. It has made very easy for developers and SMBs to develop and run software applications in a virtual container very fast and efficiently.

A huge increase in software development and business automation is round the corner; consequently, it will increase the demand in application monitoring service across the globe. Monitoring the containers and their application is opening up a new era for application monitoring very shortly.

·        Massive IT Investments

Stack of dollarsIf we look at the global IT investment profile, we will find that a huge increase in the investment on IT infrastructure, business process automation, software application development, and system security is being recorded consistently. According to the IDC research report, the cloud infrastructure spending in 2015 will cross $33.4 billion with a substantial increase of over 26.4% in comparison with the 2014 figures. Meanwhile, cloud infrastructure investment will top $54.6 billion by 2019. IDC estimated more than $67 billion spending on non-cloud IT infrastructure. The forecast made by Computerworld anticipates more than 46% increase in security spending, followed by cloud computing at 42%. The spending in business analytics, storage, and wireless mobile is estimated 38%, 36% and 35% respectively. Gartner’s forecast predicts that the overall IT spending will reach $3,828 billion in all IT sectors such as enterprise software, IT services, telecom services, data center systems, and IT devices. The main growth will be noticed in software development sector at about 5.5% increase.

These massive investments are increasing the number of applications, servers, websites, online stores, mobile apps, and other business automation processes, which will definitely require extensive monitoring for better performance. So, monitoring services will be needed at larger scale in the near future.

·        Explosion of IoT Bomb

Internet of thingsNowadays, the internet of things (IoT) is the commonest buzz in the domain of internet and information technology. This is a modern concept of a network of the everyday objects that will have connectivity to the internet, and can communicate with each other like our present day computers. It has already taken pace with an estimated market of over $1.7 trillion by 2020 from $656 billion market in 2014, as estimated by many researches in the marketplace. According to the IDC prediction, the IoT market will grow at 19% in 2015 only. IoT in manufacturing sectors will grow at about 18.6% to reach $98.8 billion market volume by 2018. Strategy Analytics survey reveals that more than 30% of the global companies have already implemented IoT in their business in one way or the other; and this trend will continue for many years to come.

If we look at the prospective side of requirements to manage the interconnected things on the internet, we can easily predict a substantial growth in application, and device monitoring services in very near future.

·        Gigantic Scope of Software Applications

software appsAs we know, the number of mobile applications is increasing at a very fast pace, especially Android and iOS apps. The current number of mobile apps is more 3.8 million, and it is growing exponentially. Gartner predicts a whopping spending of over $335 billion in enterprise software in 2015 at the rate of 5.5% increase. Meanwhile, the Statista anticipates spending of over $328 billion in the domain of software development in 2015.  According to IDC predictions, more than 35% of the new applications will use cloud-based platforms for fast software development life-cycles and business innovation by 2017. The global SaaS revenue is going to cross $106 billion by 2016, as per forecast by IDC. Similarly, the business process management revenue will cross $10 billion mark – as suggested by WinterGreen Research – by the year 2020.

These figures augur very well for the online monitoring of web applications as well as mobile application monitoring business for many years to come.

·        New Emerging Markets

emerging marketsThe 21st century is considered as ‘Century for Asia’ in which numerous big Asian economies are emerging very fast. There will be a huge demand of software applications, business automation, cloud infrastructure and other IT resources and services. The major emerging global economies include India, Russia, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Brazil, Mexico, South Africa, and others. China and India are going to be large IT hubs shortly. According to AMI estimates, the Indian retail market will spend as much as $81 billion on IT by 2020. The growth in the investment in the SaaS will remain at an average of above 28%. The current initiative of Indian government to digitize whole India can open up new dimensions for IT businesses for global players as well as for many new startups.

In such an attractive global business environment where a large number of positive market drivers and stimulus are available, everybody can easily anticipate a substantial growth in the automation of applications, systems, and website monitoring services in near future. To get more information about an enterprise-level free application monitoring service, click here.

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Top 10 SQL Server Counters to Monitor Closely for an Industry Grade Performance

System resource contention, bad database schema, bottle-necking, and excessive time procedures or queries are the major reasons that cause performance issues of an SQL server.

SQL Server LogoSQL server is one of the mostly used databases in all kinds of industries all around the globe. It is a very important responsibility of a database administrator to maintain the performance of SQL server professionally.  The close monitoring of different critical and service affecting counters/parameters of SQL server not only increase the system up-time, efficiency and effectiveness but also chance to achieve the desired business goals of any organization.

The causes of the performance degradation of SQL server can be classified into three broad categories – bad configuration, shortage of resources and malfunctioning of different processes. Specifically speaking, we can say that the insufficient server resources, bad configuration, excessive query compilations/re-compilations, memory bottle-necking, bad execution plans and database schema designs, and CPU usage pressure can create service effecting impact on the performance of SQL server directly. A close monitoring of different parameters of SQL server can help diagnose and resolve the performance related issues very fast, and thus, help improve the performance of SQL server in an enterprise ecosystem.

The main counters of SQL – if monitored closely – can help improve its performance are given below with detailed description and their recommended range of values.

1.   Buffer Cache Hit Ratio

This is a very critical counter in all databases including SQL database. It represents the rate of how often an SQL server can find the desired data page in the buffer cache rather than going to hard disk for the same. It is recommended to maintain a higher rate above 95% for better performance of the SQL server. It is closely related with the size of memory of the server. If the buffer cache hit ratio is less than recommended range, quickly increase RAM or check for other issues because performance starts degrading rapidly.

2.   Batch Requests/Sec

The batch of requests per second counter is the number of batches handled by the SQL server in one second. It indicates how busy the SQL server CPU is. The value of this counter is arbitrary and depends on different parameters such as speed of the network link, capacity of the processor, and other server resources. Ideally, a normal SQL server with 100 Mb link can handle up to 3000 batch requests per second. So, you should monitor this counter very closely in relation with the resources of your server to get better insight.

3.   Plan Cache Hit Ratio

This is a percentile ratio of the plan-cache use. A higher ratio indicates that your server is working efficiently and effectively without creating new plans for every incoming request; the lower ratio indicates that server is struggling to do more work than it is desired to do. So, try to find out the reason immediately and resolve the issue to increase the performance. This counter should also be analyzed in the light of plan cache reuse counter for a better perspective.

4.   SQL Compilation/Sec

This counter indicates the number of times the execution plan has been compiled by the SQL server. It should always be kept as low as possible. The higher value indicates that there is a huge pressure on your server resources such as memory, processor and others. This ratio should also be compared with the batch request per second value for a deeper perspective. The rule of thumb is that each compilation should accomplish at least 10 batch requests. The higher ratio may also be indicative to the fact that adhoc queries are using resources excessively, and should be re-written those queries for a better performance.

5.   Page Life Expectancy (Sec)

Page life expectancy is the duration (in seconds) of a data page to stay in the buffer cache. The value of this counter should be longer for the better performance of an SQL server. Many experts believe that any value of this counter less than 300 seconds is not good for server performance; but this value is not a standard one too. It is an arbitrary value that depends on existing server environment. There should be a close monitoring of this parameter to maintain the performance of the server.

6.   Full Scans/Sec

The ‘full scans per second’ counter indicates the total number of scans made by server for database tables or indexes. A higher value of this counter may be the cause of missing indexes, requests for too many data records or very small data tables. Sudden increase in this value may be due to reaching of threshold value of indexes, or any other uneven condition. Meanwhile, de-fragmentation of indexes should also be done on a regular basis to improve the performance of the server.

7.   Lock Waits/Sec

This counter pertains to the management of concurrent users in the SQL environment. The number of times per second the SQL server has to wait to lock resources for the request is called lock-waits/sec. Ideally, the value of this counter should be zero, because no request should wait for resource in an industry grade performance environment of SQL server. The lock wait time counter is another useful counter that can help you understand the lock waits per second much clearer. Any increase in this counter should immediately be addressed to keep the SQL performance high.

8.   Deadlocks/Sec

This counter is closely associated with the lock waits per second. The number of lock-waits per second that resulted in the deadlocks is called the deadlocks per second. It should be kept at zero ideally, but sometimes a smaller value (less than 1 per second) for a very short period may be okay, but it lasts for longer duration, then you should take immediate action.

9.   Page Splits/Sec

SQL server splits the pages when it inserts or updates any page due to the overflowing of index pages. The number of page splits performed in a second is called page splits per second. It should be always kept low to maintain the high performance of database server because it requires huge resources for splitting a page for the insertion of data into the tables. This problem occurs due to the bad configuration of tables and indexes. To decrease page splits modify tables and indexes to lower non-sequential insertions of data into the pages. You can also use pad_index and fill factor to create more empty space.

10.   Checkpoint Pages/Sec

The dirty pages are flushed back to disk by the checkpoint operation of an SQL server. This counter measures the total number of dirty pages flushed to disk in a single second. This is an arbitrary value and depends on different parameters especially on memory. It is recommended to maintain as low value as possible of this counter. Any abrupt increase in this value is indication of pressure on the memory use. So, always monitor this SQL parameter closely to maintain high performance of the server.

An automated SQL server monitoring does not only increases performance of your SQL server but also improves the business performance of your organization by achieving great customer satisfaction. To know more about an enterprise level SQL server monitoring service, click here.

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How Container-Based Technology Is an Attractive Option for Startups/SMBs?

The efficient use of underlying infrastructure, increased security, reduced cost, and effective software development options makes the container based virtualization technology highly suitable for startups and SMBs.

Container technologyImpact of cloud computing has become one of the most influential factors in the present era of technology based businesses. The basic component of cloud computing concept is virtualization technology, which enables the users to create/run virtual environments or virutal machines (VMs) on the same hardware resources of a sever. The virtualization increased the efficiency and the utilization of hardware resources, and created many value added services for the enterprises. Now, the virtualization market, which is worth of billions of dollars is being seriously challenged by new concept of virtualization called as operating system OS level virtualization or container-based virtualization. The OS-level virtualization allows users to create/run several isolated guest VMs (Virtual Machines) known as containers on one single underlying operating system, and the entire virtualization layer runs as an application on the core operating system. These containers decrease the overheads of creating separate environment for normal virtual machines through hypervisors. Thus, containers are more efficient, fast, isolated and easily manageable as compared to traditional VMs.

In today’s technology-based business ecosystem, the growth of business increasingly relies on the development and the deployment of new applications to boost the innovation and subsequently the productivity. A fast speed and flexibility are two important factors that are highly needed in such a competitive environment to develop/deploy applications at the speed that the modern businesses need. It is estimated by the Docker Inc, the pioneer of container technology that the containers are twice faster than hypervisor based virtual machines. It provides full flexibility to both the developers and the administrators to quickly develop applications, deploy them, and make changes at the speed business needs them.

Thus, the container technology is becoming one of the most attractive options for all sized businesses, especially for startups and SMBs. There are many good reasons for this attraction; a few of them are discussed below.

Open Source Technology

Open soruceIt is very natural that majority of the SMBs and startups have very limited resources and have to manage multiple business processes within the narrow budget spaces. The container technology is an open source platform and supports multiple distributions of Linux, which is also an open source platform. This technology has also been integrated with the Microsoft Windows server platform and upcoming Hyper-V container to offer more flexibility. There are many platforms available for different businesses under GNU and Apache licenses to benefit from such as Docker, OpenVZ, Linux-VServer and others.

Lightweight, Fast & Efficient

Fast and efficientAnother important attraction of this technology is that it is lightweight and adds very low (negligible) overheads. Thus, the speed and efficiency offered by this technology is awesome. Many developers love the platforms based on container technology for their high efficiency and great speed. Due to fast speed, the platform increases the system capacity tremendously; thus, a very effective use of available hardware is realized through these platforms easily. There is no load of multiple operating systems on the hardware resources, so they are used very effectively to increase the capacity of the system to handle numerous application development and deployment environments simultaneously. An administrator can pause and start any application container to reschedule the server resources at any point of time. Thus, it can offer great efficiency and effective utilization of resources.

Increased Security Level

Increased securityContainer based virtualization isolates the entire application ecosystem as a distributed application on the same operating system to offer great security. This technology has capability to provide an updated security profile as offered in Dockers platform, to offer industry great security to the applications. As each application is isolated from the other applications on a single server; so, great reliability and security can be achieved by the use of container based platforms.

Effective Software Development

efficient software developemnetContainer technology is very useful for software developers and application administrators. It was primarily developed for developers to quickly develop, run and ship their applications in such a way that they are very fast to run and make changes in any running application environment without any big overhauling of the systems. Container based technology allows different platforms to bundle a software application into a complete file system that includes all tools it requires to run such as code, system tools, libraries and others. Thus, a software development through efficient APIs integrated in container-based platforms has become a great attraction for the developers.

Easy Collaboration

Easy coordinationContainer technology offers a common environment for both the administrators and software developers; so, they can coordinate and collaborate very fast and easily. The shipping of the application is very efficient in this ecosystem. You can ship the distributed application without worrying about the environment inconsistency.

The most important thing for an efficient use of container technology is monitoring of the resources virtualized under the given operating system, and the distributed applications implemented on a server. To learn more about the enterprise level free application monitoring and cloud monitoring service click here.

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Explosive Growth in Mobile Website Monitoring to Hit the Market Shortly

An industry grade monitoring service is intensively needed to help entrepreneurs optimize more than 46% non responsive web designs, and over 40%websites without mobile optimized store locators for a gigantic market of about 1900 million mobile internet users.

Mobile apps statisticsIf we look at different aspects of our present internet-based business marketplace, we find some of very astonishing facts about online sales, marketing, eCommerce, and revenue of different businesses across the globe. The number of mobile users has surpassed the desktop users in a gigantic multi-billion eCommerce global market, which is projected to top $626 billion by 2018. It has also been found in the latest researches that more than 26% of online purchases are searched and initiate directly from mobile apps. The market share of mobile-apps sale will cross $76.5 billion by the year 2017. The total number of mobile apps on all online stores is over 3.7 million; the number of Google Play apps account for 1.5 million followed by Apple App Store with 1.4 million apps.

Similarly, the online marketing and eCommerce statistics are also very mind boggling that the mobile clicks are now more than 50% of all clicks on the internet. The current retail-sale through mobile devices is over 40% of the entire global online sales. A research conducted by eConsultancy suggests that a large number of retailers have very weak online presence; more than 40% of their websites are not optimized for mobile store locator, more than 28% websites don’t have Android app, and 30% of those websites don’t have iOS app. A huge ratio of as much as 46% of those websites doesn’t have support for responsive web designs. The speed and performance of many online businesses, especially SMBs is not satisfied to meet the tight industry KPIs (key performance indicators). In such situation, an explosive growth in performance monitoring of mobile websites and mobile applications is predictable without any doubts.

In this article, we are going to discuss the major reasons for the expected growth in mobile website monitoring services. Some of the major factors are given below.

Mobile Overtakes Desktop Shopping

Mobile vs desktopAccording to the ComScore market research, more than 55% shopping activities are conducted through mobile devices such as Smartphone and tablets; likewise, some other researches also suggest that by 2015 the ratio of shopping through mobile devices will cross the desktop shopping. To cater such a huge customer demand for mobile websites and mobile apps, a large number of online retailers need new websites that support mobile browsing efficiently. Many online stores will develop their mobile apps and run them for their online sales. All these applications and mobile friendly websites require professional grade monitoring services for their mobile websites and mobile applications. So, a huge demand of application monitoring and mobile website monitoring is just round the corner.

Mobile Traffic More than One-Third of Total Online Traffic

A Kleinger Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB) 2013

The landscape of online traffic is changing drastically after the advent of smart phones and high speed mobile internet technologies. Highly capable smartphones are available in the marketplace that support not only high speed internet technologies, but also numerous mobile apps that include a wide range of online mCommerce applications related to entertainment, shopping, education and many others. The increase in mobile traffic is going exponentially with the passage of every month. This fast growth in mobile traffic forces the online businesses and entrepreneurs to monitor the performance of their mobile friendly websites and mobile application to increase the customer satisfaction, and subsequently the company revenue.

$626 Billion eCommerce Market By 2018

ecommerce iconAnother important factor that forces the entrepreneurs to make their online presence fully mobile friendly through websites and mobile applications is the gigantic volume of online eCommerce market, which is expected to cross $626 billion mark by 2018. According to a research conducted by Capgimini, the ratio of mCommerce is increasing very rapidly with current share topping 40% of all retail sales. The market is becoming very volatile and competitive with every passing day, and the customer demands are increasing very aggressively. To maintain the customer satisfaction and create value for them, it is highly required to monitor the performance of mobile websites and mobile applications; so, a large increase in the demand of mobile application monitoring services is about to happen.

Aggressive Growth in Mobile Apps

mobile appsThe current number of mobile applications of all types of platforms is over 3.7 million and counting at very fast pace with every passing day. The increase in Android and iOS applications has changed the scenario of how to use internet through mobile. The contribution of these two types of applications – Android and Apple – is over 78.3% of the entire mobile apps market share. The number of mobile applications of other platforms is also increasing rapidly. This massive increase in mobile applications will require enterprise level mobile application monitoring services to track the performance of these applications. Thus, a huge growth in the application monitoring service is expected shortly.

Mobile as a Driving Force in Travel/Tour Industry

Android phone clipartTraveling and Tourism is one of the biggest global industries that account for more than 3.7% of global GDP. According to the Statista Research, the total contribution – direct, indirect, and induced – of traveling and tour industry to the global economy is about $7.58 trillion. So, the mobile devices are dominating in different industries especially in those industries where mobility is a major factor such as traveling and tour industries. In these industries, mobile tweaked websites along with mobile apps play very important role to generate revenue and maintain smooth operation of the businesses. It is a huge industry where mobile applications and mobile websites need to be monitored for better performance to create value for the targeted customers. Like other major industries, the increase in demand of application monitoring service is very natural in this field too.

There is a sizable number of application monitoring service providers in the marketplace that offer industry grade services to all sized businesses. To learn more about the enterprise level free mobile website and application monitoring service click here.

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Top 10 Useful DevOps Platforms for Startups/SMBs

All in one business methodologies like DevOps platforms help startups and SMBs to successfully achieve business sustainability and higher return on investment (ROI) in today’s fiercely competitive marketplace.  

DevOps logoSmall businesses always try to manage all business processes with minimum resources due their budget constraints. To achieve thier objectives, they opt for resource-multitasking, strong collaboration, effective communication and knowledge sharing at all levels of business operation. All processes of a business such as software development, testing, quality assurance, and operation are integrated in a way that maximum business results are achieved at a very minimal cost and time. A large number of DevOps platforms have been deployed in different industries for business automation, especially in the software development based business models; those platforms are successfully fulfilling the desired purposes for all sized businesses, especially for SMBs.

In different surveys, it has been found that by virtue of DevOps platform implementation, business process failures have reduced by 50% and the speed of software code deployment also increased considerably. Owing to those facts, a huge growth of DevOps adoption has been recorded in 2014. Chef DevOps platform recorded as much as 70% growth in its sales in year 2014, and Puppet Lab also recorded a substantial growth in its business growth. It has also been predicted by the industry experts that this trend of fast adoption of DevOps will continue in many years to come.

In this article, we are discussing top 10 DevOps platforms that have successfully established their strong presence in the marketplace.

1.   Atlassian Connect

AltassianAtlassian is a very well known name in the domain of collaboration software platforms. It launched its new DevOps tool named Atlassian Connect in 2014. This tool – in association with its supporting software – offers powerful automation and collaboration for software developers to develop, test and implement the code on this consolidated platform very fast and easily. This platform is achieving a regular growth in both the SMBs and large enterprises sectors equally. This platform has got the support of other Atlassian products such as Atlassian Git Essentails and Atlassian Marketplace that makes it more productive and useful for businesses.

2.   Chef

ChefChef DevOps platform is a very popular name in the industry of software development and process automation. It has a large support for different cloud infrastructure providers such as AWS, Rackspace, VMware, MS Azure, Google, IBM, Docker, Juniper Networks and others. The Chef Automation platform allows fast software development, testing and deployment to properly manage security, flexibility, and scalability of the systems. Chef is already in collaboration with MS Azure to provide automation capabilities to its cloud infrastructure. New frameworks such as Chef DK, Knife Plug-in, Chef Metal & Action, Docker Support and others have also been included in both of its commercial and open source platforms to attract the large sized IT companies. In 2014, Chef has recorded a substantial growth of over 70% in its DevOps platform sales. Chef is available in both the open source and commercial versions.

3.   Puppet Lab

Puppet DevOpsPuppet Lab is a very well known name in the field of DevOps to automate the configuration management of all sized organization. Puppet lab tool is available in both open source (free) and commercial versions. This platform offers a comprehensive automation of IT infrastructure life-cycle. The major tasks accomplished by this platform at different stages of infrastructure lifecycle include application management, orchestration, service provisioning, reporting and others. Puppet Lab also offers training and certification to the qualified professionals who have achieved the required level of skills. Puppet uses a domain based simple programming language that allows easy management of infrastructure and configuration for the enterprise customers. A newer version of this platform has been released in 2014 that has additional reporting and management capabilities.

4.   Jenkins

Jenkins DevopsJenkins is an open source platform for continuous integration server that is built in Java language, and available for free. The current release of this platform is 1.619. There is a huge library of supported plugins that offer numerous functionalities and features to build and test any IT project. The current number of its plug-in is over 1058 and counting. Its capability to offer continuous integration services for software development lifecycle is very popular in different industries across the globe. This platform offers great flexibility and freedom to build and implement the codes very easily and effectively. This platform supports different projects written in almost all languages. A comprehensive support for different databases is another salient feature of this platform.

5.   Ansible Tower

AnsibleWorksAnsible Tower, a consolidated and comprehensive automation platform was launched in 2014 to offer enterprise-level solutions for configuration management, application deployment, and orchestrations. It is an open source solution with very advanced level features and capabilities; the main features include real-time configuration output, simple user interface, new command line UI, and support for different cloud platforms such as Google Compute, MS Azure, and VMware. This platform also supports RHEL 7 and CentOS 7. Recently, the company has announced Ansible Tower AMIs tool to support different deployment options. This platform supports human readable automation language to offer fast automation solution for all sized businesses. It is an agent-less platform and uses SSH to provide robust security and reliability.

6.   SaltStack

SaltstackSaltStack is an industry grade IT infrastructure and code development automation platform. It was first launched in 2011. The latest release of DevOps version of this platform is Salt 2014.1.0, which was released in 2014. It is considered as one of the biggest releases in the industry with as many as 7085 commits. The main features of this platform include full application orchestration for all types of VM, OS, code, application/container, continuous code deployment, app monitoring and auto healing feature, and support for ITOps and CloudOps. New release of Salt supports different cloud platforms such as SoftLayer, Google Compute Engine, MS Azure, Docker management, BSD management, and Ubuntu/Debian management. Salt makes the software development, testing, and deployment very simple and easy with full flexibility and freedom. It saves a lot of time and resources during the entire software development lifecycle.

7.   Vagrant

Vagrant DevOpsVagrant is a very efficient and effective virtual environment of software development for all kinds of businesses and developers. It is a very lightweight and simple to install and use. Vagrant is available in both open source and proprietary releases. It was first established in 2010. This platform is developed in Ruby on Rail language and supports all industry standards and best practices. It offers a consistent development environment for whole team, and allows testing and integration of the application with different provisioning tools such as Puppet, Shell script and others. It supports all popular operating systems such as Windows, Mac and Linux. It has numerous features for different roles such as operation engineer, developer and others.

8.   Splunk

Splunk DevopsSplunk DevOps was released in 2014. The main focus of this platform is on mobile app developers and online security experts. It provides a consolidated collaborative platform for both the developers and the security experts to monitor the behavior of the application, and its security status and modern threats. Splunk released its latest enterprise version 6.2 recently to make DevOps more pervasive across the industries. It is very simple and easy to use for managing different types of data related to mobile application. This platform offers DevOps teams a deeper perspective on whole software system to know about the failures, bottlenecks, and causes of faults.

9.   TeamCity

Team City DevOpsTeamCity is a very powerful tool for continuous integration and deployment suitable for professional developers, managers, build engineers and web administrators. It is available in two – professional and enterprise – versions; professional version is free for ever and enterprise version is a paid version and available to choose at any time. TeamCity platform is written in Java language, and has more than 100 plugins available to choose from. Numerous functionalities and features can be achieved through the use of those plugins. TeamCity offers an open API to develop any new plugin for any new customized feature and business needs.

10.   ServiceNow

ServiceNow DevOpsServiceNow offers a wide range of business process automation features to manage IT operations, custom application development, and business process management. A very fast paced development of business application has become possible through ServiceNow automation platform in a very short span of time. It allows customers to develop, test and deploy and even modify software applications at a very fast speed; thus, increasing software development efficiency and business effectiveness. It has launched a very powerful tool called as App Creator, which allows users with limited programming knowledge to create custom applications for their business needs. According to IDC research, ServiceNow help achieve as much as 449% of ROI within as low as 7.4 months payback period.

The close coordination and collaboration of operations teams with the development teams create efficiency, speed, quality and business effectiveness. The operations team can better contribute to company business by using professional grade application monitoring services. To get more information about all-in-one free server, website and application monitoring service, click here.

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Useful Tips – How to Improve Performance of Your Linux Environment?

Consistent monitoring of hardware resource-utilization and performance of different processes help you figure out and improve bad performing areas of your Linux environment.

LinuxLinux is one of the most popular operating system in the public server domain and the enterprise environments where the security, performance, robustness, cost, and reliability matters a lot. Linux is an open source operating system that was developed back in 1991 and released under general public license GNU. Since its first release, many different versions and its replica have been developed. The major operating systems that are based on Linux platform include Android, Debian, Ubuntu, CentOS and others. Linux leads the server market with over 36.72% share followed by different versions of Unix OS. A whopping share of 97% in supercomputer market is held by Linux operating system. The mainframe market share of Linux OS stands at about 28%; while in the desktop and laptop market, Linux has a very low share of about 1.34%. More than 54% of smart phone and other handheld devices run on Android, which is a derivative of Linux OS.

In an industry grade environment, the performance of Linux operating systems matter a lot because Linux machines are responsible for handling many mission critical processes that directly impact the revenue, reputation and business survival of the companies. You can improve the performance of your Linux environment through different activities such as:

  1. Proper monitoring & correcting of server parameters
  2. Optimizing server configurations
  3. Optimizing third party applications’ configurations

In this article, we are going to discuss about some major tips that are handy in improving the performance of Linux environment; a few of those major tips are listed below.

  • Consistent Monitoring

Consistent monitoringIt is the first and most important thing to monitor the performance of your Linux environment on a regular basis to track any kind of issues or under-performance of different processes and parameters. A few very important commands such as sar, vmstat, free, iostat, top and others are very useful to manually check the parameters of server performance on a regular basis. The checking of performance of your Linux server can also be done through a cloud based sever monitoring service. SiteObservers is one of the best such server monitoring service option available in the marketplace.

  • Turn-off Unnecessary Services

Linux servicesLinux operating system comes with numerous features, capabilities and services that are not used by everyone; therefore, it is very important to turn off those services that are not in use such as Xfs, Autofs, Apmd, Sendmail and others. By turning off unnecessary services, you can save a lot of RAM and CPU utilization, and subsequently can improve server performance considerably.

  • Disable Unused Modules and Control Panels

cPanel

Linux server environment supports multiple cloud based control panels, and different modules such as FrontPage support and others. Disable all unnecessary modules and control panels such as Plest, Cpanel and others. You can also enable them when they are required via very simple step by step procedures. By disabling control panels and other software modules, you can improve RAM utilization as much as about 30% or even more.

  • Keep System Updated

Updates symbolIt is highly recommended to keep Linux kernel parameters as well as other software up to date to enhance the performance of your Linux environment. Always customize the default parameters of Linux OS as per the requirements of your own environment; thus, you can improve server performance substantially. Meanwhile, always keep implementing the newly released patches available in the marketplace to boost the system performance.

  • Tuning of Network Functions

tuningLinux environment supports both IPV4 and IPV6 versions and other features related to the network performance. If you are not using IPV6 then disable it and also tune up the transmission control protocol TCP to improve network performance, which will, subsequently improve overall performance of your OS environment. You can set larger TCP data size for that purpose.

  • Appropriate Apache Configuration

apacheIt is very critical to configure Apache and other such modules properly to improve the performance of the Linux environment. Make sure that Apache is using the proper volume of memory; you can save RAM up to 40%, if you properly configure Apache according to the “MinSpareServers” & “StartServers” directives. You can also regularly keep Apache performance under monitoring, and make desired changes in configurations that improve the performance.

  • Proper MySQL Configuration

MySQLDatabases are very fundamental components of an entire Linux or other OS environments; a proper allocation of server resources can improve the performance of whole Linux environment. It is very important to allocate adequate memory cache size for MySQL to make sure no bogging down of database at larger requests takes place. You can also decrease the cache size, if not required.

Other than above mentioned main tips, you can improve the performance of Linux environment by many other small/big activities such as, tuning up virtualbox, disabling GUI, optimizing cache directories, over-clocking the memory, optimizing boot speed, reducing system logging activities and others.

To have a clearer and deeper perspective on your Linux environment, you can use enterprise level monitoring service to monitor the Linux and related software’s performance. To learn more about the enterprise grade free cloud based Linux monitoring service click here.

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Top 5 Strategies for SMBs to Secure Their Online Businesses

A close monitoring of online resources, strong password/access management, security awareness, and backup plan to cope with any untoward situation make a strong base for cyber security of an online website.

Security strategyThe think-tank at Washington Post estimated that the annual cost to the global economy due to cybercrime and espionage stood at around $445 billion in the year 2013-14; while, McAfee estimated the annual loss to the global economy between $375 billion to $575 billion. Only the United States of America sustained over $100 billion loss due to cybercrimes followed by Germany that lost over $60 billion during the same period. In the United States, more than 69% US executive of fortune 500 companies are worried about the adverse impact of cybercrimes on their business growth. In the United Kingdom more than 87% of small businesses reported that they sustained cyber-breaches that caused an average annual loss of about $100,000.

Owing to these eye opening facts pertaining to cybercrime and espionage, it is very imperative to have a very strong and properly carved cyber security policy in place to avert any unseen business losses. Most of the online small and medium sized businesses depend fully on their one source of income that is online website; any kind of mishap or security breach on their websites can lead to very disastrous business losses. Therefore, to make your small online businesses more secure and robust, take very strong strategic steps to establish powerful security system. In this article, we are going to discuss the top 5 security related strategies to make your online business more secure and reliable.

1.   Website & Plugin Monitoring

MonitoringIt is very important to note that security is not a one-time task but, it is a consistent and regular process that runs on 24x7x365 basis. The most important strategy for an online security is to have a very close monitoring of your online resources such as website, applications, mobile apps, plugins, servers and others. There are many enterprise level monitoring services and tools available in the marketplace to track the performance/health of your online website, and the associated plugins. A large number of SMBs normally use WordPress, Joomla, and other content management platforms for their online businesses. So, you should opt for a professional grade monitoring service that can monitor not only website/server health but also the plugins and other accessories added to the websites. SiteObservers  all-in-one free monitoring service is first of its kind that offers WordPress plugin monitoring along with many other monitoring services. You get instant information about any kind of issue or cyber attack on your website/service; thus, you can act instantly to avert any big loss.

2.   Regular Backups

Backups

Nowadays, the cyber-crimes and espionage has become so sophisticated that even a very powerful security plan can fail sometimes. In such conditions, the backups of your data and online business are the only way to save you from big business losses. It is recommended for SMBs by the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) that all important data should be backed up on different computers through automated/manual processes on regular intervals. The critical data may include spreadsheets, HR files, financial files, accounts (payable/receivable), word processing files, and databases. Any kind of loss of data due to cyber attack can be restored with the latest data backed up on your local computers or on cloud storage. The regular backup reduces business losses to a very minimal level.

3.   Strong Device Protection Policy

device protection

The internet ecosystem is changing very rapidly; new concepts are replacing the legacy systems and ideas. Mobile devices such as tablets, smart phones, laptops, and many others have brought about the concepts of bring your own device (BYOD), internet of things (IoT) and other such ideas. In such situation, the security of devices has become very critical. The following steps are necessary for a strong device protection policy:

  • The password protection policy should also be very strong based on predefined management strategy.
  • There should be a policy in place to change all passwords after certain period of time.
  • There should be security software installed on the devices that are used by the company employees so that any kind of data leakage should be tracked and avoided.
  • All customers and business partners should be restricted from accessing critical business data through security policy.
  • There should be a very strict policy to download any third party application or software on word devices so that any malicious code is prevented to intrude into online business systems.

4.   Contingency Plan

contengency planFor a small business, it is very difficult to make a very comprehensive enterprise level contingency plan for security threats but, they can do make a realistic contingency plan within their own limited resources. For a reliable small business emergency plan take the following steps:

  • Make sure that at-least one technical resource is available at a very short notice. Hiring technical resources through freelance workplaces is better option due to low cost and diverse time zones.
  • Always keep a complete step by step procedure to recover, and restore the website, server, apps, and other online resources.
  • Make a complete checklist of all actions and activities that are required to restore the business operations.
  • Find out the detailed root cause of the problem and its remedies, and document them properly for the future use; that will minimize your downtime in the future.

5.   Regular Updates

Regular updatesLast but not the least is the regular updates of all kinds of IT resources such as operating systems, applications, web platforms, plugins, supported browsers, antivirus software, and any other application or software used for business processes. A small business should make a habit to check updates on a regular basis or automate (wherever possible) the updates checking process through software tools, and as soon as any update or patch is released, the newer version should be immediately updated to avoid any malicious attacks. Large corporations have many tools that check and update all software resources of the company automatically but, for small businesses, it is not possible to bear such extra expenditures.  There are some online services available that can check the versions of your plugins and alert you for any new update released in the market.

It is very clear that all strategies need immediate information about your existing system and its health to properly implement the desired security policies. Enterprise level monitoring service provides you with the instant information about the health of your website, application, server, and plugins. So, to get more information about free website/server monitoring service, click here.

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Top 5 eCommerce WordPress Plugins

The best eCommerce WordPress Plugins are known by virtue of their shopping features, ease of use, market price and value added capabilities useful for all sized businesses.

All online platforms – one way or the other – are heavily influenced by electronic commerce. No platform can survive in the fiercest ever competitive marketplace without the support of eCommerce features and capabilities. It is a very complex and costly to integrate an independent eCommerce platform with your WordPress website. Thanks to WordPress plug-in developers who made the things easier through the development of eCommerce plug-ins for WordPress platform. There are numerous eCommerce plugins available in the market for free as well as for small monthly charges. I am going to introduce you with the best eCommerce WordPress plugins that have established themselves in the marketplace through their rich eCommerce features, powerful value-added capabilities and competitive price plans.

Five most popular and highly featured WordPress eCommerce plugins are given below.

WooCommerce

Woocommerce websiteWooCommerce is one of the most popular and widely used eCommerce plugin in the eCommerce marketplace with over 8.3 million downloads. The market share of this plugin is about more than 24% of all online stores on the internet.  It offers numerous top of the line features that make your eCommerce website one of the best eCommerce sites suitable for both the customers and the vendors. WooCommerce plugin is powered by numerous premium themes to customize your websites according to your business needs. Another important aspect of this powerful eCommerce plugin is that it is available for free. It offers many features related to inventory management, shipping, coupon system, payment methods, and many kinds of reports. You can sell different products through this powerful eCommerce plugin such as digital downloads (software), entertainment items (subscriptions/memberships), and physical products. WooCommerce is very easy to use through intuitive interface both at the front-end and back-end.

WP eCommerce

WP eCommerceWP eCommerce is an easy to use WordPress eCommerce plugin that is free to download and use for your online store. It offers numerous eCommerce features and capabilities such as coupon options, shipping options, inventory management, promotional solutions, numerous payment options, sales and inventory reports and many others. You can also purchase add-ons for many premium eCommerce features of this powerful eCommerce plugin. It has been in the market for over 7 years with more than 0.75 million active installations and over 3 million downloads till now and counting. You can customize your online store through HTML and CSS customization capabilities offered by this plugin. This WordPress plugin supports multiple types of items such as digital downloads, physical items, subscriptions and others.

JigoShop

JigoshopJigoshop is another popular WordPress eCommerce plugin developed by a UK based web agency. It is very easy to use via an intuitive interface powered by over 30 customized and featured premium themes. It is a free plugin to download and use; you can also purchase the advanced eCommerce features and capabilities through add-on options. The major features of JigoShop plugin also include powerful support for SEO, latest marketing tools, and simple inventory management powered by numerous types of reports. It has been downloaded for as many as 0.46 million times and powers thousands of online stores. The free version comes with latest features related to inventory management, data import and export, coupons options, payment options, and featured reports.

Shopp

Shopp websiteShopp is simple and flexible eCommerce WordPress Plugin used by thousands of online stores. It is a lightweight and an SEO friendly plugin. It offers numerous eCommerce features such as customer accounts, catalog management, multiple images, discounts, payment options, detailed reports and others. This plugin is powered by McAfee security to offer highly secure eCommerce environment for both the customers and the merchants.  The limited version of this plugin is available for free to download and use, but for additional features you need to purchase the pro version of this plugin for $75 per month.

Cart66 Cloud

Cart66 websiteCart66 Cloud is one of the secure and reliable eCommerce WordPress plugin, which is available for $95 per year. It also offers a trial period of 14 days for new customers. It has over 8000 active installs and thousands of downloads to its credit. The paid version of Cart66 Cloud is a complete eCommerce solution that offers all features and capabilities required for a professional level online store. You are not supposed to purchase add-ons or upgrades once you bought Cart Cloud Pro. The major features of this eCommerce plugin include shipping, promotional options, taxes, multiple currencies, order management, discounts and many others. You can sell all types of products such as digital downloads, physical items, memberships, and subscriptions.

All eCommerce WordPress plugins are the fundamental tool to showcase items and generate revenue for online stores or eCommerce website; therefore, it is very imperative to take special care about its health and performance. To keep a close eye on the performance of WordPress eCommerce plugins, you need an enterprise level WordPress plugin monitoring service. To get more information about a free WordPress plugin monitoring service, click here.

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