Network Monitoring for Serious eCommerce By David Leonhardt
In real world, businesses come in every size, from self-employed entrepreneurs like me to mega malls like Wal-Mart.
On 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 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 front doors are open and when they are closed. Serious ecommerce needs to know more than just when site is accessible. That is what network monitoring is all about.
Chances are, your e-business owns one of following, or uses one of following remotely:
DNS servers: These are used to translate your site name, like www.mycompany.com, to 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 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.