Server performance monitoring is the process of overseeing system resources, such as CPU usage, memory consumption, storage capacity, I/O performance, network uptime, and more.
It helps identify performance-related issues of a server, such as response time, resource utilization, and application downtime. Further, it supports capacity and efficiency planning by helping administrators understand system resource consumption on the server.
What Is Server Monitoring?
Performance monitoring generally involves measuring metrics of performance over time against performance indicators. It can be troublesome, especially when the server infrastructure and surrounding network are increasingly dispersed and complex.
The key components of a successful server performance monitoring strategy involve:
- Identify the key metrics
- Baseline the metrics related to server performance
- Reporting the additional value of the key metrics
As such, server performance monitoring is done by tracking the key metrics that ensure the excellent performance of the server.
Read more: Best Server Monitoring Software and Tools for 2021
Metrics for Monitoring Server Performance
Some effective indicators help to identify whether server performance is optimal or requires improving. These indicators may include requests per second, error rates, uptime, thread count, average response time, and peak response time.
Requests Per Second (RPS)
A primary function of a server is to receive requests and process them. The server performance can suffer when the number of requests becomes overloaded and unsustainable.
RPS is a metric that computes the number of requests received during a monitoring period. RPS indicates a server performance issue if problems arise when handling requests. IN this way, it is a load indicator of a server.
Read more: Best Load Balancers for 2021
Errors are unwanted issues that can destroy server performance. They typically occur when the server is experiencing a big load. The error rate is a metric that computes the percentage of requests that fail, or don’t receive a response from the server. This is the most important indicator to address when improving server performance issues.
The error rate is a metric that computes the percentage of requests that fail, or don’t receive a response from the server.
The most critical issue for any operation is the server’s availability. Uptime refers to how long a server has been running in a given period without significant disruption. If the uptime metric becomes less than 99% of the time a server is in use, it needs attention.
For context, high availability server architecture supports 99.999% availability, even during planned and unplanned outages, also known as Five Nines reliability. A server should be reliable to the end users, so uptime is a good indication of performance issues.
Read more: How to Achieve High Availability Architecture
Thread count parameters specify the maximum number of requests the server can handle simultaneously, which can be a significant indicator of server performance. When an application generates too many threads, errors may increase.
Once the thread count reaches the maximum threshold, the requests are on hold until there’s space available. When the hold time is too long, the users experience timeout errors.
Average Response Time (ART) and Peak Response Time (PRT)
ART computes the total time of the request/response cycle taken for all requests, divided by the number of requests. PRT computes the length of request/response time cycles to track the longest cycle within a monitoring period. Evaluating ART and PRT metrics is the most effective technique to getting an accurate understanding of response time.
Best Practices for Server Performance Monitoring
Server performance monitoring allows administrators to track in-depth information about a server’s status and health. Three best practices of server performance monitoring are given below.
Set Up a Visual Representation
Visualizations are a graphical representation of information and data using tools such as graphs, charts, and maps. The visualization of data is easier to understand at a glance and highlights useful information.
Clearly mapping the entire network’s design, getting a clear visual representation of key data, and server health reporting all help admins monitor, understand, and make decisions to optimize server performance. This can be done effectively and without trouble by using cloud monitoring services.
Set Up Detailed Alerts
Real-time alerting gives administrators awareness of any problems, helping to resolve them quickly. Detailed alerts, such as automated messages or notifications from the monitoring tool that provide recommended procedures for fixing the issue in question, are more valuable than simple alarms.
Real-time alerting gives administrators awareness of any problems, helping to resolve them quickly.
Server admins need to check the severity of the issue first, and understand the logical implications. If the issue will have a serious impact on the server, the admin can make effective decisions on the next steps to solve them.
Routine Server Health Monitoring
Server health refers to the condition of the server’s core functions. Server health monitoring plays an important role in identifying faults in the server and network, and it can help to determine server operational adjustments, hardware replacement, and performance optimization. A physical check may include CPU usage, memory availability, and disk capacity.
Server health monitoring provides data that can be useful when anticipating the problems of a server, comparing current and historical data. Companies can identify the potential failures of the server and address them before they impact the bottom line.
Why Is Server Monitoring Important?
Server performance monitoring is crucial to identifying risks and optimizing server performance. Ultimately, performance affects the company’s reputation and user expectations. There are many providers that support server performance monitoring; the software helps automate all the processes related to monitoring a server.
Read next: What Is DCIM? Data Center Infrastructure Management