While getting through our Web Analytics reports, one thing that surprised me is that most people seem to be interested into a server monitoring software or environmental sensors with email as alerting capability.
Monitoring is not only detecting when something goes wrong but also making sure that you receive the alert when something like that happens.
Almost any competitive product on the market supports email alerting as it is the most basic way of alerting.
Unfortunately most customers are happy with this most basic way of alerting without realizing the potential risk of it. Some go a step further by having the email forwarded as a text message or on their PDA / Advanced Cell Phones.
Bottom line remains the same though: email requires network connectivity.
If your network is down, then your email alerts will not help you much. You will not get alerted and know that something serious is happening.
Therefore we stress on the fact that you should consider using SMS alerting using a GSM modem. I want to stress on "GSM Modem". As in the ServersCheck's software, quite a few other players offer SMS capabilities through gateways. ServersCheck uses ClickATell to date as one SMS alerting option. If you use SMS alerting through a gateway, the same critic as for email alerting applies: you will not get any SMS message if your network is down.
GSM modems are modems that are attached to a host computer (in our case the system running our software). They require a SIM card and behave like a cell phone. This means that through these GSM modems the software will send out the text message using the wireless phone network to deliver the text message. Even when your network is down you will get the alert message.
We want to stress on the importance of GSM modems as being one of the best ways of alerting (next to email - one does not replace the other). To emphasise this importance, we have decided to run this month a promotion whereby you get in North America & Europe a free FALCOM SAMBA USB GSM Modem for the purchase with a software license from ServersCheck (Business 500 or Premium Edition).