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Upgrade Your Monitoring Strategy for Microservices

Upgrade Your Monitoring Strategy for Microservices

2922 1824 Parkar Consulting & Labs

Companies simply generate too much data for humans to monitor, so intelligent monitoring is crucial for IT incident management. Our platform covers every aspect of your business: accurately detecting anomalies, automatically surfacing important events from noise, alerting Ops teams to potential crashes, reducing MTTD and MTTR, and freeing people to focus on mission-critical tasks. When issues are resolved quickly and accurately, everyone is free to focus on core tasks and key business objectives.

Upgrade Your Monitoring Strategy for Microservices

Monitoring undoubtedly has always remained at the forefront when it comes to managing any IT system. But if we had to compare monitoring microservices to monitoring monolith applications, the challenges are pretty unique. As a single executable or library, a typical monolith system will have different points of failure and dependencies and therefore will greatly differ from traditional microservices architecture.

To understand the difference, it becomes imperative to understand what monitoring is all about and the unique challenges that it brings along while building a strategy. So let’s get down to know it better.

Understanding the ‘why’ of monitoring microservices

To begin with, there is no denying that the monitoring requirements of microservices-based applications are intensive. Tracking them requires collecting and correlating data from different services. It, therefore, becomes critical to understand what kind of data are we looking at, what monitoring tools are we considering and how can they be leveraged to publish, gather and store monitoring data.

At the core of the monitoring philosophy lies the fact that applications are likely to fail due to the nature of their complexities and the knowledge that all systems have a strong probability of failing. Also, the fact that system performance is not binary means that complex systems including monoliths are likely to get into a degraded state that can lead to very costly but inevitable failures. However, the right monitoring of microservices can ensure the good behavior of the systems and in turn notify operators well in time when they reach the degraded state to avoid a total failure.

Every service provided, whether internally or to external clients, will come with an agreement and only monitoring will help us determine if the Service Level Agreement was honored or violated. Not to forget the fact that monitoring systems over time produce valuable data that can be used in a number of ways for improving service performance.

This data will help operators look into details pertaining to performance as well as failures to analyze and pinpoint the exact patterns leading to system failures. So if you have sufficient data to prove that a new deployment has frequently led to total system failure, you will know that it is the deployment process that needs to be looked into critically.

Precisely why application performance monitoring or APM has become a huge market in itself and the range of APM tools available today is simply overwhelming. The best ones are being deployed to publish, gather and store metrics data which in turn is used by operation teams, development teams, and others for analytical purposes. The right APM tools help them shift through data in real-time to get a bird’s eye view of events that can be monitored via dashboards.

Microservice monitoring

Microservices architecture is a methodology where the application is divided into a set of smaller services, known as Microservices. It is based on proven software engineering concepts around agility, APIs, and Continuous Integration (CI) continuous deployment (CD). Complex workflows are orchestrated through a series of microservices that correlate and interact to carry out the necessary tasks or units of work. There will be constant communication among dependencies, be it a disk or a database or something else, and this communication will be the reason for both its success as well as failure. Till such time that all dependent resources are performing as expected, things will go on smoothly like clockwork. But a failure of any dependency will lead to a degraded state of performance and a possible system failure.

It is therefore important to ensure that the microservices architecture is robust and addresses all concerns pertaining to dependencies and their interaction in an efficient manner. Needless to say, the monitoring has to be sound from development as well as an operations point of view. So development teams are expected to incorporate instrumentation during the design phase while operations teams are expected to utilize their skills to build and support infrastructure to collect and collate data at a granular level.

The data so collated can be used to address issues and identify patterns that lead to degradation and failure.

Monitoring Metrics and Events

When it comes to monitoring microservices, there are quite a few metrics to consider. Monitoring being a process of reporting, gathering and storing data, you need to first decide what data is useful for you. The size of the architecture will also matter. So, large systems will produce massive data about their behavior within a short span of time. Processing the massive gigabytes of data and creating alerts to rise above the noise is a herculean task so to speak. Planning, clarity of thought and execution and determining the metrics to be monitored are the key here.

Parkar NexGen platform excels in all these areas with solutions that are meant to keep you on top of your game.

Fig: DataDog: Monitoring 101: Collecting the right data

 

So let’s take a look at the various metrics in detail.

Application metrics 

Very specific to the application you are using, every time an application accepts user registrations, you would want to know how many was it able to process and complete in an hour. An insurance company might want to know how many forms were verified in a certain period of time. So if the number of forms verified in an hour drops down considerably as compared to the previous hour, it is obvious that an anomaly exists. The right monitoring will help you detect it and fix the problem to attain optimal efficiency and productivity.

Platform metrics 

These metrics are way more important than you would imagine. It can give you a solid grip on your performance if you handled them well. Imagine knowing the average execution time for the fastest as well as the slowest database queries, the number of requests received per minute, the average response time for each service endpoint, the success or failure ratio, and the overall system performance. Together, they create a dashboard that creates an exact picture of both performance and behavior, and how they contribute towards the overall success or failure of the system.

Recording events

Operations teams are well aware of the fact that new deployments can be highly disruptive. We are aware of the fact that all systems are vulnerable to outside forces. And the correlation between new deployments and system failures is well known. Precisely why, modern enterprises are extremely particular about logging these deployments along with those pertaining to scaling events, configuration updates among others. Once these details are recorded, it becomes easier to understand system behavior.

“Performance analysis vendors are responding to new challenges in monitoring systems with innovations including the wider adoption of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. Action, not just reaction, is key to Coolness,” Gartner writes in a 2019 report.

Says Daan Teunissen, CEO StackState, world’s leading monitoring AIOps platform for hybrid IT, “This is a solid validation of the rapid change we see in the IT operations landscape with the fast adoption of new infrastructures, including hybrid clouds, containers, and microservices. As organizations move towards these highly dynamic architectures, the requirements for monitoring change dramatically.”

The right approach to microservices monitoring & monitoring in general

Monitoring alone will not suffice when it comes to digital business challenges and would, therefore, call for observability too. This means just about everyone – including product managers, developers, operation teams – will cultivate a culture of observability and understand how their new service, function or code is going to be monitored, and how will they leverage data to monitor a function, feature or service. Asking how a feature or function can be made more observable for better monitoring is crucial from a monitoring perspective.

Full-stack coverage

When it comes to mapping customer experience, it is important to have greater visibility into the stack. The more context-rich data you have, the better it is to drive decisions. So rather than just knowing what’s going on, you are able to drive the right intelligent action too, that too automatically. This helps in instant scaling of infrastructure resources irrespective of the environment.

Microservices monitoring the Parkar way

The best monitoring is the one that gives you an explicit graphical display of relationships across elements within the architecture that can help enterprises foster the IT and business landscape in a more organized manner.

With Parkar NexGen Platform, it’s a collaborative workflow to boost the collective monitoring, Intelligence of your IT Operations and DevOps

Fig: Reference moogsoft.com

When issues are resolved quickly and accurately, everyone is free to focus on core tasks and key business objectives.

Parkar helps you identify the root causes faster giving you meaningful insights into both IT and business parlance through its NexGen platform. What’s interesting is the predictive analytics it offers at any given time.

What it actually monitors includes systems, infrastructure, networks, containers, applications, databases, web servers, multi-location services, cloud-scale monitoring, log consolidation, event correlation, and APIs. The platform offers complete visibility across all the data streams and ensures shorter build times for rapid deployment. Unlike in the past where apps would take several months to release, Parkar helps you do so in a matter of just a few days.

Parkar has a solution to every problem; just that we never perceive it as a problem but simply as an opportunity to scale up and offer better and more resourceful solutions.

If you are looking for production-ready microservices, we’ve got you covered.

In closing: Cover Every Aspect of Your Business

We are living in an era where technologies, solutions, and experiences have begun to converge. It’s time we maintain high monitoring standards to eliminate failures and improve business outcomes.

Companies simply generate too much data for humans to monitor, so intelligent monitoring is crucial for IT incident management. Our platform covers every aspect of your business: accurately detecting anomalies, automatically surfacing important events from noise, alerting Ops teams to potential crashes, reducing MTTD and MTTR, and freeing people to focus on mission-critical tasks.

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