Setting up Status Cake

Posted on Thursday, February 5, 2015


 
I would like to monitor uptime on a webserver from outside my systems.  Looking for an alternative to Pingdom I found StatusCake.  I am going to go over how to do a simple "how to" here for StatusCake.





I found this video http://youtu.be/SZRd_Ag3lls  [1] from DailyNerd Tech Review.  Starting here is probably a good idea.  I did.

 

Signing up for a free account








Click Join Now For Free.










Click on Sign Up









Scroll down









Enter in all your data an click join for free








If you want to tweet about it, as for me I clicked Not This Time.












And I am in.

Now what can I do?








Monitoring a site






Fill out your information.  I am checking http://whiteboardcoder.com to see if its up.
Click Next in the lower right hand corner.






(They just updated this tool 2/20/2015, and I had to make an animated gif of it, check out how the Minutes To Alert changes as you tweak the settings!)

I set my Check rate to 5mins.

The confirmation Servers part is set to 3.  This is awesome!  It is better than pingdom! (When Status Cake determines your site is down it checks from X number of confirmation servers before it says it's down)


Quoting from this page.

So what exactly is Intelligent Uptime Confirmation? Our system looks at the type of timetime which triggered the original downtime email and then determine if other servers needs to confirm that the site is actually up – we also take into account if it has increased load time which if encountered tells our system to confirm on a few more servers that the test is actually up. We do all this at the same time as your normal test alerts would be sent so there is absolutely no delay to uptime alerts if you’re site is working as intended and if it’s likely to go down again after a few seconds our test agents will simply wait for the service to be truly up.
The way I read that, it looks like if your site ids determined to be dwn it will check from X number of additional servers before It sends out an alert!  This is exactly what I want.







Scroll to the bottom and click on Submit.









The tate has been added.  And there it is









I can see that I am up







 
Looking at log files


Let me see if it's really working…

I ran this command to tail my web log and grep Pingdom.com on the results.


  > tail -f access.whiteboardcoder.com.log | grep Pingdom.com













Looks like it's pinging once every 5 minutes (paid version can do it once per minute)




If I kill my box….





I am down.

After 5 minutes no message, after 10 no message….  

I think I need to set up some kind of alert.




Click on Edit






Click in Contact Group and select "No Contact Group"











Click Instant Submit to save it.



I took my server down again…. And still no email…












Click on Create Groups






I named the group TEST, put my email in it and clicked Save Changes.

But look!!!!  Webhook URL…. That is going to come in handy I think!  (But that is for another post)












It has been saved but it's not being used by any test yet.







To list all your current contacts click on Contacts (duh)






To list all your current contacts click on Contacts (duh)




Click on Tests, then click on edit, on your specific test.






From the Contact group pull down select "TEST"







Save it!



That worked…

After 5 minutes it detected I was down.  Then it waited another 5 minutes before it sent out an email  (just the way I had it set up).








Here is the email








It hit the server at 16:08:59 and got a 404.  Then rather than wait 5 more minutes…

It hit the server 6 more times from 4 different IP addresses.  Perfect!

185.38.32.15
31.3.247.74
178.62.41.52
107.170.227.23


Upping the Confirmation Servers





I upped the confirmation servers to 8.

Brought my site back up, then back down again.









It took at least 8 checks before it was listed as down.  Then another 8 minutes before it sent an email.

The additional checks are faster than 5 minutes, but do take nearly 7 minutes to complete.  I am sure the paid version may check a bit quicker…




Opinion


I like StatusCake.  I think it’s a winner!  I just need to try out a few more of its features.  API and Webhook.







References

[1]        Uptime Confirmation System
                        https://www.statuscake.com/uptime-confirmation-system/
                Accessed 1/2015



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