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Monitoring critical business applications while working remotely

With a huge number of employees around the globe working remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic, delivering uninterrupted business services to customers has become a major challenge. This requires strict monitoring of all critical business applications in order to accommodate an increased amount of requests, which can cause a critical downtime if not monitored appropriately.

In this blog, we will discuss crucial steps that can help maintain smooth business continuity without sacrificing on performance. From your server infrastructure and business applications to critical databases, a thorough checklist of the most important business parameters to check daily will not only help you understand the performance of your applications, but also offer useful insights for making informed decisions.

1. Optimal use of all available resources

When the number of remote employees increases, it’s important to prioritize business-critical applications and enforce a strict monitoring protocol to ensure proper resource allocation, most importantly for servers and databases. Your servers host your critical applications, which makes their availability crucial. For example, if an Exchange Server or a SharePoint server has consumed all the available disk space, you’ll need to reallocate resources to free up disk space.

Given the huge number of requests the average server processes, your server is bound to run out of disk space or exhaust its CPU capacity at some point. Ensure your servers are available, functioning at full capacity, and able to sustain increased loads. In case your existing servers do not contain enough space, migrate your important resources to a server that can effectively handle them.

2. Database monitoring

Database monitoring is fundamental. Imagine multiple users accessing your business application simultaneously and one of the associated databases showing an enormous growth in size. This could be because of a slow query or multiple queries that are slowing down the response time and affecting the database. Parameters such as database size, sessions, user connections, and disk size are essential to track in order to quickly detect problems and eliminate them before application performance is affected.

Another important aspect of database monitoring is disaster recovery. For example, an unusual number of users connecting to a database can lead to a potential database crash. This crash can disrupt services and prevent new users from accessing the database, leading to loss of valuable data. This is why database replication and backup monitoring for all critical databases is essential.

3. In-house applications or end-user-facing applications? Prioritize them both

Remote working often results in your employees accessing your in-house applications more often than usual. Ensuring your end-user-facing applications are delivering an optimal performance is vital, but you also need to ensure the availability and continuous uptime of your internal applications, as remote employees depend on these to get their work done.

For example, consider your engineering team merging new modules to your applications or the testing team evaluating features before going live. Without the adequate resources, you risk losing both employee productivity and negatively impacting customer satisfaction.

4. Growth forecasting and capacity planning

It’s important to plan capacity based on historical performance trends. Make sure you have a monitoring solution that can forecast growth and utilization trends of your servers, databases, and applications. This will not only help you to understand how your business applications have been performing during these hectic times, but also offer insights into how soon the applications’ resources are going to be exhausted.

To understand the load distribution on your servers, you need a clear understanding of your servers’ capacity, and you need to know how servers are being utilized, whether they’re over or under-utilized. Visibility like this can help with planning capacity and proactively handling the surge in user requests while delivering the business service performance your employees and end users expect.

While remote working has its advantages, the disadvantages should not be overlooked, particularly now. Organizations are devising new plans to overcome the impact of the current crisis and sustain business. A comprehensive monitoring strategy can help organizations stay ahead of performance problems and steer clear of business downtimes.

At ManageEngine, we understand that difficult times require drastic measures, and we hope to help our users in this regard. Should you require any help with your business infrastructure monitoring or devising a crisis plan to overcome these tough times, write to us at eval-apm@manageengine.com, and we’ll be glad to help in any way we can.

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