The dangers of D.I.Y. monitoring for Azure, BizTalk and SQL



March 2, 2022

Why use a BizTalk or Azure monitoring tool at all? It's a fair question: If you feel your integration environment is performing OK, why bother investing the time and effort required to install, configure and learn a new monitoring tool?

Stating the obvious

There are a few good reasons why a monitoring solution makes sense. A modern monitoring solution will help you understand your integration environment at a deeper level (and ideally in real-time). This gives you a much better overview of your company’s message flows and allows you to spot potential issues before they cause a major impact to your business processes.

Good BizTalk monitoring tools will also give you in-depth insight into your integrations, providing valuable real-time business intelligence directly from your IT systems.

The dangers of going it on your own

Despite the obvious benefits of a good BizTalk, Azure or SQL monitoring solution, a surprising number of IT teams decide to go it on their own – with either an in-house developed monitoring solution, or nothing at all. There are dangers to this D.I.Y. approach, the most obvious of which is missing an issue that causes a major downtime event.

But even without the epic fail of a major downtime incident, there are other dangers to consider if you’re going it on your own:

1. Massive, uncontained monitoring scope

The most common mistake is thinking that scope is contained – after all, you only know what you know. But in today’s digital world, with hyper-connected, dynamic, constantly evolving integrations, it’s almost impossible to have a complete overview of the real scope and extent of potential issues and root-causes. And on-premise, cloud and hybrid applications, connections with internal systems, suppliers and partners plus customers’ expectations of 24/7 availability don’t make things easier.

2. Unmanageable manual configuration

Configuring manual thresholds to monitor dynamic, cyclical business processes will always be based on limited understanding, because an integration environment is (in most cases) just too big to comprehend. For example, fully monitoring a standard BizTalk environment with 2 servers, 10 hosts, 1000 ports and orchestrations, you’ll need to set and continuously manage approximately one million thresholds to be fully covered. No IT team is staffed for that.

3. Fooling yourself with static thresholds

Manual techniques are inefficient as a monitoring solution because it’s impossible to determine the best parameters for every business process. When a developer or administrator is tasked with setting static thresholds, they are mostly playing a guessing game as to which parameters and thresholds are important.

Monitoring solutions that force you to manually set alert thresholds fall short because those alerts are static (i.e. they don’t adapt to your business cycles). This means your team is spending time troubleshooting false positives, or, fatigued by alert noise, they’re missing real issues. The result can end up looking something like this: 

Screen Shot 2018-06-28 at 15.26.19

 

A better way to monitor your integrations

There could be lots of reasons why you haven't installed a dedicated monitoring solution yet:

  • "My integration environment is unique and hard to monitor."
  • "Standard tools can’t meet the specific requirements of my industry."
  • "My integration setup is massive and complex, third-party tools can’t handle that."


AIMS is SaaS software that often takes only minutes to install, and AIMS machine learning automates many of the tasks (like instrumentation of monitoring, manual configuration of static alert thresholds) that traditionally drain resources from most IT teams. After install, AIMS immediately begins automatically mapping any IT environment– no matter how complex – and providing detailed analytics down to the port and orchestration level in easy-to-understand visual reports. And within 7 days, AIMS has typically gathered enough data from your IT environment to provide actionable insights that you can use in your migration process.

Stop going it on your own with D.I.Y. monitoring (or playing Russian roulette with no monitoring at all). Download a Guide to BizTalk Performance Monitoring and see how you can gain control and insight over your integration environment.

Free eGuide to BizTalk Performance Monitoring 

Topics from this blog: Blog

Author

AIMS Marketing Director, SaaS marketing handyman and daily walking enthusiast.

Adam Walhout

AIMS Marketing Director, SaaS marketing handyman and daily walking enthusiast.

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