Availability
Availability Availability of a site shows if a site is accessible from the Internet.

Availability of a site shows if a site is accessible from the Internet. This term is also about access to a server, database or another entity. As all objects in the Internet are based on comlicated infrastructure, nothing can be available always. The question is how to measure it, what is normal and if we may affect it anyway. The measurement of availability is connected to terms Uptime and Downtime, which show for how long a site is unavailable. However, these values can not create the full view of the situation. There could be many reasons of unavailability - server or connection problems, application error, overload of the site and so on. To avoid or shorter the failures, it is needed to supervise the site and analyze the errors, if they happen. For these purposes there are special monitoring tools, which help to increase to availability of the site, collect statistics and provide necessary information about the errors for fast repair. These tools are called Website Monitoring services.

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  • CM.Glossary.Downtime
  • CM.Glossary.Uptime
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Very usefull service, helps us to monitor activity of our sites.

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- A.
Some secrets of content monitoring

HostTracker provides the best practice for monitoring both content changes and website availability. HostTracker’s tools allow you to check whether your webpage loads correctly and test it for errors as frequently as you’d like. Additionally, you'll know:

▶ Why do we need that?

▶ Service Settings;

▶ Content Check Methods.

HostTracker provides the best practice for monitoring both content changes and website availability. HostTracker’s tools allow you to check whether your webpage loads correctly and test it for errors as frequently as you’d like. Moreover, our service will be the best assistance in tracking websites with complex structure.

Why do we need that?

With “Content Check” you can spot the presence/absence of specific words on your page, as well as, to monitor the integrity of the website. However, it shows that it is insufficient to enable clear conclusions about the webpage performance. And there will certainly come a point in the life when questions like these arise: “Does the data load completely from the database?” “Are there any missing items on my page?” “What if my website is being hacked right now?” etc.

Little time for writing a simple script on your site - and you can check whatever you want. Server scripts come in handy when there is a need to keep an eye on any changes in website performance. To illustrate, you can write a script which will display “OK” provided everything is operating fine or there is enough disk space. If it happens that the website seems to be available, but actually “Error connect to mysql” pops up, then it’s highly recommended to tune the monitoring function for tracking the absence of a word, in particular, the word “Error”. To the boot of all that, this function can be used as a stopgap to identify obscene comments or suspicious activity until more sophisticated alternatives can be found. Notably, unwanted activity can be tracked by detecting the keywords of virus scripts.

The “Content Check” tool is easy to use and the results are crystal-clear for understanding. Moreover, our service is cloud-based, so you don’t need to install any additional software. Interestingly, the same check let hit HTTP load-testing and collects all statistics you need. Simultaneously, you can carry on website speed and response time tests and, by extension, pinpoint whether your IPs is blacklisted with one of nearly seventy DNS based blacklists.

Service Settings

Are you ready to start monitoring your website content? Let’s go! First and foremost, type the URL of your website into the space provided (or click on “Add list” - if you need to monitor a bulk of websites). Please, pay attention to the “Content Check” field – complete blank space with keywords you wish to monitor, use commas to separate words. It’s worth noting that HostTracker will keep you always updated on your webpage performance, and if, for instance, the presence/absence status of the certain phrases ever changes, you’ll be notified immediately by email and/ or by phone.

Additionally, there are some additional content monitoring options. The first advantage of using them is that, they give you the opportunity to choose only words or phrases that you want/don’t want to show on your website. The second advantage is that, in case of defining a series of keywords, both the disappearance of all words and a single one cause the error. A tick next to “Follow redirect” reflects that the request is forwarded to the target page (defined in the Redirection).

Methods

For more configuration options, click on “Advanced options” drop-down list. Make sure your desired method is set up in the “HTTP method” area.

Available HTTP methods:

  • GET (default parameter value) - is used to retrieve information from the Request-URI for keywords search.

  • POST – gets a content body used to send specific parameters and data.  It tests the functionality and correctness of the website forms.

To sum up, HostTracker incorporates a lot of powerful tools - you're bound to find something you'll like!

 

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Home > Blog > Escalatios

As many people know, HostTracker is a sites efficiency monitoring system. One of its main functions is to notify the user of any problems promptly. The efficiency of the notifications and the acceptable level of “detalization” are important. If you send alerts at each “sneeze”, the person will not find the important information in this flow...

I was woken up by an SMS at three a.m.
My site dropped for three minutes, and it raised back itself.
But I could not go back to sleep.

True-life story

As many people know, HostTracker is a sites efficiency monitoring system. One of its main functions is to notify the user of any problems promptly. The efficiency of the notifications and the acceptable level of “detalization” are important. If you send alerts at each “sneeze”, the person will not find the important information in this flow.

We have provided several mechanisms that will help the right people to get the necessary notifications:

  • Separation of the notifications into several groups according to their criticality;
  • No notifications at short-term failures;
  • Report the problem to the manager promptly;
  • Report a prolonged failure to the administration;
  • Use the free alerts first – email, gtalk, and then the paid ones – SMS or phone call;
  • At the contact level – set the working time when this contact should receive the alerts.

There are three types of notifications:

  • The website has “dropped”;
  • The website is still “down”;
  • The website “rose

The “dropped” and “rose” are clear. The notifications “site is still down” are sent at each test fail, but only at the confirmed drops. The fails confirmation algorithm was described in the article “False alerts exclusion”

For each site-contact pair you may enable or disable the appropriate notification type. The setting can be located in the contact properties as well as in the general “matrix” at the “Notifications subscribtion” page.

Escalation and the notifications detalization level.

Suppose, two people are responsible for the site:

  • Administrator
  • Manager

Let's try to implement the following scenario:

  • In the event of a “drop” we want to send an email message to the administrator immediately;
  • If the site does not rise within 15 minutes, we send an SMS to the administrator;
  • If the site is “down” for more than an hour, then we send an SMS to the manager.

Adding the contacts for the users. While adding, draw attention to the “Notification Delay” window.

We appear to have three contacts with the following delays:

  • Administrator (email) – no delay;
  • Administrator (SMS) – 15 minutes delay;
  • Manager (SMS) – 1 hour delay.

According to this configuration the administrator will get all the failures notifications to the email, but SMS notifications will be sent only if the site is “down” for more then 15 minutes. The manager will receive only SMS about major failures lasting more than an hour. Setting up the contact working schedule

Suppose that one administrator can not cope, and we hired one more administrator. The first one works during the first half of the week, the second one works during the second half. Accordingly the notifications should be sent to the administrator “on duty” To set this scenario the window “Set the contact working hours” is used in the contact settings.

In this case the first administrator will receive the SMS notifications from Monday to Thursday inclusive. Additionally, you may divide the notification for different employees according to the time of day, for example appointing day and night administrators.

Conclusions: with the help of relatively simple mechanisms we may cover most notifications fine-tune user scenarios.

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