Server Check v1.2.20201026

We’ve just released Server Check v1.2.20201026 which adds a few new features that offer greater convenience and easier, quicker management by system admins:

  • We’ve added a new bulk monitor editing panel to allow changes to be made to all or multiple selected monitors at once, and we’ve removed the individual bulk email and SMS edit options as the new panel includes these options.
  • An optional “Auto Unpause” setting is now available and can be configured via the settings panel. This allows a paused system to be automatically unpaused after specified time, which is great if you pause Server Check and forget to unpause it! This new feature is optional, and is disabled by default.
  • We’ve made the monitor edit window sizes consistent between monitor types – previously when you scrolled through the edit window for your monitors you may have found that the windows bounced around a bit, but we’ve fixed them all at the same size now.
  • Some improvements have been made to behind-the-scenes handling of licensing server connection failures, but remember that Server Check still requires internet access to keep your license valid and to check for software updates.
  • We’ve fixed some issues and conflicts with some anti-virus software. Any virus alerts that previous versions of Server Check were causing were, of course, false – Server Check is not malicious software and contains nothing untoward. However we noticed some false positives in certain anti-virus environments so we’ve fixed that.
  • A runtime error caused by the tray icon at program launch has also been fixed – this was very intermittent but would cause Server Check to terminate when it occurred.

If you already have Server Check installed, you can update your software right now in the Help menu of the main program panel.

Want to give these latest features a try? If you’re not already a Server Check user, you can get a FREE lifetime license to monitor up to 10 monitors – it will never expire! Download Server Check right away – it only takes five minutes to install and get going!

Setting Up Server Maintenance Times

Whether we’re changing out hard drives, replacing fans, rewiring racks, swapping out power supplies, or just dusting and cleaning our equipment, servers need regular maintenance and attention to keep running.

The problem is that we sometimes have to take these servers offline, even just for a few seconds or minutes, while this maintenance takes place. If we don’t plan things correctly and set up maintenance times in our monitoring software, these planned periods of maintenance could show up as unplanned downtime.

We’ve built Server Check with this in mind. You can set a maintenance window for each individual monitor so that checks are not run during your hours of maintenance and no unexpected downtime statistics will be logged.

Double-click the individual monitor in the Monitors window, and in the Edit window make sure Run All Day is unchecked. Now you can set a Start Time and End Time for monitoring, and outside of these hours, Server Check will put these monitors to sleep. You can check in the Monitors window or in the web interface to see if any of your monitors are currently sleeping – if any of them are, they will show as SLEEPING in the Status column.

And yes, you can set start and end times that cross midnight, so a start time of 21:00 and an end time of 03:00 will keep the monitor alive for six hours, crossing midnight. Once 3:00am comes along it will go to sleep until 9:00pm that evening, when it will wake up again.

Server Check makes it easy to start monitoring your servers – whether its 24/7 monitoring, or only between certain start and end times – so that you can keep track of uptime and downtime, without maintenance time inccreasing your downtime statistics.

Not using Server Check yet? Start monitoring up to 10 Ping or HTTP monitors for FREE, and FOREVER! Download Server Check right away – it only takes five minutes to install and get going!

HTTP… to GET or not to GET?

We’ve just released our latest version of Server Check, which adds a search bar, better error information when testing a monitor, and improves the web page loading experience.

We also added a new mailing option to the software, which allows you to use the Server Check Mail System to send all emails instead of SMTP. This is great if you don’t have your own SMTP server, or your SMTP server has usage or technical restrictions in place. Using the Server Check Mail System option is also a lot quicker and hassle-free to set up, and it’s available in all licensed versions of our server monitoring software including the free 10-monitor version (as long as it is registered and has a license key applied to it!).

Another great new addition is the HTTP Request Method option, which is specific to HTTP monitors. This allows you to choose whether an HTTP or HTTPS request is made using the GET request method or the POST request method. On the surface, and particularly when monitoring a website with a plain address with no query string, these two methods appear to do the same thing. GET is the most common request method used, and is commonly used to request data from a resource. POST is often used to send data to a server for a variety of reasons, including submitting form data.

The magic happens when you are requesting a web address that includes a query string, for example:

https://www.mywebsite.com/index.php?variable=yellow&anothervariable=tuesday

In this example, https://www.mywebsite.com/index.php is the resource we are requesting, while variable=yellow&anothervariable=tuesday is the query string. The ? separates the requested resource and the query string.

The query string contains name/value pairs, which in our example above are set to:

variable = yellow
anothervariable = tuesday

There could be any number of these name/value pairs, all joined with an ampersand (&) between each. This is the data that is being used by the server in some way, to either process the request correctly and send back the correct information, or to provide information to the server for it to process, for example, to write to a database or look up something in a database.

The data in the query string can be sent to the server as part of the URL, which often means it is visible in the server logs (this is the GET request method) or sent more privately in the request body and not usually shown in server logs (this is the POST request method).

In Server Check, because we enter the URL in one text box, we include the name/value pairs as part of the URL, regardless of whether we want to make the request using the GET method or the POST method. Server Check will then either keep it as part of the URL when GETting the monitor check, or parse it out from the URL and send it in the request body when POSTing the monitor check.

So, if we use GET for our example above, Server Check will send a request to the server that looks something like this:

GET /index.php?variable=yellow&anothervariable=tuesday HTTP/1.1
Host: www.mywebsite.com
User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0
Connection: close

And if we use POST, Server Check will send the request in this format instead:

POST /index.php HTTP/1.1
Host: www.mywebsite.com
Content-Type: application/x-www-form-urlencoded
Content-Length: 39
User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0
Connection: close

variable=yellow&anothervariable=tuesday

There are some other important differences between GET and POST. GET requests can be cached, can remain in a browser’s history, can be bookmarked, and they have length restrictions. POST requests are never cached, they do not remain in a browser’s history (only the URL without the data would remain), they cannot be bookmarked without losing the data, and there are usually no restrictions on data length.

Other request methods also exist, including PUT, HEAD, DELETE and OPTIONS, but these are not currently available within Server Check.

If you want to find out more about HTTP request methods, you can visit https://www.w3schools.com and https://developer.mozilla.org.

Latest Features

We’re excited to announce the new features coming in our next release of Server Check, our free server monitoring software.

We’re introducing a Server Check SMTP option, which means that you can use our SMTP system for server and website down alerts, instead of having to use your own. While using your own SMTP server will still be an option, quite a few of our users have requested an easier SMTP solution that doesn’t rely on having their own SMTP servers. The Server Check SMTP option will be available in all versions of Server Check, both free and paid.

We’ll also be adding a search bar to the toolbar which will allow quick searching for monitors – essential if you have hundreds or even thousands of monitors deployed and you need to find one of them without endless scrolling. Now you’ll be able to check your server status even more efficiently by finding it instantly with the new search bar.

We’re also tweaking how Server Check monitoring and uptime status web pages load to optimise their loading times, as well as improving the error information when testing a server or website monitor.

Look out for the new release of Server Check featuring all of these new features and improvements – coming very soon!