Guidelines for Choosing a Monitoring Platform

How to Choose an Appropriate Monitoring Platform

No matter the type of business or industry you’re in, monitoring uptime, performance, and availability of your websites and web services is critical for timely error resolution and customer satisfaction.  You put your business at risk if you’re operating with an outdated monitoring solution. In this post, we will give you an outline of what to consider when selecting an appropriate, and cost effective, monitoring solution.

 

Essential Monitoring Platform Criteria

  • Usability.  Don’t waste your time with endless training sessions. Within a few hours, you should be able to setup your own monitoring devices, configure alerts, and analyze the collected results. Choose a monitoring platform that keeps setup and configuration time to a minimum, giving you more time to focus on identification and elimination of your more critical issues.
  • Multi-Layer Support. Realistic simulation of end-user transactions is essential, but if an error occurs, you’ll want excellent data and reporting capabilities. Reports such as a waterfall chart showing you what component(s) has/have caused an error, as well as back-end server resource utilization details. Make sure that monitoring of all layers is supported before finalizing your decision.
  • Device/Browser Capability. Pre-configured monitoring solutions can reduce setup time and effort.  A monitoring solution that includes testing from the three most popular browsers, popular mobile devices, and component-level monitoring capabilities are must have features for any state-of-the art monitoring suite.
  • Alerting. Monitoring is all about quick error detection, escalation, and resolution. A fundamental element in this area is instant alerting of errors to your support teams. Alerts must support multiple channels, be easy to configure, and provide connectivity for other ticket tracking and escalation systems.
  • Filtering.  False alerts will destroy all trust in your monitoring automation platform. Therefore, having the ability to create filter conditions, such as sending an alert only if an error occurs longer than a certain period of time, will reduce the number of false alerts, solidifying trust in your solution of choice. The ability to set custom filters is a must when deciding on an monitoring solution.
  • Reporting.  Monitoring platforms collect massive amounts of data, all of which is available for your support teams to review as necessary. Intuitive, accessible reports with sharing capabilities will improve team productivity.  Don’t ignore the value of an outstanding reporting system that includes high-level summaries to detailed, element level reports.
  • Technology Support.  Simulation of realistic use cases is key for a successful monitoring strategy. Make sure that your monitoring suite supports protocol-level, real browsers, and mobile-based monitoring.
  • Costs.  Avoid overspending for your monitoring suite. Locally deployed monitoring solutions often have a much higher cost footprint than cloud-based platforms due to hardware/software implementation and ongoing maintenance and management costs. It’s much more efficient to leverage a cloud-based monitoring solution that will let you focus on monitoring, instead of dealing with costly, time consuming setup challenges.

 

Evaluating Monitoring Platforms

We realize there’s no shortage of options when it comes to choosing a monitoring solution.  We want to ensure your investment in a monitoring solution today, recognizes a return down the road.  Companies can easily apply the wrong criteria and ultimately make a wrong decision, only to find themselves starting the process all over again.

Don’t risk making a costly decision.  Use the table below to help you find the best monitoring suite for your needs.  And feel free to add your own criteria to the table during your decision-making process.

How to use this table:

A.) Apply this matrix to each monitoring solution on your short list

B.) Add the appropriate rating for each criterion

4 = Completely fulfills the criteria
3 = Satisfies most of the criteria
2 = Meets some of the criteria
1 = Meets little to no criteria

 

C.) Calculate the score and select the solution with the highest rating.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t waste time and money with an outdated monitoring platform. Using the evaluation table, compare your current choices with a few commercial and open-source solutions and consider using a modern monitoring suite like Dotcom-Monitor to ensure availability of your websites, web applications, and web services.  The business and your users will thank you.

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