About The Book

About The Book

Do you have a nagging feeling that your monitoring needs improvement, but you just aren’t sure where to start or how to do it? Are you plagued by constant, meaningless alerts? Does your monitoring system routinely miss real problems? This is the book for you.

Mike lays out a practical approach to designing and implementing an effective monitoring—from the application down to hardware in a datacenter, and everything between. Practical Monitoring will provide you with straight-forward strategies and tactics for designing and implementing a strong monitoring foundations for your company.

Practical Monitoring has a unique vendor-neutral approach to monitoring. Rather than discuss how to implement specific tools, Mike teaches the principles and underlying mechanics behind monitoring so you can implement the lessons in any tool.

What You’ll Learn in Practical Monitoring

Effective Strategies for the Real World

Fix noisy alerts

How to fix the ‘noisy alert’ problem once and for all


How to use statistics such as rolling average and standard deviation to level-up your monitoring

Build a better on-call experience

How to build a better on-call experience so your team don’t turn into burned out husks of people

Tie business metrics to system metrics

How much infrastructure do you need to support N numbers of users?

Common metrics to monitor

The most common and impactful metrics to monitor for network, servers, security, and more

Monitoring as a culture

How to foster a culture of data-informed decisions, and integrating monitoring into everything you do.

Chapter Overview

Chapter 1 – Monitoring Antipatterns

Chapter 2 – Monitoring Design Patterns

Chapter 3 – Alerting, On-call, & Incident Management

Chapter 4 – Statistics Primer

Chapter 5 – Monitoring the Business

Chapter 6 – Frontend Monitoring

Chapter 7 – Application Monitoring

Chapter 8 – Server Monitoring

Chapter 9 – Network Monitoring

Chapter 10 – Security Monitoring

Chapter 11 – Conducting a Monitoring Assessment

Mike Julian
About The Author

Mike Julian

Mike Julian is the CEO at The Duckbill Group, a consultancy that helps companies fix their horrifying AWS bill, while keeping them entertained through snarky newsletters and podcasts. Mike previously worked as a DevOps Engineer for companies such as Taos Consulting, Peak Hosting, Oak National Laboratory, and more.

Outside of clients and other work-related projects, Mike is a wine and beer aficionado who holds a WSET Level 2 certification (Dec 2016) and Certified Beer Server certification (July 2017). He enjoys working on old cars (latest project: restoring a 1984 BMW 3 series), woodworking, and hanging out in the nearest cafe.

Mike is originally from Knoxville, TN (Go Vols!) and spent many years in Phoenix, AZ and San Francisco, CA. He currently resides in Portland, OR.

Get your free chapter!

Are you interested in seeing what’s in Practical Monitoring, but not yet ready to buy the full book? No problem, I’ve got you covered with a free chapter from the book.