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Definition


Site availability, speed and user experience optimization are crucial to online success. If your site is down or performing slowly, your users may go elsewhere. When there are problems, we’ve got your back. AlertSite's global 24x7 performance monitoring network alerts you the moment an issue occurs and captures the detail needed to help you and your team fix it quickly, minimizing business impact.

  • Uptime: your website is "up" when any monitoring location can successfully access your site (returns a non-error code) during the monitoring interval
  • Availability: the percentage of successful measurements out of the total measurements of your site from all your monitoring locations during the report time frame
  • Response Time: the time it takes the monitoring location to access your website and return from the GET request
  • Error Correlation Technology (ECT): A proprietary AlertSite feature that recognizes errors at all monitoring locations simultaneously and correlates the results for accurate reporting

Stakeholders

BO: Kevin O'Brien
PO: Kevin O'Brien
TO: Kevin O'Brien

Background

Smartbear's AlertSite Performance Monitoring is a software-as-a-service tool, delivered to UMassOnline on-demand through subscription licensing. Site availability, performance and user experience optimization are crucial metrics to assess both the health and development for UMassOnline supported systems. AlertSite's offers global 24x7 monitoring with alerts  the moment an issue occurs, capturing the detail needed to help UMassOnline, UITS and our supported campuses identify and address service issues, minimizing the impact to the campuses, faculty and students. For more information see the Alert Site Product details on the SmartBear Corporate website.

Service began in November of 2011 with monitoring of Blackboard Vista and the Vista Login pages hosted through UITS.

Community

The DéjàClick forums are located here. Users can post comments and read responses within any of the subfolders.

Licensing

UMassOnline currently has a subscription license. Account details available on UMassOnline's Alertsite Account Page

Current Costs

AlertSite charges a flat rate fee for their transactions: 1¢ each for scripted measurement and .05cents for pings

DateCostDescriptionInvoice #
11/4/2011$20.00Service charge

ASA37577A

11/4/2011$643.86For 64,386 measurementsASA37577A
11/11/2011$350.00For custom Javascript patch to be deployed across all monitoring locationsAS37686CP
4/30/2012$350.00For custom Javascript patch to be deployed across all monitoring locationsAS40092CP
8/27/2012$420.00Additional 42,000 measurementsAS41499CP
11/5/2012$643.86For 64,386 measurements (renewal)AS42378R
2/5/2013$2,000For 200,000 additional measurements (increased services and added additional monitoring for Production level services).AS43462CP

 

Extended Coverage

Several organizations working with UMassOnline have expressed interest in extending transaction monitoring to their own, locally supported, campus services. Smartbear has provided UMassOnline with pricing information recognizing volume discounting for increased measurements.

Implementation

The AlertSite system is used to provide Uptime and Performance Monitoring Services services for several UMOL supported systems. You can view those on the Uptime and Performance Monitoring Services page in Confluence.

User and Administrative Accounts

Currently only the UMassOnline Tech Team has an active account user/administrator account with AlertSite Transaction Monitoring.

Features

Reporting

Is reporting determined by the account user? Are there standard reports? It seems like this is an on demand service provided to the account holder.

Smartbear's AlertSite Transaction Monitoring allows various levels and types of comprehensive reporting. Users with account access can generate ad hoc reports on demand to query activity (e.g. availability, performance, etc. over specific times). In addition, those without administrative access to AlertSite can receive scheduled (i.e. monthly/nightly details) and event based reports (errors, issues, alerts): There are 4 types of users:

  • Read Only
  • Report Only
  • Admin (full access to everything)
  • Co-Admin (full access, but no user management

Notifiers

Notifiers allow the user community of a service or system to receive alerts, or notifications, when a device is in error or when the error clears. There is a wide variety of metrics that can be measured (availability, if the site is reachable; and performance, the response time of the service or system) and notification methods (e.g.  E-mail in HTML format, Text Message, VoIP phone call, pager) to report the status of a service or system. Notifications can be triggered by a variety of criteria, for example: send notifications after first error or after a number of errors (used for escalation); stop notifications after a specific number have been sent; notify when all is clear.

Currently, UMassOnline has a limit of 20 Notifiers with 14 in use. As the account holder, UMassOnline would manage notifier groups.

Diagnostics

Testing of services and systems (i..e. running scripts to measure availability and performance) is scheduled at specific intervals (once per hour; twice per hour; four times per hour). The more measurements (i.e. tests) made by an institution the more costs are incurred. For example, running two tests per hour against a service costs twice as much as running on test per hour. Running two tests per hour against one service/system would cost the same as running one test per hour against two different services/systems.

Security

UMassOnline will be the sole administrator of both the SmartBear contract for AlertSite transaction monitoring. Institutions will have access to scheduled reports and notifications (alerts sent by AlertSite reporting incidents). Ad hoc reporting will need to be requested by institutions through JIRA.

Google Analytics Trending

Institutions have access to Google Analytics (depending on user/account type), however UMassOnline may also add Google Analytics API to the account to stop the transactions from reporting in Google Analytics.

Support

AlertSite support–for both technical support (i.e. problems with the AlertSite system) and user support (i.g. ad hoc reporting)–is provided 8:00 a.m. through 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, by UMassOnline via JIRA. UMassOnline will escalate technical issues to SmartBear on behalf of institutions using AlertSite transaction monitoring.

Resources

AlertSite login

Support

Training

Training Model here

Monitored Services & Systems

Utilization

UMassOnline will determine the level of monitoring (i.e. number of measurements per day )based in order to comply with the Service Level Agreements per service or system monitored. If, at the request of another institution(s) there is an increase measurements, or any other extended service that adds costs, those costs will be transfered to the requesting institution(s).

For campus specific applications that they may want to monitor through us, that will be different

UMassOnline currently measures (tests) and alerts on the following services/systems:

Site

Number of Daily Transactions

Number of Daily EventsNotifiers

Blackboard Learn Script (Monitors Performance and Availability)

216

408

support@umassonline.net

UMOL Blackboard Learn Alerts

Cathy Kendrick

Patrick Driscoll - Phone

Ryan Scott - Phone

Bret Holloway - Phone

UMOL On Call Tech (Cell)

 

Blackboard Learn 15 Minute Ping (Monitors Uptime)9696

support@umassonline.net

UMOL Blackboard Learn Alerts

Cathy Kendrick

Patrick Driscoll - Phone

Ryan Scott - Phone

Bret Holloway - Phone

UMOL On Call Tech (Cell)

Blackboard Mobile24 

support@umassonline.net

SE UMOL

UMOL On Call Tech (Cell)

UMOL Blackboard Mobile Alerts

Blackboard Vista24864

support@umassonline.net

SE UMOL

UMOL On Call Tech - Phone

Ryan Scott - Phone

UMOL Blackboard Alerts

Confluence.UMassOnline.net24 

Kevin O'Brien

UMOL On Call Tech (Cell)

Helix Server

24

 Helix Users Distribution List

JIRA.UMassOnline.net

24

 

Kevin O'Brien

UMOL On Call Tech (Cell)

UMassOnline.net24 

Kevin O'Brien

Phil Saulnier

UMassOnline Marketing/Customer Service Team

UMassOnline Login Pages24 

Kevin O'Brien

Phil Saulnier

Blackboard Vista CSIM/Mail Validator12 

SE-UMOL

 744/day1272/day 

Calculations

The values are an average over the selected time frame. For example, say you were monitoring from 3 locations, checking a time frame that included 100 measurements. One of your locations was unable to access your site 5 times during that period (95% availability from that location). The other 2 locations always had access (100% availability from each of those 2 locations). Your uptime would be 100%, while the availability would be 98.33%:

(100+100+95)/3 = 295/3 = 98.33%

Notifications and Alert History

See the Alerts & Notifications here

Twitter Integration

Upon an outage/incident occurring, UMassOnline has also created a method for the AlertSite Notification to be broadcast out to their Twitter feed. When there is an incident with Blackboard Learn triggered from AlertSite, the following Tweet will appear: 

"Blackboard Learn is currently unavailable! Outage Status can be seen here: http://umol.me/system-status #umassonline #outages #blackboard"

When the error has cleared, the following Tweet will appear:

"Blackboard Learn is back online! Info on the incident can be seen here: http://umol.me/sysouts #umassonline #outages #blackboard #getbacktowork"

Method: AlertSite triggers an error > Mail is sent to support@umassonline.net > Mail filters the message > sends email to IFTTT email address > Composes Tweet

 

Technical Status