System Monitoring and Troubleshooting

An entire ecosystem’s worth of data. One unified view.

IT Operations is full of shoulds: I should be tracking asset data. I should be logging in-app events. But we know that every layer of data you collect adds to the seemingly insurmountable task of monitoring every micron of your ecosystem, so things fall through the cracks. Unfortunately, these cracks will only grow larger and deeper as your team does.

While frameworks like NIST and ITIL can offer guidelines for system monitoring and troubleshooting, these standards can often leave a lot of room for interpretation. Most IT Operations teams know that it’s best practice to have a system monitoring strategy in place, but actually implementing a monitoring and troubleshooting strategy can be daunting. The below sections include recommendations for what, how, and when to monitor your IT environment, and how Rapid7 InsightIDR can help your team centralize and correlate.

What to monitor

Data types to monitor

One way to simplify and clarify how you’re thinking about monitoring is to consider data in three major categories:

  • Log data
  • Asset data
  • Network data

While monitoring each of these data types are fundamental to mature IT operations, system monitoring typically focuses on the analysis of log data and asset data.

System types to monitor

Systems to be monitored include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Servers
  • Databases
  • Applications
  • Cloud services
  • Containers
  • Employee workstations

Events and metrics to monitor

Events and metrics to be monitored include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Errors
  • CRUD Events
  • Transactions
  • Access requests and permission changes
  • System metrics

(As you can see above) information overload is easily an occupational hazard for IT teams—we understand your pain. With the ability to live-stream logs and interact with visualizations without having to use search queries, InsightOps will change the way you think about log management.

When to monitor

In short, system monitoring should be happening 24/7 if your systems need to maintain constant availability. Often, monitoring can happen in the background without you needing to pay constant attention. With that said, the following include some occasions when you should keep an active eye on your system data:

  • System updates
  • Application deployments and rollbacks
  • Migrations
  • Peak transition times

As a cloud-based solution focused on unifying all of this activity into one view, InsightOps provides live access to every asset and system within your IT environment. The result is unparalleled visibility. 

How to monitor

Traditionally, IT operations teams have depended on log management solutions to collect, centralize and organize your logs and separate IT asset search solutions to monitor individual IT assets. Enter InsightIDR: our solution presents IT Operations teams with a new type of system monitoring and troubleshooting solution. By combining log management with live IT asset search, you can trace issues from discovery to resolution without needing to switch tools midstream. Best of all, InsightOps synthesizes IT asset data into structured log data that can be easily analyzed along with the rest of your log data.

Given the complexity that already exists in any IT team’s day-to-day operations, InsightOps prioritizes ease-of-use above all else, with simple setup and no ongoing maintenance required.