On-demand Diagnostics API and from AGENT Checks

It isn’t always obvious what’s going on when a check fails and additional information about what our probes are seeing can be helpful for troubleshooting. The NodePing diagnostic tools allow you to run several utilities to get information about what our probes are seeing. Now we’ve brought that functionality to our AGENT checks as well as a new API endpoint.

Diagnostics from AGENTs

You can now connect your AGENT checks to our diagnostics servers to run our most useful tools: mtr, ping, traceroute, and dig. Use the instructions in the AGENT software to run the diagnostic client on your AGENT. Your AGENTs will appear in the ‘location’ dropdown of the Diagnostic Tools in NodePing.

Diagnostics API

On-demand diagnostics can now be requested via our REST API. Your integrations can request NodePing diagnostics from any of our probes as well as from your AGENTs with a simple HTTP request. Please see the diagnostics API documentation for details.

If you don’t have a NodePing account, you can sign up for a free, 15-day trial and experience the fast and accurate service NodePing provides.

Monitoring Private Networks with NodePing

NodePing has been providing distributed Internet availability monitoring since 2011.  During that time we’ve made billions of HTTP requests, connected to a huge number of SSH servers, and sent boat loads of PINGs.  Our systems have been listening for dropped volume levels on audio feeds, verifying SSL certificates, testing the response from email servers, checking DNS servers, and monitoring a whole slew of Internet services on every continent (except for Antarctica, yet).

undefinedThe missing component, until recently, was monitoring for private networks.  All of the monitoring mentioned above was availability monitoring from the Internet and required access through periphery firewalls to services.  That works well for public facing services, but it leaves out a lot of services and systems that are not (and should not be) publicly accessible. We’ve been working for a few years to find just the right approach to safely and reliably provide private network monitoring, and we think we’ve found it in our new AGENT check type.

Our AGENT check allows you to install a small agent on a machine in your local network and run most of our standard check types just about anywhere you have a Linux box available.  The software is small and very efficient, and is a really easy install. Once it is running, you can assign checks to your private location using our normal UI, or through our API.

The agent runs on node.js, and the code is available on github for you to review and audit.  The software can run under a regular user, and does not need any elevated privileges. Only your account has access to run checks on your agent instances.

So now you can easily assign PING, HTTP, SSH, DNS, PORT, and most of our other check types to a machine on your private network, to monitor services that should not be accessible from the Internet.  Monitor your private Intranet, make sure your private database servers are accepting connections on your network, and verify internal DNS responses. This solution scales well, is easy to start, simple to maintain, and like the rest of NodePing’s monitoring services, it just works.

Since our AGENT check runs our standard check types, it is a great compliment to our PUSH check type, which remains available and actively supported as well.  The PUSH check type is designed for you to customize and monitor basically anything on your local machine that is quantifiable by a local script. Together, these check types allow you to fully monitor your private networks and resources, safely and reliably.

The AGENT check is available now on all Provider accounts. If you don’t have a NodePing account yet, we offer a 15 day free trial.  Give it a try!