How to Сreate Devices and Targets

The ping command sends an ICMP echo request to a target name or IP address, helping you to verify IP-level connectivity.

Configuring a Request

Hostname

Enter the server address to be monitored.  This could be the URL or the IP address.

Completion Timeout (in seconds)

Enter the number of seconds the task should wait for a response from the web page before ending the task and returning an error. If this is left blank the default timeout for a task is 120 seconds.

DNS Options

The DNS Options feature allows users to choose how domain name server (DNS) requests are conducted during a monitoring task.

To specify the mode of resolving hostnames, in the DNS Resolve Mode section, select one of the available modes. For more details on the feature configuration, see DNS Mode Options.

The Custom DNS Hosts section contains the mappings of IP addresses to hostnames.

To specify the mapping, enter the IP address and the host name in the corresponding fields.

Examples:

192.168.107.246   example.com user.example.com userauth.example.com tools.example.com
192.168.107.246   example.com
192.168.107.246   user.example.com
192.168.107.246   userauth.example.com

See also: DNS Mode Options.

  • How Pinging Works and When to Use It

    ICMP or Internet Control Message Protocol is mainly used to check the availability of a particular network device and at the same time to make sure that the sent data packet reached its destination point without any losses. The time between sending an ICMP request and receiving a response from the destination node, so-called Round Trip Time (RTT), allows users to determine round trip delay and the amount of packet loss. Thus, RTT can be used to determine the reliability of a communication network path.

    The ping is the most common test to monitor the availability of a remote host. The utility sends requests (ICMP Echo-Request) over the ICMP protocol to the specified host and logs the received responses (ICMP Echo-Reply). Response time depends on several conditions, including geographic location or devices located between the source and the target devices. In other words, ping executed for a host from two different geographical locations will return different response time results. Generally, the ping executed for a host within a local wired network returns a better response time than the ping of a remote host.

    In most cases, to consider a remote host available it is sufficient to receive a response from the host. At the same time, based on response time values statistics, one can analyze the quality of connection and reliability of network devices (e.g., switches or routers). The complete absence of ICMP responses can also mean that an issue has occurred on a remote host or on intermediate devices.

    When to use the ping command:

    • To find an IP address by the domain name.
    • To make sure a remote host is responding on a network. For example, if any availability problems were detected for your web application, you can ping the web server where your web app is running to narrow down the problem. If the ping utility was executed successfully and your web server is available, the problem may be caused by your browser or firewall settings.
    • To find out if there is a DNS issue and not a network issue. For example, if you experience connectivity issues and you failed to ping a target domain name, but you can ping a target server’s IP address, more than likely you have faced a DNS resolution issue.
    • To check the quality of your connection. Note that ICMP requests may be blocked completely in some networks.
    • The ping utility can be run as a part of a script to automatically check connection quality and network devices’ availability.

    How to Use the Ping Utility on Your PC

    The ping utility is one of the main diagnostic tools for TCP / IP networks and is supported by all modern network operating systems. Thus, you can ping a remote host regardless of the operating system you use by simply running the ping command from the command line (if you are using MS Windows) or from the terminal (if you are running UNIX / Linux).

    Since the functionality of the ping tool is also implemented in some operating systems used on network hardware such as routers, you can also access the ping results on such devices via SNMP protocol.

    Let’s have a look at some differences of ping tests under MS Windows and UNIX / Linux OS.

    How to Run the Ping Command in CMD (command line) on Windows

    To ping a host in Windows, follow the guideline below:

    1. Open the command line (the Start button > Run > type “cmd” and click OK).
    2. Enter the ping command using the following syntax: ping <domain name> or ping <IP address>.

    Four ICMP requests are sent by default in Windows. The packets exchange process between the IP addresses of the required domain and your computer will be presented in the command line window including the number of sent and received packets, RTTs, percentage of losses, the number of bytes transferred in the packet, the packet lifetime as well as the maximum, minimum, and average values of RTT for a command execution session.

    How to Ping a Host on Linux and Other Unix Systems

    To execute the ping command in any Unix system, follow the steps provided below:

    1. Open the terminal (Ctrl + Alt + F1-F6, depending on the OS and user preferences).
    2. Enter the ping command using the following syntax: ping <domain name> or ping <IP address>.
    3. Stop the execution of the ping command by using the Ctrl + C key combination. Opposite to Windows OS, in Unix, the ping command is executed in a loop until it is stopped by a user.

    The results will be presented in the terminal window.

    How to Manually Ping a Large Number of Hosts from Your PC

    In some cases, system administrators need to work with a large set of servers and services simultaneously. If it is your case, it is convenient to use ping monitoring scripts instead of running independent ping commands for each host. As it was mentioned above, the ping utility can be used as a part of a ping monitoring script. You can create your own monitoring script or use scripts that are available on the Internet. For example, you can create a script that pings remote hosts with an interval of 5 seconds in a loop and saves successful and unsuccessful connection results s to a log.

    Benefits of Automated Ping Monitoring with Dotcom-Monitor

    Web services or corporate email that cannot be reached by users, in addition to the obvious financial losses, also pose risks to the reputation of the company. To prevent or minimize such undesirable effects, it is important to keep tabs on the health of your services and be notified about any availability issues as soon as possible.

    Dotcom-Monitor can send ICMP Echo requests to the host 24/7 with the 1 – 5min check frequency from multiple global network locations to provide you with a complete picture of the state of your resource. Moreover, you can configure the ping tests to be executed from your potential users’ locations to have more realistic data. A traceroute from different monitoring locations over the globe is executed on each ping task run. Thus, in the case of ping failures, you can use a detailed traceroute report to troubleshoot the errors.

    If no response is received or the response time exceeds the specified value, the system will generate an error alert. Once one of your services has stopped responding, you immediately receive a notification about the issue to the specified notification addresses. Dotcom-Monitor supports various types of notification mechanisms such as Email, SMS, phone call, WebHook, PagerDuty, Slack Channel, SNMP Trap, etc.

    In addition, you can configure and use Dotcom-Monitor shareable report cards to overview ICMP request results in real-time mode from a publicly accessible dashboard.

    Note that ping monitoring cannot give you the full picture of the website’s performance. To have full control over your project it is important to monitor the performance of all its services. Dotcom-Monitor Monitoring solution allows you to set up checks of the website availability, its performance, the health of its servers, and API in automatic mode. You can find more information on other services that are provided by Dotcom-Monitor on our website or see our solutions overview for more detailed explanations.