Monitoring your server is an important task to carry out if you are a server administrator because if your server crashes then this will mean downtime and depending on what you are hosting on your server, this could lead to a reduction in the number of returning visitors or even lost revenue if you are a business. There are many different server monitoring services available, with third-party providers being the recommended option as then you can be sure that you will be able to view a non-bias uptime report at the end of the month to compare against your uptime guarantee. As a VPS server or dedicated server user it is important for you to manage your server properly; this is for two reasons – one, to ensure that you are getting good value for money as a web hosting plan won’t represent good value for money if you are unable to use it or access it and secondly, to keep your server reliable and secure and a server monitoring service will aid you with managing your server properly by providing you with hints as to when there could be issues with the stability of your server hosting service. If you find that your VPS hosting or dedicated hosting fails to meet the uptime guarantee that you have been promised by your web hosting provider then if you have an SLA in place, you may have grounds for compensation of some form from your web hosting provider for failing to meet the conditions of the SLA.
How can my server be monitored?
There are several different methods that you can use to monitor your server, although the method you use will be dependent on whether you choose to use a third-party service or develop your own solution. The different methods available include:
- Pinging – this is the method that is deployed by most third-party server monitoring solution providers and works on the basis that they ping your server on a regular basis, such as every 5 or 10 minutes, on a certain port to ensure that your server is online – the benefit to using this method for most server administrators is that you can easily keep an eye on individual services on your server rather than the server as a whole, but if you are alerted to downtime because one of the services that you are monitoring has crashed then this may not be a true reflection of the state of the actual server as if a service crashes, the actual server may still be online
- Monitoring software – you may choose to setup your own monitoring platform with which you install software on the servers that you wish to monitor that then reports back to a master server that will be monitoring the status of each individual server – the benefit of setting up such a system is that you will be able to monitor the resources of each individual server so that you can be notified and take action when a server is running out of RAM or disk space so that downtime can be averted, rather than using another solution that will only notify you once the server has crashed
- Manual checking – there is nothing to stop you from checking your server manually at random intervals to ensure that it is still accessible because after all, if you manage your server properly then there should be no reason for you to experience downtime to any degree – you can check your server manually in a number of different ways, for example you could simply access a website that you have hosted on your server to see if it will load or on the other hand you could simply login to your server using Remote Desktop or SSH, depending on the platform that you are using on your server.
What are the benefits of monitoring servers?
There are several different benefits to monitoring your server that you should take into consideration as they may sway you towards choosing a specialist monitoring package so that you can be sure that your VPS server or dedicated server is always available. The main benefits available include:
- Service level agreements – a majority of VPS server and dedicated server web hosting plans will come with an associated uptime guarantee so that you can be sure of the amount of uptime that you can come to expect from your web hosting plan because a small amount of downtime is unavoidable in most cases – if you have an SLA (Service Level Agreement) associated with your server hosting plan then it is important for you to ensure that you receive the uptime that you have been promised because if your web hosting companies fails to meet this then you can claim for compensation depending on the situation and by choosing a server monitoring service you will be able to review reliable uptime statistics
- Value for money – a web hosting account that you can’t access because of downtime is one that isn’t providing good value for money and so server monitoring will help you to ensure that you are getting good value for money from the VPS server or dedicated server hosting plan that you are paying good money for – if you find that the uptime of your server isn’t meeting the uptime guarantee that your web hosting company has promised then you may wish to consider moving over to another web hosting company that can provide you with a more reliable web hosting experience.
In conclusion, server monitoring is highly important if you wish to be sure that you are being provided with the uptime guarantee that your web hosting company has promised you. There are many different methods that you can use to monitor your server, but the most recommended practice is to use a third-party server monitoring solution provider because then you will be provided with non-bias statistics at the end of the month that you will be able to rely on when it comes to presenting a valid report to your web hosting company if you are facing issues with uptime.