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The Most Common Remote Website Monitoring Misconceptions

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Last updated June 27th, 2012 by Victoria Pal in Tech

FAQPerformance and availability monitoring plays a crucial role for the health and overall wellbeing of  the modern business infrastructure. However, there still exist some common misconceptions associated with remote website and server monitoring practices. We hope that by revealing the real facts, we will help you make an educated decision so that you can use the optimal arsenal of remote monitoring tools to your advantage.

You need to monitor all your resources

Monitoring every single piece of network hardware is not, by all means, mandatory. Monitoring more than what you really need is neither time- nor cost-efficient. Business-critical systems usually represent only a fraction of your infrastructure. Involving people with intimate knowledge of your IT ecosystem in the decision making process will save you money and time. One of the great features of agentless monitoring solutions is scalability. If you are not quite sure about the resources you need to monitor, start with the basic service and a limited set of servers, or websites. You can always expand and spend on remote monitoring when you need it.

Remote monitoring costs too much bandwidth

Bandwidth is not really a 21st century issue. Agentless monitoring generates some traffic. It takes some network utilization and CPU time to perform a check on your hardware; however, each test requires only the resources you would spare to deliver the content to a single user. Basic services such as PING, Traceroute and HTTP status check don’t generate considerable amount of traffic. Even performing an end-to-end test on a web page rarely involves more than a megabyte of traffic.

Monitoring your resources from remote locations is not secure

Remote agentless monitoring is just as secure as you need it to be. It reflects the current state of your resources. Most agentless monitoring solutions simulate user behavior. Whether it is a simple visit to your site, or an execution of an application, agentless performance tracking requires the same credentials you would grant regular users.

Remote monitoring does not provide enough resolution

Another misconception is about the level of detail you could expect from remote monitoring. It is widely believed that it cannot offer the necessary minimum of detailed information required to make critical decisions. While this can be true to a certain extent, vital metrics for sustained performance issues are available and recorded. Also, collecting too much data can drive up the costs and dilute important information.

Not all end-user experience monitoring technologies are created equal

Depending on the context, this assumption can be both right and wrong. There are 3 main technologies, which complement each other to form a complete end-user monitoring solution.

Business process monitors

Business process monitoring performs synthetic transactions to measure the performance and record availability much like a user would experience it. Synthetic monitors are usually distributed through the World Wide Web to perform regular checks on how a website, webpage, or application form will react to heavy loads. It also returns statistics about current and overall performance from different geographical locations. Monitoring business processes externally, outside of firewalls, allows companies to test applications with transactions as they would happen in a real world situation.

Client monitors

Client monitors are located on real end-user machines to capture and report on the performance of your website, as perceived by the hardware of the host. It helps allocate front end issues with CPU utilization of the client accessing your resources. Detecting client-side bottlenecks helps optimize the resources for a broader audience.

Real-user monitors

Real-user monitors, or RUM, are a passive monitoring technology that records all user interaction with a website. It resides off of the network node and checks and reports on the performance and availability of URLs. Such monitoring stations track the application performance for many users by tracking the usage of your resources.

Monitoring software needs to be internal

There are many advantages to going with an agentless monitoring solution. The reasons are quite obvious. Amongst them are:

  • Lower TCO;
  • Short implementation time;
  • Accessible information, readable by admins and regular users alike;
  • The ability to test the infrastructure from outside the company firewalls;
  • Real-world performance data from multiple geo locations.

All actionable data can be sourced from an external monitoring solution. The “pay as you go” model of usage translates to scalability, making the services affordable for enterprises of all sizes. While an internal solution can give you a good idea about overall hardware health and utilization, external monitoring focuses on the end result of your hardware performance and network availability. There is no harm in having both internal and external monitoring as a part of your IT ecosystem. Still, lower implementation costs are one of the strongest perks you get with external agentless monitoring.

External monitoring solutions cost more

Not only do external monitoring systems cost less, but are also faster and easier to implement. The initial investment is quite modest in comparison to what you would end up paying for a complete internal solution. Thus, ROI lifecycle is quite shorter and more significant. By being a scalable product, external monitoring costs as much as you feel comfortable with. Not all enterprises need or can invest in hardware and additional staff. This makes external monitoring a great solution for small and big businesses alike.

If you are still not convinced in the benefits remote monitoring offers, give our service a test run. You won’t be disappointed. Start with a couple of monitoring locations and let us know how it worked out for you. If you need to know more about the service you can leave a comment below or give us a call on 1-888-WSPULSE.

Victoria Pal

She doesn't like queuing (particularly at Wimbledon). Likes traveling, tennis and reading. Loves working as a Project Manager at WebSitePulse.

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