Heroku Uptime Monitoring

November 11, 2020

Heroku Uptime Monitoring: A Quick Overview and Guide

Uptime is one of the most critical performance areas to keep a close eye on in your Heroku app. The entire user experience relies on your app’s availability and reliability, not only at load time but throughout the whole user journey itself.

That’s why monitoring uptime is an essential activity when developing and maintaining Heroku apps. In order to effectively track and optimize uptime, you need to have the right insights and tools. In this quick post, we’ll help you learn about:

  • Uptime and app performance metrics
  • Built-in Heroku tools to monitor uptime
  • Add-ons to help monitor and maintain uptime

The Hosted Graphite Heroku Monitoring add-on is a monitoring tool that you can quickly attach to a Heroku app. You can find it directly in the Heroku add-on store, and it’s easy to install in just one click!

Once provisioned, the Hosted Graphite add-on starts continuously collecting key server metrics and sends time-series data into automatically-generated Grafana dashboards, which you can also customize. Heroku uptime monitoring for your dynos has never been easier! 

The HG Heroku add-on will automatically generate your Heroku dashboards for you, and they’ll be ready right when you get into the app. Check it out:

Screenshot of Hosted Graphite's auto generated Heroku Dashboard

Uptime and app performance metrics

Users need to be able to access your app any time of the day smoothly and without interruptions. Heroku uptime monitoring is the backbone of your app’s user experience, and in most services today it’s a key benchmark of quality usually stipulated in SLAs.

Put simply, uptime measures the time your app is working. It’s typically expressed as a percentage against the total time your app is running (e.g., 99.9% or the “three nines availability”).

But, while your heroku uptime monitoring  is a very important metric to keep track of, you also need to keep a close eye on other performance metrics from your dynos, databases, and other processes. This ensures that, not only will you be gauging your app’s availability, you’ll also be able to diagnose and fix issues that affect uptime more easily.

Built-in Heroku tools to monitor uptime

The Heroku platform ships with a number of built-in features and tools to help you monitor and maintain your app’s availability.

Heroku’s Production Check evaluates key items in an app’s settings and configuration. Based on this test, the tool determines the app’s potential for achieving maximum uptime. To make this evaluation, it looks at dyno redundancy, DNS/SSL settings, and Postgres setup.

Another built-in uptime monitoring feature is the app metrics reporting tool that’s part of the Heroku Dashboard. The app metrics page displays data visualization for data points like response time, throughput, memory usage, dyno load, events, and errors.

These two ready-to-use tools should be enough to get you started on uptime monitoring. But, to really ensure maximum availability, you need to have real-time insight and response capabilities about changes in the state of your app. This is where HG Heroku Monitoring add-on can really pull some weight.

Add-ons to help monitor and maintain uptime

There are plenty of monitoring tools available in the Heroku add-on marketplace, and quite a number of these specialize in uptime monitoring and maintenance. A good monitoring tool not only keeps track of your app’s state but also provides robust data collection, visualization, and alerting capabilities. This is why a full-featured monitoring service is the ideal choice for this requirement.

The Hosted Graphite add-on is a good example of a full-featured monitoring tool that helps you optimize the availability and reliability of your app. With Hosted Graphite, it’s very easy to start monitoring and displaying performance metrics, without the need for extra configuration. All you need to do is provision the add-on:

$ heroku addons:create hostedgraphite

Once attached to your app, the Hosted Graphite add-on will begin collecting a number of essential performance metrics from your Heroku app, of course including uptime monitoring. Out of the box, these metrics include CPU load, memory usage, disk usage, and interface metrics. You can expand the number of metrics being collected by enabling log-time metrics on your app:

$ heroku labs:enable log-runtime-metrics

The add-on will then forward the collected metrics to an automatically-created Grafana dashboard. In the below screenshot, we view the response time of a Flask app being monitored by the add-on:

Screenshot of HTTP success counts being displayed through a Hosted Graphite's dashboard panel

You can also specify other metrics that the Hosted Graphite add-on will collect, as well as create custom dashboards with the Grafana data visualization tool.


Now that you’ve gained some background into the concepts and tools for monitoring app availability, it’s time to put what you’ve learned into practice. Heroku uptime monitoring has never been easier than with Hosted Graphite addon!

Start using the Hosted Graphite add-on for free today, or book a demo to find out more about how it can help with your heroku uptime monitoring.

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