This guide will help you get started with Dotcom-Monitor. If there are any terms that are unfamiliar, check available articles in our Glossary.
To learn how monitoring works, see Monitoring Algorithm.
Selecting a solution
After logging in to the system you will be redirected to the main page – the Device Manager page. First, you need to select a solution to start with.
On the navigation toolbar, click Solutions.
Dotcom-Monitor provides Monitoring and Stress Testing solutions.
Monitoring solution tools allow monitoring of the following areas:
- Servers including HTTP/S, email, DNS, VoIP/SIP, and performance counters
- Network/port availability and performance including SNMP, UDP, DNS, and Ping
- Website page load speed including 3rd party element availability and performance
- Applications including Flash, AJAX, Silverlight, HTML5, Java Applets, SOAP, and APIs
- E-Commerce: availability, functionality, and performance of web transactions and web page content
Stress Testing provides complex tools to test website and application performance under simulated user load.
If you are unsure whether your monitoring goal fits better under one solution or another, feel free to click through another solution to see what the options are.
Add a Device
Dotcom-Monitor uses devices to organize and set up monitoring. A device is an organizing “set” of monitorings, which contains either a sequence of monitoring tasks, a single monitoring task, a monitoring script that includes tasks, or a combination of these three. Moreover, a device defines monitoring settings, such as frequency, monitoring agent list, reporting options, alerting options, and other settings that are specific to different monitoring platforms.
Dotcom-Monitor maintains a global network of 20+ locations of monitoring agents. These agents perform various monitoring tasks on your devices based upon the custom monitoring settings and details you have provided for a device. To create the first task to monitor you need to add a monitoring device by clicking the Add Device button from the Device Manager page. This will take you to the page where you can select the type of monitoring task you wish to create.
See for other ways of adding a new device at the Approaches to creating a device article.
Set up a Task
A monitoring task is the active monitoring of a specific target. Targets, which can have monitoring tasks, include:
- a specific URL
- a Mail server, FTP server, web server etc.
- for web applications monitoring – a single “step” in a multiple-step monitoring sequence (such as 5-steps online shopping cart process)
- for performance monitoring, it represents a single Performance Counter or single SNMP Counter
There are two fundamental ways to set up monitoring tasks:
- Setting up single tasks on the Task tab within a device interface
- Setting up sequences of tasks using the EveryStep Scripting Tool
Tasks are grouped together by platforms. The exact process for setting up a single monitoring task varies depending on the type of the task and the monitoring platform used. If you are not confident what type of task you need to set up, see Selecting Right Monitoring Task.
Monitoring tasks within a device are executed sequentially in the order in which they were set up. The monitoring by tasks in separate devices occurs independently of other devices.
Configure a Device
On the device configuration screen, you will notice several tabs where you can specify a specific group to receive reports or alerts as well as a choice of schedule and filters to apply to the tasks, the reports, and the notifications. If you do not know what you wish to put in these fields while setting up your first device you can stick to the default options, and always come back and edit the device at a later time. Once you have identified what those options should be and save your device, you can create new groups, schedules, and filters from the Configure menu on the navigation toolbar of the Device Manager page.This video shows you the basic process of setting up a monitored device and task. To make sure the notification emails don’t get caught in spam, use the Send Test Alert option from the device menu in Device Manager after configuring a new task.
Groups are used to configure who will receive alerts and scheduled reports. To set up your groups, go to the Configure menu on the navigation toolbar of the page and select Groups. We suggest you set up the first alert group to simply include your own email address, SMS text number or phone number, depending on how you wish to receive notifications. If you already know what additional groups or people will receive alerts you can create those alert groups now, otherwise, you can come back to the groups later and create additional groups such as different shifts of support teams.
When configuring groups you may have noticed there was an option to set a schedule for the group. Schedules can be set up so that certain groups only receive notifications during specified time periods. Schedules can also be used to define when a task should be run or suspended. For example, if you perform server maintenance every Friday evening at midnight, you may want to suspend your alerts for that period so that notifications are not sent out. If you have three support shifts you may want to schedule alerts to be sent to different support teams at different times of the day.
Additional helpful definitions
Here are a few of the most common terms you will encounter as you begin to use Dotcom-Monitor.
Platform: A platform is a group of monitoring services. The platforms available to you may depend on the type of account and packages you have purchased. For access to additional platforms please contact the sales department.
Devices: A monitored Device is a “set” of monitoring tasks, which may contain a single task, a sequence of monitoring tasks or a monitoring script that can include multiple tasks that perform multiple steps.
Tasks: A Task is any single monitoring activity, such as monitoring a target like a URL, Mail Server, FTP Server, etc.
Frequency: Defines how often monitoring sessions will be executed.
Location: A monitoring geographical location within the Dotcom-Monitor worldwide network from which you can schedule agents to monitor your tasks.
Monitoring devices can be configured to utilize a number of reusable groups
These groups can be set up independent of individual tasks and can be reused with multiple tasks.
Schedule: A Schedule is a set of time frames which can be used to modify monitoring, alerting and reporting periods.
Alert Group: Setting up a Group places recipients of a report and/or alert into a Group. Each recipient in the Group can have a unique alert template.
Alert Template: Template defines alerts format.
Filter: A Filter is a set of rules, which determine how monitoring responses are processed and displayed.