Monitor, measure and record.
- A shortlist of things to monitor:
- Average load
- Memory usage
- Disk I / O (transactions per second)
- Network bandwidth (in Mbits / sec)
- Virtual Host / Site Network Bandwidth
- Transfer (in GB / month)
- Transfer to a virtual host
- Storage disc (monthly in GB) and also a daily average change if files are uploaded and deleted regularly
- Average PHP Response Time (or Ruby / Python / etc.)
- A page under your control that does not change. Testing real web pages give you a consistent baseline that you can use to narrow down the problem with the server, operating system, or the web code itself.
- SSH entries per day/month by user and IP address
- Anything you think is necessary or will receive questions later
- Once you have consistent information, you will begin to see models and look for non-standard things.
Developing project management habits.
Even for small projects, write requirements, record stakeholder expectations, schedule and record your activities. After all, keep a diary. Even if it’s just for you. It doesn’t have to be fantasy and it certainly doesn’t have to be a formal activity. It is also handy when creating a new system and users complaining that it is not up to their requirements.
Even if for yourself, one day you will ask yourself: “Why did I install PHP on this server? It was for this strange client who… “
Develop a system for daily work.
Again, this may seem bureaucratic, but if you spend your days just doing things without a to-do list, it can be difficult to explain to your boss next week exactly what you will do. I’ve become a fan of Kanban boards lately because it’s a visual device that your boss (or someone who assigns you to work with) can interact with. For example, I have three things planned for today that should fill my 8 hours. – “Oh, do you need me to work on this? Yes, sir! Here is what I planned to do today. What task should I replace with this one? That’s good, I can claim that lower priority and get to it later. “This helps to keep expectations going. I know of a graphic designer who uses it to coordinate her work with three competing project managers.
Improve your communication skills
You just want to sit in a server room and keep things running. There may be other people tomorrow to help (or work with) you. You must be able to communicate expectations. You have to propose and defend your ideas (great ideas never take their own merits, unless and until they are properly communicated).