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Network Monitor: Frequently Asked Questions

What types of devices can I monitor?
What are sensors?
Why would I use multiple sensors?
How do you handle errors?
What are credits?
What are credits?
How quickly are credits consumed?
What types of alert notification do you support?
What are alert profiles?
What is "Make Public"?
Do you support web forms?
Do you support secure web sites (SSL)?
Do you support password protected web sites?

What types of devices can I monitor?
Our system supports virtually any type of network connected service. Our web interface supports the ability to monitor a selected number of services on a self-serve basis, such as web servers, mail servers, and so on. In addition, we have the ability to create custom monitoring scripts that perform more sophisticated activities such as performing multiple web page transactions as part of a single monitoring request, connecting to specialized services for issuing requests (such as databases), etc.

If your service is available over the network, we can arrange for a custom script to monitor your service.

What are sensors?
Sensors are the systems we use, scattered strategically across North America and Europe located in carrier class data centers, to monitor your servers. Each sensor is a dedicated server operated only by us for SecuritySpace's services and not shared with any other organization. This allows us to provide a secure, reliable service.

Why would I use multiple sensors?
When monitoring your network from a single sensor, an outage may be the result of an outage on your system, your ISP, an internet backbone segment, or our ISP. This can result in false positives where your network might actually be up and stable, but is simply not reachable from one of our sensors through no fault of yours.

By employing multiple sensors to monitor you network, you get the benefit of knowing if an outage is affecting multiple locations, making it much more likely that the problem is either with your network or your direct upstream ISP.

How do you handle errors?
When monitoring devices, non-responsiveness or inappropriate responses (e.g. web pages missing required keywords, etc.) will result in retries. Our monitoring system will usually make 3 attempts to get a successful response, and only after all 3 attempts fail will a device be marked in error.

An exception to this three attempt rule is the ICMP ping monitor which will attempt 15 consecutive pings before reporting the device in error in any given monitoring interval. Note that the High Frequency Ping monitor is a different type of device monitoring that adheres to the 3 failed attempt rule before reporting a device in error.

What are credits?
When you purchase a Network monitor subscription, you are given sufficient credits to use the subscription for the period of time in question. Sometimes, however, after having made a payment, you may find that you want to adjust how many devices you are monitoring. The credit system will allow you to make that adjustment, and you will only use up credits based on the devices you are actually monitoring.

For example, if on January 1st you purchased sufficient credits for 2 Standard devices for one year, and a day later decided to upgrade to the Advanced device configuration, you would not need to pay anything. Instead, your credit consumption rate would simply consume the credits more quickly so that in 6 months, you would have used up all the credits purchased.

Our pricing model documents the number of credits you may purchase for any one device under a given configuration. You are free, however, to configure the devices however you choose, and however many devices you want. The only things that changes is the rate at which your credits are consumed.

The number of credits you have available, the rate at which your credits are consumed, and the amount of time you have left before your subscription expires is always shown on the Configure/Status page.

How quickly are credits consumed?
The credit consumption rate depends on your device configuration. A "Standard" device is one being monitored from one sensor, with monitoring intervals of no more than once every 15 minutes. Standard device configurations consume credits at a rate of 1 per day.

"Advanced" device configurations consists of devices that are monitored from more than one location (sensor), and/or at a rate of once every 5 to 10 minutes. Advanced configurations consume credits at a rate of 2 per day.

"Enterprise" device configuration consists of configurations that monitor your server every 1 or 2 minutes, or use the High Frequency Ping monitor to monitor your server every second using ICMP echo requests. Enterprise configurations consume credits at a rate of 5 per day.

What types of alert notification do you support?
We support both email alerts as well as SMS (text message) alerts. There is no additional charge for alert notifications, regardless of notification method being used.

What are alert profiles?
Alert profiles allow you to define who will receive notification of an outage (or a resumption of service). Profiles allow you to indicate multiple email addresses that may receive an alert, and at what time the alert is sent. For example, a profile might indicate that front line support is paged when a network outage occurs, that management is paged if the outage lasts for more than one hour, and that senior management is paged if the outage lasts for more than 2 hours.

There is no charge for us sending you alerts, nor do we charge you anything for sending alerts to multiple recipients. You may set up your profile to notify however many addresses you choose, at the times of your choosing.

What is "Make Public"?
The "Make Public" check box allows you to specify that graphs (and the associated reporting page) are viewable by anyone without requiring a login. This is usually most useful if you wish to create a custom page containing our uptime graph on your own web site. By marking the page as public, you will be able to directly imbed the image by reference into your own web page and our server will serve up the latest copy of the image whenever requested.

Do you support web forms?
Yes. You may specifiy fields to be submitted as part of any form submission request.

Do you support secure web sites (SSL)?
Yes. We connect as easily to SSL based web servers as we do to regular servers.

Do you support password protected web sites?
Yes. If your web server generates causes a browser to generate a userid/password entry dialog box as a result of an HTTP access control list, you can configure the userid and password to be used to access the page in question.

If you are using a CGI based login approach, our custom multi-page web scripts can be used to generate logins and form submissions. Custom scripts, depending on their complexity, will require a setup fee. Contact us for a quote.


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