Monitor - Verify - Notify

Overview

This document provides an overview of AlertSite's site types, monitoring types, verification scheme, and notification strategy. This information will assist the user in determining the best way to monitor web sites and transactions, and what to expect in terms of notification.

Site Types

Site devices have a variety of types, depending on Site Plan. These are described below:

Email (IMAP) Server Connects to an IMAP server, verifies appropriate IMAP response, and then closes the connection
Email (POP) Server Connects to a server and gets the OK POP3 message, and then closes the connection.
Email (SMTP) Server Connects to an SMTP server, gets a 220 message, performs a HELO request, verifies the appropriate response, and then closes the connection.
FTP Server Connects to an FTP server, gets a 220 message and authenticates.
FTP over SSL (FTPS) Connects to an FTP server, gets a 220 message and authenticates over a secure connection.
Name Server Uses a DNS resolve against a particular DNS server.
Roundtrip E-mail (POP/SMTP) Sends an email, either from a customer's SMTP server or from ours, to an email box; we log in to that box, and then find and delete that message. This test is designed to test end-to-end functionality of email services.
Secure Web Site Uses a GET command by default to gather availability and performance data for a site using SSL.
Server/Device Ping Pings a server or other device connected to the Internet at a specified interval to test for availability and potential network latency.
Simple TCP Connect Performs the 3-way TCP handshake with any open port listener on a server.
Web Site Uses a GET command by default to measure the total response time of a URL.

Monitoring Types

The Monitoring Type, selected from a drop-down list in the Manage Site or Manage Transaction screen in the console, determines what circumstances will cause an alert notification to be sent. Location selected as Primary determined where the notification is delivered from depending on Monitoring Type.

The following are the available Monitoring Types that can be selected from the drop-down list in the Manage Monitored Sites or Manage Transactions screen when configuring devices in the console, and the different attributes of each type.

Primary

  • One or more monitoring locations
  • Multiple locations check concurrently
  • A second check is performed from the location when an error is detected unless Disable Local Error Verification is checked in Manage Site or Manage Transaction
  • Remote error verification is then performed from an alternate location
  • Only errors detected at the Primary location generate alerts
  • Errors detected at non-primary locations are indicated in reports - no remote verification is performed and no alert is sent

Global Notify

  • One or more monitoring locations, each acting independently as Primary
  • Rotated Locations allowed
  • Multiple locations check concurrently
  • A second check is performed from the location when an error is detected unless Disable Local Error Verification is checked in Manage Site or Manage Transaction
  • No remote error verification is performed
  • All locations check, verify, issue alerts, and indicate errors in report

Global Verify

  • One or more monitoring locations, each acting independently as Primary
  • Rotated Locations allowed
  • Multiple locations check concurrently
  • A second check is performed from the location when an error is detected unless Disable Local Error Verification is checked in Manage Site or Manage Transaction
  • Remote error verification is then performed from an alternate location
  • All locations check, verify, issue alerts, and indicate errors in report

Round Robin

  • Two or more monitoring locations
  • Locations check sequentially (not concurrently)
  • Rotated Locations allowed
  • A second check is performed from the location when an error is detected unless Disable Local Error Verification is checked in Manage Site or Manage Transaction
  • No remote error verification is performed
  • Notification is sent if 2 or more locations fail within the same measurement interval
  • Unlimited number of locations can be configured, with monitoring rotating a minimum of 2 through the number of configured locations per interval
  • Not available with InSite Private Monitoring

SLA (MultiPOP)

  • Required for complete SLA (Service Level Agreement) monitoring (availability plus uptime)
  • Two or more monitoring locations
  • Rotated Locations allowed
  • All locations check simultaneously
  • A second check is performed from the location when an error is detected unless Disable Local Error Verification is checked in Manage Site or Manage Transaction
  • No remote error verification is performed
  • Unlimited number of locations can be configured, with monitoring rotating a minimum of 3 through the number of configured locations per interval
  • Locations correlate measurement information with each other:
    • The Primary location sends notification even if it is not the only location seeing the error
    • Notification can be configured to occur in one of the following methods:
      1. 2 locations see an error
      2. 3 locations see an error
      3. All locations see an error (if more than 3)
  • Not available with InSite Private Monitoring

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Verification

Verification is used to reduce reporting of false positives. Two types of verification, recheck from the same location and remote verification from an alternate location (depending on monitoring type), are performed. The verify process is as follows:

  • The monitoring location performing a check detects an error
  • The location rechecks to verify the error
  • If the error is not confirmed by recheck, the Warning status is set and no remote verification is performed
  • If the error is confirmed, remote verification is performed from an alternate location unless:
    • The monitoring type is Global Notify, Round Robin, or SLA (MultiPOP)
    • The monitoring type is Primary but the error did not occur at the designated Primary monitoring location
    • Device is monitored by an InSite location
    • The error is for a Fullpage Object error (status codes 7121, 7122, or 7123)
  • If the remote location detects an error, an alert notification is sent

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Notification

AlertSite provides a wide variety of notification methods, or notify types. These are:

  • E-mail
  • E-mail to wireless device (i.e., text message to cell phone, iPhone, Blackberry, etc.)
  • AOL Instant Message (AIM)
  • SMS (Short Message Service) for non-US mobile devices
  • Pager (Alphanumeric and numeric)
  • Voice over IP (VoIP)
  • POST request to web server
  • SNMP trap

For detailed descriptions of each of these methods and how to configure them, see Manage Notifiers and Notifier Groups.

Several factors affect when and if notification is sent, and who receives notifications. Notification is not sent under the following conditions:

  • The checkbox next to “Enable availability notifications” in the notifier configuration screen, Manage Notifier, is unchecked; notifier is marked DISABLED.
  • A blackout date/time is set for the notifier.
  • The Site/Device or Transaction has “Notify on Error” set to “No” in the Manage Site/Transaction screen
  • The number of consecutive errors to commence notification has not yet been reached for a particular notifier or set of notifiers
  • The number of consecutive notifications to send has been reached
  • If the Site/Device or Transaction in error is associated with a notifier group, notifiers not in that group will not receive alerts
  • Monitoring for the Site/Device or Transaction is disabled, either through the configuration screen or for a configured blackout period.
  • A network error occurred but a TCP connect from a remote location is successful

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Additional Monitoring and Notification Options

Fullpage Monitoring

  • Page objects (images, JavaScript, CSS, etc.) are retrieved after HTML is retrieved
  • If “Send notification on object errors” is checked, alerts are sent on errors detected on any objects
  • Object errors are remote verified if Fullpage notification is enabled and the monitoring type does remote verification (object error verification follows the rules for the monitoring type)
  • The user can elect to notify on object size changes or missing/new objects
  • Fullpage monitoring is not performed if there was an error monitoring the base HTML page
  • The Fullpage monitoring interval is specified separately, and page objects are pulled with that frequency

Rotate Monitoring Locations

  • Usage Based Monitoring will allow rotated locations for the following monitoring types:
    • Round Robin
    • SLA (MultiPOP)
    • Global Notify
    • Global Verify
  • Legacy plans (Performance Pro, SLA) will allow rotated locations for the following monitoring types:
    • Round Robin
    • SLA (MultiPOP)
  • Enabled via “Rotate Locations?” dropdown
  • Rotation count selected from “Locations per Interval” dropdown visible when "Rotate Locations" is set to “Yes” (not available for InSite locations)
  • Monitors across many locations by rotating through user-selected pool
  • Rotation pool is selected from locations configured for this device
  • No limit on rotation pool size or charge for adding locations to the pool
  • Rotation count is determined by the number of location credits

TCP Traceroute Notification

  • Enabled via “TCP Traceroute on network error” dropdown
  • Sends a traceroute notification for TCP connect (status=1) and timeout errors (status=2, 4050, 4059)

Content Change Notification

  • Enabled via “Notify on Content Change?” dropdown
  • Sends notification if HTML page has been modified (only notification by E-mail, E-mail to wireless, or AOL instant message are supported, not pager, VoIP, or SMS)
  • Only checks for content changes if monitoring was successful

Considerations with Usage Based Monitoring

In a Usage Based Monitoring account, the default Monitoring Type when creating a new site device or uploading a new transaction is Global Verify, set to Rotate Locations, 1 location per interval.

Modifying the Monitoring Type, Monitoring Interval, Rotate Locations setting, or the number of monitoring locations selected for the device will affect the measurement credit consumption rate with Usage Based Monitoring.

  • Switching a device to Primary monitoring type from a type that rotated locations (Round Robin, SLA, Global Notify, or Global Verify) will begin to test from every location in the device's Locations list concurrently on every measurement interval.
  • Changing the Rotate Locations setting from "Yes" to "No" will cause the device to test from every location in the device's Locations list on every measurement interval.
  • Increasing the number of locations for devices monitoring with Primary monitoring type or with Rotate Locations set to "No" will increase the number of measurements consumed per interval.

For example: if 4 locations are selected in the Locations table:

  • Monitoring type Primary will use 4 measurements every test, one for each location.
  • Monitoring type Global Verify with Rotate Locations set to "Yes" and Locations per interval set to 1, only 1 measurement will be used per test because it will rotate through the 4 locations one at a time for each test.
  • Monitoring type Global Verify with Rotate Locations set to "No", 4 measurements will be used because it will test with all 4 locations at the same time for each test.

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