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How to Freely Monitoring your servers with Google Chat bot , Email notification and Phone App Notifications.

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Mohammed Hamada
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I am a senior IT consultant for Azure, Telecom, Messaging and collaboration and Infra. I have been in the IT sector since 15 years.
This is an article I wrote about how you can monitor your systems free of charge using Uptime Robot integrated with Google chatbot demonstrating the amazing capabilities this system has and how can it help your Infrastructure and monitoring team be ready whenever there's a system issue.

Monitoring

Monitoring is considered one of the most important processes in today’s world of Technology. Most Datacenters have their private monitoring systems with automation tools that would trigger failover or Disaster Recovery in case of downtime being noticed and this is an extremely costly operation.


What to Monitor?

CPU Usage, Memory Consumption, I/O, Network, Disk Usage, Process etc. Server Monitoring also helps in capacity planning by understanding the server’s system resource usage. Other services can be monitored like Web Servers, FTP, Mail Servers or anything else if it’s publicly accessible.


Using UPTimeRobot Monitoring


Uptime Robot Monitoring is a free-commercial service that has rich monitoring features where you can monitor your services/servers on 1-minute interval and get alerted by Email, SMS, Phone Apps e.g. (Telegram, Google Chat, or Skype).


The Free version

In the free version of UPTimeRobot Monitoring, you can add services based on ports and protocols or Servers. This might look limited to some but since it’s free of charge it can be very useful for small or startup companies with a couple of servers.


– Limited up to 50 Monitors.

– No SMS.

– Check interval is 5 mins.

– Logs are not kept


The Commercial Version


In the commercial version you pay a small fee of 4.5$ a month, and you get the following:


– Up to 50 Monitors.

– 20 SMS.

– Check interval is 1 min.

– Logs are kept for 2 years.


Adding a Server to Monitor

After you create an account on UpTimeRobot you can easily add a site or a service to monitor right away and the monitoring will initiate after 5 minutes. It will then report if the server you added is up or down.


Click on + Add New Monitor



Next, add the website, In my case, I’ll add my own website and see how it works and then choose Google Chat (Since I already have the integration on).



Once ready, click on Create Monitor

That should add the website directly into the list of monitored services:



If you click on the Monitor, you’ll get the stat figure of how long has your website been on/off



After waiting roughly 35 mins, I can see now that my website is up and running without any problem. The monitoring probe counts by milliseconds so you’ll be able to see if there’s any interruption in the connection to your website/server.



Integration with Google Chat

Requirements:

  • Google Suit.
  • Google Admin Account
  • Create a Google Chat Room
  • Configure WebHooks


The integration between Google chat and UpTimeRobot requires a Google G-Suite account. I will log in to my G-Suite account as an admin user.




Next, go to the Chat Admin console

Login with your admin account to google admin Console and then go to this link:

https://chat.google.com/u/1/



Create a room and call it UpTimeRobot




Once created, click on the dots next to the word Now



Now Configure WebHooks



Call this UpTimeRobotContact and save



This should create an URL for you, Something that looks like this:


https://chat.googleapis.com/v1/spaces/AAAAcUvSsqs/messages?key=AIzaSyDdI0hCZtE6vySjMm-WEfRq3CPzqKqqsHI&token=qSlBYydgUj2mqqC8o_DIDY_RqcMaiI%3D



Adding Members (To get notifications)

On the right side Add People and Bots



Add a user to receive notifications once any server or service is down.



Once you add a user, you’ll notice that the admin user’s notification below saying he/she added a user to the Room.



Uptime Robot Configuration


In order for this to work, we’ll have to finish the work on the UpTimeRobot portal. Inside Uptime Robot, create a new alert contact in My Settings>Alert Contacts>Add new>Google Hangouts Chat using the previously created Hangouts Chat webhook URL.





When we choose Google Hangouts Chat, we will have to give the following:


  • Friendly name for the monitor.
  • Provide the webhook URL which was created previously.
  • You can add a custom message to identify something related to the monitoring.
  • Enable notifications for, You can choose to get notifications only when the site/service is up or down or both.




After adding this, you will need to download one or two apps to get alerts to your Cell Phone:

  • Google Chat
  • Uptime Robot



What do Alerts look like?

As soon as your system goes down, Google Chat will send a push notification to your phone. If you’re using UpTime Robot and you’re logged in to the account then you’ll get another identical notification at the same time indicating your system’s status if it goes down or comes back up.



Like this, you can add up to 50 monitors including all kinds of services, ports, protocols.


The notification also comes with an interesting tone so you could easily tell if the sound is for “System Down” or “System is up” kind of state.


This has personally helped me keep my system up 24/7 and interfere whenever there’s any downtime noticed.


I hope this article helps you out. Should you have any questions, please leave a comment below or get in touch with me via PM on my Experts Exchange Profile page.


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