Network Uptime Monitoring Tools

How do you know when you website or network is down? Do you wait for people to call you and complain? Do you stumble upon it accidentally? Do you just never know?

There are several tools out there that can help you keep an eye on your network and get alerts when it is down. Here are three that I use personally:

Uptime Robot

I personally use uptime robot to monitor a variety of services for their availability. It is a free service, which is what got me there originally, but since I’ve been using it I’ve found it to be quite helpful.

Uptime Robot is only useful for public internet facing services, but it can listen to a variety of ports – not just HTTP. This means you can monitor FTP servers, RDP computers, VPNs, Websites, DNS Services, Mail Servers and so much more.

It can also parse HTML pages for specific content, so can be used to notify you if the server is still up but the page has been replaced with something else – such as an error message.

I have it setup to monitor a variety of services hosted in data centres, hosted using local ADSL connections, and even public services such as Google Mail, OpenDNS, Domain Registrar Control Panels. This means I can get a pretty good idea when something goes down. I find it useful to monitor a couple of services from the same network provider or ISP, to see if the issue is local or widespread. Recently we had an Exetel Business connection go down, and because I had monitoring I knew it was a widespread problem not only affecting us but a large number of people. It immediately stopped me wondering if it was a issue with a local Router.

Spiceworks

I have a love hate relationship with Spiceworks. One of the good things is the regular emails it sends out to notify you of changed network conditions. It can send out emails when servers are down, although I don’t think the monitoring is realtime.

Axia Pathfinder

If you happen to be running an Axia network with a Pathfinder Server, you can configure events based on when devices are unavailable. This means you can trigger an email when the node is disconnected, or a desk crashes. Perhaps if you’re running Livewire over a STL you can use it to notify you if the link goes down.

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I'm Anthony Eden, and I'm a broadcast technologist. I've been working in broadcast media since 2008 (getting my start in Community Radio while still at school), and developing software and websites for just as long. Right now, I work full time for Hope Media, and provide some freelance services through Media Realm.

Follow Anthony on Twitter: @anthony_eden or Google+