Looking for a good way to see if a remote computer is online

By Karmashock
Jul 10, 2007
  1. I need a way to see if a computer at a remote location is still online. Ideally, I want some software I can install on a monitoring system that polls given IP/ports at programmable intervals... automatically... and displays some kind of alert when it fails to get through to a given system.

    It would also be nice if it could tell the difference between it's own internet connection dropping and someone else's... by for example polling something that simply doesn't go down... like google or or something... ie, don't alert me that a given system has gone down if you also can't get to google and as well... instead tell me the internet is out...

    Anyway, that's my wish list... anyone know of a program that can do anything like that?
  2. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 9,150   +597

    Very interesting. This is known as Availability Management and is typically used
    by the big boys to manage server system -- it gets VERY expensive.

    this is the easy part -- you can just use PING and don't even have to remote install IF you're willing to allow ping-replies on the server.

    this is the hard part; to tell if it's your Net vs some node between you and the server, you need TWO independent networks with different routing that allows traceroute down both and an intelligent analysis of the replies.
  3. Karmashock

    Karmashock TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 223

    I don't see why this should be expensive, the process is so simple. Ping requests would be fine. But it needs to be automatic and display an alert. I don't want to have 15 command prompt windows open all the time and have to look at them all.

    All this thing needs to do contact a remote system to see if it's up.

    This is one of the reasons I'm learning programing... too entirely annoyed by all the programs that don't exist.
  4. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 9,150   +597

    It's far more involved that you would imagine -- I worked for a company that
    sold these services and wrote code to provide ;
    host availability (is the system running)
    server availability (are the email, webserver, dns services processing events)
    CPU resource utilization (cpu, memory, i/o usage factors)
    Your comment re watching all the ping replies is right on target; you need EXCEPTION
    displays which tell you when something is WRONG rather than gobs of data in
    which 99% is normal and you have to find the 1% that is not. Managing the
    information display is a bigger chore than getting the status information itself.

    here's a short list of suppliers:
  5. Karmashock

    Karmashock TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 223

    I don't need most of those features though... I just want to know if the system is down or not.

    Literally 1 bit of information.

    And I want it to generate some kind of on screen alert when that happens...
  6. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 9,150   +597

    Like I said, it's more involved than your simple conception of it.

    Best wishes

    PS: When/IF you get it working, consider selling it publicly :)
  7. Lwangaman

    Lwangaman TS Rookie

    As for monitoring a remote computer's status (on/off) within a lan, there's a wakeonlan utility by StephenSoftware (www_stephensoftware_it) that tell's you whether a given computer is still up and running or not. I've been using it myself and am quite satisfied. Unfortunately I have the impression their server is down, at least I haven't been able to reach their site today...
    (I put underscores instead of dots because this is my first post and it won't let me post addressess until the third post...)
  8. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 9,150   +597

    here's a nice service for the local LAN systems
    Network Magic by Pure Networks
  9. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,233   +234

    "This is one of the reasons I'm learning programing... too entirely annoyed by all the programs that don't exist"...

    This is the reason for programmers in the first place :)
  10. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 9,150   +597

    they do and there's a list shown above -- most are just too expensive for
    agreed, but it's far more complicated than ... (aw i've already stated that :) )
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