Best Practices: Hardware Performance Monitoring
Server hardware is the backbone of critical business services. Occasionally, it can run into performance issues without prior warning, which results in service downtime. It’s essential to monitor the health and performance of your critical server hardware components for optimal performance.
Best Practice 1: Monitor the CPU Fan
The CPU fan draws heat away from the CPU. It may draw cooler air into the case from the outside, expel warm air from inside, or move air across a heatsink to cool a particular component. If the CPU fan fails, the server will eventually overheat and fail or perform an emergency shutdown to prevent serious damage to its components—either way, your server will become unavailable. To prevent this from happening, you should monitor the CPU Fan speed. By monitoring the RPM, you ensure that the fan rpm is not exceeding safe levels. Also keep an eye on historic fan RPM. If you notice a spike in fan rpm that lasts several minutes or hours, that is an indicator of a serious issue (maybe the AC is not working, the fan vents are blocked, etc.).
Best Practice 2: Monitor the Power Supply
A power supply unit (PSU) converts the main AC to a low-voltage regulated DC power for internal components of the computer. Universally, modern personal computers use a switched-mode power supply. You need to monitor the amperage, voltage, and wattage of the power supply.
Best Practice 3: Server Temperature Monitoring
Server Temperature - The temperature of the system board or motherboard is another important component to monitor. Unusually high temperatures can cause permanent damage to the server and will affect server performance adversely. You can obtain safe working temperature limits from the manufacturer and monitor it to make sure that it doesn’t exceed this safe range. Also, with the addition of virtualization to the mix, server density has increased per rack. This makes monitoring temperatures—both the internal server and external environment even more critical. You can use temperature measurements to plan and deploy virtual servers where appropriate. For example, a high load web or database server shouldn’t be deployed on a physical server that’s approaching temperature limits for safe operation.
The temperature, air flow, and humidity of the physical space that houses your server (Data Center, closet, etc.) is another important parameter to monitor. Some of the parameters mentioned above may be a direct result of faulty A/C, improper air flow, or dangerous humidity levels.
Best Practice 4: Monitor Server Resource Capacity
In addition to monitoring server hardware health, you also need visibility to CPU, Memory, and Disk capacity. If the server is virtualized, you will need to understand the virtual machine CPU and Memory usage for each virtual machine and the load for the physical host. Server & Application Monitor provides visibility to all server performance metrics so you can proactively get ahead of issues before they become major problems.