Advanced Automation – Getting Your Systems to Work for You

In my previous post I discussed how to take your DevOps to the next level by taking it beyond infrastructure automation, to the automation of your deployments and code pushes, through patches and updates. And then I promised to make it interesting…so here is the next stage – actually using the extracted data to get your systems to work for you. Monitoring Like IT’S YOUR BUSINESS Let’s start by discussing what it means to monitor your application, and what kind of data you can extract from it. At the most basic level, you want to know whether your application is available for your users. It sounds very basic and simple, but setting it up properly is actually not an easy task. It is intended to give you an answer to the most important question to your business: can my users use the application? Think of it as a big red ...

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Nagios is not a monitoring strategy

When I visit clients to talk about DevOps, I usually ask them what their monitoring strategy is. Too often, the answer I hear is “We use Nagios”. I think Nagios is a great tool, but it sure is not a strategy. Nagios does a good job of monitoring infrastructure. It will alert you when you are running out of disk, CPU, or memory. I call this reactive monitoring. In other words, Nagios is telling you that your resources are getting maxed out and you are about to have issues. Proactive monitoring focuses more on the behavior of the applications and attempts to detect when metrics are starting to stray away from their normal baseline numbers. Proactive monitoring alerts you that the system is starting to experience symptoms that can lead to a degradation of performance or capacity issues which is more preferable than Nagios telling you are about to be ...

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From Simple Automation to DevOps Like a Boss

Automation as We Know It Today If you haven’t been hiding in a cave in the last year or two, you’ve probably heard the terms DevOps and infrastructure automation more than once… But even today, infrastructure automation is mostly focused on setup and deployment of complex systems. For example, if you’d like to deploy your application to the cloud, you would likely automate the steps of provisioning the cloud resources, installing the right components on top of these, and then orchestrating the startup of your components – or better known as – cloud orchestration. Take even the simplest application that has a web server and database. After installing and configuring everything, you’d first need to ensure that the database is started, and only then the web server. You’d also need to propagate specific runtime information from the database to the web server, such as the database’s host and port. This ...

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