Uptime Monitoring Software
An additional alternative to free and paid uptime monitoring services is uptime monitoring software which can be installed on any users desktop for instant access to monitoring features. This software is beneficial for users that have a complex infrastructure that crosses multiple servers, networks and operating systems.
Like internet uptime monitoring services, there are free and paid software applications that are available. Free applications tend to be much simpler with fewer features while the paid applications have many functions, most customizable per user need. Unfortunately, most of the free applications are only trial periods which force the user to purchase the full version after a specified period if they want to continue to use the product.
When purchasing the software, like web uptime monitoring services, there are different levels. Each price level will be different based on the number of licenses that are needed. The lowest level will offer the least number of licenses while the highest price level tends to offer unlimited licenses. Smaller companies benefit from the least costly, while the largest companies benefit from the unlimited plan.
Features of Uptime Monitoring Software
The primary features include:
- Quick website monitoring
- End to end user experience monitoring
- Multiple server and database monitoring
- Multiple hardware monitors
- Powerful reporting
- Monitoring different protocols to track the website
- Error message reporting and alerts
- Multiple monitoring intervals
- Multiple monitoring locations
- Multiple monitoring services
By utilizing a desktop based application as opposed to a web-based service, the user is only initially limited by their computer hardware. Therefore, it’s quicker to log in and have the interface display updates such as availability, response time and error-free page loading.
Also, most uptime software packages monitor the end to end user experience by utilizing a multi-step process. Essentially the progress of a user is monitored in steps as they complete transactions such as logging in to the site, retrieving an item from the database, adding to a shopping cart and checking out. This helps webmasters identify where problem areas lie so they can fix it to prevent downtime.
Additional Features and Added Benefits
Another feature to consider is multiple server and database monitoring. This function will help webmasters understand the influence of individual infrastructure mechanisms on the total response time of a website and applications.
Many applications offer more than just uptime monitor. While this type of monitoring is the most important function, monitoring workstations, disk space memory devices, CPU usage, services, process and events also have a significant impact on response time and uptime.
The Power and Value of Detailed Reporting
Like website monitoring services, powerful reporting exists for uptime applications with the ability to view and publish reports and charts. These reports benefit the user to ensure the hosting provider is in compliance with their service level agreements. They also benefit the hosting provider in that they can prove their adherence to the service level agreements in case of a dispute.
Application uptime monitors offer the ability to track a website utilizing different protocols include HTTP (web servers), POP3 (email services), SMTP (outgoing email servers), FTP (file transfer protocols), SSL (secure socket layers), custom ports, PINGS, and DNS. This allows for well-rounded reporting to identify both single protocol issues as well as overall problems.
A feature common to both application uptime monitoring and host provider uptime monitoring is error reporting and alerts. When errors such as, “page cannot be displayed”, “page not found”, connectivity errors, downtime errors, connection failures, hosts not found, low bandwidth or other network errors occur, the user can be alerted by email, SMS text message or instant messenger.
Other common application and web-based monitoring features include multiple monitoring intervals, multiple monitoring locations and multiple monitoring services. These are found in both free and paid applications as well as free and paid web-based monitoring systems.
Multiple monitoring intervals allow the user to select how often they want the application to check for downtime. The intervals include 1/2/15/30/60 minutes depending on the program. Those websites that must be constantly available would benefit from taking advantage of the 1 minute interval.
Multiple monitoring locations monitor the hosting provider from pre-selected locations across the globe for accuracy and consistency. Finally, multiple monitoring services simply permit the user to monitor more than one website or domain name.
Both paid uptime monitoring services and paid uptime applications are similar in their functions. There’s little benefit of one over the other, it’s just personal preference. The most significant difference is between free applications and paid applications.
With both free and paid uptime software applications (as with web-based uptime monitoring services), it’s beneficial to conduct thorough research on the various options and types of software available to fit specific needs. Reviews, forums and comparison sites are all good sources of information but should not be utilized exclusively for information. A combination of Internet sources and asking questions will give the best information.