Monitoring Host State

Ping Monitor is designed to continuously monitor host states and notify you when the host state changes. As explained in the How the Program Works chapter, the program uses ICMP pings to monitor hosts and detects the host states as Up or Down. The Up state means that the monitored host is reachable and it replies to ping requests. The Down state means that the host is unreachable and it doesn't reply to ping requests. There is also the Pending state, which is reported when the host state detection is in progress and the state isn't detected as Up or Down yet.

Using the Overview and State Monitor Views

When the monitoring is started, you can find the general state of the monitoring system on the Overview view Pic 1. The three groups of circles on the chart correspond to the three groups of numbers displayed on the right. The first group shows the number of hosts that are Active (i.e. currently monitored), Inactive (i.e. currently not monitored) and Paused. The second group shows the number of monitored hosts that are Up or Down now. The numbers located on the right of the view are clickable, so you can navigate to the hosts with the selected characteristics.

Hosts Summary

Pic 1. Hosts Summary

If you need to monitor the host states, you can open the State Monitor view. This view designed for control rooms displays the state of all the hosts on a single screen and can use the sorting and filtering features to display the required hosts only. The State Monitor view shows the hosts as tiles where the host state is indicated in different colors: green if the host is Up and red if the host is Down. You can change the size of the displayed tiles to fit all the entries into a single screen Pic 2.

The State Monitor view displaying hosts

Pic 2. The State Monitor view displaying hosts

If you select a small size for the tiles on the State Monitor view, the host names aren't displayed so that a maximum number of entries could fit the screen. To see the name and other information, hover the mouse pointer over the box for the program to show the host data on the tooltip.

Sorting, Grouping and Filtering Hosts

If you monitor hundreds or thousands of hosts, State Monitor shows too many entries. How do you organize them? There are several options available, and you can find the corresponding controls on the toolbar of the State Monitor view.

  • Sorting. You can sort the displayed hosts by host name or by time. You may notice that for every host you can see the time when the current host state was detected. When sorting by time, on the top of the screen you can see the hosts the states of which have recently been changed.
  • Grouping. If you enable the Group by Severity option, the hosts in the Down state are displayed on the top of the screen.
  • Filtering.  Use Filter Editor to select the hosts that should be displayed. For example, you may choose to display only the hosts in the Down state.

Displaying Host Groups

You may notice that by default State Monitor shows only hosts even if you organized hosts into groups. To see the groups, you may click on the Groups button available on the toolbar. As a result, only groups will be displayed, and you can see how many hosts in every group are Up, Down and Pending Pic 3. If you click on a group, the State Monitor view shows all the hosts that belong to this group. You can also click on the numbers that represent the quantity of hosts in different states to drill-down to those hosts.

The State Monitor view displaying groups

Pic 3. The State Monitor view displaying groups

The hosts that don't belong to any group are displayed in State Monitor when it is switched to display groups. You can find those hosts in the Individual Hosts group.

Host Details in State Monitor

The State Monitor view allows displaying detailed information on the state when you click on a host Pic 4. The real-time pings chart shows the result of the latest pings, where you can see if the pings have passed of failed. Besides, on the same chart you can also see how the host state is changing depending on the ping results.

Host details in the State Monitor view

Pic 4. Host details in the State Monitor view

The State Monitor view allows you to drill-down from the general view displaying all the hosts to the details of a selected host. To go back and see all the hosts again, you need to click the Back button located in the top left corner.

Best Practices in Host State Monitoring

You can organize hosts monitoring using different approaches and choose the right one depending on your needs. For example, you can rely on notifications, so when the monitored host goes Down or Up, you are notified about the state change. This approach requires that you configure notifications, and once this is done, you don’t need to run the GUI client. All information required to troubleshoot the problem is delivered in notification messages. You can learn how to configure notifications in the Managing Notifications chapter.

If you plan to use the program in a control room to monitor hosts states, you may expand the State Monitor view to the whole screen and monitor host state changes in real-time Pic 5. In this case, you may configure a filter to reduce the number of displayed hosts and show only the hosts that require your attention, for example the hosts that are Down.

State Monitor displayed in a control room

Pic 1. State Monitor displayed in a control room

The user interface of the GUI client is customizable, so you may organize views as you need. For example, it makes sense to show the State Monitor view on a separate monitor in the control room. You can undock the view, drag it to a dedicated monitor, press F11 to hide the window title and occupy all the available space with it. Refer to the Main features of UI Elements chapter to learn how to reorganize UI elements.