False alarms due to DNS resolution failure

Regrettably we woke up some of our beloved sysadmin users last night – those whom reside in the Asia/Pacific time zones at least. A number of false alarms were issued by Wormly - owing to a recent update to our asynchronous DNS resolution intended to improve the performance of our Uptime Monitoring system.

As it turns out there are still some issues with this library when operating under load, and this resulted in 3 instances of spurious “Timeout while contacting DNS servers” errors between Tue, 23 Jul 2013 21:15:21 +0000 and Wed, 24 Jul 2013 21:05:00 +0000. The deploy was reverted at this time.

A total of 528 erroneous SMS & Phone Call alerts were sent as a result.  These have been removed from the affected accounts to ensure that users are not charged for these messages.

We’re acutely aware that false alarms – especially those that unnecessarily wake you up – are an enormous failure on our part, and for this we are deeply sorry. We have already increased the sensitivity of our internal monitoring of these processes so that we could catch anomalies like these faster.  We are also working to improve our integration testing environment to add tests which might reveal these kinds of problems pre-deploy.

Please do contact support if you have any other concerns surrounding this incident – we want to make things right for you.

Once again, we’re really sorry to have failed you – and we’re working hard to minimize the risk of breakages like these and others in future.

Filed under: Announcements — Jules @ 7:56 pm - July 25, 2013 :: Comments Off

Hit “/” for Global Search and Go Faster!

TL;DR:

Hit the “/” key and start typing part of a host name, URL, email, phone number then hit “ENTER”. Or “TAB, g” to see graphs.

You might not know it, but Wormly has many keyboard shortcuts available: (Hit ? to see them on any page within the app)

Keyboard legend

Those of you who prefer to avoid the mouse or trackpad have probably already discovered these.  Today, however, we’ve shipped a major update to the keyboard UI, notably around the search facility.

Previously you could hit “j, j” to bring up a simple jump-to-host list.  Whilst that shortcut still works, we’ve switched to “/” as the trigger because the forward slash has become the standard way to invoke site-searches around the web.

And our search facility now also searches your Sensors and Alert Contacts:

We’ve also added some extra hotkeys which allow you to jump directly to a hosts’ Graphs and Uptime Reports. When you’ve selected the host of interest – either with an exact search term or the arrow keys – you can hit TAB, g to jump straight to that hosts’ Graphs, or TAB, u, for its Uptime Reports:

Note that all of these hotkeys and behaviours are also found in the search box on the My Hosts page. No need to hit slash there; since the search box has focus on load. Happy searching, power users!

A couple more shortcuts we added

  • When you’re editing a monitoring sensor, hit ENTER to run an Instant Test, and CONTROL-ENTER to save your changes.
  • When you’re on any page belonging to a host (e.g. graphs, uptime reports, editing sensors, configuring alert groups, etc), simply hit “h” to jump to the Host Overview page.  You will find this hotkey – and others – documented when you hit “?” to view the Keyboard Shortcut legend.

 

Filed under: Announcements,Features — Jules @ 2:34 am - April 26, 2013 :: Comments Off

See who changed what / when with Activity Log

We’ve just shipped a feature much requested by many of our larger customers; every change made to your monitoring configuration is now logged.

In addition to a brief explanation of the event, the timestamp and responsible user is logged.

Users can also add notes to each activity explaining why the change was made.

You’ll find Activity Log linked from My Account.

 

Filed under: Announcements,Features — Jules @ 7:54 pm - April 3, 2013 :: Comments Off

Monitor SSL Certificate Expiration

[Also see our FAQ entry on SSL Certificate Monitoring here.]

An outage caused by an expired SSL certificate is the last thing your DevOps team want their inboxes filled with.

Although, happily, the odds are pretty good that they’ll already be awake when it happens, given that certificates are generally issued with an expiration time identical to the moment the certificate was signed. We presume they weren’t purchasing SSL Certs in their sleep.

Still – much better to ensure that the right people are alerted before expiration.  And now Wormly can help you with this small, but critical, task.

You will find a new parameter available in our HTTP Sensor – simply specify the minimum number of days validity that a certificate must possess.  Alerts will be generated if that threshold is exceeded.

Monitor SSL Certificate Expiration

Note that all certificates presented by your server (i.e. the complete certificate chain) will have their expiration dates checked. So a soon-to-expire intermediary certificate won’t go unnoticed, either.

Filed under: Announcements,Features — Jules @ 11:08 pm - February 7, 2013 :: Comments Off

High Definition Monitoring – Test every 5 seconds

Today we announce Clarity, our new test platform. Clarity offers drastically lower test intervals, right down to 5 seconds – a level that none of our competitors can match.

With Clarity, you can be confident that even the most isolated of failures will be detected and reported. Mission critical systems can now get the level of attention they deserve.

Clarity represents a significant evolution of our core test product, and further improves the already impressive fault tolerance of our distributed monitoring system.

The improved performance of Clarity has allowed us to double the test frequency for all customers on our current plans to 30 seconds, at no extra cost.

Gold, Platinum and Enterprise plans now include High Definition monitoring sensors, at no extra cost.

As always, you can view full pricing details from within your account, or choose from our other plans to find one that suits your needs.

Filed under: Announcements,Features — Jules @ 6:11 pm - October 2, 2012 :: Comments Off

Manage your on-call schedule with new Alert Groups!

Have you worked out which members of your devops team will be on-call this Christmas? Don’t worry if you haven’t, because we’ve just made it much easier to manage who gets alerted when things go wrong.

You can now create multiple Alert Groups – allowing you to assign groups of people to receive alerts for different hosts, and to swap between them easily.

Each of your existing Host-Specific alert settings has been migrated to a new Alert Group, and your default alert recipients are now your Default Alert Group.

We hope you enjoy this much requested feature, and would love to hear your feedback on our implementation.

This deployment did involve significant changes to our alert system, so do let us know if you spot anything that doesn’t look right.

Merry Christmas!

Filed under: Announcements,Features — Jules @ 9:01 am - December 14, 2011 :: Comments Off

Shortcut keys, Global Alert Mute & Auto-resume

We’ve pushed out a major new release today, featuring:

Keyboard shortcuts so you can monitor your apps like a boss! Hit “?” on any page to view the legend:

Keyboard shortcuts

Automatic resumption of paused hosts & global alert mute.

auto-resume

Filed under: Announcements,Features — Jules @ 9:26 am - December 2, 2011 :: Comments Off

Auto-Resume & Global Alert Mute

Need to temporarily stop monitoring a host, but don’t want to forget to re-enable it?

Now you can!  When you hit the pause button next to a host on the My Hosts page, you will be prompted to specify a time interval after which monitoring will automatically resume.

Pause monitoring host & auto resume

Plus, you can now mute all alerts – great for when your data center has been struck by an earthquake and your phone is ringing off the hook as Wormly yells at the poor sysadmins.

You will find Global Alert Mute on the Alerts page, and it’s offered with the same Auto-Resume functionality described above, so you won’t arrive on Monday morning only to discover that Joe left all of the alerts muted over the weekend when the hurricane arrived.

Global alert mute

Filed under: Announcements,Features — Jules @ 9:23 am - :: Comments Off

Keyboard Shorcuts

Wormly’s new keyboard shortcuts will help you manage your hosts & monitoring settings like a boss!  We took our inspiration from Github and GMail’s awesome shortcut implementations.

On any page, type “?” to view a legend containing all shortcut keys available on that page.

Global shortcuts

From any page on the site, you can navigate to the three main sections Hosts, Alerts, and My account with two key presses.

Just think “j” for jump, followed by the first letter of the section you want to see.  e.g.

  • j, h – will take you to Hosts.
  • j, a – will take you to Alerts.
  • j, m – will take you to My account.

On the My Hosts Page

In addition to the existing search box which filters the host list as you type, you can now use the up and down arrow keys to highlight a host of interest.  Once highlighted, hit ENTER to open that hosts’ overview page, or hit TAB followed by any of these keys:

  • u – view the hosts’ Uptime Reports
  • g – view the hosts’ Performance Graphs
  • p – pause / resume monitoring of this host
  • x – delete this host
  • a – Add a new host

On a Host Overview Page

  • u – show Uptime Reports / switch to Uptime tab if Health tab is active.
  • g – show Performance Graphs
  • h – Switch to health tab
  • e – edit hosts’ settings
  • a – add monitoring sensors

And a couple more

  • Hit “g” from an Uptime Report to switch to the Performance Graphs.
  • Hit “u” from Performance Graphs to switch to the corresponding Uptime Report.
Filed under: Announcements,Features — Jules @ 9:22 am - :: Comments Off

API keys now have fine grained permissions

We’re pleased to announce the immediate availability of a significantly improved API permissions system. In a nutshell, you can now create API keys with exactly the permissions your app requires:

Create API Key Screenshot

All of your existing API keys have been preserved with full permissions – so you might like to modify these and limit them to only the permissions they need.

If you haven’t seen the Wormly API, head over to the Developer Center and get started.

Filed under: Announcements,Features — Jules @ 8:44 am - November 23, 2011 :: Comments Off
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A blog hosted by James Peterson, director of insights @ Wormly

On a semi-regular basis James will be trying to demonstrate that website infrastructure really is an exciting topic, and that your users really do care about the uptime & speed of your website.