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A modern pilot relies heavily on their plane’s equipment. These allow navigation in even the most stormy weather. For a complex software system, we need a high quality monitoring system to make sense of it all. What are some ways we can make sure our instrumentation is able to navigate any crisis?

For system monitoring to be effective, it takes a significant effort. Let’s take a look at some practices to improve monitoring quality:

  • Define actionable alerts that are customized to the needs of our organization
  • Collect application logs and make this data available and understandable.
  • Incorporate logging into the build and deployment process.
  • Define custom, actionable alerts that are relevant to the organization.

Another key indicator of monitoring quality is the way our organization handles alerts. Be on the lookout for:

False negatives Pay attention when a user-affecting issue has happened, and the system does not alert us. The lack of an alert indicates a hole in our monitoring. We should hold a retrospective meeting to find out what metrics could have alerted us to the problem.

False positives This occurs when an alert is generated, but there is nothing wrong with the system. The threshold for an alert may need to be adjusted, or the alert might need to be deleted altogether.

Unactionable alerts This type of alert has little to do with a problem and doesn’t need anything done. Like false negatives, we should reduce or delete unactionable alerts.

Useless or incorrect alerts add to the chance that valuable alerts will be ignored or unseen. Keeping our alerts at a high quality ensures that each is given proper attention.

By following these best practices, we are off to a great start with monitoring quality!

Instructions

What are the benefits of high-quality monitoring? for monitoring quality?

See the answer!

The benefits of high-quality monitoring:

  • Easily understanding the system status
  • Fast discovery of issue causes
  • Reduced employee burnout and alert fatigue

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