What Is Infrastructure Monitoring?

What Is Infrastructure Monitoring

Infrastructure Monitoring refers to the collection and analysis of real-time data on IT components like servers, databases and networks to quickly detect and resolve any potential problems before they impact users. Infrastructure Monitoring offers visibility across an entire technology stack in one convenient system.

Engineers can use this data to predict system usage patterns in order to prevent revenue-draining outages, for instance by configuring load balancing systems to add extra CPU resources when an application reaches high usage.

What is infrastructure monitoring?

Infrastructure Monitoring is the practice of collecting, visualizing and alerting on metrics from servers, containers, databases and other backend components within your tech stack. Infrastructure monitoring enables engineers to understand if issues within their stack are impacting users quickly while supporting them in quickly resolving any potential problems that arise.

Infrastructure monitoring should be carried out using tools and software designed specifically for that task. Tools that gather data into one centralized dashboard help prevent blind spots from developing. Furthermore, reviewing metrics regularly as your business goals and technology environment change is vitally important.

Infrastructure monitoring’s main uses cases include preventing problems from becoming outages, resolving customer-facing issues and improving testing. Monitoring can also be used proactively to save money; for instance if an infrastructure monitoring tool identifies that certain hosts are overprovisioned you could decommission them and shift workloads elsewhere more economically; it also serves to protect against outages by making sure your tech stack has adequate resources available to meet demand.

Infrastructure monitoring in cloud environments

Infrastructure Monitoring is essential to the health and efficiency of cloud environments. It involves gathering and analyzing data from all layers of the tech stack – hardware, OS and application servers alike – such as metrics, events, traces and logs to monitor for any problems that might arise in an efficient system.

Metrics provide aggregated data that provide an overall view, such as an average latency over time for a service. Events are discrete actions in an application that are either initiated by user or system interaction or are spontaneous. Traces connect events together and give more context on what’s occurring within an application; logs keep a record of activities such as errors and failures that occurred within it.

Ideal infrastructure monitoring platforms should allow for the collection and storage of data in one tool, where it can then be analyzed and visualized real-time to identify issues, resolve them quickly, improve overall performance and availability, as well as support multiple integrations enabling AIOps for complete end-to-end observability. In addition, teams can spend less time on manual tasks while more time is dedicated to finding solutions to problems. Automated solutions are increasingly being adopted allowing teams to spend less time worrying about manual tasks while more time is dedicated towards solving real issues at hand.

What observability data should you use?

Infrastructure monitoring tools enable data teams to gain a full picture of their infrastructure’s performance, including metrics, logs and traces all on one platform for easy analysis. A unified observability tool is the best way to ensure your pipelines run efficiently while avoiding issues.

Observability tools utilize telemetry data to provide system insights, such as the internal state of distributed systems. They use instrumented endpoints and services which generate events, metrics, and traces as sources for collecting this information.

Example: When a data pipeline experiences high load, an observability tool can send an alert to infrastructure layers in order to address this problem and pinpoint its cause such as running out of storage space in a database.

Before choosing the ideal data observability tool for your organization, it’s crucial that you carefully assess available solutions. Aim for one that provides a centralized dashboard and allows users to create time series visualizations; one which handles large volumes of data efficiently as well as provides role-based access control – these qualities should all help make an informed decision.

Infrastructure monitoring best practices

Infrastructure monitoring provides visibility into the overall health and performance of a tech stack’s backend components, such as servers, virtual machines, containers, databases, network infrastructure and IoT device fleets. By collecting health and performance data from these backend components of an ecosystem – servers, virtual machines containers databases network infrastructure IoT device fleets etc – infrastructure monitoring allows organizations to detect issues before they impact end users directly.

No matter your monitoring solution of choice – from single-stack solutions to full-featured logging and infrastructure monitoring platforms – there are best practices for setting up and using them effectively. The initial step should be identifying core services – those that could have the greatest ramifications should they fail – such as your primary SaaS application, IoT devices that control machinery at a timber mill, or databases which store critical accounting information.

Once you’ve identified your core services, set up an alert policy with prioritized and organized alerts to avoid alert fatigue. Create role-specific dashboards so everyone from ITOps teams to security teams has visibility into KPIs important to them; this will allow faster incident responses while keeping your infrastructure operating smoothly.

Why is Infrastructure Monitoring Important?

As businesses embrace microservices, cloud-native architecture and other emerging technologies, they must implement best practices for managing infrastructure. This includes monitoring components to ensure they function as intended while offering users a superior user experience. With an effective monitoring strategy in place, engineers can prevent outages and ensure infrastructure reaches its fullest potential.

If users complain that their web application is slow, infrastructure monitoring can help engineers quickly pinpoint its cause. It could reveal that too much CPU resources are being consumed by runaway processes on the server preventing enough CPU from reaching the web application for its operation. Infrastructure monitoring is one of the key components of an observability practice that includes metrics, events, traces and logs for total visibility into system operations. With this information at our disposal we can use it to rectify an issue either by allocating more CPU or stopping any unnecessary processes from running in parallel. Together, these features assist engineers in quickly recognizing issues anywhere on the backend and mitigating outages for a positive user experience. A robust infrastructure monitoring platform can also include tools like filtering, searching, correlation, and aggregation that enable teams to customize their interaction with infrastructure data in order to quickly locate relevant information.

1. Troubleshooting

Infrastructure monitoring tools collect data about various aspects of an IT environment for use by business teams. Furthermore, these tools enable customized interaction with data for improved understanding of its health. This feature makes infrastructure monitoring extremely useful because it quickly allows teams to identify any potential issues quickly and take measures to address them quickly.

Infrastructure monitoring not only can identify existing issues, but can also prevent future ones by anticipating resource demands. By studying historical infrastructure measurements, companies can anticipate when their servers will become under-provisioned and add extra CPU and RAM when such events arise in order to minimize stress on critical systems and reduce revenue-draining breakdowns.

An effective infrastructure monitoring solution should include features that enable DevOps teams to detect current issues and track down their causes using traces, logs, and more. This helps reduce incident resolution time while improving IT reliability and decreasing customer complaints. But their effectiveness will ultimately depend on how effectively these tools are utilized; an infrastructure monitoring platform must be capable of processing high volumes of data with an intuitive user interface in real-time display.

2. Cost savings

Infrastructure monitoring allows engineers to quickly detect and prevent issues anywhere in the backend, minimizing downtime for users. If users report that a web application is unresponsive, an engineer might determine that there are insufficient CPU resources or runaway processes are monopolizing its host server – saving money in hardware upgrades by anticipating such issues before they arise.

Companies can utilize historical infrastructure measurements to anticipate resource needs in the future. For example, engineers can configure additional CPU and RAM resources on specific hosts that were under-provisioned during product launches in order to avoid critical system overload and costly breakdowns that result from under-provisioned hosts at similar events.

DevOps teams use data from multiple sources to quickly recognize risks, then address them before they become serious. This enables them to improve application reliability by minimizing outages and downtime which cost businesses thousands in lost productivity per minute. Infrastructure monitoring also offers valuable support in making sure software runs as promised and meeting business goals and outcomes.

3. Benchmarking

Benchmarking is a widely practiced business strategy that involves studying other brands’ practices to learn from and identify industry best standards. Businesses then create plans to reach their own performance goals based on this research.

Infrastructure monitoring is an integral component of any IT strategy to prevent outages, boost reliability, and minimize end user complaints. Monitoring allows teams to quickly detect backend issues like latency as well as quickly pinpoint hosts, containers or components causing trouble so they can rapidly resolve them.

Datadog Infrastructure Monitoring is a straightforward infrastructure monitoring solution designed to give IT environments visibility. Our agent-based and agentless monitoring solutions collect metrics from hosts, containers, and other technologies at 15 second intervals ensuring comprehensive coverage of your environment.

Modern software applications have become increasingly complex to meet the needs of users worldwide, and engineers often have too much on their plate to manage all aspects of these systems without infrastructure monitoring to help. Infrastructure monitoring enables engineers to quickly locate any source of issues arising in hardware, software or network elements and act upon them accordingly.

How to Get the Most Out of Infrastructure Monitoring?

Infrastructure Monitoring monitors the availability, performance and resource consumption of backend components that support applications. Engineers install software called an agent onto hosts (physical servers known as “bare metal”, or virtual machines which leverage physical server resources) in order to collect infrastructure metrics.

So incident response teams can act quickly on this data quickly, you must quickly consume and process these points of information using tools such as aggregation, search and trend analysis. To accomplish this, a full-stack observability platform offering features like these should be chosen.

What are the benefits of infrastructure monitoring

Infrastructure monitoring can be an invaluable way of avoiding issues and helping ensure applications run as designed. From performance evaluation and optimization, to discovering root causes of any issues, infrastructure monitoring provides invaluable insight into your system.

One of the main uses for infrastructure monitoring is preventing incidents from escalating into outages. Engineers who can quickly identify which hosts, containers, or backend components experienced latency during an incident can quickly resolve it and improve reliability for end-users.

Infrastructure monitoring tools can also be used to reduce costs by proactively identifying overprovisioned or idle servers, for instance if web application requests are causing CPU overuse on certain hosts, engineers can easily determine this and allocate resources accordingly. It may also be possible to set expected ranges for metrics and set notifications to alert engineers if those metrics fall outside their desired range, creating redundancy while decreasing false positive risks. Furthermore, alerts must be prioritized and role-specific dashboards created so everyone has easy access to all their necessary data immediately.

Infrastructure monitoring use cases

Infrastructure monitoring allows your team to quickly detect issues that arise with infrastructure in order to minimize downtime, protect customer satisfaction and avoid data loss. Not only does this type of monitoring allow fast root cause analysis but it also allows for tracking performance trends over time and understanding what configuration best fits the optimal use case of your infrastructure.

If a web application is unresponsive for users, infrastructure monitoring can help identify that not enough CPU has been allocated or that certain processes are taking advantage of your host’s resources – giving you time to allocate additional CPU and solve the issue before it affects users directly.

Infrastructure monitoring can also be invaluable for testing new features or reconfiguring existing systems to assess how recently made changes affect performance. You can set alerts on specific metrics to notify when they fall outside their expected range, aiding DevOps teams identify current issues faster and reduce incident resolution times to increase reliability and end user experience.

What Parts of Your Infrastructure You Monitor

Infrastructure monitoring enables engineers to quickly detect issues in the backend, helping meet end-user service-level agreements while also minimizing downtime or poor performance for customers.

At its core, monitoring platform installation works by installing an agent software program onto each physical or virtual server that hosts an application and collecting metrics about them for analysis on a monitoring platform.

These tools collect a range of data that may include system and application availability and performance metrics, environmental information such as power usage and temperature, traffic utilization data and costs associated with moving application workloads to underserved servers – helping organizations predict future performance requirements and costs while saving resources by moving application workloads to less utilized servers.

Telemetry data can also offer real-time insights into high usage of components as they occur, such as when a database server becomes overwhelmed with requests and cannot respond appropriately, triggering a load balancing system to distribute workload among other available servers in a cluster.

Factors Important in an Infrastructure Monitoring

Once a team can identify and communicate issues quickly, they can more efficiently work to resolve them – creating better workflows for employees and customers, while increasing ROI of an IT infrastructure.

Teams should strive to collect data from various sources, such as physical servers, virtual machines, databases, network infrastructure and IoT devices. Monitoring tools like InfluxData make it simple to collect, store and analyze time series data across the entire infrastructure ecosystem.

An alerting system is also important, enabling teams to set custom alerts for various components of their infrastructure and initiate automated responses when thresholds are breached. Furthermore, this type of system should prioritize notifications so important ones do not go missed.

An effective metrics dashboard enables IT teams to continuously assess performance trends and identify areas for improvement, helping meet end-user service level agreements while preventing downtime that impacts customer satisfaction.

1. Ease of installation and management

To maximize infrastructure monitoring, it’s essential that your tools are easy to install and manage, enabling data collection quickly without reinventing the wheel or struggling with integrations. An excellent way of doing this is using open source solutions such as Telegraf and InfluxDB.

These tools can rapidly scan an IT system and collect real-time data to detect potential issues before they lead to an outage or security breach, helping minimize unplanned downtime and ensure customers enjoy a superior experience.

Infrastructure monitoring can also help anticipate your future resource needs, for instance if your host had difficulty handling demand during feature rollout, you can plan for additional resources ahead of similar events to avoid problems and save both time and money. Automation features should also be an essential feature when choosing an infrastructure monitoring solution as they will allow rapid responses without human involvement being necessary to address issues quickly.

2. High performance

Infrastructure monitoring enables DevOps teams to quickly detect issues within their tech stack before they cause downtime or poor user experiences, and quickly resolve them, saving both time and money while increasing efficiency and reliability.

A proper infrastructure monitoring tool should be capable of handling complex IT systems with distributed architectures. Furthermore, it must have the capacity to set expected ranges for metrics and provide alerts when they exceed expected values. Furthermore, advanced solutions typically come equipped with features allowing you to prioritize alerts based on urgency.

Your ideal solution should also integrate seamlessly with the other IT systems you currently employ, including monitoring agents that track the health of hosts and backend components, gathering data for analysis by an infrastructure monitoring tool before sending it onward to be visualized – this way it’s easy to see if one host was using too many resources than expected or which component caused issues.

3. Advanced data analysis tools

Infrastructure Monitoring involves collecting and analyzing data on the backend components of your applications, such as metrics, events and traces that help detect errors and optimize application performance. Engineers install software agents onto host servers or containers (physical servers known as “bare metal”) which collect infrastructure metrics before sending them off to an infrastructure monitoring platform for analysis.

An effective IT infrastructure monitoring tool should provide notifications when key metrics fall out of range or threaten to do so, enabling you to take corrective actions before the issue escalates into an outage.

Some of the top IT infrastructure monitoring tools will offer predefined or customizable dashboards that provide a visual snapshot of the status of your hosts and containers, using baseline metrics as well as machine learning to identify outliers before they become problems, while also allowing you to drill down into individual hosts or containers if required.

Final Thoughts

Infrastructure monitoring is a core element of IT strategy. It allows your business to run more smoothly, improve customer experiences, and meet its goals more easily.

Implementing an IT infrastructure monitoring solution allows you to detect any potential issues early and ensure your backend services are operating optimally, thus helping avoid outages and losing consumer trust.

Infrastructure monitoring provides more than just hardware visibility; it also gives insight into your operating system (OS) and application server layers of technology stack. OSs manage host CPU usage while applications create content for backend services and applications.

An infrastructure monitoring solution will give you valuable insights into your IT infrastructure and the performance of apps and websites, but to maximize its benefits it is essential to prioritize monitoring tasks based on their impact on business activities. Choosing an ideal monitoring tool depends on its purpose being met in a balanced fashion by both staff members and management alike.

Sam is an experienced information security specialist who works with enterprises to mature and improve their enterprise security programs. Previously, he worked as a security news reporter.