The Web has become a significant channel for sales and service for many enterprises. Provision of consistent performance and availability has become an essential part of good customer service. The performance of a Web application can deteriorate unexpectedly. Unless the enterprise is monitoring the performance of the end-to-end service, as seen by the customer, service problems may be invisible and unresolved until customers complain. In the meantime, potential customers may leave and existing customers may reconsider their loyalty.
What Can Be Monitored
There are two levels for monitoring of Internet applications: the availability or performance of the Internet connection to the enterprise's servers, and the performance of the applications, servers, and databases used in the delivery of the Web service. Enterprises with simple Web sites (product information, price lists, and brochure download capability) will find the first level of monitoring sufficient. For more complex and critical applications, such as order entry and shipment tracking, monitor the performance of the total application.