the real world, businesses come in every size, from self-employed
entrepreneurs like me to mega malls like Wal-Mart.
On the Internet, companies come in every size, too, from a stand-alone
ebook sales page with webmaster and owner all in one, to 300 pound
gorilla like Amazon, with over a million pages requiring the entire
population of a small country to serve as webmaster.
If your site is a single page, it is its own network. But if your
site is any bigger, and you have plans to grow, it is a network
or is fast becoming one. You need network monitoring.
Most ecommerce webmasters are at least somewhat familiar with website
monitoring. Many use a website monitoring service or software to
keep track of "uptime" and "downtime".
At your local shopping mall, serious business requires more than
just knowing when the front doors are open and when they are closed.
Serious ecommerce needs to know more than just when the site is
accessible. That is what network monitoring is all about.
Chances are, your e-business owns one of the following, or uses
one of the following remotely:
DNS servers: These are used to translate your site name, like www.mycompany.com,
to the numbers called "IP addresses" that computers understand.
If DNS servers are not working properly, end-users will not be able
to find your site and will get an error. Usually only an external
or remote monitoring service will detect such a problem.
An FTP server: File Transfer Protocol servers are used to help you
exchange files with remote users. If you use FTP, a monitoring service
can make sure it is always up and running.
POP3 and SMTP servers: These are used for exchanging emails. If
you are using email, chances are you are using SMTP and POP3. If
your SMTP server is down, everyone who sends you email will receive
an error, stating that your mail server is down and cannot accept
incoming email. To say that the impression this leaves your customers
is bad would be an understatement. If your POP3 server is down,
you will be unable to retrieve email from your mailbox. Once again,
only external monitoring will prevent such a problem.
Firewalls: Many businesses use firewalls to protect their internal
network from un-authorized traffic, such as spyware, viruses and
sabotage by competitors. Furthermore, a firewall is your first line
of defense. If your firewall goes down, your whole network may actually
become inaccessible from outside. In other words, if you host your
own web site and mail servers, those will become inaccessible to
the outside world if your firewall goes down. Once again, remote
network monitoring is required to detect that a problem exists and
quickly get it repaired.
Internet connections: Users come to your network from multiple backbones,
depending on the company they use to connect to the Internet and
their location. It is important to ensure that your connection performs
well for each user. A remote monitoring service can ping your networks
from multiple locations around the world, thus testing most major
routes to your web server or network. Before hiring a network monitoring
service, check to see that they have both your customer geography
and the Internet backbone layout covered.
Very few websites of any size and functionality are anything less
than a complete network, and many networks rely on servers in different
parts of the world.
A good network monitoring service can ensure, as a base, that all
servers are properly functioning, that data can be sent to and received
from each server, and that each function sharing the server responds
as required. An advanced network monitoring service can even remotely
monitor the temperature of your servers.
What you need to monitor depends on how extensive your network is.
A network monitoring expert can help you determine what needs monitoring.
If you own the servers, or are remotely hosted on dedicated servers,
you most likely need everything monitored. If your site is hosted
on shared servers, you might need fewer functions monitored.
About The Author
David Leonhardt is a freelance writer and SEO consultant. Contact
He wrote this article for Dotcom-Monitor:
Read more on network monitoring:
Read more on website monitoring: