The Website is Down! – How Proactive DNS Monitoring Can Help

How Often are You Asked “Is the Website Down?”

Such calls can lead to hours of lost time only to find out it was a minor issue for a limited user base.  Do you have the tools in place to proactively detect and deal with such issues?

Sometimes just knowing that you have the tools to quickly diagnose website or DNS problems can go a long way. One organization came to us recently after experiencing an interesting DNS problem.  With dozens of offices in their organization they run IT support out of one central office.  On that particular day they received a call from the accounting department saying that one of their websites were down.

Putting Out Fires

The admins fired up different browsers on several machines and pulled up the site.  The website was coming up just fine and the IT department is located in the same building as accounting. So they ran the usual tests and everything seemed to be fine as far as they could tell from their office.mad user - DNS monitoring can help

Next they sent out an email to a few managers at other locations to see if they could reach the website.  Most other locations were working as well but a few people reported back the same issue – they could not reach the company website.  After a few hours of running additional tests they realized that these particular users were all connected at some point during the day through a VPN tunnel.  The discrepancies between users who were intermittently unable to connect became apparent as local caches would clear and people would be able to connect normally once again.  It appeared that the routing tables of the device managing the VPN tunnel had been corrupted and once the device was rebooted everything went back to normal.

Of course at this point multiple people from multiple locations were on high alert, and the rest of the afternoon was spent dealing with false alarms from various departments worried about additional outages and trying to “help troubleshoot” the issue. Calls would come in like “Larry in accounting hasn’t answered my e-mail from twenty minutes ago, I think it’s because the website is down.” or, “My favorite news site is running slow, I think that is because of the network issues we were having earlier.”

It turned out that it was a very minor problem with one device from within their network, but the incident highlighted the fact that the organization did not have visibility to see how their websites were affected and whether they were down for all of their customers or just a few users.

Proactive Monitoring

In this type of scenario Dotcom-Monitor’s services would allow you to quickly see if your DNS records and your websites are available from all around the world without having to waste the valuable time of additional employees checking from different locations.  If there was truly a problem with your DNS records you would proactively receive notifications from our monitoring network to alert you of when, from where and how long the issue has been detected.

Setup your free monitoring trial today so that next time you experience a issue you will have the tools you need to quickly get to the root of the problem.

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