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Test / Alert when Server Hangs

Posted on 2013-01-25
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Last Modified: 2015-04-14
We recently had a server hang that was responding to a ping.  We have alerts setup for when servers do not reply to a ping.  I am looking for ways to identify / alert when a server hangs.

One thought I had was to script an RDP test.  I expect that someone has already had much the same thought and has setup a similar test / alert.  Points liberally awarded for good suggestions and even more so for examples / solutions.

Thanks in advance.
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Question by:tnesavich2
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Expert Comment

by:Nagendra Pratap Singh
ID: 38821568
What does the server do? Often we can test only the main functionality of the server and plain tests like ping/rdp are not really useful.


For example, we test a webserver by loading a webpage and checking it for a test string. The server may work for RDP, ping and others but the IIS process needs to be recycled in this case.

Other common example is mail test. A software would send a mail from test1 account to test2 account and check the trip time. This is called a synthetic test but is more thorogh than just checking if the SMTP server is listening on port 25 or so.

Let us know more about the function of the server. You may need to use a full-blown monitoring suite.
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by:dlethe
ID: 38821581
ping is totally unacceptable. you can have a server crash and it will still respond to a ping.  since this is a MSFT O/S,  why not use SNMP (not SMTP). That is what SNMP is designed for. You can configure it to monitor health of the system, or even things like is SQL Server or IIS still running.
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Author Comment

by:tnesavich2
ID: 38841850
dlethe:
I am all ears for any specific trap / MIB you would suggest to reliably show a system hang.  However, I am specifically looking to test for / monitor for a server hang in particular (not system health in general).

 npsingh123:
We have a full blown monitoring suite (HP NNM & OMW as well as SolarWinds).  Again, it is the specifics of the test I am soliciting ideas for.  The function of the server is a simple file server.  Copying a file and testing for success is not what I am looking to do.  If you know of a way to test an RDP connection (that can account for instances when both sessions are taken) that would be ideal.

Thanks in advance.
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Accepted Solution

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dlethe earned 500 total points
ID: 38842001
Monitor the health of a system service from another machine, use something as simple as a web service, or do a remote WMI call to query something.
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by:dlethe
ID: 40724067
there is no such thing as a trap for a server hang, because there is no clear-cut definition of a hang.  Certain services could hang and everyting  other than SQL server, for example can run OK,  Or maybe tcp-ip dies, but the system is just fine if you are at local display/keyboard.
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