All are close to the area of systems management surely be familiar with tools like Nagios or Cacti. These tools Help to monitor the status of our servers and hosting services to receive alerts if you see any problems or produce a fall. With tools such as e-mails or SMS we can send the message, we can learn quickly if our website is down for some server problem and, of course, minimize the time that the service is available.
However, these tools only offer a part of reality as do internal monitoring (inside our firewall ) and therefore we can escape other problems. For example related to our ISP, which prevent our web server is accessible even work properly. To get this kind of information it is appropriate to supplement our internal monitoring systems with some external monitoring service that emulates our users and, from time to time, go to our website to check that it meets quality attributes and is accessible.
In the network we can find a number of services that offer us this functionality for free and with which we can verify that the website of our company or our blog are available but, if we rely on third parties (because we use some of the APIs that offer services like Instagram or Wikipedia) can be interesting to know the “health” of these services because they directly affect the performance of our website.Some time ago we talked about service as Montastic or HostTracker but also there are some others that are worth taking into account and save in to your browser’s favorites:
- Down for everyone or just me? is a popular service that sends alerts when a site is not accessible. The idea is very simple, you access the service and write the url you want to check.
- FreeSiteStatus is a free service that enables you to perform a monitoring of your website with tests performed every 60 minutes from different geographical locations. The tests are performed using ping and HTTP requests and in the case of detecting any problems the service will notify us by email. Maybe an hour can seem an excessively wide time interval (and really is) but we can combine with any other service FreeSiteStatus parallel and compare results. For example, by the information shown in the reports that are offered. In case you’re interested in a more comprehensive monitoring you have the opportunity to hire additional functionality and, of course, reduce the sampling interval.
- Status API is an interesting service where we can see the state of some of the most commonly used APIs in the network. For example, to check that they work properly (or suffer any problems) and discard (or confirm) any type of problem affect our website. With this website we can check the status of services like Instagram API, Box.net, Dropbox, Flickr, Google Maps or Facebook and take a look at the historical weekly availability and response requests.
- Site24x7 is another free service external monitoring probe that enables up to 5 web pages every 10 minutes (an interesting sampling interval and, perhaps, one of the lowest that can be found in the spectrum of free tools). As in other cases, if we get additional functionality we would have to hire any of the payment services or combine it with other services available on the network.
- Monitor is a free service that is worth exploring because it offers a comprehensive dashboard view about the availability of the web pages. we indicate with tests from Europe and the United States. The variety of monitoring options is a detail to keep in mind that we will see the navigation (HTTP requests), the availability of the server (with tests conducted by ping ) or the availability of services such as SSH access or operation of mail services (POP, IMAP or SMTP) among others. With Monitor you can configure a list of recipients of alerts and payment plus vulnerability analysis and load tests.