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User Guide

21.4.0
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FAQ

What do you count as a Service? 

A service is any network check (for example, a basic ping test or a complete HTTP transaction with content verification) or any metric monitored with our agent or SNMP polling.

Check Frequency 

Any outage, even a short one, immediately impacts your business - customers who aren't able to reach your website or email your company will look to your competitors. Checking all of your services every 60 seconds means that we detect even short outages and give you the ability to respond quickly, as well as detecting situations where there are repeated short-duration outages that add up to substantial downtime but might otherwise get missed with less frequent checking.

If you are a service provider using FortiMonitor to validate your service level agreements (SLAs), high check frequencies are critical. If your SLA guarantees 99.9% only allows for just over 10 minutes of downtime per week. If you only check your site once every 10 minutes, any detected outage, even a very short one, will be counted as your quota for downtime for the week. Higher-frequency checks means your availability metrics have a greater resolution and allow you to more accurately represent your SLA performance.

Note, with our system the timing of outage notifications is completely separate from the frequency of checks - if you don't want to be alerted to short-duration outages you can setup your notification schedule so that alerts are only sent after, say, 10 minutes. Each outage, however short, will still be included in daily, weekly, and monthly performance reports and availability calculations.

How do you minimize false alerts? 

Our system uses a custom algorithm to confirm every outage before beginning any notifications. After we first detect a failed service check, confirmation checks are performed from a number of geographically nearby monitoring locations, and only after a quorum of these locations confirm the outage does the notification process begin.

Once the service has been restored and is returning successful checks, the same process is repeated to confirm the resolution. With this approach, any spurious failures are eliminated and alerts are only sent on real, confirmed problems.

Due to the design of our system, the entire confirmation process is handled quite quickly, typically within 20 seconds of the initial failure detection.

What are you checking when you check my servers? 

We support a range of different check types for all of the common services that we support. At the most basic, we are checking to see if a service on a given port is listening for connections - this is referred to as a "port check" in the control panel. For many of the most used services, including HTTP, HTTPS, IMAP, POP, SMTP, and DNS, we also support more advanced types of checks where we, for example, download a full page from the web server using a URL that you provide or perform an IMAP login session with credentials you provide.

We also support arbitrary TCP/IP port checks on whatever ports you specify, as well as Ping checks. If you have a specific application you need monitored, or are looking for more thorough checking for one of the services that we currently support, please contact our support team to discuss the specifics - we are continually expanding the portfolio of checks that we perform and most likely can accommodate your request.

From where is my site monitored? 

Each service that is monitored has a primary location that we check from. Once an outage is detected, we immediately perform checks from our other locations around the world to confirm the outage before any notification begins.

If you would like to regularly check from multiple locations you can set up checks for the same service from multiple locations in the control panel. These services will be clearly marked with the other location in the control panel.

You can find a complete list of all of our monitoring locations here.

Can you monitor my custom application? 

We can monitor any application that has a remotely-accessible network interface. At the very minimum, we can do basic port checks to ensure that the application is listening on a given port or ports. More in-depth monitoring is possible, especially if your application has a HTTP-like protocol (using our standard HTTP check functionality).

More advanced checks can also be incorporated into our system by our engineers, and we are currently working on a monitoring extension API that will allow you to design and implement your own checking logic specific to your application. Contact our support team if you are interested in pursuing this.

Does FortiMonitor do SaaS monitoring? 

We do, and we will be glad to help you with your SaaS. If the SaaS that you need to monitor is web-based then you can set up a multi-step HTTP check. To learn more about how to set a multi-step HTTP check see our support page on that topic. The FortiMonitor Monitoring Agent can also be very useful for SaaS monitoring. Since the Agent can collect data directly from your server, you can build custom plugins to check metrics specific to that application. If neither of those solutions meets your needs then feel free to contact our support team. We will work with you to create a solution for your specific needs.

Can FortiMonitor collect information needed to check an SLA? 

Yes we can. The nature of this service will change based on the nature of your SLA. If your SLA promises that your service will be up and reachable a certain percentage of the time, then you can set up a simple HTTP check of that service. This should give you all the information you need to check the agreement, to learn how to set up a simple HTTP check see this article. However, if monitoring your SLA requires a more involved solution then we encourage you to contact our support team.

I have servers behind a firewall, can I monitor those? 

If some or all of your infrastructure is behind a firewall and not reachable by our external monitoring nodes, then the OnSight vCollector is what you need. Since the OnSight vCollector can be installed behind the firewall, it can securely and accurately monitor your servers. Results from the OnSight vCollector are pushed to our central monitoring infrastructure for analysis, reporting, and alert generation.

Does FortiMonitor offer a partnership program? 

We're always looking for companies to partner with to either extend the range of our monitoring capabilities or to offer our monitoring services to their customer base in either a white-label or co-branded manner. Please contact our sales team to discuss further.

Do I need the Server Agent and the OnSight vCollector? 

The Server Agent and the OnSight vCollector perform two separate functions. This article will outline the purpose of each, and then explain how they interact and what the benefit is of using both.

The FortiMonitor Agent installs directly on your server (whether virtual or bare metal) and provides host-level resource utilization and application-specific metrics. The Server Agent gives you details like CPU, memory, disk space utilization, bandwidth, etc, and also allows you to monitor processes and services. We also have a number of plugins available to monitor applications like web servers, databases, caches, and so on.

This is critical information for identifying the source of incidents because you can review the activity on the host before and while the outage was happening.

The OnSight vCollector functions the same as one of our public monitoring probes, running uptime checks and synthetic monitoring against your publicly available servers and web endpoints, but the Onsight vCollector sits behind your firewall and monitors on your private network. The OnSight can run uptime and synthetic checks on your servers behind the firewall, monitoring services like HTTP/HTTPS, RDP, database connectivity, and port availability.

OnSight can also function as a proxy for servers that have the Server Agent installed, but no connection to the outside internet. OnSight can also monitor network devices with SNMP polling and receive SNMP Traps.

You don’t need to use OnSight to use the Agent, or vice versa, but using both gives you a more full view of your infrastructure with the different kinds of monitoring each offers.

FAQ

What do you count as a Service? 

A service is any network check (for example, a basic ping test or a complete HTTP transaction with content verification) or any metric monitored with our agent or SNMP polling.

Check Frequency 

Any outage, even a short one, immediately impacts your business - customers who aren't able to reach your website or email your company will look to your competitors. Checking all of your services every 60 seconds means that we detect even short outages and give you the ability to respond quickly, as well as detecting situations where there are repeated short-duration outages that add up to substantial downtime but might otherwise get missed with less frequent checking.

If you are a service provider using FortiMonitor to validate your service level agreements (SLAs), high check frequencies are critical. If your SLA guarantees 99.9% only allows for just over 10 minutes of downtime per week. If you only check your site once every 10 minutes, any detected outage, even a very short one, will be counted as your quota for downtime for the week. Higher-frequency checks means your availability metrics have a greater resolution and allow you to more accurately represent your SLA performance.

Note, with our system the timing of outage notifications is completely separate from the frequency of checks - if you don't want to be alerted to short-duration outages you can setup your notification schedule so that alerts are only sent after, say, 10 minutes. Each outage, however short, will still be included in daily, weekly, and monthly performance reports and availability calculations.

How do you minimize false alerts? 

Our system uses a custom algorithm to confirm every outage before beginning any notifications. After we first detect a failed service check, confirmation checks are performed from a number of geographically nearby monitoring locations, and only after a quorum of these locations confirm the outage does the notification process begin.

Once the service has been restored and is returning successful checks, the same process is repeated to confirm the resolution. With this approach, any spurious failures are eliminated and alerts are only sent on real, confirmed problems.

Due to the design of our system, the entire confirmation process is handled quite quickly, typically within 20 seconds of the initial failure detection.

What are you checking when you check my servers? 

We support a range of different check types for all of the common services that we support. At the most basic, we are checking to see if a service on a given port is listening for connections - this is referred to as a "port check" in the control panel. For many of the most used services, including HTTP, HTTPS, IMAP, POP, SMTP, and DNS, we also support more advanced types of checks where we, for example, download a full page from the web server using a URL that you provide or perform an IMAP login session with credentials you provide.

We also support arbitrary TCP/IP port checks on whatever ports you specify, as well as Ping checks. If you have a specific application you need monitored, or are looking for more thorough checking for one of the services that we currently support, please contact our support team to discuss the specifics - we are continually expanding the portfolio of checks that we perform and most likely can accommodate your request.

From where is my site monitored? 

Each service that is monitored has a primary location that we check from. Once an outage is detected, we immediately perform checks from our other locations around the world to confirm the outage before any notification begins.

If you would like to regularly check from multiple locations you can set up checks for the same service from multiple locations in the control panel. These services will be clearly marked with the other location in the control panel.

You can find a complete list of all of our monitoring locations here.

Can you monitor my custom application? 

We can monitor any application that has a remotely-accessible network interface. At the very minimum, we can do basic port checks to ensure that the application is listening on a given port or ports. More in-depth monitoring is possible, especially if your application has a HTTP-like protocol (using our standard HTTP check functionality).

More advanced checks can also be incorporated into our system by our engineers, and we are currently working on a monitoring extension API that will allow you to design and implement your own checking logic specific to your application. Contact our support team if you are interested in pursuing this.

Does FortiMonitor do SaaS monitoring? 

We do, and we will be glad to help you with your SaaS. If the SaaS that you need to monitor is web-based then you can set up a multi-step HTTP check. To learn more about how to set a multi-step HTTP check see our support page on that topic. The FortiMonitor Monitoring Agent can also be very useful for SaaS monitoring. Since the Agent can collect data directly from your server, you can build custom plugins to check metrics specific to that application. If neither of those solutions meets your needs then feel free to contact our support team. We will work with you to create a solution for your specific needs.

Can FortiMonitor collect information needed to check an SLA? 

Yes we can. The nature of this service will change based on the nature of your SLA. If your SLA promises that your service will be up and reachable a certain percentage of the time, then you can set up a simple HTTP check of that service. This should give you all the information you need to check the agreement, to learn how to set up a simple HTTP check see this article. However, if monitoring your SLA requires a more involved solution then we encourage you to contact our support team.

I have servers behind a firewall, can I monitor those? 

If some or all of your infrastructure is behind a firewall and not reachable by our external monitoring nodes, then the OnSight vCollector is what you need. Since the OnSight vCollector can be installed behind the firewall, it can securely and accurately monitor your servers. Results from the OnSight vCollector are pushed to our central monitoring infrastructure for analysis, reporting, and alert generation.

Does FortiMonitor offer a partnership program? 

We're always looking for companies to partner with to either extend the range of our monitoring capabilities or to offer our monitoring services to their customer base in either a white-label or co-branded manner. Please contact our sales team to discuss further.

Do I need the Server Agent and the OnSight vCollector? 

The Server Agent and the OnSight vCollector perform two separate functions. This article will outline the purpose of each, and then explain how they interact and what the benefit is of using both.

The FortiMonitor Agent installs directly on your server (whether virtual or bare metal) and provides host-level resource utilization and application-specific metrics. The Server Agent gives you details like CPU, memory, disk space utilization, bandwidth, etc, and also allows you to monitor processes and services. We also have a number of plugins available to monitor applications like web servers, databases, caches, and so on.

This is critical information for identifying the source of incidents because you can review the activity on the host before and while the outage was happening.

The OnSight vCollector functions the same as one of our public monitoring probes, running uptime checks and synthetic monitoring against your publicly available servers and web endpoints, but the Onsight vCollector sits behind your firewall and monitors on your private network. The OnSight can run uptime and synthetic checks on your servers behind the firewall, monitoring services like HTTP/HTTPS, RDP, database connectivity, and port availability.

OnSight can also function as a proxy for servers that have the Server Agent installed, but no connection to the outside internet. OnSight can also monitor network devices with SNMP polling and receive SNMP Traps.

You don’t need to use OnSight to use the Agent, or vice versa, but using both gives you a more full view of your infrastructure with the different kinds of monitoring each offers.