Network Monitoring For Serious Ecommerce

Network Monitoring for​ Serious eCommerce
In the​ real world, businesses come in​ every size, from self-employed entrepreneurs like me to​ mega malls like Wal-Mart.

On the​ 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, who requires the​ 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 the​ front doors are open and​ when they are closed .​
Serious ecommerce needs to​ know more than just when the​ site is​ accessible .​
That is​ what network monitoring is​ all about.

What Network Monitoring Monitors

Chances are, your e-business owns one of​ the​ following, or​ uses one of​ the​ following remotely:

DNS servers: These are used to​ translate your site name, like, to​ the​ 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 the​ 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 .​

Firewalls: Many businesses use firewalls to​ protect their internal network from un-authorized traffic, such as​ spyware, viruses and​ sabotage by competitors .​
Furthermore, a​ firewall is​ your first line of​ defense .​
If your firewall goes down, your whole network may actually become inaccessible from outside .​
In other words, if​ you host your own web site and​ mail servers, those will become
inaccessible to​ the​ outside world if​ your firewall goes down .​
Once again, remote network monitoring is​ required to​ detect that a​ problem exists and​ quickly get it​ repaired.

Internet connections: Users come to​ your network from multiple backbones, depending on the​ company they use to​ connect to​ the​ Internet and​ their location .​
It is​ important to​ insure that your connection performs well for​ each user .​
a​ remote monitoring service can ping your networks from multiple locations around the​ world, thus testing most major routes to​ your web server or​ network .​
Before hiring a​ network monitoring service, check to​ see that they have both your customer geography and​ the​ Internet backbone layout covered.

Very few websites of​ any size and​ functionality are anything less than a​ complete network, and​ many networks rely on servers in​ different parts of​ the​ world.

A good network monitoring service can ensure, as​ a​ base, that all servers are properly functioning, that data can be sent to​ and​ received from each server, and​ that each function sharing the​ server responds as​ required .​
An advanced network monitoring service can even remotely monitor the​ temperature of​ your servers.

What you need to​ monitor depends on how extensive your network is​ .​
a​ network monitoring expert can help you determine what needs monitoring .​
if​ you own the​ servers, or​ are remotely hosted on dedicated servers, you most likely need everything monitored .​
if​ your site is​ hosted on shared servers, you might need fewer functions monitored.

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