Uptime
Uptime Uptime is the period of time when a site performs well.

Uptime corresponds to the time when a site is accessible from the Internet. The opposite term - downtime - shows for how long a site has not been working during specified period of time. Usually uptime is measured in percents, and for period of time is choosen year. Percents over the year could be easily transformed into time values. Some typical values of uptime and corresponding period of unavailability during the year are shown here:

90% - 876 hours

99% - 87 hours, 36 minutes

99.9% - 8 hours, 45 minutes, 36 seconds

99.99% - 52 minutes, 34 seconds

So high uptime is really important. Even if it seems that 99% is pretty high value - it corresponds to several days of failure. If that happens in a row, many clients can be lost. Uptime value is usually guaranteed by web hosting, where the site is hosted. Website Monitoring may help you to increase the uptime and check if the value, declared by the hosting company, is real.

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

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- A.
Database Monitoring with HostTracker

We’re happy to introduce our newest monitoring feature - Database Check – that is easy to use, crystal-clear to understand and designed to get you through your website ‘critical hours’ as smoothly as possible.

We’re happy to introduce our newest monitoring feature - Database Check – that is easy to use, crystal-clear to understand and designed to get you through your website ‘critical hours’ as smoothly as possible.

There is a wealth of different collector services for gathering and analyzing performance information from, for example, the number of visitors, disk usage to the duration of a database session and geographical distribution of the audience that visits the website. In the real world, it is very common to find two or more of these metrics presented together. Anyway, the problem is that you should not only assess these numbers but also somehow examine and compare them.

All that made HostTracker team eventually develop a Database Check – a perfect tool for deep database monitoring and successful troubleshooting database performance problems.

Task Configuration Concepts

Generally speaking, adding a new Database Check won't take long to set up. Once it is enabled, you’ll get the chance to adjust the check to suit your overall strategy. Now let’s look at some of the available options to better understand how they can be effectively applied.

First and foremost, this feature has an option to include a specific database query every time you run the check, whilst still having the opportunity to manage the processing data. If you don’t want to specify any query – the service will verify the ability to connect to the database. In addition, the Database Check tool supports a deferred execution option, which allows you to specify the point of query declaration and track its results.

Besides that, you can use any command - from a simple Select statement to a more complex procedure, - as a database query. However, the specified request should be executed in 30 seconds or less, otherwise, the error message will be generated. Basically, you’ll get the 408 Request Timeout or related error.

Please note: When enabling a new DB monitoring check, there are a couple of things to consider. Use an SQL statement that returns a single value. Furthermore, this value should be returned in the first column of the first row. This step is vital for further performance analysis of the monitored system.  

At the same time, in case of using a DML command as a statement, you’ll also get the total number of rows being affected.

The following example shows the graphical interpretation of the results from executing DELETE statement, according to the specified condition:

For the record, the collected results are not only displayed in a real-time graph, but also stored for later analysis. Besides, such a solution can really help to get valuable insights into how to optimize your database performance.

Moreover, at this stage, you can specify the type of selection criteria. You can choose from no, equal/not equal, greater/less than, in/out of range.

Once the system finds some deviation in records from the expected results - you will receive a notification. To boot, you can control which events you want to receive alerts for and which ways (Skype, Viber, Telegram, Slack etc.).

First Steps In Starting Successful Performance Troubleshooting

This example shows how to create a check for both tracking the growth of all the database log and data files and getting alerts when critical database size is reached. It implies, the following example contains information about the file data/log file size, the total space used, free space details etc. So what you need to do:

  1. Create a new query that displays how much free space you have in your tablespace.

          SELECT
          convert(DECIMAL(12,2),round(sysfile.size/128.000,2)) AS 'FileSize/mb'
          , convert(DECIMAL(12,2),round(fileproperty(sysfile.name,'SpaceUsed')/128.000,2))
          AS 'Used/mb'
          , convert(DECIMAL(12,2),round((sysfile.size-fileproperty(sysfile.name,'SpaceUsed'))/128.000,2))
          AS 'Free/mb'
          , filegroup.groupname AS 'File-group'
          , sysfile.[name],sysfile.[filename]
          FROM dbo.sysfiles sysfile (NOLOCK)
          inner join dbo.sysfilegroups filegroup (NOLOCK) ON filegroup.groupid =
          sysfile.groupid
          UNION ALL 
          SELECT
          convert(DECIMAL(12,2),round(sysfile.size/128.000,2)) AS 'FileSize/mb'
          , convert(DECIMAL(12,2),round(fileproperty(sysfile.name,'SpaceUsed')/128.000,2))
          AS 'Used/mb'
          , convert(DECIMAL(12,2),round((sysfile.size-fileproperty(sysfile.name,'SpaceUsed'))/128.000,2))
         AS 'Free/mb'
         , (CASE WHEN sysfile.groupid = 0 THEN 'Log' END) AS 'File-group'
         , sysfile.[name],sysfile.[filename]
         FROM dbo.sysfiles sysfile (NOLOCK) WHERE groupid = 0
         ORDER BY [File-group],sysfile.[name]         

      2.  After execution, you should get the following results:

     3.  Add a condition of selection:

  • Query result - select "value in the first column of the first row (mainly for SELECT)".
  • Result verification - choose "less than" and add "1000"  as the max value.

Finally, you’ll get the following result once all the previous stages have been successfully completed: if the log file size exceeds 1 GB, you’ll receive a notification.

Please keep in mind all data collection history information is saved and always available to view. It means you can easily identify the cause of this or that problems, for instance, the reason for rapid tablespace growth.

Adding a New Database Monitoring Task

To activate a new Database Check you need:

      1.  Fill in the following fields:

  • Server – enter your server name;

  • Port -  add your port number;

  • Database – add your database name;

  • User ID- enter the login name under which the check should be executed;

  • Password – add the password that corresponds to your login.

For this task only, it is recommended to create a new user account with limited rights.

       2.  Provide access to your database. For this, add the IP addresses of the HostTracker agents to a Firewall Whitelist and your server list.

Note that, the IP addresses of our agents are permanent.

       3.  When ready, click on Save.

If you have any questions about this feature, well, just send us a message. We’re always ready to help!

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The main feature of HostTracker monitoring service is the regular checks of web sites with monitoring intervals from 1 minute. Moreover, the HostTracker’s dedicated global monitoring checkpoints network currently includes more than 140 servers all over the world.

The main feature of HostTracker monitoring service is the regular checks of websites with monitoring intervals from 1 minute. Moreover, the HostTracker’s dedicated global monitoring checkpoints network currently includes more than 140 servers all over the world.

Each test is simulating the visit of a real user. If this imaginary visitor is able to load the site – everything is ok, otherwise – the site is revised again by a certain algorithm (just to be sure). Then, if an error was identified, it is recorded in the database and the notification of unavailability is sent. This is the easiest way to check the site’s availability. If you are interested, HostTracker has a great deal of more sophisticated tests to offer.

Types of tools for web accessibility evaluation

Here are some quick checks you can start with immediately that will move your web site toward better accessibility. It is worth noting that these checks support different protocols.

For example:

  • HTTP - this is an ordinary request, which is obtained from the user's browser.
  • Ping – helps to test site or server network connectivity. 
  • TCP-port - tests the site-to-application connectivity.
  • Database Check - a health check which can ensure that the web server can connect to the database and can also help in monitoring of other vital features. For those seeking a possibility to check the data on the page, there is a content check function. In this case, the virtual client is not just logging in, but also looking for the presence or absence of certain words and phrases. This feature helps you to detect whether some important section of the text has been lost. Moreover, it helps you to spot any mistakes on the page at once.
  • With HostTracker service you can also monitor the response and loading time of your web site. Furthermore, the corresponding data is being written to the inspection logs.

Armed with all these tests, you’ll be eager to collect extensive and thorough information about your web site. You’ll be entitled to know when, why and how did your web site stop working. For example, when the network, server or web site itself are down. Moreover, by using HostTracker, you can immediately detect when web site performance goes down and omit causing any inconveniences for your users. Or even more – you can easily recognize when some data isn’t regularly retrieved from the database. All these tools can help you pinpoint and rectify performance and speed issues with any publicly available web site. It, definitely, saves your time! And, in this case, downtime is small.

Interesting fact:

Almost all HostTracker’s customers are eager to reach 99% or higher uptime. By the way, the data from this service could be a good support in your future confrontations with hosting partner. Truly, many HostTracker’s customers have found a reliable web hosting partner or made him fulfill all promises and commitments according to the contract.

  • HostTracker provides options for monitoring the domain and SSL certificate expiry dates. This problem seems to be handled easily, as the registrar sends alert notifications, but history provides plenty of notification neglect examples.  Dropping the domain name is a widely spread problem. Actually, Microsoft has encountered it twice.
  • Also HostTracker is one of the best resources that can help to find out if your IPs or domains are on some SPAM-database (so called DNSBL). Apparently, if it seems that you're engaged in spamming or other unwanted online behaviour, your IPs or domain could get blacklisted and blocked. The blacklist usually contains email servers suspected of spreading spam or servers that have been infested with some nasty malware etc. 

Most Internet service providers and web servers use these blacklists to detect IPs linked to computers with pervading spam or unwanted activity. And the problem is: you can be blacklisted accidentally and be unaware about it. If it happens, your rankings will go down or disappear entirely. You can be truly innocent of any deliberate wrongdoing and still be on the list. For example, if you share your web hosting with someone unreliable. With this monitoring function you can be always aware if your company’s domain name is blacklisted and be ready to deal with it. You're likely to come across contacting the list by email or passing through some sort of automatic procedures in order to prove that you are not a robot when you’ll be trying to get off a blacklist.

HostTracker service settings

All above-mentioned checks teem with the wide variety of options:

  • Maintenance planning and scheduling – allows you, for instance, not to catch the errors during the server upgrade period.
  • Checks from a particular location- as outlined above, there is a huge network of global monitoring checkpoints, and it is possible to choose only regions with potential clientele:

  • Delay alerts – this option will postpone alert notifications for a specified time span; manage notifications in line with the importance of issues; control the life cycle of both alerts and their notifications.

As regards alert notifications option, clients will find themselves spoiled for choice. HostTracker provides notifications via e-mail, SMS and, by extension, via Skype, Viber, Hangouts and voice call. The most striking one - POST request. There is a possibility to send a request to a specific web server (e.g. to restart the web site automatically).

HostTracker service has an API, which allows pieces of software to interact. It is considered as a contract provided by one piece of computer software to another.

The next HostTracker’s advantage is that the service doesn’t require a lot of system resources (e.g. installation any client software). Almost all features are operating using cloud services, and can be configured with only HostTracker’s web site tools. And service settings, definitely, won’t take much time!

Generally speaking, the service is still being developed, as well as, the monitoring network expands, new tools pop up and so on. Considering new tools, they are being developed in response to the requests made by clients. Please don’t hesitate to contact HostTracker’s admins if you have any further suggestions about extra tools which yet aren’t provided by the service.

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