IT operations teams can anticipate most periods of peak web traffic. The key to preventing outages and issues is to plan ahead. Here at BigPanda, we’ve prepared a checklist of the key factors IT ops teams need to consider to ensure their IT infrastructure is ready.
Here’s is a recommended checklist for IT and ops teams:
- Review monitoring metrics and work with your developers to test applications for stability. Some companies may need additional support to accommodate peak seasons and events.
- Perform regular security tests and ensure necessary measures are taken to protect your systems. Exposure to hackers and the potential for unanticipated load are real threats.
- Prepare for alert storms with an effective correlation platform. For IT ops teams, spikes in workload can cause what is known as alert storms. Reduce risk by utilizing an alert correlation platform that identifies patterns in unstructured alert data to separate signal from noise. This allows you to more effectively identify, triage and take action on issues before they have a chance to affect your customers.
Companies also run a higher risk of downtime during peak traffic times. Seventy-five percent of outages are due to unplanned configuration changes to a system—when IT ops teams find something they think might cause a problem and try to fix it immediately, unintentionally creating a much bigger issue for the web or mobile site.
To avoid unexpected downtime, we recommend companies take the following steps to ensure the availability and reliability of their services:
1. Identify what is mission-critical.
To avoid unexpected downtime, we recommend that IT ops teams tier their services and identify the systems that are mission-critical to the business. Top-tier applications should include those that are linked directly to the success or failure of the business, such as point-of-sale, ticketing or billing.
2. Develop an ironclad failover plan for top-tier systems.
Offering a high level of availability is not something that happens by chance. It must be planned carefully for every aspect of your systems architecture. Top-tier systems should be bolstered by an ironclad failover plan—one that plans carefully for load capacity to handle unexpected spikes.
3. Invest in a best-of-breed monitoring stack.
You can’t protect against what you don’t see coming. In the age of continuous integration and continuous delivery, the only way to ensure that you have an accurate pulse on the health of your IT systems is to implement the best monitoring tool for each layer of your stack (such as systems monitoring, application monitoring, web and user monitoring, logging and error tracking). The industry rapidly is replacing monolithic monitoring architectures with this “best-of-breed” approach to better service increasingly complex and dynamic IT systems.
4. Implement alert correlation to distinguish signal from noise.
More tools—monitoring more moving parts—lead to more noise. It’s a simple fact. To efficiently identify, triage and remedy potential issues before they have the chance to do real damage, IT teams require a way to properly separate the signal—the “real problem”—from the many sources of noise. By implementing an alert correlation solution, IT teams are able to see how alerts from their various monitoring tools are related, allowing them to quickly filter non-critical issues and focus on what matters most.