Site 24×7

by Christopher Paul on August 1, 2006

I just started using Site24x7 to keep tabs on my hosting provider.  Since I signed up with my hosting service, I only had one outage in the many months I subscribed to their service.  That is, until today.

Just like the other time I had an issue, the support staff quickly resolved the issue.  However, I didn’t know the site was having problems until I tried to visit it – possibly hours after the issue started.  Where I work, I have monitors on all the core servers and running services that notify me of any problem.  If the server begins to run out of disk space, I know well in advance.  If the BES services fails, I know.  And if CPU time runs abnormally high for a certain length of time, I get an alert.

So I decided to look for a service that would do this and not charge me a lot of money.  Right now, Site24x7 is free and all four sites I actively manage are monitored.  Every five minutes, the sites are polled with GET requests.  If they fail, I’m alerted to a specific Gmail account I setup and have configured into my Blackberry.  I’ll be able to email my hosting support and ask that they look into the matter even while I’m away.

I’ve not tested the service so I can only hope that it works.  It does give me some aggregate performance numbers to prove that its actually doing what its supposed to.  I’ll only know it works when something goes wrong.  But it seems kinda flexible and supports most of the features you want in such a system.

According to their marketing information, it supports HTTPS and authentication.  It also can check for defacement by validating against key words you define.  It can also deal with dynamic pages.  It also handles POST commands and can alert you if there is a dramatic slow-down or sudden increase/decrease in page size.

Of course, I can’t endorse this because I really don’t know if it works but I’m willing to give it a shot.  After all, its free for now and it should do what I want it to.  If something does happen to the site and I get a notification, I’ll be sure to update this review.

And let’s hope I never do.

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