Tag Archives: testing

Service Monitoring – What is it and why is it important?

Data centers are complex beasts, and no amount of operator monitoring by itself can keep track of everything.  That’s why automated monitoring is so important.

So what should you monitor?  You can divide up your monitoring into a couple of strategic areas.  Just as with metrics collection, there is business & application level monitoring and then there is lower level system monitoring which is also important.

Business & Application Monitoring

  • If a user is getting an error page or cannot connect
  • If an e-commerce  transaction is failing
  • General service outages
  • If a business goal is met – or not
  • Page timeouts or slowness

Systems Level Monitoring

  • Backups completed and success
  • Error logs from database, webserver & other major services like email
  • Database replication is running
  • Webserver timeouts
  • Database timeouts
  • Replication failures – via error logs & checksum checks
  • Memory, CPU, Disk I/O, Server load average
  • Network latency
  • Network security

Tools that can perform this type of monitoring include Nagios,

Quora discussion – Web Operations Monitoring

Data Spot Checks – What are they and why are they important?

Loading data into a database whether it is Oracle or MySQL, involves passing a lot of hurdles.  If you’re working with CSV files, special characters may cause trouble, end of line characeters, very long lines, and so forth.

Once your data load is complete, spot checks involve basic checks to determine that all went well.  Counting the number of records which should have been loaded and comparing the table’s count before and after the load, would be one simple spot check.

These types of checks are a basic once over, as opposed to a more thorough and rigorous analysis of the data, for example calculating checksums, that can guarantee that a data load completed and all data is in good shape.

Quora discussion – What are data spot checks and why are they important?