Website
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.

  • CM.Glossary.Uptime
  • CM.Glossary.Website Hosting
  • CM.Glossary.DNS
  • CM.Glossary.HTTP
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"

Although i'm using the free offering, but it has given me the liberty of alerting system for my landscape

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- Adam
Host-Tracker under Windows 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.
 



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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Home > Blog > dnsbl_check

We’re happy to announce that this tool has just got even more awesome! Now you can use our DNSBL check tool as a one-time job or on a regular basis. It means you can keep your IP address in a continuous check against dozens of the most popular blacklists. 

Previously, we have introduced one of the “Check site instantly ” board functions -  DNSBL - which helps you find out whether your server is blacklisted before it gets out of control.

We’re happy to announce that this tool has just got even more awesome! Now you can use our DNSBL check tool as a one-time job or on a regular basis. It means you can keep your IP address in a continuous check against dozens of popular blacklists. 

This can significantly ease your website’s life online, moreover, bring balance into it.

New options

With the new extension of the DNSBL check tool, it's become easier to test your website accessibility, as well as, server message deliverability.

For example, suppose your IP address is currently on the DNSBL monitoring. The moment your website is found blacklisted, our system will report back to you all the detailed information on the check results - the name of the blacklist (which one of the DNS-based anti-spam lists recognize you as a source of spam activity) and the reason for listing (this information is public and provided directly by DNSBL databases).

All this will allow you to quickly clean up “the mess”, speed up the process of domain removal (delisting), protect your business reputation and, by extension, prevent recurrence of such a problem in the future.

HostTracker, as a website monitoring service, always keeps moving forward - our list of DNSBL servers is constantly updated.

The whole setup process will take you only a few minutes to complete:

Some Secrets of Activating Blacklist Monitoring

The good news is that you’re opted to activate the DNSBL check for already existing monitoring tasks. All you need to do is to put a tick mark in the box next to “DNSBL check” field when editing or adding a check task.

Once enabled, HostTracker starts gathering information about your website availability and checking whether your IP is currently listed. A Contact Group for notifications will be automatically added to the current test task. If our system finds your server blacklisted, you’ll immediately receive a message with the relevant information.

We hope that with such a tool you’ll enjoy the convenience, simplicity and quality of our all-in-one monitoring service. If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to contact us - we’re always looking for ways to improve! 

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