Are You Monitoring Performance On Your Cloud Server?

Are You Monitoring Performance On Your Cloud Server?
As with any hosting environment, it’s important to regularly monitor the performance of your cloud server. No matter how powerful your cloud server is, if it isn’t optimized for performance, then you will be missing out. But what does that entail?

The short answer is “track and measure everything.” Of course, you can’t know if your server’s performance is good or bad if you don’t understand how your server normally performs by tracking and measuring resource usage over time. By determining what “normal” is, you can quickly determine if a spike in resource usage is something to worry about or ignore. In addition, you will also be equipped to investigate the cause of any unexpected outages or performance hiccups.

There are a number of open source, free Linux utilities that can help you monitor your server, such as:

  • Vmstat – “vmstat” provides you with a quick idea of your overall server health as well as reports on virtual memory statistics, like processes, memory, paging , block IO, traps, and CPU activity.
  • Iostat – “iostat” collects and shows operating system storage input and output statistics and can identify performance issues with local or remote disks.
  • Top – “top” is a tool that displays processor activity and real-time tasks being managed by your server’s kernal.
  • SAR – “SAR” is the System Activity Report and it collects, reports, and saves statistics on various system loads – such as CPU, memory/paging, I/O, device load, and network.

In addition to monitoring your server’s performance, it’s wise to also monitor your website or application performance. Website and application performance can be directly influenced by the performance of your server, so monitoring your usage from all sides is incredibly useful. For example, do you know how much bandwidth your applications and websites use on a day to day basis? Do you know which apps are the heaviest on resources, and what your peak usage times are? Also, do you know what your site’s traffic looks like? Does it fluctuate constantly?

To answer those questions, we recommend a number of tools, listed below – but you can also use the Linux utilities above. Top, for example, can provide excellent application resource usage. It’s always a good idea to test a few different tools and see which ones work best for you. One tool might have a blind spot that another manages to pick up on – and that blind spot might, if left unchecked, cause severe performance issues down the road. Tools like the ones listed below offer a wealth of information about your website’s performance and health. Also, if you’re looking to optimize your website specifically, check out this blog for tips to optimize website performance.

Some website performance tools you can use include:

  • Pingdom
  • Rigor
  • GTmetrix
  • WebPageTest

Lastly, we also recommend that you centralize all these logs in place through a log analytics tool. Depending on how much data your cloud has generated, it may be difficult – or impossible – to sift through everything. A product like our Log Storage can make it easy to store, monitor, manage, and analyze your server logs.

Focusing on Cloud Performance

Cloud performance management need not be complex or overwhelming. Provided you have selected a good suite of monitoring and analytics tools, it can actually be quite simple.This should not come as any surprise – the cloud exists to make your organization more streamlined. The more you know about how your entire system cloud operates, the better-equipped you will be to track down and address bottlenecks, improving your website or application’s uptime and performance, and encouraging your users to engage more with your business! A little bit of monitoring can go a long way to helping your business grow!

What tools do you use to monitor your hosting infrastructure? Are there other usage statistics that are important to your business? Let us know in the comments below!