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  1. #1
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    server monitoring / notification service

    What do you guys use for server monitoring?

    I have been looking to find a good solution to notify me when either of my 3 servers go down. Preferably by SMS.


    Any recommendations? I have been trying http://www.killersites.com/siteMonitor/siteMonitor.jsp. But it seems to have a massive delay. from 1 hour, to 6 hours.

  2. #2
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    You need to check whether the delay is caused by the queues at your sms service provider. Especially if the monitoring service is using the email to sms gateway of your sms carrier. The carriers treat messages arriving via emails as the lowest priority. In addition, some carriers limit the number of messages arriving from a single ip in a day. So, if another monitoring client has the same sms carrier uses up the quota for the day, your alerts will not get transmitted at all. Vodafone is a case in point.

    Another thing to check is whether the times you are seeing are actually GMT timestamps.
    One way to check is against your own server logs when the server is back online.

    Our own delay is a couple of minutes. That is verifiable from the timestamp sent with each alert. But, then the user needs to be aware of, and find acceptable, that they receive alerts on transient outages. Some users find it disconcerting to receive alerts on transient outages because when they check for themselves, the server is responding. They might not like it, but then again, it means that visitors are seeing the same thing and having to refresh the page to get it to load. It is a sign that the server is overloaded and not capable of responding to all requests. It is inevitable that some clients will blame it on the testing service and not their hosting.

    Some testing services will then mask these transients by retesting. The problem is that this will mask transient failures that your visitors are seeing. This is not a good thing(TM).

  3. #3
    SitePoint Guru LinhGB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattlikeshockey View Post
    What do you guys use for server monitoring?

    I have been looking to find a good solution to notify me when either of my 3 servers go down. Preferably by SMS.


    Any recommendations? I have been trying http://www.killersites.com/siteMonitor/siteMonitor.jsp. But it seems to have a massive delay. from 1 hour, to 6 hours.
    I use Groundwork (Opensource version), which is essentially based around Nagios - industry standard. It can be configured to notify different groups of people with different levels of responsibilities and a whole lot more, using various notification methods: web interface, email, SMS, audio (for local network).

    Can your phone receive emails? You can get around the SMS delays by getting the monitoring service to email your phone instead of sending it through SMS.
    "I disapprove of what I say,
    but I will defend to the death my right to say it."

  4. #4
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy ldcdc's Avatar
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    I've used Pingdom it is is pretty good, but I haven't used their SMS feature.
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  5. #5
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    I am also looking for this.. i've seen quite a few offers online but dunno who to trust or who is best.

    Anyone?

  6. #6
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    pingdom looks nice. I like that they take price in their marketing and website.

    Maybe im missing it, but who many times a day / hour does pingdom check your site?

  7. #7
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    I have been using Alertra for about 5 years, I like it due to the fact it also calls me on the phone as sometimes I can sleep right through a SMS or email notification and also if I accidentally leave my phone in the car I will get a call on my home phone.

    It's a bit more pricey than most solutions but well worth it IMO, I also had the same issue with SMS and switched to email notifications which fix it for me as far as that goes.

  8. #8
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    Yeah, i will definitely switch to an email based notification, since my new phone is a pda phone with email.

    Alerta doesnt look to costly. I like that there are options for check frequency. I'd think every 10 minutes should suffice, especially since i have 2 servers I would want it to monitor.

  9. #9
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy
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    Nagios is an open source server monitoring platform that is very robust and can support entire datacenters. It can do just about anything imaginable and check any service imaginable. It can email you, SMS you, heck I think it can even call you.

    And it's free.

  10. #10
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    Maybe this is me, but if there server is down, wouldnt the monitoring app also be down?

    I looked into pingdom more. Looks like they offer 1, 5, 10, 15 and 60 minute check intervals.

    I signed up for a demo account.

  11. #11
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattlikeshockey View Post
    Maybe this is me, but if there server is down, wouldnt the monitoring app also be down?
    Well, you'd probably want to install this software on a monitoring computer or server, such as one in your home or office, or a cheap colo or shared account in another datacenter. Yeah, it'd be pretty useless on the server you're trying to monitor (well not neccessarily, you could monitor all sort of services, but if the right service went down...)

  12. #12
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    Their are many free sites that will monitor your site free of cost. Or else you will need to buy a script host on other server to monitor your server/site. Better use such site to monitor your website free of cost with different intervals. For small amount you will get SMS feature as well.
    Last edited by r937; Jun 30, 2008 at 03:35. Reason: removed self-promotion

  13. #13
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    ohh i assumed i would run them on multiple servers. Sometimes I just like an outside service. Currently we have 2 servers, so it would work. but we may go to one larger server, rendering the tool in-efficient for our monitoring needs.


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