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Learning how to monitor your first Bluemix application in Production (Part 3)

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This is the last of three parts on preparing and deploying an MVP application:

  • In the first part, we described the IBM Bluemix Garage’s approach to build a Cloud Foundry application and introduced the top ten steps to consider during the MVP Build-Up to ensure the application is production-ready at a high level.
  • Previously, we provided basic initial details and practical guidance on how to get started on some of the basic steps to establish a good foundation in preparation to going into production which included:


# Topic
1 Define the RACI matrix
2 Implement appropriate segregation of duties with Organization and Spaces
3 Continuous delivery on Bluemix
4 MVP error handling and alerts notification
5 Bluemix Logs
6 Configure MVP for resilience and scalability
7 Define release strategy



In this last blog post, we highlight the capabilities that are made available in Bluemix to monitor the platform and the application / services that make up your MVP application.


# Topic
8 Monitor Bluemix Account Usage
9 Monitor Bluemix Incidents and Planned Maintenance that impacts the MVP
10 Monitor MVP Availability and Response Times



8 – Monitor Bluemix Account Usage


During the MVP Build Up, your application support and operations teams will want to understand the incurring costs for development and production phases. They might want to start defining how to split cost and/or charge back line of business(s) benefiting from the MVP Build-Up and future ones, as the adoption of Bluemix expands.


During the MVP Build-Up, we usually assign one or more Bluemix users as billing manager to enable them to access the Usage Dashboard page to analyze the real-time charges for the runtimes and services that are used per month by the MVP application.


The Bluemix user assigned as Bluemix account owner can configure his/her profile to receive email notifications as the account reaches 80%, 90%, and 100% of spending thresholds.


Refer to the Bluemix documentation for more details here.


9 – Monitor Bluemix Incidents and Planned Maintenance Events


Assign one or more Bluemix users the responsibility to monitor and initiate appropriate actions when a Bluemix (PaaS) incident occurs and/or planned maintenance are announced:


  • The Bluemix Status page displays the status of the runtimes and services for each of the available Public regions. An rss feed is also made available.
  • A Bluemix user can configure his/her profile to receive email notification on incidents and planned maintenance.


Often, once the MVP application is in production, an incident ticket would be submitted manually in your current incident management solution, triggering communication to appropriate audience and other processes already in place. If a planned maintenance announcement impacts a service or runtime in use by the MVP application, the change management process in place is followed to assess the impact and plan for the required changes.


Refer to this blog post for more details:


10 – Monitor Application Availability and Response Time


The Availability Monitoring service in Bluemix helps DevOps teams ensure applications and services are always available and performing at reasonable response times. The Availability Monitoring service can be configured to run synthetic transactions at regular intervals from various locations around the world in order to proactively detect and send alerts on issues before they impact your end-users.


This Bluemix service is useful in checking the availability of your application and response times across different geographies. Availability Management ensures that the level of service delivered in all services is matched to, or exceeds, the current and future agreed needs of the business, in a cost-effective manner, which includes addressing SPOF (Single Point of Failure).


During the MVP Build-Up, we might configure synthetic transaction to run at regular schedule from several different locations to:

  • Take a heartbeat of the route to the Bluemix application and Bluemix services the application depends on;
  • Take a heartbeat of the route to on-premises components (publicly available or made available thru Secure Gateway);
  • Measure response time of key API endpoints;
  • Visually correlate how application events (such as your app stopping, starting, or being restaged with a new version) affect the response time of your app and when Alerts are triggered.
  • Configure alert notification;


IBM Availability Monitoring Education Series can be found on YouTube.


Transforming your IT Operations for the Cloud


In this last post, we highlighted the capabilities that are made available in Bluemix to monitor the platform, the application runtime and Bluemix services. As your team prepares to expand its adoption of Bluemix, IBM provides many resources on Cloud Service Management, such as a reference architecture or service management guides on setting up various service management tools in Bluemix.


The Garage similarly has available a Cloud Service Management and Operations (CSMO) offering, composed of variations of our core Design Thinking Workshop and MVP Build-up. These offerings aim to help traditional IT Operations teams to adopt the right Operations practices for Cloud by identifying, prioritizing and implementing the organizational roles, processes, skills, integrations, and tools necessary to build Cloud applications with Service Management in mind. Schedule a visit today with a Bluemix Garage to learn more about how we can help your IT Operations team transform for the cloud.


Did you miss the first parts of this series?  Don’t worry here is a link back to part 1.

Ana M Giordano

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