Monitoring, Monitorus, Montastic – Server Uptime Anyone?

Here’s a couple of neato services that you can use to monitor any web server’s uptime throughout the day. I’ve been looking for a free service like this for a while now. Web-based software that would track the response times of your servers from various points on the internet, giving you a “true” feel for how available your website (or web host) really is. The 2 services are called Mon.itor.us and Montastic. In this article, i’ll be comparing the key features that each one has to offer.

monitorus
montastic

Both of these services still have their quirks, but such is the case with most things in life (and on the web) that are free. Still, i have been using them both for a few days now and together they have already proved to be quite useful. Here’s why..

I’ll start with Montastic, since it’s key feature is simplicity and ease of use.

  1. after signup, you just need to click on the link that says: “Add a Web Server to Monitor”
  2. then enter a URL to begin monitoring that web server (it takes a few seconds to start working)
  3. a green “computer icon” means your server is online (red means offline)
  4. optionally, set a “name” for this URL to make it easier for you to identify

that’s it. everything has a nice, clean ajaxy feel. the site is fast and relatively easy to navigate.
you can also get some extra details, like “last monitored” and “status change” by clicking on the “info” link next to the icon for the server you’re monitoring.

both of these services have an email notification system. but, so far, my experience has been that only this one (montastic) actually works. a recent server outage (not this site) proved that for me today. Both of these services also offer alerts in the form of feeds that seemed to work fine.

3 features that make this service unique:

  1. they offer a yahoo widget that reports the status of your servers in real-time, right on your desktop
  2. the offer a netvibes module which is slick as a brick (it’s not too pretty by it works great)
  3. they offer: “the green page” (you’re totally going to have to see this page for yourself to understand)

On to Mon.itor.us – which is a slightly more complex service, allowing for a flood of potential awesomeness and quite a few annoyances as well. Basically, my biggest problem with this service so far is: “It’s Flaky”. By that, i mean, it’s plagued with all the same bugs and buggers that PageFlakes has, even burdoned by the same ajax desktop interface – it seems. Without going into too much detail (ie: constant page refreshes and a login that will never remember you), this would be another example of one of the reasons that i have been a strong supporter of Netvibes for so long.

That being said, Mon.itor.us has a lot of already working features that come packed in with it’s service.

From their site (and because i’m sometimes lazy), here are the ones that stood out the most for me:

  • Site performance archive
  • Inline site previews
  • Personalized pages and tabbed views
  • Drag and drop interactive interface
  • Todo tasks with notification and ability to add notes
  • Support these protocols for testing: http, https, ftp, smtp, pop3, and ping.
  • Daily/weekly/monthly uptime reports and statistics

And in case that wasn’t enough for you.. here’s a few more things that i noticed mon.itor.us can do that wasn’t already mentioned in the previous list. These are the real clinchers for me.

6 more features that make this service unique:

  1. there’s a cool Google Gadget for this service out there somewhere
  2. you can tag each URL / server you are monitoring and then organize / view them by groups
  3. you can switch between real-time table, bar chart, and line chart views.
  4. view stats for each protocol, snapshots of all your servers
  5. view from three seperate geographical locations (US, DE, AT)
  6. there’s some javascript code that goes along with the google gadget that will let you put your “snapshot” on virtually any web page

All in all, i would say that it’s a little harder to setup each URL with mon.itor.us, when compared to montastic. But once you get all your servers setup for monitoring, there’s a lot more you can do with them too.

Still, as i mentioned earlier, i was quite pleased with both of these services and will continue to test each one more thoroughly in the coming months.

Comments 10

  1. Andy C wrote:

    I agree about the Ajax complexity of mon.itor.us and prefer site24x7.com which offers SMS alerts and monitoring for keyword (determine mySQL availability). No association.

    Posted 27 Oct 2006 at 8:20 pm
  2. elran wrote:

    thanks Andy.

    site24x7.com looks interesting as well.
    i like the ability to see a “weekly” view, downtime this week, etc.

    i saw the “monitor a web transaction” feature – is that what you mean by monitoring for keywords to determine mysql availability? i’m still not exactly sure how to do that..

    anyone have any idea?

    Posted 28 Oct 2006 at 2:14 pm
  3. Andy C wrote:

    Under ‘Advanced Configuration’. you can alert when a keyword is found or not found. So you can alert if the blog title doesn’t appear or the generic mySQL error message does appear.

    I think the Web transaction is more involved as you have to download a utility (capture/reply presumably) to simulate common transactions of paths through the site.

    Posted 29 Oct 2006 at 6:29 pm
  4. spenser wrote:

    Well it’s been a few months, so hopefully you have built a comfort level with both of the services you mention.

    A new free uptime monitoring service has launched at http://basicstate.com/

    It would be closer in flavour to montastic than moni.tor.us

    Drop by and have a test drive.

    Posted 07 Feb 2007 at 8:21 pm
  5. Noel wrote:

    I prefer to use Dotcom-monitor. But have to admit that Mon.it.us is good. And I am going to change my service

    Posted 28 Dec 2007 at 1:02 pm
  6. Aaron wrote:

    @Noel – don’t make it look like you are not affiliated with Dotcom-monitor – that’s just bad manners.

    On with my comment , I am biased but I do believe http://www.ezwebsitemonitoring.com/ could be added to the list as well. Monitors both uptime, response time, and SEO factors.

    Posted 18 Sep 2009 at 8:14 pm
  7. John Dale wrote:

    Very informative post, you give me an idea on what i am working on right now. Thanks for sharing this one. Nice post.

    Website Monitoring Service

    Posted 02 Oct 2010 at 7:24 am
  8. omega ?????? ????? wrote:

    citizen ???

    Posted 17 Oct 2013 at 9:45 pm
  9. urusland wrote:

    great post

    Posted 27 Aug 2017 at 5:07 pm
  10. hakataridze wrote:

    look more info in my site

    Posted 08 Sep 2017 at 12:03 pm

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