DNS
DNS DNS - domain name system, a system for locating a web site.

DNS - domain name system. This system helps to find a real server by virtual site name. The system is realized by the hierarchy of DNS servers, each of them holds information about specific domains and may delegate such role to lower stage servers. Let's take, for example, site www.host-tracker.com. The upper domain is .com, so the request is made to the server, which is responsible for all .com sites. It knows where each site is located, or at least, where is another server, which knows for sure. If you get "Server not found" message, that means no record exists on the DNS server for the site name you've requested.

Each time you enter an address into the browser - a DNS request is made, in order to find where the site is located. To make this process faster, DNS data can be saved into a cache. If you own a site and decide to change its name for some reason, or if you have just created the new one - you should keep in mind that DNS cache needs some time to be updated globally. Usually, it happens within couple of hours, but it can take up to 48 hours. That's why sometimes a newly-hosted site can not be visible for some time.

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snapshot - instrument for site supervision

How does the site look like when I’m not looking at it? What if it looks bad or does not work at all? HostTracker offers an instrument for site supervision - snapshot feature. Let’s take a look at its practical application.

How does the site look like when I’m not looking at it? What if it looks bad or does not work at all? HostTracker offers an instrument for site supervision - snapshot feature. Let’s take a look at its practical application.

What’s going on with my site?

Now it’s usual to use different services and applications for site maintenance and support, and sometimes they do report some problems. Often we feel the lack of information - Google Analytics or a similar service reports the downtime and renewal, but likely we will never know what exactly has happened. To investigate the issue, it is necessary to review the logs, write to hosting support and perform many others exhausting actions, frequently - with no result. There are also more interesting cases - when a site is not available from a certain country or is not downloaded completely. Such problems could long for months, or even years, till they are accidentally detected. One more important issue - content check. It will automatically review the content of the site and informed the responsible staff in case it has disappeared - for example, something has not been able to be downloaded from the database. But it’s hard to find the cause if the issue is short-term, because people usually do not sit in front of a laptop refreshing the page every minute. To resolve the problem, HostTracker offers a new feature - snapshot. It is very simple in use and does not require any additional adjustments. The service simply makes a snapshot of the checked page every time and saves it for review in two ways: page source code and html-view. This let you easily see how the page looks at the moment of failure, understand what’s wrong and fix the problem quickly without spending time for diagnostics. It saves lots of time for server administrator, developers and other concerned people.

How does it work

Doing the regular checks, our servers with predefined interval try to download the checked page. Additional algorithms could be used at the moment - the page could be parsed for keywords to make sure that this is the one we are looking for (there are cases when an error page returns 200, Ok, http code, or when redirection is activated in case of error). If there is no error - fine. But if there is, it will be written down into the HostTracker log, which is easily available from the web. Then, notification are sent and a snapshot is made.

 

The snapshots could also be found in the log - if several errors were detected, a different snapshot will be available from each one.


Though there are some remarks. First, we do not run javascript while making snapshot - same thing for regular check. Second, the error must be detectable. I mean, the server must return something. In case of timeout or connection error - snapshot will not help, and only a corresponding record will remain in the log.

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