Downtime
Downtime Downtime is when your site does not work. It's really bad.

Downtime is when your site does not work. If the site does not work - you'll not get any benefits from its existence. Downtime is opposite to uptime. There could be various reasons why a site does not work. Most usual cases: problems with server, server overload, application error, network problems and so on. The first step of fixing en error is detecting. There are special instruments, called website monitoring services, which may check sites for errors over the time. Such tools help you to detect error and provide primary analysis of its reasons. Also, usually some information could be found in server logs. If you have access to them, you should review. If not - ask your hosting company to provide them. Detecting of errors may help you to evaluate the reliability of your site and hosting.

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  • CM.Glossary.Uptime
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"

I was informed when my site was down in a timely manner. Saved me lots of downtime and loosing traffic.

"
- Fey.
How to get alerts from HostTracker

In today’s high speed, high pressure and high-stress world it’s utterly important to keep up with things going on with your website. Being well-informed means being in the know of how speedily the monitoring service can contact you - as how will you save the world if you don’t know what’s happened in time?

In today’s high speed, high pressure and high-stress world it’s utterly important to keep up with things going on with your website. Being well-informed means being in the know of how speedily the monitoring service can contact you - as how will you save the world if you don’t know what’s happened in time? HostTracker gives you this unique opportunity to be the first to find out when your website goes down or stops functioning the way it should.

However, there are a couple of factors to keep in mind. All issues – especially serious ones - need to be clearly prioritized. By far, keeping up with all warning notices without managing their preferences beforehand can be really challenging. Chances are, that at some time in your life, you’ll simply get your mail drowned in the notification spam.

In light of this, HostTracker provides a set of default notification preferences. Generally, they are split up into three categories:

  • Short-term issues - the alert is not sent at all;

  • Major issues – the administrator is notified right away.

  • Long-term issues – the manager is notified right away.

If your website falls into one of these three groups, HostTracker emails you at once. There are many ways you could configure HostTracker to send notifications out. The direct message notifications could be sent via e-mail, SMS, Skype, Viber, Hangouts, Telegram or Slack. It’s up to you to choose which method (methods) you want to use. Rather, if you have your phone number attached to your HostTracker account you can also turn on SMS or voice call notifications. HostTracker values its customers' time above all else and provides notification scheduling as well. Therefore, you won’t be annoyed with your phone buzzing all night long, as well as, you’ll get your notifications in small doses in time throughout the day.

Additionally, there are several sub-categories based on following events:

  • If the website experiences some performance problems;

  • If the website is offline;

  • If the website is back online or performance problems have been successfully sorted out.

Whilst the first and third options are clear to understand, the second is likely pretty vague. So when can you expect your alerts on the second occasion? HostTracker will drop you multiple timely alerts every time when the check is unsuccessful – note, we consider only confirmed minor/major problems.

The system work is organized in such a brilliant way, that every responsible person for the website well-being happens to be protected from being spammed by multiple unimportant notifications or reminders, and get them only on the serious events. For example, suppose your website is managed by both the administrator and manager, and is currently offline. In that case: first, the e-mail will be sent directly to the administrator; second, after quarter an hour the administrator will receive the direct SMS notification; third, if that situation does not change after more than an hour, the SMS will be sent to the manager, to boot. Sounds ideal, isn’t it? While it may be ample for your needs, HostTracker offers one more feature – Time of activity - in order to help you solve your problems in a much more quick and efficient way.

One reason why using Time of activity option is of interest to our clients is that they could enjoy a good night sleep without worrying whether their shift administrator will miss an important alert. By the way, all outlined options are fully-customizable.

As a customer-oriented company, we provide not only different useful tools for smooth website life online but also lend an air of ‘peace and relaxation’ to our customers – they are not stressed out by annoying ongoing notifications. Various settings allow our customers to clearly define and assign roles and responsibilities for team members, collaborate better and ultimately, have an overview of the whole website performance and keep track of the all technical difficulties they experience with their website. 100% customer satisfaction is our goal.



 

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Home > Blog > HostTracker_under_Azure

Those, who actively involved with the Web, should know HostTracker, 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, HostTracker allows to reduce downtimes, to improve quality of service for users, to quickly localize troubles...

​Those, who actively involved with the Web, should know HostTracker, 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, HostTracker allows to reduce downtimes, to improve quality of service for users, to quickly localize troubles, and etc.

Architecturally, HostTracker 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 HostTracker, 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 HostTracker 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, HostTracker should demonstrate accessibility close to 100%. However, an extensive growth of the service made this task hard to solve.

HostTracker 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, HostTracker 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 HostTracker, 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, HostTracker uses HTTP/HTTPS and ICMP protocols to monitor specific ports, including various methods (HEAD/POST/GET), and etc.
 

HostTracker instant check



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 HostTracker, 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 HostTracker, 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.

HostTracker 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 HostTracker 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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