One of the toughest things with running this site, despite the multitude of other things that eat my time, is making sure that the site is up and running in tip top shape. We’re a small group, and we don’t have the luxury of having other people maintain our servers, so I need to ensure that I know when something’s broken, as soon as it’s broken. Actually, I prefer to know that something’s going to break before it actually breaks, but that isn’t always possible.
We’ve highlighted some tools for the iPhone that let us maintain some degree of monitoring of our servers while we’re on the go, but we’ve never recommended any desktop applications that do the same thing. The joy of desktop applications is that you can actually monitor server services in ways that don’t seem to be possible on the iPhone.
So if you want to monitor web services, dns services, smtp services, as well as a host of other services, on multiple servers you need to check out Simon (The application, not our blogger). It’s not overly complicated, and it certainly notifies you when things break. Check it out, it’ll make monitoring a network a lot easier, and it might even help you get some extra time playing video games at work. How is that possible, you ask? Well, Simon notifies you of the server failures through a number of options. It can notify you via email, or play a sound for you, or even talk to you. That means you no longer have to micromanage your servers, and instead get to focus on some things that make you a more pleasant co-worker–slacking off. It’s not free, and there seems to be multiple license options, so you’ll want to take into account what your network might require before you make any hasty purchases.