Tag Archives: Application Monitoring

Ultimate Checklist for Web Application Success

Deploying a new Web application is a complex and dynamic process involving a combination of testing and planning. While each application features unique challenges regarding its deployment, the following checklist is designed to provide you with a general guide toward true and sustained application success.

Collaborations Between Network Departments

Perhaps one of the most notable mistakes any application development team can make is not establishing clear communication and collaboration between other departments. Its important to remember that an application is merely an extension of the rest of a network. Therefore, in order for the entire “machine” to run smoothly, every component must work flawlessly with all connecting physical and virtual components. Therefore, strive to retain clear and constant communication throughout the development and deployment phase.

Automate As Much As Possible

The biggest mistakes made within the deployment and development of Web applications come from human error. Therefore, one of the most important steps in cultivating a successful application is automating as much as possible. By turning to various scripts to execute simple tasks, you eliminate the possibility of human error. Thanks to the evolution of automation software and script development, executing automation tasks is easy, even for the most novice of administrators.

Keep Post-Deployment Change to a Minimum

As with many elements within a website enterprise, once an application has been deployed, keep changes made to its infrastructure or communication methods at a minimal. Without proper communication and preparation, even the smallest of changes can prove disastrous for the performance and stability of an application. If a change is needed to correct an error, work with the development team to implement a correction that does not disrupt the communication of other application components.

Establish Synthetic Transaction Checks

In order to see if the communication between an application and its various components is as it should be, developers must implement synthetic transaction tests. These tests “interact” with an application just as a user will. By using automation software and instructing each step, synthetic transaction tests ensure each level of your application operates as it should. This is imperative for any application, regardless of size and purpose, after deployment. Many times, synthetic transaction tests catch critical errors before they have time to influence experiences had by users. There is a wide range of programs that you can use to automate this process, such as a free program like Every-Step Automation, or even a paid suite of tools.

Server Utilization Monitoring

While your application may be communicating as it should, if its server utilization is too high, the overall performance of the application (and ultimately the website) will suffer. This level of application monitoring ensures that all necessary servers are online and capable of handling current and projected traffic. Make sure to establish agents to monitor: virtual memory usage, network usage, disk usage and CPU utilization rate. Through these monitoring reports youre given a clear insight into the operation and performance of your application.

5 Steps to Take After a Web Application Alert is Sent

So youve taken the time to research the ideal Web application monitoring solution, and youre finally ready to take charge over the operation and performance of your critical business applications. While you may think the hard work is over, the true work doesnt begin until the monitoring solution goes live. However, before you fully deploy your monitoring solution there is one final step – determining what should happen after an error alert is triggered. For many enterprises, this is among the most difficult steps as you must ensure not only the proper persons are notified, but also the alert provides ample information designed to enhance the speed of which an error is corrected.

Step One – Establishing Effective Monitoring Agents

The most effective way to get the most out of your monitoring alerts is selecting the best metrics to monitor within your application infrastructure. Because many Web applications are unique in terms of infrastructure and use. Because of this, the type of metrics you must monitor can dramatically vary. This being noted, there are several metrics you must always monitor. These include both physical and virtual components. For example, the health of physical components, such as CPU, Memory, Disk Usage and virtual components, such as transactions between requesting browsers and responding databases.

Step Two – Server Health Information

When an error alert is triggered, its important to determine the health of your Web and database servers. There are many instances when an error regarding specific components are directly influenced by the health of your servers. While your monitoring solution may monitor your servers, make sure the alert notifications also come with current server statistics. This helps determine whether or not your servers are the true culprit of your malfunctioning application metrics.

Step Three – Run Synthetic Scripts to Isolate Error

The use of synthetic testing is invaluable for many reasons; however, in terms of correcting an error after an alert notification is sent is among its most powerful uses. By executing specific synthetic testing scripts, youre able to identify specific errors within the application, which may help identify the root cause of specific errors.

Step Four – Patch the Error for Immediate Fixes

As an error is caught, the most effective way to provide immediate correction is by implementing a patch. This may be in the form of a Windows patch or a Linux update. While patches may not be an effective permanent fix, they can provide corrections that are necessary to keep an application up-and-running. Remember, if you decide to use a patch, you must immediately begin working on a long-term fix.

Step Five – Review Reports for Long-Term Health & Re-Run the General Processes Again

Regardless of the monitoring solution, it should provide you with in-depth reports. These reports are essential for determining the overall effects an error has on the performance and stability of your applications. Now, you must take the error reports and utilize them to help safeguard your application from similar errors. Now that you know what went wrong, you should make sure that you re-run any monitoring programs. There are a number of programs that you can schedule to do this for you. EveryStep is one example  (you can read more about their web application monitoring program here). You an also use Selenium and a number of other programs.