Server Health Monitoring | Introduction & Tools

Many business owners often overlook the backbone of their network—the server infrastructure—when monitoring and assessing operational health. Many people fail to notice their servers’ performance until it becomes noticeably slow or unavailable. Often a change in the health of your server may result from a hardware failure, but sometimes it indicates a software vulnerability.

These are the best tools for Server Health Monitoring:

  • Attune – Enjoy up to 42x faster server builds, 41% faster dataset reloads, and 4x faster system upgrades.
  • Jenkins – The versatile platform that seamlessly integrates with your existing tools and can be used across multiple platforms.
  • Ansible – Experience lightning-fast application deployment and simplified software releases with Ansible

If you carefully monitor your systems, you can detect unusual behavior, such as high resource utilization, which may be a sign of malware. Identifying a potential issue beforehand can help you contain it. Every business can benefit from early detection since 53% of all successful cyberattacks often go undetected. On top of that, 91% of all security issues fail to trigger an alert.

Businesses rely on these machines to store and process data and to run associated applications. That’s why the health of your server should rank high on your list of priorities.

This article will shed some light on the importance of server health monitoring, best practices, and what you can do to maintain a healthy server.

Server Health Monitoring

What is Server Health Check?

Before you learn about the importance of monitoring the health of your servers, what does server health monitoring actually entail?

Server health monitoring is the comprehensive process of assessing and generating a detailed overview of the performance and status of your servers. Some of the processes include monitoring hardware specifications, metrics, and server performance data.

In addition, a server health check helps to monitor CPU usage, memory usage, power consumption, and performance of different components to avoid downtime. You can prevent system failures, increase performance, and ensure high availability by monitoring your servers.

IT infrastructure plays a crucial role in most businesses. If any of your infrastructure servers goes down, the consequences can be devastating. For instance, it can result in low productivity, high downtime leading to loss of sales, security breaches, and negative brand perception. That is why it’s crucial to automate your IT infrastructure, build, compliance, security, and configurations, testing, and deployment.

Why Is It Important to Monitor Server Health?

Let’s take a look at some of the reasons that you should use server health monitoring tools to keep track of the health of your servers.

  • To keep you informed in the event of a server problem: A server monitoring tool’s primary function is to alert you if there is an issue with your server wherever you are. By doing so, you can act promptly to resolve the issue. There are two ways to monitor: either proactively or reactively, by looking at past events. The proactive monitoring process identifies indicators such as high CPU or memory usage, or high disk usage.
  • Clear overview of the entire infrastructure system: When there are multiple servers and networks, or when they reside in different places, this becomes increasingly important. With server monitoring, you can monitor your whole system from a unified dashboard, giving you peace of mind that everything is operating efficiently.
  • Leveraging historical server data for better-informed decisions: You can review performance statistics for your server in the days, weeks, and even hours leading up to its failure. As a result, you can determine if the problem developed slowly over time, or if it occurred suddenly. Making the right decision in the future means understanding why issues develop in the first place.
  • Enhancing and Optimizing server performance: With continuous alerts, dashboards, reports, and historical data, you’ll have greater insight into your server uptime and performance. Taking this into account will allow you to make the correct decision’s long-term for optimizing your network.

How to Conduct a Server Health Check

The process of conducting a server health check varies depending on the server. In other words, there are different health checks for different servers. For instance, the performance metrics for web servers are different from those for file servers.

A network and server health monitoring tool should include the following:

  • Hardware metrics: For physical servers, it’s necessary to check the fans, disk drives, storage, CPU, memory, and their environmental conditions
  • Performance metrics: It should collect and collate server data on usage, uptime, and other KPIs.
  • Reports and dashboard: This should include all information on the status of the server, such as usage reports
  • Metric threshold: To set limits for catching issues before an outage
  • Notifications: Alerts for outages and metric thresholds to ensure rapid resolution

What Should Server Health Monitoring Tools Check for?

The following are a few of the tasks that a server monitoring tool should help with:

Uptime Checks

Servers are a critical component of your server based applications and services, which understandably means they need a high availability. You can carry out uptime checks through a load balancer or external server monitoring tool.

For instance, the test could check to see that the server ports are available and new connections are possible. Tests could also perform checks to prove the server is responding within specified baseline parameters by making HTTP requests.

With a server monitoring tool, you can gain a thorough overview of your server workload and network. You can determine the performance of your server infrastructure by analyzing a variety of performance variables such as bandwidth, uptime, and response time.

Other necessary checks involve ensuring status reports and alerts are sent and testing the viability of the configuration by pinging the server. In this way, you can quickly determine whether your network is close to 100% uptime.

Hardware Checks

The best performance is only possible when all software and hardware infrastructure is configured properly. Monitoring storage, memory, and CPU load can help avoid system lag or applications locking up.

In the event of storage running out of space, applications will stall and depending on the logical volume configuration, the operating system may crash. High memory and CPU usage will cause the system to lag and some applications may fail to function properly. Server monitoring can raise an alert and historical monitoring can identify if you need to increase the required resources for your system.

Additionally, the physical components of the server such as disks, fan’s and power supplies can be monitored for failure or abnormalities.

Dependency Checks

With dependency checks, you can gain insight into how your server interacts with other components. For instance, your application may need to send data to an SQL server. In the event that the two servers can’t communicate, the application may fail to operate properly.

A dependency check can detect expired credentials or incorrectly configured servers that prevent an application from accessing a database server. Dependency checks can also help run server patch management to ensure all patches are up-to-date.

Discrepancies in the network can be challenging to detect and cause problems when servers are not communicating effectively. Unreliable software can impact server performance by leaking memory or corrupting data. As networks infrastructure and application architecture complexity increases, the interdependencies between servers are increasingly crucial.

Future-proof Your Infrastructure by Automating Server Health Monitoring

At this juncture, you may ask, how often should you check the health status of your server? To put it simply, if you want or need high availability of your services you’ll need real time monitoring.

Of course, this can be a drain on the company’s resources. However, this is where a server health monitoring tool comes in. Server health monitoring tools simplify the process of monitoring, identifying, and resolving problems with servers. These tools help to automate routine tasks like ping, polling utilization, and aggregating logs.

Attune is a server automation solution that configured for scheduled monitoring servers, services, and applications across an entire environment made up of virtual and physical servers. Attune can also be configured to provision, patch, and secure, and ensure compliance. On top of that, automated solutions delivered with Attune help deliver high server availability, and reduce downtime through consistent builds and consistent configuration deployment.

Post Written by Alexander Fashakin

Hi there, I am a programmer, content writer and aspiring product growth manager. I love learning about exciting new products and technologies.

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