escalation maintence advanced check options

Avert a Website Meltdown With These Awesome Features

Our primary focus at Uptime.com is creating a tool that can monitor every critical piece of infrastructure that drives the work you do. We created a series of checks to accomplish this task, with API and Transaction checks offering unprecedented flexibility.

The next step was a mechanism for controlling how alerts were issued. The Advanced Check Options we’ll look at today are aimed at controlling when and how alerts are issued. The advantage, as you will see, is in who receives information and the ability for  in-house IT teams to respond quickly and efficiently to every failed check.

Let’s dive in.

Avoiding Lost Checks

In my personal inbox, I have 9000+ unread emails that aren’t classified as promotional. I’m not a believer in Inbox Zero. I personally think it takes too much effort away from my mantra of GSD. Besides, a large portion of those emails were generated by automated notifications.

It would take more time for me to clear them than it would to just respond. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments, but my larger point is that with a volume of auto-generated comments it’s easy to lose critical emails even if I practiced Inbox Zero.

How many on your executive team sound just like me?

Missing critical emails like downtime notifications can be catastrophic, and undoubtedly cost my business money and effort scrambling for a solution rather than executing on a plan. Using the Escalations option in any check will avert common disasters like these.

Controlling Check Alerts with Advanced Options

We’ve created a host of options designed to distribute check alerts to specific personnel under certain conditions. The end result?

Your executives and decision makers receive critical data on an outage only when they need to step in. Your team maintains its autonomy with clear boundaries, and your crisis plan remains intact.

Sensitivity, Timeout, and IP Version

First, we need to create a check. For the sake of this example, we’ll assume that we’ve created an intricate Transaction Check. Next, we’ll be sure that we’ve marked up to three Locations to monitor our check from. Since we’re simulating a US-Based business, we’ll monitor from coast to coast using three locations in the East, Central, and West zones.

It’s important to define three locales, since we want to make sure to properly set our Sensitivity to only alert us if two of those locations go down. Next, we’ll set our Timeout to 40 seconds. After that passage of time, Uptime.com will consider the check a fail.

Finally, we’ll set our IP Version to IPv6 since this Transaction Check covers a piece of infrastructure that uses the newer protocol. If we did not take this step, our check would scan any available IP version or default to IPv4.

Escalations and Maintenance

Let’s talk about what happens when a check fails. Ideally, your A-Team hops into action and handles the problem. Ideally, this happens within an hour or two at max.

But what happens if that doesn’t occur?

Do you have safeguards in place to escalate the check to a higher authority, or are you making that decision in the moment?

We feel that automating this process gets the right hands involved on bigger problems, leading to speedier resolutions.

So, we’ll use Escalations to tell Uptime.com that it should send an email to our IT administrator if the check has not been successful for more than two hours. Our administrator has some options on how to proceed, including pausing the check until maintenance and proper testing can be deployed.

Using Maintenance, our administrator can tell Uptime.com that maintenance is occurring now, or schedule weekly maintenance to coincide with in-house efforts.

Wrapping Up

With a few extra clicks, we’ve told Uptime.com when and how to issue alerts and have better controlled information to avoid overload.

One final tip: (since people like me always seem to miss those important emails anyway) tag your monitoring! Click Monitoring, followed by Checks. Place a tick mark under the checks that you wish to tag, then click More and then Set Tags. Name your tag whatever makes the most sense to you and your team, then create a flag in your email for that term.

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Richard Bashara is Uptime.com's lead content marketer, working on technical documentation, blog management, content editing and writing. His focus is on building engagement and community among Uptime.com users. Richard brings almost a decade of experience in technology, blogging, and project management to help Uptime.com remain the industry leading monitoring solution for both SMBs and enterprise brands. He resides in California, enjoys collecting and restoring arcade machines, and photography.

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