Introduction to 24×7 monitoring and its importance in IT
24×7 monitoring is a key practice in IT management and observability, as it allows you to keep a constant eye on systems and applications, ensuring that problems are detected and fixed before they affect end users. In this article, we will analyze the main KPIs (key performance indicators) that will help us measure and improve the success of our 24×7 monitoring operations.
MTTA (Mean Time To Acknowledge): The speed in identifying problems.
MTTA is a fundamental KPI that measures the average time it takes a team to recognize and begin to address a problem. A low MTTA indicates an agile and efficient team, which is able to quickly identify incidents and start working on their resolution.
To improve MTTA, it is important to first have an orderly record of the technical specialist or supplier responsible for handling each incident and its escalations. And secondly, an agile event management team that can notify shift managers in a timely manner.
Sometimes, the event management team is given dual responsibility by being assigned level 1 support tasks. This works when the volume of alerts is low, otherwise, the dual function means that while resolving an incident, a new alert can be ignored by increasing the MTTA.
MTTR (Mean Time To Repair): The time it takes to fix
MTTR measures the average time it takes to solve a problem once it has been identified. A low MTTR indicates that the team is able to resolve incidents quickly and efficiently, which is crucial to minimize the impact on end users.
One of the main objectives of any IT Operational Continuity area should be to reduce its MTTR. To reduce MTTR, it is important to have a robust monitoring platform to identify the root cause of service disruptions and a well-trained support team to repair them.
Quality of monitoring: False positives and undetected events
False positives and missed events can be a challenge in 24×7 monitoring. False positives are alerts that indicate a problem when in fact it does not exist, while undetected events are real problems that do not generate alerts. Both can affect the efficiency and effectiveness of the IT team.
To minimize false positives, it is important to adjust and calibrate 24×7 monitoring tools with technical equipment, for example:
- Adjust monitoring settings for alerts with a duration of less than 3 minutes.
- Eliminate from monitoring alerts with a duration longer than 72 hours.
- Correlation of alerts (1 alert on its own may not be important, multiple alerts are)
For undetected events, flexible monitoring equipment/tools are required to allow the incorporation of new monitoring points to achieve complete coverage.
Uptime: Systems and applications always available
Uptime is an essential KPI that measures the availability of our systems and applications. A high Uptime percentage indicates that our systems are working properly and are available to end users most of the time.
Improving MTTA and MTTR indirectly improves Uptime.
Implementing all systems and microservices in HA is a robust way to improve Uptime. When doing this, it is very important to have the primary and secondary system monitored separately. A fault must be detected immediately so that it can be repaired in time before both environments fail.
The 4 Golden Signals of Google SRE
Uptime only talks about the availability to consume the services, but not about the quality of that consumption. For this reason, Google’s Site Reliability Engineers (SRE) have identified 4 “Golden Signals” as key performance indicators to assess the health and performance of a system:
- Latency: Latency refers to the time it takes for a system to process a request and deliver a response.
- Traffic: Traffic is a measure of the volume of requests a system is processing. A sudden increase in traffic may indicate a problem, such as a DDoS attack or a system error that is generating unwanted requests.
- Errors: Errors are a measure of requests that fail or return incorrect results.
- Saturation: Saturation is a measure of the workload supported by a system relative to its maximum capacity. A saturated system can experience performance degradations, affecting the quality of service and user experience.
Incorporating these 4 Golden Signals into our 24×7 monitoring strategy will allow us to gain a more complete picture of the health and performance of our systems, thus ensuring better quality of service and increased customer satisfaction.
Conclusion: Why KPIs in 24×7 monitoring are critical to IT success
KPIs in 24×7 monitoring are fundamental to measure and improve the effectiveness of our IT operations. By monitoring and analyzing these indicators, we can identify areas for improvement, optimize our processes and ensure that we provide high quality service to our customers.
In short, a rigorous focus on 24×7 monitoring KPIs allows us to ensure that our systems and applications are always available and running optimally, which is crucial for success in the competitive world of information technology.
Do you need support to implement a monitoring suite in your organization? Are you interested in having excellent monitoring without having to invest internal time training your team? We recommend you to contact our partner dParadig, a company specialized in managed observability and monitoring services in multiple layers.
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