Website monitoring

Web Design & Development Guide

Website monitoring


Website monitoring is the process of testing or tracking (monitoring) how end-users interact with a website or web application. Website monitoring is often used by businesses to ensure that their customers are able to access their online applications and perform actions such as searching, online shopping, checking an account balance, or simply researching.

What for?

By monitoring website and web application performance, IT Departments or Network Engineers hope to avoid downtime and keep their applications running. Commonly measured metrics are response time and availability (or uptime), although both consistency and reliability metrics are starting to gain popularity.

Inside or outside monitoring

Website monitoring can be done from both inside and outside of a corporate firewall. Traditional Network Management solutions focus on inside the firewall monitoring, whereas external performance monitoring will test and monitor performance issues across the Internet backbone and in some cases all the way to the end-user. External performance monitoring is also known as end-user monitoring or end-to-end performance monitoring.

Real user monitoring measures the performance and availability experienced by actual users, diagnoses individual incidents, and tracks the impact of a change.

What impact?

If it's up... A.K.A... It's down... per year
90% n/a 876 hours
95% n/a 438 hours
99% two 9's 87 hours, 36 minutes
99.9% three 9's 8 hours, 45 minutes, 36 seconds
99.99% four 9's 52 minutes, 33.6 seconds
99.999% five 9's 5 minutes, 15.36 seconds
99.9999% six 9's 31.68 seconds

Various types of protocol

Website monitoring service can check HTTP pages, HTTPS, FTP, SMTP, POP3, IMAP, DNS, SSH, Telnet, SSL, TCP, PING and a range of other ports with great variety of check intervals from every 4 hours to every one minute. Typically, most website monitoring services test your server anywhere between once-per hour to once-per-minute.

Time performances: for example an HTTP page should answer in less than 1 second (for a download of 16Ko) to be considered as "good".

Various type of monitoring

You may monitor a single page of your website, but you can also monitor a complete business process (often referred to as multi-step transactions).

Servers around the globe

Website monitoring services usually have a number of servers around the globe - USA, Europe, Asia, Australia and other locations. By having multiple servers in different geographic locations, monitoring service can determine if a Web server is available across different Networks worldwide. The more locations the better picture on your website availability.

Types of website monitoring

There are two main types of website monitoring

  • Synthetic monitoring also known as active monitoring, and
  • Passive monitoring also known as real monitoring.

Notification options - alerts

As the information brought by website monitoring services is in most cases urgent and may be of crucial importance, various notification methods, often known as "alerts" may be used: e-mail, regular and cell phones, SMS, fax, pagers, etc.

See also

External links

Web analytics
Web application
Web service
Website monitoring

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