Probe Server Addition [PE]

The following probe server will be added on 2019/07/10:

Perth, Australia (PE) – AU
(203.29.240.44 / 2404:9400:4:0:216:3eff:fee1:3c1b)

Please adjust your firewalls appropriately if you whitelist so your checks do not fail because of the probe IP address changes.

An always current and updated list of all the IP addresses for our probe servers can be found in the FAQ, a text file, and via DNS query, probes.nodeping.com.

 

[UPDATE – 2019-07-10 16:24GMT-6] – the addition of the new probe is now complete.

PUSH Client Wizard

Last year, we introduced a new feature called PUSH Checks. This check type allows your server to push numeric metrics into our system, track the metrics, send a heartbeat, and receive alerts based on the results. This is a powerful tool, and we use it internally at NodePing to monitor system load, backup processes, gather metrics from logs, and a variety of other things. We’re also glad to hear about customers using this feature in interesting ways as well.

However, until now setting up a PUSH check could be challenging. You would have to create the check, download a copy of the client and configure it with the Check ID and Checktoken as well as configure the metrics. So today we’re releasing a PUSH Client Wizard (available on GitHub) that makes PUSH Checks really easy to configure and deploy across your systems using an interactive command line wizard. This Python 3 client is able to run on any system with Python 3.5 or newer, and has been tested on Linux, Windows 10, and FreeBSD.

Features

So what can it do? The wizard lets you list your existing PUSH checks, create new PUSH checks, and delete PUSH checks you no longer want.

When listing checks, it will show information such as:

  • Your check’s label
  • ID
  • Checktoken
  • If the check will fail when its results are old
  • PASS/FAIL status
  • If it’s enabled/disabled
  • Run Interval

When creating a check you can configure all sorts of information for the check such as:

  • The client you will use (POSIX, Python, Python3, PowerShell)
  • Information about the check (Label, interval, enabled, public reports, fail when old)
  • Metrics to gather for the check (or none for basic heartbeat functionality) and values for pass/fail
  • Contacts and their notification schedules
  • Client configuration
  • Remote/local deployment

Configuring the client is an optional step if you want to do it yourself. When configuring the client, you have the ability to deploy the new PUSH check client locally or remotely over SSH! Once the client has been configured, a cron job or Windows Task Scheduler event information will be provided so you can simply copy/paste the provided information at the end.

This tool will allow you to quickly and easily manage your PUSH checks so you can monitor your systems with PUSH checks in less time.

Give the wizard a try today!

We encourage pull requests for new features so if you make changes you think others would find useful, please do share.

If you aren’t using NodePing yet, you can sign up for a free, 15-day trial and test out our new PUSH checks yourself and give the new wizard a try.

Check for Silence in Audio Streams

We’re happy to announce a new volume detection feature for audio streams.

Our AUDIO check is great at making sure your stream is up and running but until this update we didn’t have a way to tell if the audio playing was dead air. Silence detection is an important part of providing audio streaming and NodePing can now send you notifications if your Internet radio, podcast, or other audio stream is playing silence instead of your content.

Our volume detection samples 10 seconds of your stream and computes an average decibel level of the audio. If that detected volume level is lower than your configured threshold (-90 to 0 with a default of -45) your AUDIO check will fail and you’ll receive any configured alerts.

Dead air detection takes more resources (CPU, RAM, bandwidth) so the new feature is only available in our “Provider” plan.  If you’re a current NodePing customer and would like to try it out, please let us know and we can provide a temporary free upgrade for you to kick the tires. If you don’t yet have a NodePing account, please sign up for our 15-day, free trial and then go to the billing section and upgrade your trial (still free) to a “Provider” plan to get access to the new feature in your AUDIO checks.

For more information check our AUDIO check documentation or contact us. We’d love to hear what you think of the new feature and what you’d like to see next.

Probe Server Change [WA]

The following probe server will be changing IP addresses on 2019-05-29:

Seattle, Washington (WA) – USA

(107.161.26.116 / 2604:180:1:2d0::e5c9)
to
(173.205.92.154 / 2607:fcd0:cd00:a00::10)

 

Please adjust your firewalls appropriately if you whitelist so your checks do not fail because of the probe IP address changes.

An always current and updated list of all the IP addresses for our probe servers can be found in the FAQ, a text file, and via DNS query, probes.nodeping.com.

 

[UPDATE – 2019-05-29 09:00GMT-6] – IP change complete.

Probe Server Changes [IL]

The following probe server will be changing IP addresses on 2019-04-24:

Chicago, Illinois (IL) – USA

(162.212.158.87 / 2607:9000:0:35::1f54:9bad)
to
(96.9.222.119 / 2602:ffc8:3d02::190:4ae6)

 

Please adjust your firewalls appropriately if you whitelist so your checks do not fail because of the probe IP address changes.

An always current and updated list of all the IP addresses for our probe servers can be found in the FAQ, a text file, and via DNS query, probes.nodeping.com.

 

[UPDATE – 2019-04-24 13:26GMT-6] – IP change complete.

Auditing IP Resolution with DNS Checks

How would you know if your DNS account had been compromised?  If tampered with, an attacker could point your web and email traffic to their own controlled servers, enabling them to intercept potentially confidential information from you or your customers without your knowledge.

Emergency Directive 19-01

Recently, the US Department of Homeland Security issued its first ever Emergency Directive with a list of actions to mitigate DNS account tampering, an issue they report is on the raise.

The first recommended actions in their directive is to verify DNS resolution.

Action One: Audit DNS Records … audit public DNS records on all authoritative and secondary DNS servers to verify they resolve to the intended location.

In this post, I’ll show you how to continually monitor your DNS resolution using NodePing DNS checks to ensure your important domain names are resolving to the expected IP addresses. If anyone tamplers with your DNS records, you’ll quickly receive actionable notifications from NodePing.

Some of the record types you may want to verify with DNS checks are:

  • SOA – Start of Authority record
  • NS – Nameservers and the IPs they resolve to
  • Website FQDN
  • Website FQDN with www prefix (example: http://www.nodeping.com)
  • Email MX records and the IPs they resolve to
  • IMAP, POP, and SMTP FQDNs
  • FTP service FQDNs
  • All the above services for both IPv4 and IPv6 addresses

Setting up DNS monitoring

To create a new DNS check, click on the “Add new check” button in your NodePing account dashboard.

  1. Select DNS from the Check type drop down.
  2. Give it a friendly label to identify this check in lists and notifications.  Something like “Website resolver”
  3. Set how often you want the check to run on the Check Frequency field.  We recommend 1 minute intervals.
  4. Leave the DNS server field blank.  This will ensure that our probes will use whatever nameservers are listed on the domain.  If a hijacker accesses your DNS account , they’ll likely change the IPs of the nameservers so testing your own nameservers won’t be helpful for this type of monitoring.
  5. Enter the type of query you want to perform, and address you want the check to look up. Usually this should be a fully qualified domain name. It should not include “http://” or “https://”. Example : ‘nodeping.com’ or ’email.nodeping.com’ or ‘www.nodeping.com’
  6. Enter the information the check should look for in the DNS resolution response to verify the query has not been tampered with. What you put in this field will depend on the query type. For example, for A records, this will be your IPv4 address. For other types, such as MX or NS records, this is likely to be a fully qualified domain name. For AAAA records, the full notation is required. Example: IPv6 address 2606:c700:4020:11::53:4a3b requires the ‘missing’ zero sections – 2606:c700:4020:11:0:0:53:4a3b – there should be 8 sections total.
  7. Set a time out. The default 5 seconds works fine for most situations.
  8. Set the Sensitivity. High is usually appropriate.
  9. Set the notifications for this check. More information about notifications.

If your services are offered on both IPv4 and IPv6, you’ll need to create a separate check for each with the appropriate query type set to ‘A’ for IPv4 and ‘AAAA’ for IPv6.

Setting up one DNS check for every critical server and service will give you the peace of mind that your DNS hasn’t been tampered with and your customers are interacting with you, not some DNS hijacker.

Got questions or need help setting up DNS resolution audit checks?  Contact us; we’re happy to help.

If you don’t yet have a NodePing account, please sign up for our free, 15-day trial and sleep well knowing we’re keeping an eye on your DNS resolution.

NodePing badges from Shields.io

Shields.io recently released an update that adds NodePing badges to their service. We’re grateful and honored to be included and wanted to drop a few instructions on how you can configure your customized badges for your NodePing checks from shields.io.

Example badges:

NodePing status badge

Status badge (up/down)

NodePing uptime badge

Uptime badge

 

For the badge to work, you need to make sure your NodePing check has public reporting enabled. Once enabled, you’ll need the UUID (unique ID) of the check.  To find the UUID, open one of NodePing’s reports.  The UUID is shown in the URL.

Example public results report URL:
https://nodeping.com/reports/results/rrwb28un-c0kl-4d7h-8n2u-xcosuprs2439/100

The “rrwb28un-c0kl-4d7h-8n2u-xcosuprs2439” part is the unique random id part.  Yours will be the same length, but different from mine.

Now that you’ve got your check UUID, head over to the shields.io site and click on your choice of badge type:  “NodePing status (customized)” or “NodePing uptime” to open the shields.io badge customizer modal.

You can set all kinds of customizations like:

  • up message e.g. Online
  • up color e.g. green
  • down message e.g. Offline
  • down color e.g. lightgrey 
  • style (lots to choose from)
  • label shown
  • background color for the label

Click on the ‘Copy badge URL’ button to get the URL into your clipboard. You can also get the code for Markdown or HTML – easy peasy. Paste it into your website or .md file and feast your eyes on your freshly minted badge.

Cool new visibility for your uptime with shields.io and NodePing. If you don’t have a NodePing account yet, sign up for our 15-day, free trial today over at https://nodeping.com and let us handle your monitoring and notifications.