I’ve been having some trouble with my sites since I migrated to Media Temple’s new Grid Server system. In an effort to keep track of the status of my sites, I had a look at a software tool called, Server Siren.
Server Siren runs as a menubar item, and it pings your sites at specified intervals. If your site is down, Server Siren lets you know, either via SMS, email, or an on-screen alert (your choice). This makes monitoring your sites status much easier, since you don’t have to continually go to your site to see if it’s running.
I would say Server Siren is a handy tool for keeping track of your sites, but it does have it’s limitations. The server needs to be completely down in order for Server Siren to register a problem. There are situations where your site is down, but the server isn’t, and Server Siren doesn’t know the difference.
For example, this site (one digital life) runs on WordPress, so it needs to connect to a database in order to function properly. Part of the problem I’ve been having with Media Temple is my sites keep losing contact with their databases, so the sites go down. When this happens, Server Siren does NOT register a problem, because technically your URL and web server are functioning, even though your site is not.
Although Server Siren doesn’t catch all problems, I would say it is still a good tool to have. It runs $15 (USD). You can try it for free for 10 days.