Tag Archive for website monitoring

Differences between Scheduled Downtime and Unscheduled Downtime

website monitoringAs the owner of a website it’s important that you know what downtime is, its types and how it affects your website performance. These are the major factors that every website owner should be aware of. In general, downtime of the website is in which your website is unavailable to your potential users and it is inverse of the uptime. Downtime can be of scheduled or unscheduled. There are a few points of difference between the two. This article briefly discusses the issue.

Scheduled downtime
Also known as planned downtime, scheduled downtime involves shutting down the system at a particular scheduled time for maintenance. Scheduled downtime includes, patches to the system software which requires the change of system configuration or up-gradation and other system maintenance.

Scheduled downtime is done when alerts shouldn’t be sent to the host even when the data is reported, which would normally trigger alerts. Downtime is scheduled at various levels i.e., from group level to instance level. The important point here to note is, the customers should be intimated about the downtime and about the alternative arrangement as you are planning ahead for the downtime, so that your business productivity will-not affect.

website monitoring priceAnd, make sure the alternative arrangements for the customers without affecting the productivity of the business during the downtime.

Unscheduled downtime
Unscheduled downtime also known as the unplanned downtime, which may occur due to some issues. It includes, software failures in the system, which is one of the most common causes for the website downtime or else the network failure in the infrastructure provider.

There are also many other causes for unscheduled downtime. As the administrators may-not know when the unscheduled downtime occurs, they cannot intimate their potential users, which can affect the productivity, revenue, reputation and other aspects of the business. In-order to avoid this problem, website owners should hire a reputed web-hosting or website monitoring company. They can website monitoring servicehelp their clients in avoiding such problems and intimate them when the website is facing the downtime. They also identify what really causes the downtime and takes necessary actions accordingly. This may reduce the impact of the downtime on the website.

Unscheduled downtime affects the business more than scheduled downtime does. Be aware of these facts and know what steps to take when a downtime occurs and to overcome the situation.
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Internal Vs External Website Monitoring

website monitoringWeb monitoring is performed inside and outside the firewall that businesses and people use. Some companies/organizations focus on internal and some on external web monitoring. Third-party website monitoring takes care of the site both internally and externally. Both the types are mentioned under clearly.

Internal web monitoring:
Internal web monitoring from your data center with the help of your own web server. For this, there are some tools available. This may not work sometimes. The tools here send a request to the web server through which, they respond whether the system is up and able to run, and if it is not running, it shows that there are issues and they should be fixed. In advanced monitoring, it will measure the time for receiving the response. The major advantage with this type of simple tools is they are free and low-priced and their major disadvantage is the website that are modern consists of more different no. of components in which each one is having their own characteristics i.e., if you need to monitor all the components which have different characteristics, you need to understand everything clearly and their roles. Even though there is continuous monitoring, you won’t have an idea whether your services are really helping clients.

website monitorThere is a second group of tools. These tools are more sophisticated and they monitor your website from clients’ perspective. These tools automatically will hit all web server components and the information that you receive will have everything as long as it is inside your firewall so that the information you receive will be easy to understand. This type of monitoring is important because it doesn’t have delays caused by the Internet, bead peer agreements etc. Internal monitoring is very useful as starting point and is a standard part of many hosting providers.

External web monitoring:
External monitoring uses third-party tools that run outside your web server to provide you with information regarding the performance and availability of the website. This is capable of monitoring infrastructure, including the Internet and ISP’s that host agents. It can’t replace the internal monitoring, but is a complementary.

Internal monitoring can’t provide the information regarding the quality of service the client is receiving and it cannot tell you whether the client is able to execute transactions and they don’t focus on end-end applications.

External monitoring is not monitoring the traffic as internal monitoring. As monitoring is internal driven the measurements here are taken every hour, quarter or half hour. As website is monitored by different agents, this will provide granular data.

External monitoring is of three different types. Monitoring from proprietary agents, software and hardware components managed and owned by the vendor, monitoring by cloud based agents involve only software managed by vendors, and the last is desktop monitoring where the software probes are installed on a system through, in which owners get a small fee. And, these vendors usually offer more agents in many different places. This type of monitoring is hired by businesses, mostly other than IT departments, which do internal monitoring themselves.
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Get to Know Synthetic and Passive Website Monitoring

website monitoring serviceThe Internet has made businesses do their job with ease. If you have a well maintained website, it is more likely to bring success to your online business. But bear in mind that web applications are complex and they are growing continuously. If yours is an e-commerce business site, the website’s outage even for a few moments may cost you a lot. In view of this there is a high risk of your website being not available to your customers even for a short duration. Therefore, it is important to choose a website monitor for the optimal performance of your website. In this article, we will discuss synthetic and passive monitoring.

While choosing website monitor, it is important to take a look at the various choices offered by the monitoring service. We can consider active and passive monitoring.

While passive monitoring is meant in determining the problem in a website. Whereas active monitoring also known as synthetic monitoring is associated with checking server connectivity, network problems and application problems.

website monitoringPassive monitoring
Passive monitoring is otherwise known as real-user monitoring. It is popular among big organizations. Such entities use enterprise management tools to check application’s performance within the network.

This monitoring is suitable to check real-end user behavior. It is good for:

  • Monitoring pings that may be obtained by a proxy
  • Monitoring activities on client side
  • Page to page monitoring
  • Monitor actual on-page activity time

However, this monitoring is not suitable if:

  • The end users are not real or they do not interact with the site, because in such a case there is no data to process.
  • It does not monitor DNS issues, network or firewall issue.

Synthetic monitoring
Synthetic (active) monitoring is associated with monitoring issues related to performance connectivity from multiple Internet points. This monitoring is advantageous because performance problems can be detected before they start affecting your website or web applications.

  • Monitoring happens from multiple Internet locations.
  • Active monitoring service should perform reporting as frequently as possible.
  • It should be able to make sure that there are no errors within a page, SSL certificate.

While choosing a service both the services have advantages. Of these, some benefits are exclusive, that is, they are only in one kind of service. Both services monitor and furnish data on performance, the way they work are different from one another.

Ideally, you need to take a mix of passive and active monitoring. By this, issues in performance can be known beforehand. This ensures you get optimal results.

Understanding the U.S TLD System

.us is a country code TLD for U.S.A. Many sites over the internet will be using this TLD in many different ways. Understanding them can be simple if we get to know about the logic according to which domain names are arranged in an URL.

website monitoring serviceJon Postel was the original administrator of .us domain. He belonged to Information Services Institute (ISI) in University of Southern California (USC). Initially it was for premium use of United States Department of Defense. Only 3rd level or higher level domain registrations in geographical and organizational hierarchy was allowed. In April 2002, it was made open for 2nd level domain registrations. Currently the .us domain is administered by NeuStar Inc. under United States Department of Commerce.

Following are a few commonly used domains with .us domain

.com – commerce
.us – U.S.A
.org – organization
.co – company
.info – informative site
.net – network
.edu – educational site
.ac – academic institutions
.co.us – company in U.S.A
.res – research institute
.mil – military
.gov – government

2nd Level domain name for states
A two letter 2nd level domain is given to each state in the United States based on ISO standards. For eg : .va.us refers to Virginia state in U.S. Similarly, .ny.us refers to New York in U.S. Some government owned bodies prefer using .gov domain.

Locality based domains
These are used in the format of “…us”
Eg : http://ci.boston.ma.us/

Locality name can include the name of a city, town or a village. Alternatively, they can also be used for county of government agencies. Other domains used are as follows.
dst: government agencies in administrative districts
cog: councils of government
k12: public elementary and/or secondary unified school districts
pvt.k12: private elementary or secondary schools
cc: community colleges
tec: technical and vocational schools
lib: public libraries
mus: museums
gen: general independent entities

.us Domain usage restrictions
The the United States government has imposed restrictions on the usage of .us domain. The restrictions are as follows:

  • Any United States citizen or resident,
  • Any United States entity, such as organizations or corporations,
  • Any foreign entity or organization with a bonafide presence in the United States

Spot checks are carried out by NeuStar Inc. to ensure that these restrictions are followed.

Web Content Management Systems – Pros and Cons

monitoring serviceThere are different web content management system tools are available today. These come from a free open-source (where a dedicated team works) and the commercial tools by different companies. Each tool has advantages and disadvantages. We will discuss in this article pros and cons of using a web content management systems.

  • Pros
  • Cost: There are some tools available at no cost and even tools offered by the non open-source based companies also reasonable. But cost will increase when add-ons are increased.
  • Easy customization: Customization of content management tools is easy. Many tools are available as drag and drop. Code generation by these also low and are simple to use. So it is easy to use even by non technical people also.
  • By using content management systems, the organization can focus on content rather than its development and design.
  • There is no need of creating new web pages when you add new content. These tools will publish the content into the website framework.
  • website monitoring serviceThere is no need of experience in HTML and other web technologies. Training new employee on these tools is also easy.
  • All content can be stored in a single database and can by access it others.
  • Because of stored in database the content search is enabled and easy to search.
  • Some tools provide the facility to publish the data at a scheduled time and date.
  • Changing the look and feel of the website is easy.
  • Some content management systems are integrated with storage of emails. So you can store the emails of the subscribers and it is easy to send the updates to them.
  • Spell-checking is an inbuilt feature.
  • More than one author can work in the same website at a time without any difficulty.
  • Cons
  • Migrating from one content management tool to another is difficult and time consuming.
  • It can check spell and some grammar, but it never makes a bad content good as a human does. Therefore, it is sensible get it done by human performer.
  • It needs high initial investment and the maintenance cost is also high.
  • Larger tools require big infrastructure and need to upgrade the hardware.
  • If data are not accessed properly from the server, they might be lost.
  • You need to purchase the license, if it is from a commercial company.

These points are not applicable for all the tools. Every tool has unique features. Some companies have the infrastructure and skilled people to work on the new content management systems. Read more