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Monitoring the availability of online storefronts

As a service owner responsible for your company's online storefront, you need to identify and respond to availability issues. You also want to drive operational optimization and excellence within your organization to improve mean-time-to-detect (MTTD) and mean-time-to-respond (MTTR).

This article is part of the Splunk Use Case Explorer for Observability, which is designed to help you identify and implement prescriptive use cases that drive incremental business value. It explains the solution using a fictitious example company, called CSCorp, that hosts a cloud native application called Online Boutique. In the AIOps lifecycle described in the Use Case Explorer, this article is part of Digital experience monitoring.

Scenario

Online Boutique is the main offering of CSCorp. If the Online Boutique website becomes unavailable, CSCorp’s customers could look to other vendors to provide them with the goods they want to purchase. This could cause CSCorp to lose revenue to their competitors.

In general, they need to know:

  • How do we quickly identify (MTTD) when the Online Boutique is unavailable?
  • How do we remediate (MTTR) the issue and get Online Boutique back up as quickly as possible?

More immediately, the NGNIX web servers that deliver the Online Boutique service unexpectedly shuts down, causing the Online Boutique website to become unavailable. 

How to use Splunk software for this use case

An Uptime Check makes a request to a URL and monitors the response time and the response code. When looking at the results of specific runs, Splunk Synthetic Monitoring also measures the Time to First Byte and DNS time. If an Uptime check fails, Splunk Synthetic Monitoring returns a response code and a traceroute.

Unlike Real Browser Checks, an Uptime Check makes a request via the curl library. It doesn't parse HTML, or load images or JavaScript.

There are two basic types of Uptime Checks:

  • HTTP. Check the Uptime or response of a single URL or endpoint. The HTTP Uptime check goes beyond a simple ping. When it runs, Splunk Synthetic Monitoring waits up to 60 seconds for a full response from the server before closing the connection.

  • Port. Monitor popular or custom ports on your servers via TCP or UDP protocol.

To monitor the Uptime of several URLs, or for more complex transactions, check out Splunk’s API checks use cases. 

The CSCorp team decided to record and test a simple Splunk Synthetic Monitoring uptime check to identify when the service is unavailable and provide the appropriate notification with a response code and traceroute.

Now, look at how CSCorp created and tested a Uptime Check for the Online Boutique application.

Next steps

Still having trouble? Splunk has many resources available to help get you back on track.