Top 5 Don’ts for Cloud-Based IT Resource Monitoring

Pursuing industry best practices related to IT security, system performance, continual improvement strategy, and – the most importantly – avoiding the contradictory actions of them make you an expert IT administrator.

5 Don'tsThe configuration, consistent monitoring, data analysis, and devising the continual improvement strategies are the fundamental responsibilities of an information technology IT professional. A large number of such activities have now been automated through different software tools that improve not only the business efficiency of the company, but also reduce the technical costs of operation and maintenance of IT resources. One of such modern tools is the cloud based IT resource monitoring services. It is a comprehensive combination of services that includes website performance monitoring, server monitoring, application monitoring, mobile monitoring, hardware infrastructure monitoring, software platform monitoring, plugin monitoring services and others. The global value of just identity and access management IAM business is estimated to cross $18.3 billion annually, according to the Statista forecast. As many as about 3.5 billion units will be included in the IT network via internet of things IoT by 2020. But, Cisco estimates a whopping number of as much as 16 billion to get into the IT network by 2020. It will increase the IT resource monitoring to a new level completely.

IT professional take the responsibilities of all those monitoring services to improve the performance of online web environment by the proper tracking of events, logs, reports, and many other issues. Sometimes, administrators make some critical blunders that can make companies sustain huge business losses; to avoid such blunders, some industry guidelines, standard operations procedures SOP and other recommendations are developed by numerous industry standard organizations globally. In this article, we are going to figure out the top ‘5 Don’ts’ for an IT professional to avoid the performance degradation, and revenue loss due to IT resource failures.

1.   Messy Dashboard/Information Cluttering

messy dashboardThere are many monitoring software tools that offer the capability to customize your dashboard for the online monitoring of your IT resources with different performance monitoring metrics. In this case, the IT professionals make a very fundamental mistake that they try to configure numerous metrics, and information parameters on the dashboard; thus, they make it very messy and cluttered. That doesn’t serve the cause of professional monitoring in emergency situations.

So, it is highly recommended to avoid any cluttering or information bombardment on your IT monitoring dashboard. To dive deeper into the details of the issues and data, use alternative methods such as drill-down and filtering features for better performance results.

2.   Classless Security Access

classless accessFor the IT professionals, it is strongly prohibited to create one common category for accessing the available monitoring settings or the resources under monitoring. It is recommended to always define different security levels and categories to access IT resources, business data. and other information that have different levels of importance/criticality. The user-level should have access to only the information that is public, and has no critical importance for business strategies. At the same time, operational information should be categorized into multiple layers to make them more secure and reliable to avoid any malicious access.

3.   Missing Regular Analysis

regular analysisThe best monitoring tools should have the abilities to generate alerts/warnings immediately once the abnormal behavior is detected in web environment; and they should record different performance parameters during the abnormal events. They should also have very powerful reporting capabilities so that the deep analysis of the events to find out the reasons behind performance issues can easily be detected and strategized to correct them too.

So, it is strictly prohibited for the IT professionals – network admin, web admin, or system admin – to miss regular analysis activities of the performance of the entire network, which is under the monitoring services. Just a little delay can cost heavily to all organizations especially to the SMBs, which are already struggling with shortage of resources and depleted profit margins in the fiercely competitive marketplace.

4.   Be Afraid of Doing Required Modifications

No changeA professional IT administrator should never be afraid of doing the required modifications and changes in the system or its parameters, if the monitoring service detects some issues on the network. Normally, the changes are carried out at low traffic timings, which are normally late night hours before dawn in the targeted timezone. The required modification not implemented within the due time can lead to disastrous performance issues in near future. So, the administrator should be bold, well prepared, aggressive and energetic to make any required changes with full preparation and confidence. Any network administrator that hesitates in creating new configurations and modifications in bad performing parameters will not be useful in the long run for any kind of organization.

5.   Ignoring Documentation

DocumentationIn a recent study of Netwrix Research Inc, it was revealed that more than 70% of the companies put their systems at risk by not documenting the configurations, data files, technical-issues, analysis of the fault report, event reports, and the solutions implemented to resolve those issues. Ignoring the documentation of all such activities will lead to an adverse impact on the network performance, future improvement, and subsequently the business bottom lines.

Therefore, it is stringently forbidden to ignore documenting each and every important events, and the solutions related to the performance monitoring of systems, website, applications, plugin, and other platforms.

A large number of IT monitoring services offer capabilities to over some the inefficiency as well as slackness of an IT administrator by storing data for longer time, creating desired reports, providing RCA analysis, and many others. To know more about such an enterprise level free cloud based IT resource monitoring service, click here.

Read More

Top 5 Useful Tips on Efficient Network Management

Enterprise level monitoring, consistent performance-data analysis, rapid corrective measures, and the use of latest technologies make your network super fit for the present day cut-throat competitive business ecosystem.

Network diagramThe business applications’ operational budget was recorded as 23% of the entire IT budgets of the global organizations, according to the computer-economics survey report 2015. It was about 4% higher than the last year’s figures. The white paper by Vision Solutions, Inc calculates that the annual loss of any one of the fortune 500 companies due to IT failures is more than $46 million, which includes both the tangible and intangible cost incurred on the company. According to this study, the brokerage firms in the USA sustain the most loss of over $6.48 million per hour due to network failures. The global annual impact due to IT failure was estimated over $3 trillion in 2011 by the ZDNET study. The network support staff of different companies ranges from 3.8% through 9.1% of the entire IT staff, as per survey conducted by Computer Economics Inc. Meanwhile, the Information Week study estimated the IT downtime cost for the USA companies in 2011; in that research, it was found that a staggering revenue of as much as $26.5 billion is lost annually.

Under the shadow of such flabbergasting network downtime figures, it is very critical for both the enterprises and the IT professionals to properly envisage the network management policy, and effectively implement of industry best practices to reduce the nasty revenue losses due to network down-times. In this article, we are going to figure out top 5 tips for the IT managers and technical professionals to manage their IT networks efficiently.

1.       Proactive Network Monitoring

Proactive monitoringA study by Gartner Research suggests that market of application performance monitoring APM crossed $2.4 billion mark back in 2013. The improvement in the performance of the network is not possible until you closely monitor different processes, functions, and transactions of your IT networks. More than 63% of organizations believe that using automated performance monitoring tools are more productive than consolidating data through other sources, say TRAC Research Inc. The main components, which are vulnerable to contribute in the degradation of network performance include websites, web applications, mobile apps, servers, automated business processes, business transactions, hardware resources, user experience, raw data analysis and others. The TRAC Research, Inc report suggests, the performance visibility has decreased to as low as 61% in the public cloud environment as compared to 32% in the private cloud ecosystems. More than 61% companies reported a substantial decrease in the performance visibility and customer experience after adopting public clouds. TRAC also reveals, sizable organizations are relying on application performance monitoring (APM), Network Performance Monitoring (NPM), Web Performance Monitoring (WPM), and Wide Area Network (WAN) enhancement tools for increasing the user experience on their networks.

In the light of above mentioned research figures, it is very imperative to have a unified monitoring platform implemented on your network to create greater value, and increase the efficiency of your network. A unified web environment monitoring platform should have powerful network performance monitoring NPM, website performance monitoring WPM, and network performance monitoring features all in one single platform like SiteObservers enterprise level unified free monitoring service.

2.       Regular Performance Review

Regular performance overviewThe second important tip for IT managers and professionals is that they should review the performance parameter related data of their network components on a regular basis. Normally, a substantial performance related technical intelligence lies in that data. If properly analyzed, you can get deeper and more useful information about the causes/issues that are contributing to the performance degradation of your network. A proper analysis of those issues and causes would help you identify the future threats and risks that are in offing within your network elements NE. Once you catch up the root of the issues, you would be in a much better position to make strategies for the continual improvement in your network performance. Aberdeen Group’s research in 2012 suggested that every single second delay in the loading of your website causes an 11% reduction in overall page views, which cause more than 17% reduction in customer satisfaction, and subsequently a considerable reduction in conversion rate at about 7%. This can lead to multi-million revenue losses to the global industry. According to KissMetric information, any online platform that gets 400,000 unique visits per month – if the loading time of that platform increases by just one second, it will sustain more than $1.3 million of revenue in a month. The major network performance monitoring tool – known as Network Performance Monitoring and Diagnostics NPMD – has achieved a consistent success during the past few years, and its market value has crossed $1.9 billion mark in 2013.

You need to analyze multiple functions and factors such as data packet losses, network latency, security compromise, firewall settings, firewall capacity, capacity of network resources, loss of connectivity, and the variations in speed of the network. This is also very important to note that the performance of online services based on website or an application does not dependent only on the website performance, but also on many other factors that I mentioned above. So, to make sure that your network performs efficiently, you should conduct a deeper analysis of the performance, and then, devise effective strategies to remove the performance bottlenecks immediately.

3.       Latest Technology Implementation

Latest technologiesThe technology is playing an instrumental role in today’s fiercely competitive marketplace under a huge impact of disruptive technologies globally. To achieve a competitive advantage, every entrepreneur is trying to use the best technologies available in the marketplace to reduce the operational cost, increase the performance, create customer value, and achieve the desired business bottom lines. New technologies reduce the need of staff, and make the jobs more technical and skill oriented; thus, obtaining better business results through cutting edge technologies are possible for the organizations. A few years back, hosting a website or running an automated business process across multiple geographical locations was confined to only large corporations, but with the advent of cloud computing technology, the entire business scenario changed, and all size businesses became able to use the cloud hosting services at very affordable rates. The internet of things became possible due to reduced computing/processing cost as well as the internet bandwidth cost. Latest technologies in application level firewall or the next generation firewall have changed the landscapes of web security without compromising on the performance of the web environments. Similarly, bring your own device concept BYOD would reduce the operations as well as capital cost of the organizations drastically in the near future. The BOYD and mobility market is going expand massively to cross $266.17 billion mark by 2019, estimated by many new researches. Meanwhile, new products such as software defined networks SDN, and latest communication technologies will change the landscape of the global business.

So, it is always a good idea to implement the latest technologies in the networks, for example, next generation firewalls, intelligent routers, fastest transmission networks, latest wireless technologies, and web development technologies to reduce the OPEX as well as CAPEX of the company, and increase the return on investment (ROI). Upgrading the existing technologies to newer versions, and the implementation of software patches is very imperative to keep with the pace of the changes in technology.

4.       Redundant Configuration

Redundant statiionsThe redundant configuration/installation of critical components – both the software and hardware – is very crucial to create a reliable network environment where the performance of network improves tremendously. The major areas where the redundant resources are required to be configured include core network, transmission links, routers, firewalls, data backups, database servers, and others. Though, the redundancy of the resources costs more, but its results are amazingly great for all kinds of businesses including small, medium and large companies.  It is also an important to implement the latest software protocols/technologies that are self healing in case of any performance degradation. They are efficient enough to recover from the fault through redundant resources or other embedded mechanism.

5.       Load balancing & Resource Scaling

Load balancingThe last but not the least is the resource scaling and load balancing. It is directly related to the close monitoring of network performance to identify the level of the use of resources; once the volume of resource use is known, the second step is either to balance the load or scale up the resources to remove the performance bottlenecks. Sometimes, it happens that the load is not properly distributed among the available resources, and subsequently, the performance degradation occurs badly. If the available resources are not sufficient, then an immediate action is required to scale up the required resources such as bandwidth, processor, disk space, RAM, number of servers, redundant links, and many other such network components. A proper implementation of resource scaling and load balancing would increase the efficiency of your network to the desired level easily.

One way or the other, all these crucial tips to manage network performance efficiently rely on the close monitoring of the networks. There are many unified monitoring services available in the marketplace that offer enterprise level network performance monitoring services for all components of a entire IT network. The SiteObservers is one among such enterprise-level unified network performance monitoring services in the marketplace. To know more about SiteObserver’s unified monitoring services, click here.

Read More

Robust Security Starts with Cloud Performance Monitoring

Cloud performance monitoring has established as an effective advanced warning system to help maintain the robust security for all sized SMBs.

Cloud Security IconIt is important to note that the threat of cybercrime is expanding very fast for both SMBs and large corporations. A security survey conducted in 2013 suggests that 87% of companies sustained security breaches that were 11% higher than a year ago. The SMBs are suffering from a substantial loss in revenue and productivity due to those security risks and subsequently the website downtime. The cloud monitoring service has proved to be the foundation stone to achieve the robust and reliable security of SMB websites, applications and web services.

In today’s modern business world, cloud hosting has become an integral part of all kinds of small and medium enterprises owing to its rich features, flexibility and low cost. The cloud service providers offer good security at different levels, especially at infrastructure and platform levels, but in the application level breaches, a proper warning and security mechanism is required to be seriously considered by the network/system administrator.

The first step to ensure robust security of websites, applications, and software tools is to have instant information about the status and performance of the same. The cloud based monitoring services are the best option to achieve the instant information about different processes, server parameters, web transactions, website availability and response time. There are many monitoring service providers that offer both the paid and free website monitoring services in the marketplace.

The cloud based monitoring services offer close monitoring, instant altering, running automated scripts, providing root cause analysis RCA, testing web transaction, and measuring the user experience on many kinds of servers, software applications, mobile applications and websites. All these functions help system administrators to react instantly and opt for contingency plans to avert any kind of big loss or damage. Three major functions of monitoring services that lay the foundation of robust security are given below:

Close Monitoring

Two major factors that impact the availability are either system malfunction or malicious attack; the close monitoring of the server, website, software, or mobile application through performance monitor checks very small and minor events of the system to provide a deeper perspective of service/server health. The close monitoring is done through very sophisticated tools that check all desired processes, transactions, and parameters at different specified levels; thus, creating a very strong foundation of robust security.

Instant Alerts

The second step to build on a strong security foundation is sending instant alerts to the security system in place and the system administrator. The cloud performance monitors send reports to the specified group or person as well as the instant security plan mechanism if any. The instant alerts to automated security mechanism would act instantly to heal the system or network for any kind of damage before it gets out of control; and, the instant alert to concerned system/network admin will prompt them to take immediate actions to reduce the downtime of the online service.

Deep Analysis

Cloud based monitors are capable to analyze the causes of faults or attacks very deeply owing to the fact that they have a huge background information of the past activities of the systems or networks. The cloud performance monitors provide a deeper insight into the problems for the network administrators to devise the security policy to counter such behavior in the future. These monitors are also capable of emulating different web transactions and measure the real time experience of a real world user from different locations of the world. This gives another aspect of security and performance improvement.

SiteObservers cloud based monitoring service is the only provider that offers 100% free all-in one monitoring service for all SMBs and others. It offers free server monitoring, free web transaction monitoring, free user experience monitoring, free website monitoring, free application monitoring and many other value added services.

Read More