Website Website is a basic unit of information in the Internet.

Website is a single resource of information in the Internet. Usually, it is realized through a set of web pages, devoted to some specific topic. The pages are written in special markup lenguages and may contain various types of data - applications, audio and video files, images etc. The site is hosted on a hardware server and can be found in the Internet by unique name due to DNS. The access to a website usually provided by HTTP (hyper text transfer protocol), or its secure version - HTTPS. This protocol provides possibility to deliver information from the server to a client, who is usually viewing the pages with the help of special application, called browser.

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  • CM.Glossary.Website Hosting
  • CM.Glossary.DNS
  • CM.Glossary.HTTP
  • CM.Glossary.WebsiteMonitoring
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"Thank you so much for your service. We were suspecting problems with our hosting company but they denied any problems saying the issues must be at our end. We know we do have issues at our end but still suspected that wasn't the entire story. Your service was able to prove that they are indeed going down regularly - on average twice a week during the trial period. Thanks again for providing the information we needed to make a proper decision on this issue."
- B.
HostTracker — Sites Monitoring Service
Every site owner knows how important it is to have your resource always operative and available for visitors. Periodical site unavailability has a bad influence even at its positions in the search engines (as Google representatives have repeatedly claimed), not to mention the fact that visitors are extremely displeased by such “accidents”...

How to be always aware of how properly your site is operated in real time?

HostTracker is an online website monitoring service, having rich functionality and good feedback of the customers, who are, by the way, more than 25 thousand (including the resources of such companies as Colgate, KasperskyLab, Panasonic etc.).

The job design of this service is the following: at certain specified intervals your websites and servers will be checked for availability and serviceability (the verification is performed from around the world), and in case of any problems you will receive notifications about the problems. In addition, uptime statistics for each site is collected, but it will be discussed later.

A quick site serviceability check may be performed directly from the service main page through typing its address in the upper right window and selecting one of the verification methods:

  • Http – website pages loading check
  • Ping – the server availability check (pinging)
  • Trace – the server availability check (tracing)
  • Port – random server port check

According to the check results a detailed report will be created on a separate page.

To become the HostTracker service client and verify the uptime and serviceability of your resources on a regular basis you need to register in the system and assign the appropriate tasks. Over time detailed statistical reports and visual graphics will be created for each task, greatly facilitating data analysis, outputing them in an understandable representative form.

Site failures and problems may be reported to (at your option):

  • Email as a letter
  • telephone as an SMS or a call
  • Skype or GTalk as a message

At that it is possible to set the notifications delay, their uploading time etc. – the settings are very flexible. By the way now I really miss such functionality at Monitorus, as it sends an SMS immediately when a problem occurs, regardless of the time of day, and as you can imagine, late night may be very fun because of this).

Another useful feature of the HostTracker service is the site content monitoring. You may set a list of the page keywords, at the disappearance of which you will receive the notification. Or vice versa – set a list of words, at the appearance of which you will receive the notification. The first case, for example, is good for paid links on other sites monitoring, and the second – to prevent virus activity in the form of additional code embedding on your website. Say, it is very helpful and very convenient!

Now a few words about the HostTracker site monitoring service rates prices. There are several service plans, differing in the maximum tasks number, check frequency, etc. However, there is also a full-featured trial period of 30 days, as well as the Free tariff, within which you may monitor up to two resources with an interval of 30 minutes. That’s not much of course, but as an option to try out all the features for free, and then decide on the appropriateness of the paid tariff transition, it is just the job. Good luck!

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Home > Blog > HostTracker_under_Azure
Those, who actively involved with the Web, should know Host Tracker, a company from Ukraine, which has been supporting one of the leading global web monitoring services since 2004. Its goal is to monitor site health and accessibility in near-real-time access. Using alert message system, Host Tracker allows to reduce downtimes, to improve quality of service for users, to quickly localize troubles...
Those, who actively involved with the Web, should know Host Tracker, a company from Ukraine, which has been supporting one of the leading global web monitoring services since 2004. Its goal is to monitor site health and accessibility in near-real-time access. Using alert message system, Host Tracker allows to reduce downtimes, to improve quality of service for users, to quickly localize troubles, and etc.
Architecturally, Host Tracker includes a server-based hub, acting both as a data collector and control center, and a series of software agents, launched in various regions – typically using the equipment operated by major providers, hosters and affiliates. The geographically distributed architecture provides common system reliability and also allows collecting data in terms of access speed, bandwidth and other key performance characteristics on regional level – a critically important feature for the international business.
The first version of Host Tracker, which is still functioning and providing services for tens of thousands of customers, was Linux based. Today, it is supported by nine control servers, located and organized in two DPCs on collocation principle, and few dozens of agents. Considering that the final objective of web monitoring is focused on increasing the uptime of client-based web resources – whereas 95% of Host Tracker customers were able to increase it up to 99% – then, performance and accessibility of the service itself are not just critical, but rather fundamental parameters that influence the whole business. Theoretically, Host Tracker should demonstrate accessibility close to 100%. However, an extensive growth of the service made this task hard to solve.
Host Tracker was facing constantly increasing network traffic – a problem for seamless operation of the service. Inability to add new control servers on-the-fly, difficulties when maintaining not uniform and multiple-aged hardware was another limiting factor. Moreover, the desire to develop the service through wider protocol and network service support was meeting certain obstacles. “Unfortunately, for Linux there was a limited choice of ready-to-use solutions and libraries, while inventing something completely new was difficult”, says Artem Prisyazhnyuk, Host Tracker director. “We had an idea of reviewing the stack of technologies we used for a more sophisticated one and after taking a closer look at the .NET platform, its potential in terms of scalability and network support, I realized that was exactly the thing we had been looking for.”
It was sure that migrating to a completely different platform should be a complex task – the project extended over three years. However, it was like blessing in disguise: during this period, the world has seen the cloud computing that seemed an ideal tool for solving both the scalability problem and putting aside one’s own whole infrastructure. Besides, the PaaS model allowed to remove most of the effort in terms of administering the solution and to control the application as a self-contained entity, to the extent of complete automation, and thus, Windows Azure had in fact no alternatives.
As a result, the second version of Host Tracker, commercial operation of which started in May 2012, is already functioning under Windows Azure. Its central ingredient is realized as Web Role and associated with SQL Azure Database – it provides external portal, analytics and report generation, control of monitoring applications. The latter are ensured with instances of Worker Role, which also use SQL Azure Database to store their data and to provide the service scalability depending on the network loading. Agents are functioning as they did before, with the viability of their transfer to Windows Azure being considered.
Now, Host Tracker uses HTTP/HTTPS and ICMP protocols to monitor specific ports, including various methods (HEAD/POST/GET), and etc.

Alarm reporting is available via email, SMS and instant messages. The customer can receive reports with statistics about resources being controlled and their performances. You can spend only 6 minutes to make monitoring settings for five sites, while the average response time in case of failure is limited by a couple of minutes, and it takes 1-3 minutes more to inform the customer about the problem. Using this service, anyone can check any site, including access from various regions.
As a result, if on the one side the transfer to the .NET platform itself gave us the potential to modernize Host Tracker, to optimize the application architecture and realize new internal functions, then, on the other side, the migration to the cloud allowed to refuse from less important, though time consuming activities such as administering the solution, and, first of all, to reach necessary performance indicators. Microsoft, for all basic Windows Azure services, declares 99,9% accessibility and guarantees monthly refunds, should this indicator be lower. This creates a firm ground for operating such services like Host Tracker, as the accessibility is the most critical parameter for these applications. Using the cloud infrastructure also provides a better protection for the service: unauthorized access to the application and many types of attacks are effectively excluded, while the data safety is ensured by triple reservation.  
Host Tracker received another advantage from abandoning its own infrastructure. The service’s performance characteristics are also rather critical, for they directly affect the failure reporting system operation. In this respect, Windows Azure is virtually a drainless source of computing power. This means that by timely starting additional monitoring instances you can support Host Tracker functioning parameters on the necessary level. Moreover, the cloud environment is exactly what you need in order to make this process almost fully automatic, excluding further need for direct control.
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