Monitoring with Selectel


Today, online services should be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Limited access and downtime can cost a company not only profits, but its reputation, too. To keep you up-to-date on your service’s availability, we’ve developed our own monitoring tool.

Our Monitoring service was created to be flexible and user-friendly so that even clients with limited administrative experience could benefit from it. Our service first entered testing in the summer of 2013 and went live that following January.

In this article, we’ll be taking a look at the service and everything it has to offer.

What Is Monitoring?

Monitoring is a service that lets your check the availability of various services from multiple geographic points and sends notification if certain conditions are (or aren’t) met. We’ve tried to make our monitoring service as flexible and easy-to-use as possible.

Available Metrics:

  • PING – checks for a server connection, measure lag and availability;
  • TCP – TCP port status;
  • UDP – UDP port status;
  • SSH – checks for unauthorized connections and SSH banners;
  • SMTP, POP3, IMAP – checks mail service availability on a specific protocol;
  • DNS – checks for proper domain name to IP conversion at a specific resolver;
  • HTTP GET – checks the response’s contents and code, also searches substrings in returned data;
  • HTTP HEAD – a light GET request, searches for a document on a server using a response code without having to download the document body;
  • HTTP basic authorization – checks the basic authorization mechanism;
  • HTTP digest – checks the digest authorization mechanism;
  • FTP – checks FTP server availability;
  • PostgreSQL – checks PostgreSQL database server availability;
  • MySQL – checks SQL database server availability;
  • SSL – checks the lifetime of SSL certificates for domain names.

Points of Presence

We currently have points of presence in the following cities: Moscow, St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, Kiev, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, London, New York, and Palo Alto. You can get the IP address of our points of presence when configuring your alerts. If you have a firewall, you should enable these in the firewall rules.

Creating a Check

Users can create three checks for free. First, log into the control panel from your account. From the main menu, choose Monitoring. The following page will open:


Click Create. Choose the check you want to perform from the drop down menu:


Then set the parameters:


Parameters are either general (common for all checks) or specific (they only apply to a particular check, these are listed in the Other Parameters section).

General parameters include:

  • period – how often the test will be performed;
  • timeout – how much time before a check is considered a unsuccessful;
  • testing sequence – what order checks will be performed in from the selected points of presence (sequentially, simultaneously, or randomly);
  • host/IP – the domain name or IP address of the server to be checked;
  • protocol – the preferred protocol the check should be performed over (IPv4 or IPv6).

Specific parameters can also be set for each kind of test:

  • SSH tests:
    • connection port;
    • banner;
  • TCP tests:
    • subsend string;
    • response string;
  • UDP tests:
    • connection port;
    • subsend string;
    • response string;
  • SMTP tests:
    • username;
    • password;
    • safety mode (on/off);
    • banner;
    • domain;
  • POP3 and IMAP tests:
    • username;
    • password;
    • safety mode (on/off);
    • start_tls;
    • banner;
    • domain;
  • HTTP GET tests:
    • connection port;
    • user agent;
    • referer;
  • HTTP HEAD tests:
    • connection port;
    • substring;
    • user agent;
    • referer
  • HTTP Basic authentication and HTTP Digest authentication tests:
    • connection port;
    • username;
    • password;
  • FTP tests:
    • connection port;
    • mode (active or passive);
    • anonymity (on/off);
    • username;
    • password;
  • PostgreSQL and MySQL tests:
    • connection port;
    • username;
    • password;
  • SSL tests:
    • connection port;
    • test period.

Once you have filled in all of the general and specific fields, choose the points of presence you want to check the service from.
Then, click Create. Now enter the notification conditions. Once you have successfully created an alert, the following window will open:


Click Create New Triggers. A form where you can add notification conditions will open:


The following triggers can be set:

  • a successful or unsuccessful check;
  • connection error;
  • response time (it can be exact or not, greater than or equal to, less than or equal to, or user defined).

Specific conditions can also be set for each alert. Notifications based on these triggers contain additional information which can help clarify issues that arose during the test.

Viewing Alert Information

A list of alerts are displayed under the Watchers tab:


To the right of each name is a button:
icon-1 — add to favorites;
icon-2 — perform check;
icon-3 — view and edit parameters;
icon-4 — delete.

If you click on any alert in the list, the tab will expand:


This includes the following tabs:

  • Information (name, host, type, date created, SLA, information on last check);
  • Graphs (visually displays availability and lag; by comparing charts, you can determine what caused the lag: either a network error or service issue);
  • History (a list of the last checks run and their execution time, node, response time, and result);
  • Statistics (information about sent notifications);
  • Settings (for viewing and editing parameters);
  • Triggers (information about conditions set for the chosen check).

Favorited checks are also listed under Information:


Under Information, you will find favorited checks, information on the last five conditions met, the last five checks performed, and the last five actions taken by you.

Detailed information on all scan results can be found under History. Under Actions, you can view a list of all your previous activity.


Notifications are sent:

  • by e-mail;
  • by xmpp instant message;
  • by Twitter PM – in this case, the client must subscribe to our account from the account where he wants to receive messages;
  • by SMS.

Service Fees

  • Users gets three free alerts
  • Additional alert packages can be purchased for 150 rubles (5 alerts)
  • SMS notification packages can be purchased for 50 rubles (50 messages)


If you don’t already use our monitoring service, we strongly recommend giving it a try. Please share your comments and suggestions below.