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Service Level Agreement (SLA) Metrics by Example

Note: This post was originally written for the Netreo blog. You can check out the original here.

In today’s hybrid and multi-cloud world, you need to be more sure than ever that you have a handle on your service-level agreement (SLA) performance. But how do you make sure your cloud providers are giving you what you’re paying for? You have likely read, or maybe skimmed, their SLA. How do you find out if they’re meeting that SLA? You do so by monitoring your SLA metrics.

In this post, you’ll learn about SLAs and the metrics you can use to monitor their performance. This can help you hold your providers and your team accountable. You’ll also see some examples of SLA metrics to help you get an idea of exactly what you can monitor.

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Why SPAN Port is Bad for Packet Captures

Sometimes when you’re troubleshooting a network problem, you need to look at the packet data. It could be to find security threats or investigate strange network behavior. One of the common ways to capture packet data is with SPAN ports. But with the data deluge found on today’s networks and infrastructure, you can easily run into problems analyzing the packets captured using a SPAN. TCP sequence gaps are one problem that can result from capturing using SPANs.

In this post, let’s get into more about what a SPAN port is. Also, you’ll find out how different capture methods using SPAN can lead to TCP analysis problems and how you can reduce their occurrence.

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What Is Network Management? A Comprehensive Introduction

Note: This post was originally written for the Netreo blog. You can check out the original here.

What Is Network Management?

Network management is the process that helps you know the working state of your network. It also enables you to fix various discovered or undiscovered network problems.

In today’s networks, it’s a complicated exercise to monitor and maintain how well your network is functioning. Network management involves so many different components that you need the right people, technologies, and tools to do it well. So in this post, you’ll learn more about network management, why you need it, and what’s involved.

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Application Monitoring in a Modern Cloud World

Note: This post was originally written for the Cprime blog. You can check out the original here.

Applications are no longer simple two-tier architectures. Back then, application monitoring was easy compared with today. But as the shift to the cloud happened, applications became more efficient and effective. Application architectures now include many tiers across multiple locations and sometimes in multiple clouds.

Monitoring applications with this level of complexity is a challenge, to say the least. So, today’s application monitoring is completely different from just a few years ago. In this post, let’s get into some of the application monitoring changes and how it matters in the modern cloud world.

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What is Observability and Why You Need It

Note: This post was originally written for the Cprime blog. You can check out the original here.

As more organizations move from on-prem to cloud infrastructure, IT teams are finding that traditional monitoring solutions just aren’t getting the job done. Many monitoring vendors have moved beyond monitoring to observability. Sadly, some are doing nothing more than putting a good spin on the same old monitoring solution.

The bottom line is that traditional monitoring isn’t enough for today’s cloud applications and infrastructure. You need real observability, which can tell you not only when there’s a problem but also what its underlying cause is. In this post, let’s discuss what observability is and how it can help.

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Elasticsearch Alternatives for Event Data: 5 Options

Note: This post was originally written for the Scalyr blog. You can check out the original here.

The amount of event data to collect has seen a dramatic increase in the last few years. It continues to grow as more companies move to microservices, containers, and the modern infrastructure stack. For many, Elasticsearch has been the solution to help.

With more data comes some common scaling problems, so you may consider solutions that are Elasticsearch alternatives.

Choosing the wrong alternative can be risky. So in this post, you’re going to learn about five Elasticsearch alternatives you should consider. You’ll learn about some of their benefits and drawbacks, and also how they’re priced.

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How to Prevent Capturing Data for Security Reasons

Security should be top of mind these days. I wrote an article years ago about three lessons you can learn from doing a network security analysis. Taking the appropriate steps is even more crucial now than then.

But how do you protect your organization when you need to help troubleshoot an application problem and need to capture packets? In this post, let’s talk about how you can go about doing that.

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The Essential Guide to Scaling Elasticsearch

Note: This post was originally written for the Scalyr blog. You can check out the original here.

Some things aren’t always what they seem.

You’re tasked with engineering a solution that your organization needs. You implement it with a tool that seems relatively easy to set up. But over time, you realize that there’s no Easy button.

Elasticsearch is an example of one of those things. It’s a great product for collecting event data fairly quickly and easily. You start with one data node in one cluster and go from there. And because it’s free and open-source (for now), it’s even better. But as your Elasticsearch cluster grows and collects more data, you start to have some scaling issues. In this post, I’m going to provide some information on scaling an Elasticsearch implementation, as well as some general recommendations for proactive ways to scale Elasticsearch.

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Where is the Best Location for a Packet Capture?

You just got a call about an application slowness issue. You’ve been told that it’s not an application issue and that it must be somewhere on the network. 

When you need to capture some data, for whatever reason, one question that inevitably comes up is where you should capture. What’s the best location for a packet capture? That’s a good question to ask yourself.

If you don’t, you should be. So let’s talk about that now.

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How to Simplify SNMP Implementation

Editor’s note: This post was originally written for the Sensu blog. You can check out the original here.

You want implementations to be simple. Who doesn’t?

But often, that’s not the case.

SNMP is one of the oldest used protocols to manage a network. SNMP stands for simple network management protocol, but it might not have been all that simple for you.

Maybe it was simple back in the late 1980s, when SNMP became a standard protocol for network monitoring. But that was over 30 years ago, and while SNMP is ubiquitous, a lot has changed.

In this post, you’ll learn what SNMP is and some challenges you may have when using it to monitor your infrastructure. You’ll also learn some best practices you should consider when implementing SNMP monitoring.

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