AWS Monitoring: Why You Need an Eye in the Sky

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Since its launch in 2006, AWS has proven to be a dependable, high performance cloud service. But that doesn’t mean customers can set up applications in the AWS cloud environment, run it in a fire and forget it. There is still a need to monitor application performance and availability.

What Drives the Need for AWS Monitoring?

Cloud based enterprise systems, either internal or customer facing, are often critical to business operation. For example, if a large online ecommerce vendor’s website goes offline, a significant loss of revenue could occur. Similarly, if a commodity trading firm were to lose access to its internal investment tracking platform, it could result in large trading losses.

Cloud technology is usually fairly robust, with plenty of redundancy built in to the underlying infrastructure. But this does not mean that it can never fail. It is simply less likely to than older client/server architecture.

What are the Benefits of AWS Monitoring?

If we take it as read that no technology is perfect. And that due to this, even such a dependable cloud platform as AWS needs monitoring. Then it is important to understand what the benefits are of implementing a comprehensive monitoring regime. These benefits could include:

  • Increased levels of availability of cloud services and data.
  • Rapid notice of issues causing network outages.
  • Almost instant warning of environment issues that could be effecting service provisioning and application performance.
  • Reduced risk of commercial losses through prolonged service downtime.
  • Capturing of measurable, accountable performance statistics. These can be used to plan ongoing resource scaling. And also to highlight potentially problem areas with the application itself (with regards to DevOps).

Further Considerations

Although the concerns listed above drive investments in cloud monitoring solutions, it is not the whole reason for such a deployment.

Application Performance Monitoring (APM) is also a very useful tool for the DevOps team. Despite the most rigorous testing, there is always a possibility that once a code commit is pushed live, it will fail in some way. This may be something blatantly obvious that is recognized rapidly and fixed. But it may also be something far less obvious. If the code failure is having an effect on overall application performance in some way, APM will uncover it.

The APM monitoring solution may highlight a performance problem, an issue that cannot be attributed to the cloud infrastructure. In this case, it is highly likely that the problem lays with the application itself. At this stage, it becomes expedient to get the DevOps team involved, as it is likely the fault is at application level.

Cloud computing has revolutionized the way that many businesses operate. However, it has bought with it a whole new set of challenges. Investing in an industry standard, tried and tested platform such as AWS is a sound choice. But there is a clear need to take responsibility for monitoring performance, to ensure the smoothest operation of business critical applications. Watch the HOSTING webinar titled “Monitoring your AWS Environment? It Gets Better” for more details.

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