Supervising a Web application with ServiceNav

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Florian Mattes
Product Manager ServiceNav

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In today's application usages, web applications can be an important part of an information system.

Whether for cross-functional services (extranet, messaging, etc.) or business services (SaaS CRM, e-commerce platform, paperless invoicing, etc.), their availability is often critical for users and your business.

It is therefore more than relevant to supervise, whether they are SaaS or internally hosted applications.

Choosing the right level

Two levels of supervision are possible:

  • Simple : Associated hardware/system infrastructure, URL access.
  • Complete : scope above + development of application scenarios, control of their result and their execution time.

The choice of a complete or simple supervision will be influenced, for each web application, by :

  • The criticality of the application for the smooth running of your activity
    • What is the impact of a slowdown? a production stoppage? are the users only internal or is this a customer site? Is it a test environment? 
  • The associated ticketing history
    • Does this web application generate a lot of support tickets? If so, what is the majority of them?
      • HS login page -> a simple supervision is enough, with a URL test.
      • Slow file creation or research -> supervision by scenario required.
  • Available resources
    • It takes time to create, and especially to maintain, test scenarios, as it will be necessary to ensure that they remain compatible as web applications are upgraded.

The steps

As always, we will begin by breaking down the service provided and assessing its criticality.

For example:

  • Service : CRM website
  • Hosting on site
  • Architecture 
    • 1 Windows VM: Web Server
    • 1 Windows VM: Sql Server Database
    • Access URL: https://moncrm/login
  • Business impact
    • Used by the sales and helpdesk team + extranet part for end customers
    • => Criticism
  • Ticket History
    • Rather stable and fast tool
    • Sometimes the page is inaccessible when the application server disk is full.

So we'll make the choice of supervision here... simpleas the URL test is considered sufficient and reliable.

Simple supervision

This will be added (manually or by census), using the equipment/service models appropriate to the role :

  • The application server
    • For example, the service model will be used HTTP_HTTPSwhich allows to test the accessibility of a URL, and the validity of an associated certificate.
    • The IIS service will also be supervised via the model MS-WIN-ServicesList-Started
    • Special attention will be paid to the disc, as it generates support and unavailability, for example with MS-Win-DiskUsageand an alert threshold adapted according to the growth rate of the disk.
  • The database server
    • The SQL Server database can be supervised with one of the many templates available in the catalogue.

Other models suitable for Windows servers can also be used to monitor CPU, RAM, disk I/O for example. These models are associated by default with the 'server-windows model' equipment model.

Full supervision

We might just as well have chosen to implement one or more application scenarios. The subject is detailed in a dedicated blog post.

What about a SaaS application?

In the case of a SaaS application, the control points linked to the server will not be relevant, the equipment can be configured as 'Not pingable', by being associated with the controls of the different URLs to access the service.

The general philosophy then remains the same.

IT Weather Services

Finally, we will ensure a synthetic and efficient follow-up of our newly supervised application, through the construction of a IT Weather.

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