Date: August 30, 2020
Tags: Amazon AWS, Apache Availability, Application availability
Eliminate* Apache web server downtime with SIOS AppKeeper Monitoring
Today Apache webservers are the most popular webservers on the Internet. Companies are deploying mission-critical, customer-facing applications built on Apache using cloud platforms such as Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform. So you can bet that they are investing a lot of time and money in monitoring those applications and trying to reduce downtime. But what if we told you we could eliminate the need for manual intervention via automated monitoring and restarting applications when your Apache web servers are down?
Before we go into how we can do that, let’s step back for a minute and look at choices that companies have when it comes to monitoring and managing their Apache web servers and those critical applications.
How to monitor and protect your Apache web servers from unnecessary downtime
Anyone deploying applications using Apache webservers is either considering monitoring the health of their webservers themselves or outsourcing that task to a third party.
When it comes to monitoring cloud applications running on Amazon Web Services, a popular choice is to use Amazon CloudWatch. Some companies are even extending the functionality of CloudWatch by creating some levels of automation by developing scripts or by using AWS Lambda. But configuring Amazon CloudWatch properly with custom metrics and setting up AWS Lambda requires a certain amount of technical expertise that may be beyond that of many companies. And then there is a cost and effort required to maintain any scripts as the applications evolve.
Another choice is to invest in a comprehensive Application Performance Monitoring (“APM”) solution from a vendor such as New Relics, Dynatrace, DataDog, or LogicMonitor. These can be very appropriate if you want to monitor more than just your AWS environment. APM solutions are very configurable and will provide you with a lot of data in terms of information about what happened.
But have you reduced your downtime? Probably not. What you have done is invested in a system that will alert you immediately if and when your Apache webservers go down, and will overload you with data (or “alert storms”) as you try to get things running again.
Some companies have decided to outsource the responsibility for monitoring and managing their applications to a trusted third party (often a “managed service provider” or MSP). In return for a base monthly fee, the MSP monitors applications and offers a core set of services, often bound by a Service Level Agreement. When alerts are received, they investigate. In some cases, these investigations can require (costly) escalations. If and when applications go down, the MSP will then take control and restart services or reboot instances where they can. But these remediation actions are often an extra expense.
There has to be a better way.
How automated monitoring and restart with SIOS AppKeeper eliminates Apache Webserver downtime
Based on our customer experience, the average company with only three EC2 instances experiences downtime at least once a month. “The site is down! Drop everything. Find out what needs to be done!” What you need to do is reduce the need for these unnecessary fire drills.
SIOS AppKeeper is a SaaS service that is easy to install and configure and monitors any services and applications running on Amazon EC2, such as your Apache httpd service. When an anomaly is detected, AppKeeper automatically restarts the service, and if that doesn’t work it reboots the entire instance. No more reading through logs to pinpoint the reason for the failure, or escalation to developers to restart your service. Or expensive outsourcing fees. AppKeeper provides “set-it-and-forget-it” functionality so that you can eliminate downtime.
Today hundreds of companies rely on AppKeeper to keep their cloud environments running. We invite you to check out the video below for a demonstration of how AppKeeper protects Apache webservers. And if you like what you see, please feel free to sign up for a free 14-day trial of AppKeeper.
*Based on customer data, AppKeeper addresses 85% of application service failures. So in almost nine times out of ten AppKeeper sends out an email notifying customers that downtime was detected and the services were restarted or the instances were rebooted automatically. Isn’t that better than panicking and digging through log files before manually restarting everything?
See related post: Why is AWS EC2 Application Monitoring So Hard?