Host monitoring is a service that is provided for free for any of my current customers. If you are not sure if you are receiving notifications then please just contact me.

Overview

Host monitoring is a tool you can use to stay aware of problems that may exists with your website or other servers. For my smaller customers it's likely that you will only receive alerts when your website goes down or when it comes back up. For larger projects, there may be a more complex monitoring solution, especially if you own your own host or VPS, or have multiple hosts doing different tasks (i.e. a different mail server and web server). Monitoring is only a guide line and can generate false positives (and negatives), but it is a great way to know that there might be a problem.

False Positives

With any monitoring solution there is a chance that it will not detect a problem. For example if your web site is being monitored and the monitor can see that host it will not send an alert, even if you personally can't get to it. The reverse is also true. If the monitoring host can not see the web server for some reason, it will send an alert, even when everyone else on the web can see your site just fine.

These situations do not happen very often, but they do happen. Because of False positives/negatives I advise that you use multiple monitoring solutions to get the best results. In many cases it's not needed, and the monitoring provided will work. Please feel free to contact me with any questions regarding your monitoring situation and recommendations for more complex monitoring solutions.

Notifications

If your an existing customer and you are on this page it's most likely because you have received a notification and followed the link. Notifications are sent out whenever there is a status change. There are two types of notifications; host and service. A host notification means that your entire server is likely down. A service notification means that a specific service on your server is likely not working.

Reading a notification

The notifications are there to give you a basic idea about your server. However they can be a bit cryptic. Lets look at an example

**** Coteyr.net Network Monitor ****

Notification Type:PROBLEM
State: CRITICAL
Service: Ping
Host: Web3
Address: 174.143.153.33
Date: 25-08-2010
Additional Info: PING CRITICAL - Packet loss = 0%, RTA = 652.00 ms


=========================
This email is a notification of state change on one of your servers.
For more information please see
http://www.coteyr.net/pages/5-Host-Monitoring

As you can see the notification is very small and suitable for receiving on mobile devices. This example is a service notification. We will step though each line and explain it.

Notification Type: This is either PROBLEM or RECOVERY.

Service: This lists the service that is having a problem. In this case the service is "ping"

Host: This shows the host that is having a problem. In this case the web3.

Address: Shows how the monitor tried to access the host. In this example it tried to access 174.143.153.33

State: Is one of OKWARNING, or CRITICAL. Warning is a notice that is just letting you know a problem may be pending. Critical, means that something is wrong and is currently not functioning.

Date: Shows the date that the problem was noticed. Time is not displayed because the servers time is most likely not the same as your time (different time zones for example) and the time of the email is a better tell for time.

Additional Info: This shows the raw output of the check against the service.

Putting it all together: In this example the notification is telling me that the server web3's ping is to high and that I need to do something about it.

When to act

It's important to note that you may not need to take action on every notice that you receive. For instance if you get a WARNING about memory on your host once, it probably means that it was just busy for a second. However some notifications need immediate action. For example CRITICAL on web server definitely needs to get looked at right away. If you are ever uncertain about a notification just contact me and I will help you understand the notification and the cause. I get the same notifications (actually more) as you do, so I have already gotten the notice and in most cases I am already working on a solution.

It's too quite

Notifications are only sent out when a problem occurs. If there is no problem then you shouldn't receive a notification. This means that many clients will go months or longer without receiving a notice.

It's too noisy

If your getting a lot of notices that means there's a problem, the notices should not be ignored. If you wish to stop receiving them anyway, just contact me and let me know. I will turn off the notifications (or make sure they go only to me).

I didn't receive a notification when I should have.

This can happen for many reasons. First the monitor may have not seen a problem. If this is a case just contact me and we will setup a different monitoring strategy. It's also possible that the email was blocked by a spam blocker. Please make sure to check you spam folder and do what is needed to make sure that the emails are not blocked.

Questions

If you have any questions just contact me and I will attempt to answer them. Currently monitoring is only available to current customers. No Exceptions. There is no monthly fee for monitoring, though developing and configuring advanced monitoring solutions are charged at the normal rate.

Technology

The monitor running at coter.net is a nagios monitor with some specific plugins and modifications to make it easier to use in an external facing sense. None of the modifications are significant enough to contradict the full nagios documentation found at their documentation site.

Coteyr.net Programming LLC. is about one thing. Getting your project done the way you like it. Using Agile development and management techniques, we are able to get even the most complex projects done in a short time frame and on a modest budget.

Feel free to contact me via any of the methods below. My normal hours are 10am to 10pm Eastern Standard Time. In case of emergency I am available 24/7.

Email: coteyr@coteyr.net
Phone: (813) 421-4338
GTalk: coteyr@coteyr.net
Skype: coteyr
Guru: Profile