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Tier Two Monitoring for Application Infrastructure

As long as there has been software running on a server, there has been some kind of monitoring to make sure it was running. Even if the first versions were just a ping command running from someone else’s computer. The problem is, even such early versions of monitoring were all about the ability to react. 

Monitoring has been about checking if the house is on fire or not. If it’s not on fire nobody is too worried about it. When it catches fire, let’s monitor it in all the right ways to know where the fire started, how to put it out, and where to rebuild the house in the future. Maybe we learn that next we shouldn’t put curtains directly above a gas stove. But that’s it. We saw the house burning, and we responded and pivoted as a result of fires.

The metaphor here should be a little ridiculous because the way we think about monitoring today is more than a little ridiculous. What if monitoring was more proactive? What if we could see that, while the house isn’t on fire, the door is unlocked, we have flammable material all over, and all of our fire alarms are on the roof, so they aren’t going off until the whole thing thing is about to cave in.

To put this in concrete terms and move away from the metaphor…. monitoring that our infrastructure is up and our application and database is responding to requests is important. Let’s not stop doing that. But it’s time for Tier 2 monitoring to become the norm.

In Tier 2 monitoring we should know:

  •  How healthy are our deployments? 

    • Are we putting flammable things in the house?
  • Do we have security checks running actively 

    • Are our doors and windows locked? 
    • Can someone zip-line in from the neighbor’s?
  • Are we checking if the instances we’re using are right sized 

    • Did we put in cribs when our residents are adults? 
    • Did we put in 12 bathrooms for a family of 2?
  • Are we checking the software we’re running against a list of known CVEs, 

    • Is the house still using a gas stove that’s been recalled? 
    • Are we using a digital door lock that opens with a known code?

The reason most people have shied away from Tier 2 monitoring is that gathering all this data requires way too many tools that are difficult to install, and no single dashboard for viewing the information. 

We've solved that problem with Fairwinds Insights. Use it for free today to explore Tier 2 monitoring for yourself. 

Test Drive Fairwinds Insights for Free