Facebook Develops Tools to Keep Up with Monster Monitoring Tasks

When Facebook engineers faced a monumental monitoring problem, they went to work on it themselves and developed a custom tool to help them sift through all the monstrous data store.

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There are Real People Behind Those Numbers

The nuts and bolts of web site monitoring is a numbers game. You watch the numbers go up and down and if you’re within a certain range, you feel pretty good about yourself. Am I right? But there’s more to it than just pure numbers because behind those numbers are real people who are coming to your web site and trying to achieve some goal, whether that’s buying sneakers or a cell phone or finding your product knowledge base to answer a question. Whatever the reason for the visit, everyone who comes to your web site wants to get in, get out and move on to their next task. It’s just the nature of the Internet, so as you watch those numbers, it’s really important to understand that there are actual people behind the figures and when the needle moves backward, it’s having an impact on those individuals. Depending on the nature of the delay, and how badly they need information from your web site, they might just put up with it (with some feelings of aggravation, no doubt), but in other cases, if the aggravation level reaches a high enough level, they might leave, and if they aren’t a loyal customer, sad to say, they might not come back again (at least for a while). That’s why you have to look at monitoring as a means to end. Just as that visitor wants to get something done, your goal is to make sure that job is as easy and as smooth as possible and the only way to understand that is to keep a close eye on your numbers and try to make the experience of visiting your web site as efficient as possible. Of course that has to do with a lot of factors including the device the person is using, the quality of their Internet connection, the amount of traffic running on your servers at the time and so forth. Some of these factors are clearly out of your control, while others are not. The trick here is to watch the factors that are in your control, understand what the numbers mean and take actions when you think the situation is affecting your users to the extent they could be leaving. But always remember, even when the numbers are appear relatively benign, even when only a small number of users are having a bad experience, it’s going to be little comfort to those individuals if they knew your numbers were excellent — except for them. That’s why it’s always important to keep those people in mind. It’s impossible to tune things perfectly, but always strive for the absolute best balance you can and keep as many of those individual visitors as you can happy and...

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You Have To Dig Deeper into The Data

It’s easy to get lost in aggregate numbers and not think about the underlying users those numbers represent.

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