3 Network Monitoring Functionalities That DevOps Teams Need

Working in a DevOps environment, agility is everything. That next release needs to get into production quickly, so even a minor network issue can hamper speed and efficiency.

Consider the different roles within a DevOps environment. You have your developers and testers deeply embedded in their dev and test environments, rushing to get the next iteration of software out the door. You have your automation experts whose job is to implement automated processes and services that maximize development efficiency on-premise and in the cloud. Then you have your security pros working in unison with developers and testers, ensuring that security is not an afterthought in each release.

All of these roles have equal importance in a streamlined DevOps organization and all of these roles require maximum uptime of hardware, software, and all aspects of the network in general. Everyone cares about IT in a DevOps environment, which is why there are a variety of metrics that every DevOps role will need visibility into the network environment. However, it is generally IT’s role to make sure that everyone has access to their designated environments and services they are accessing and that the servers are running. That can be an issue.

There are dozens of metrics that DevOps team members will need to be able to access. If you’re a release manager deployment times will be very important to know to make sure releases get into production in a timely manner. If you’re a QA tester, you’ll be very interested in seeing how many of your tests are passing and the percentage of false negatives and false positives. These are just a few metrics that different team members look at. As for IT though, IT has the monumental task of monitoring uptime for all applications, services, and hardware such as switches, routers, and servers. Generally, IT is on the hook based on their service level agreements (SLAs). These SLAs will define the amount of uptime vs. downtime of all the above is needed to ensure that a streamlined business can run smoothly.

These are the top three network monitoring functionalities every IT team should have in a DevOps environment.

1. Application Monitoring

Do you know how many applications your company uses on a daily basis? I’m willing to bet it’s in the triple digits. Even if your colleagues use only a handful of apps, those apps are mission critical in getting the job done. But as with all technology from hardware to software, those apps depend on the services they use to run on the backend. Software is imperfect, so it is up to IT to make sure those apps run smoothly. That’s the reason application performance monitoring (APM) is so important. Your SLAs probably include applications, and if they don’t they probably should. Also, consider that you need to monitor applications that your customers interact with. Think about an update server issuing an update in product to a customer. What if the update server goes down or the customer doesn’t get a critical security update right away when it is deployed? You’re going to hear about it sooner or later.

Maybe there is a bug in production that is causing memory leaks on a customer’s computer or maybe there is a database access problem with a mobile app. These are problems that need to be alleviated before they start impacting business operations and especially before they affect a customer using your products and services.

Application monitoring helps you with root cause analysis and pinpoints performance problems so that you can meet your SLAs and ensure a positive user experience with your applications and services.

2. Configuration Management

Configuration management usually affects the internal business operations rather than the customer-facing side, but in rare instances, it can do both. The impact of configuration changes to the network can be significant. They can degrade network performance. They can result in failure to comply with regulatory standards like SOX, PCI, HIPAA, and FISMA. And they can compromise network security.

You will want to make sure that if a configuration changes you can revert back to a previous state if that change causes problems that run amok on your network. This is why IT will want to be able to archive configurations easily within a network monitoring tool.

3. Cloud Monitoring

If you work in a DevOps environment, I’d be willing to bet you use a plethora of cloud services from AWS, Azure, or some other cloud provider. Many developers and testers deploy their environments in the cloud for maximum efficiency. It’s a lot easier than doing that manually and much faster. And this is why you need cloud monitoring.

Cloud providers aren’t in the business of telling you (or least not making it easy to tell) how many resources your business consumes on a monthly basis. And IT usually has to foot the bill when there needs to be an upgrade to bandwidth or cloud resources. This is why monitoring your cloud environment is essential. Not only will it make sure your cloud services are up and running, but you will also be able to track resource usage and prepare to adjust budgets or limit resource consumption in the near future.

These are just a few of the main functionalities IT will need in a network monitoring tool if you are trying to avoid a collision course with your colleagues and customers. WhatsUp Gold is a powerful network monitoring tool that boasts these functionalities as well as several others to give you insight into issues brewing within your business-critical applications and services. Take a test drive of WhatsUp Gold with a free trial today and leave the guesswork at the door.

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