Monitor and Optimize with Acquia Developer Tools

Modern web browsers can display more than the contents of a webpage. Web browsers include tools you can use to inspect a website’s HTML, do performance tests, or even reorganize the contents of a page to view changes in context. In most cases, you can display a browser’s developer tools by pressing F12 in Windows or Command-Option-I in macOS, or by right-clicking what you want to examine, and then clicking Inspect Element. 

The Acquia team are the Drupal experts, and we’re committed to your success. So it’s no surprise that when you use Acquia, you don’t just get a platform. Instead, you get the most knowledgeable experts and the tools to maximize your developer experience, including Acquia’s own developer tools. These tools are powerful and easy-to-use, and they can help you to create sites and automate workflows, as well as monitor and optimize applications quickly and efficiently.

In this blogpost, part of a series of articles about Acquia’s Developer Tools, we’re going to focus on the tools Acquia offers to help you monitor and optimize digital assets. 

Monitoring and Optimization

Finally, these next tools will empower your organization by making the monitoring and optimization process for your applications simple and straightforward.

LogStreaming

With this tool, you can view traffic and error log entries in real time, then apply custom filters to immediately diagnose the cause of application issues. In addition to downloading log files from the Acquia Cloud interface or accessing logs using command-line tools, as described in About Acquia Cloud logging, you can also stream logs in real time on the Acquia Cloud interface Logs page. The Logs page stream shows log entries from all the logs of an environment at once. In contrast, each of the log files you can download shows a single log from a single server (aside from the Drupal watchdog log and the MySQL slow query log).

  • View log messages in real time.
  • View and filter a consolidated stream of messages from Drupal, Apache, PHP and MySQL.
  • Easily download or copy log contents.

Uptime Alerts

Acquia makes sure that you can receive instant notifications when your site experiences an uptime issue. The Acquia Cloud uptime monitoring service monitors the uptime and responsiveness of the Drupal application hosted at your active domain for an environment. This service checks your application every minute to see if it is online and serving pages.

Uptime monitoring tests your website by loading a special, secure URL (the canary URL) served by the Acquia Cloud API module. By responding to this canary URL, your application demonstrates that Drupal bootstraps correctly and that all of its basic dependencies are functioning. The uptime monitoring service also checks other pages on your application (such as your home page) less frequently and tracks their response time. To help minimize false alarms, the uptime monitoring service will only send an alert if the page checks repeatedly return errors.

Insight

Acquia provides the ability to run daily checks against all of your sites to ensure they're getting a passing grade on our performance, security and best practices checks. Acquia Insight is a suite of tools that evaluates your website’s performance, security and search engine optimization to help you monitor and optimize your websites. Insight uses the Acquia Connector module on your website to connect to the Acquia Insight service on a regular schedule, sending up-to-date information about the website’s code and configuration. Acquia Insight scores for each environment’s active domain are displayed on your subscription’s Environments page. 

Stack Metrics

You can easily monitor platform metric trends and anomalies to plan ahead and optimize application performance with Stack Metrics. The Acquia Cloud Stack Metrics feature provides real-time and historical information about an application’s performance, health and resource use.

Certain Stack Metrics graphs, such as CPU and Memory, are designed to show the average reported value over a given period to prevent transient spikes in utilization from inaccurately skewing data points. As a result, instances may be utilizing higher CPU/memory than shown on the graphs for short periods of time. While short-lived spikes usually do not impact application performance, prolonged or frequent spikes can, and if sustained, these spikes will appear in your graphs.

Schedule Jobs

Acquia’s developer tools allow you to schedule custom jobs to do everything from a simple cron run to content imports, queue processing and more. To help your application run more efficiently, you must conduct regular website maintenance. You can automate maintenance tasks or jobs to run at scheduled intervals using the Scheduled Jobs page in the Acquia Cloud interface.

Scheduled jobs are specific to the environment where they are created. Although you cannot create a job executing a command across several environments based on the same schedule, you can create a job for each environment, with each job using the same command line and schedule. You must use the Scheduled Jobs page for scheduled jobs, rather than the default Drupal cron. Compared to Drupal cron, using the Scheduled Jobs page is more reliable and provides support for adding extensive and integrated logging for Acquia Cloud applications.

Performance Monitoring

Acquia Cloud provides configurations for the New Relic application, a web application performance management tool that lets IT teams monitor live Drupal (and other PHP) applications, troubleshoot issues and tune for optimal performance. Use New Relic to get all of the data you could want about your application’s performance. See information about response time, CPU utilization, network I/O, stack traces and more.

Direct SSH and Live Dev

With Live Dev, you can directly SSH or SFTP into any of your servers to execute commands, manage and debug your application, as well as make quick changes on the cloud.  You may also write access to your cloud servers or Use xDebug to step through PHP execution on the server.

Self-Service SSL

Acquia allows you to easily and quickly add your own SSL certificate. SSL enables your web application to use the HTTPS secure web protocol to securely communicate with your users online. To use SSL, your environment must have an SSL certificate, which you must purchase from a Certificate Authority (CA) or SSL certificate vendor and upload to Acquia Cloud.

Conclusion

Developer tools are just the tip of the iceberg. Applications hosted on Acquia Cloud benefit from having the right tools and the right configuration available out of the box. You can use Acquia’s Decoupled Drupal starter kit to build your back-end application and server-side rendered front-end application on the same platform, with our Node.js offering. Acquia Cloud allows for live development right on our servers without the hassle of reproducing the issue locally. You can run what you want when you want with our completely customizable Drupal Cron Jobs, or scale your application by leveraging Drupal’s multisite functionality.

In other words, there's no project too large for our infrastructure. Our tools make development simple without sacrificing freedom and flexibility. Acquia also supports strict compliance programs such as the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP), HIPAA and PCI, to name a few. In short, the Acquia Cloud platform is secure and powerful by design to ensure your team can focus on creating the most imaginative and innovative websites. 

Josh Anderson

Josh Anderson

Writer Acquia

Josh Anderson is a jack of all trades. He is a web developer, graphic designer, digital project manager, and above all, a writer. He writes about technology, finance, and commercial real estate. He holds a Master’s Degree in Journalism and a Graduate Certificate in Web Technologies. In previous lives, he worked at Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and NYU’s Hagop Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies. When he’s not writing, he loves to travel to Europe as well as spend time with his Amazon Parrots, Floyd and Sam.