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Once you have signed up for an account you get access to your online control panel. Using the control panel you can configure your monitors, contacts, escalation plans, outage plans.

Monitoring

Website and server monitor diagramWhen you set up a new monitor you choose 3 out of 5 monitoring locations plus a 4th failover location which will be activated automatically if any of our monitoring servers fail.

All three monitoring servers visit your server at the same time every monitoring interval and attempt to access the sevice you have requested to be monitored and wait for a response.

If your service responds correctly to our monitoring servers then the monitoring servers report the service as working (up).

The results including the dns lookup time, connect time, first byte time, transfer time and elapsed time are recorded.

If your service responds incorrectly or any of the other checks (dns lookup, ip address returned, content checks etc.) fail it is deemed to have failed (down).

If your service does not respond within the timeout period specified it is also deemed to be down and diagnostic traces are performed to your server to help you diagnose the problem.

The monitoring results from each monitoring server together with any diagnostic traces produced are returned to our central data centre for processing. As the results are received by our central data centre they are processed and any anomolies removed so that we do not issue false alerts.

Alerting

Example monitor down alertOnce we detect a service has failed send out alerts. Alerts are sent out via email, sms or instant messenger as required to the contacts you have configured using the control panel taking into account the day and time of day and any outage plans you have configured.

For the first hour whilst your service is down we switch to one minute monitoring. This helps us produce accurate availability statistics and means you quickly get alerted once the problem is solved.

If your service remains down additional alerts will be sent as per your configuration to remind your contacts that the service is not working.

Once the service is back up alerts will be sent to your contacts to inform them all is well.

The results are stored in our data archive and are available for at least 3 years.

Reporting

Example monitor daily reportEach day, week and month we use the data archive to send out email reports detailing availability and performance over the given period to the contacts you have configured to receive reports. The reports can be sent in plain text or html format.

Reports include the availability of the service monitored over the period and a grapical analysis of the overall performance of your service and a detailed graph showing dns time, connect time, first byte time and data transfer time. You can opt to receive the detaled data used to produce the reports as an attachment.

The data archive is also used to produce external reports which you can link to from your web site or access via xml allowing you to display availability statistics directly on your web site.

At any time you can use the control panel to produce reports and graphs for a given period showing the availability and performance of your service.

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