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Monitoring your web applications
Thu, 25 Dec 2014 / by Mano
All your salon & spa needs on VBooky!

Ah, so your million dollar product is almost done and your entrepreneurship journey is going to rock this world. I mean, aren’t you super excited to showcase the .com product which have spent endless nights going through the wormhole of gibberish codes and open source libraries?  Well, I guess, most the entrepreneurs who have brunt many hours in front of the computer, coming up with that unique idea which he/she hopes to be the game changer knows this feeling.

Well, along with the zillions of other anticipations like people reaction, usability, features or the non reproducible bug suddenly appearing on the production site, one always gets that nagging feeling – what if the server crashes in the middle of the night when I and the team are dozing off? After all, a .COM takes pride in having 99.99% availability!

When we launched VBooky.com, we were faced with similar anticipation and ideated about how to approach and solve this issue. Here are our various solutions we had discussed.


Approach 1 – In House Monitoring Server: Like any programmer, we immediately thought we will bring up another light weight server through an interval which will monitor our web application server port.

VBooky Web MonitoringPros –

  • Our own code – we programmer love to code and solve on our own, though we know the problem is also solved by others!
  • We can have inbuilt mechanism to restart the server, when it detects that the server is down!


  • Memory and CPU Usage – We have already allocated much of the memory and cpu we could afford and this server is going to take up additional resources!
  • Who will monitor this server? What if it fails too!
  • What if we utilize this effort to build a customer valuable feature, if we can help?



Approach 2 – Reuse one of the open source monitoring tools

There are many java wrapper services like the commercial one by Tanuk Software or alternative open source like Yet Another Java Service Wrapper

This would have been the best approach since it already has done what we have wanted in Approach 1. However if we need to built in some additional feature like SMS alerts or other alerts, we may need to understand their internal mechanism and extend the features.


Approach 3 – Use a free web monitoring services already freely available.

There are many free and commercial web monitoring tools available. Some are just monitoring the web port while others require you to install a user agent for deeper monitoring like memory usage etc.

Since we require only web monitoring, we scouted for free services. One of them is the one which fits our bill - www.monitor.us  . We have been using it for quite a while and found to be reliable as it sends us email alerts. However it doesn’t send SMS alerts in the free service.


Approach 4 – Use a free android monitoring app freely available.

Use an Android App like Website Monitor by Steven Reimer which just pings periodically and gives a alert on the phone!


After having gone through quite a number of approaches, we chose Approach 3 + Approach 4 as we didn’t have to spend much effort. You know how much effort is worth in a start-up environment where every resources count!


So far it has been working and we are able to monitor our application with above approach. However, if we have the bandwidth, we would like to implement either Approach 2 or Approach 1. Yeah, when we have time to breathe!


Tags: web monitoring, is the server up?,

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Entrepreneur, Agile Enthusiast, Software Developer and Traveler
Software Developer, Architect & Manager with more than decade experience, with rich exposure to web and mobile technologies, firm believer of technology, traveler and occasional writer.