How to setup a basic Ping Monitor with Alerts

What is Ping Monitoring?

Ping monitoring is one of the most effective methods of determining up or down status of your network devices. Most devices including printers, servers, workstation, and routers can be configured to respond to a Ping. The IsItUp Ping Monitor can also monitor packet loss. VOIP, video conferencing and online gaming are particularly sensitive to packet loss and IsItUp can notify you if your packet losses exceed your tolerances. Because of security concerns, it is usually not recommended to enable Pings for devices directly connected to the internet. However, it is appropriate to enable Pings for devices behind a firewall. IsItUp also has a wide variety of monitor types to meet your monitoring needs including CPU Performance, Windows Event Log, Web Site, Email, DNS, Disk Space and many others.

Get Started Protecting your Network

To quickly get started protecting your network, Download your free trial of our Ping Monitor and follow the simple steps below.

How to setup a Ping Monitor

1. On the home tab, select the Add Monitor button and then Ping Monitor. This will launch the Ping Monitor wizard.

2. Enter a device name and select the desired group. Next select whether you want to specify the device by an IP address or Fully Qualified Domain Name. It is generally recommended that an IP address be used since if the domain name server is down, no testing can be done. However, sometimes it is necessary to use a FQDN especially when the IP addresses are being assigned dynamically. IsItUp also has a handy feature to lookup a FQDN. Just enter the name in the “FQDN to Look Up” field and click the lookup button. IsItUp can try to ping one or more times for each test. Pinging multiple times is useful to prevent false down alerts as pings are occasionally dropped due to congestion, etc. However, a large number of drops lead to problems especially with VIOP and other time sensitive protocols. Specifying a packet loss threshold that meets your needs will generated an alert whenever the loss exceeds your tolerance. Finally, you can optionally monitor jitter. If you decided to monitor jitter, you should increase the number of packet sent per test to get a more reliable jitter measurement. Please refer to Packet Loss FAQ for more information.

3. IsItUp has several options to customize the ping. Click on the Setup button to display the additional options. The following dialog will be displayed :

Here you can select the time IsItUp waits for the ping to reply, the size of each packet and the enable the trace route option. The wait time is useful when you want to make sure the response time is within a certain limit. The size of the ping packet can also be configured to more closely simulate the typical size of a packet on your network. Random data is generated of the size selected and the data returned by the destination is compared with the data sent to be sure there has been no corruption. If trace routes are enabled, a trace route is always run on failure and is also run based on the “Run a Trace route every N Pings” parameters. If you are enabling trace routes, it is suggest that you set the “Maximum hops to search for target” to as small a number as possible to limit the amount of time it takes to complete the trace route. It is also important to note that any configured alerts will be executed after the trace route is complete. This is another reason why you should limit the number of hops as each hop adds to the time it takes to complete the trace route.

4. At this point, you can simply click on the finish button. The monitor will be created with a default frequency of once every 30 minutes. The state of the device being monitored will be displayed on the screen as a green arrow pointing up if the device is responding and a red arrow pointing down if it is not. However, you can continue configuring the frequency, dependency maintenance schedule, alerts, and actions.

5. IsItUp support three types of Alerts and two types of actions. The alert types are Email and SMS messages, Paging, and playing a sound. The actions are restarting a service and executing a program with optional parameters. In order to configure alerts, either click on the Next button until you come to the alert you want to configure or select from the Navigation links on the left side of the dialog. For information on how to setup alerts and actions see the table below :

How to create an Email alert
How to send a SMS alert
How to customize an Email or a SMS alert
How to Execute an External Program as an alert