DevOps

Sleep easier with availability monitoring

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bluemix-availability-monitoringNecessity is the mother of invention. Anything that can fend off the Saturday 2 AM call to my fellow developers, or even just reduce the pain of late-night troubleshooting, is worth the invention. If your team uses DevOps practices, offers your organization continuous delivery and is responsible for delivering always-on code, you know what I mean.

So what happens when a developer does get that call? It depends. We sometimes struggle a bit the first few times. Some of us are still discovering the smart way to instrument our application to get a quick pulse of the system rather than jumping from log to log to figure it out. That can hurt in the middle of the night, right?

More experienced developers might handle the call differently. They can go to a metrics dashboard and quickly pinpoint which part of the system needs a reboot – or even better, run a runbook automation.

No matter how you approach solving a problem, you are always keen to know whether an outage affects customers—and how badly. “Is the meter still ticking?” some developers say. This is where IBM Bluemix Availability Monitoring comes in.

Bluemix Availability Monitoring (BAM) can monitor your Bluemix Cloud Foundry application through 15 global points of presence simulating global users by running continuous tests. You get to create these tests using BAM, which has capabilities that are continuously improving. By running tests, you get a comprehensive view of how bad the outage is, and if it affects customers. Furthermore, you can see how the availability and response time of your synthetic tests aligns with your code push into the system.

Imagine you are in a continuous delivery mode making several daily code pushes. Your BAM dashboard can tell you exactly which push caused the hiccup and set up alert notifications so there’s no need to keep staring at the UI. And to ensure all is well, some of us check the trend lines before leaving office or going to bed.

It takes only a few minutes to get set up with BAM, watch this video to see how:

You can get set up with BAM here. You’ll notice that when the tests run, BAM accurately measures how much time each element of a web page took to load from different parts of the world. This will also come in handy when you’re looking to optimize page response times by modifying images, style sheets or content delivery networks.

Interested in learning some additional DevOps best practices?  Watch this space. In future posts, I’ll blog about developer pain points and more ways to solve them. At IBM, we are developing solutions in the same way you are – building them cloud native. We’re always glad to share tips and best practices.

I’d love to hear your feedback or questions, just leave a comment below. You can learn more about the importance of monitoring applications here.

Finally, check out all of the DevOps expertise and best practices to be shared at IBM InterConnect 2017 in March.

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