Website Monitoring: Internal vs. External

Your website is the doorway to your customers and any business whose revenue depends on its website knows that a website monitoring is often the only difference between minimal downtime and extended outage.

Although, none of the two is desirable in today’s highly competitive fast pace market place, the former scenario is always preferable to the latter.

Website monitoring ensures that your website or web application is running at its peak performance 24 x 7 x 365 by continuously measuring and auditing and reporting the different performance parameters such as load testing, availability, CPU usage, bandwidth availability, load timings etc at a fixed interval of time. This ensures that your business remains available to your users all the time from anywhere in the world and your services are delivered with optimum quality.

Now, website monitoring can be done in two different ways- Internal and external website monitoring and businesses sometimes get confused between the two. So, let’s understand what these terminologies mean at a deeper level.

Internal Website Monitoring

Internal website monitoring refers to monitoring the performance inside the corporate firewall including all the internal infrastructure and IT management systems. It ensures the health of the server behind the organization’s firewall by continuously running tests and checks on the website.

While monitoring it accesses critical metrics like memory usage, disk space, CPU load, page load times and multiple other related processes. These services provide an overall gauge of server health, monitor network traffic and alert you when memory is low. A constant awareness of server performance allows IT to foresee and prevent many issues before they occur.

It tells you when the system is running out of available memory and monitor network traffic on your server. This acts a precautionary measure to avoid long downtime and thus goes a long way in improving customer satisfaction and long term brand loyalty.

Benefits of internal monitoring:

Internal monitoring allows organizations to check whether the issue is related to their system’s operations when something goes wrong with their website/ when the website is down. The problem might be related to your website’s design, a coding error, or a poor connection to the server.

Slow load time and downtime can be a major disadvantage for businesses. Internal monitoring takes a look inside your firewall to pinpoint the origin of the problem.

One of the biggest advantages of internal monitoring is having a clear picture of the health of the system. The service can keep a running tally for all the statistics of your server’s performance, giving you the ability to look ahead and see the problems that might arise before they happen. These can include issues like needing to add extra disk capacity or run necessary maintenance protocols, so you can schedule that vital upkeep with enough early warning to your customers that there will be some short yet necessary downtime on your site. Being able to get ahead of things such as these are a smart way to operating a successful business.

Drawbacks- internal website monitoring:

If the entire focus of the organization is on internally monitoring their website, this could have a significant disadvantage as well. The drawback is the nature of the internal monitoring service. Everything contained on the server is running together so, when the server goes down, so does your monitoring capabilities. Thus you remain unaware of the downtime/outage unless you realize it yourself.

This might result in a significantly longer downtime/outage especially during peak time and this can prove hazardous to your business.

External Website monitoring:

External website monitoring on the other end focuses on monitoring the website’s performance outside the organization’s firewall. This monitors customer experiences i.e., the end user experiences. External website monitoring tests and checks the performance of the website across the entire data routes that comprise the Internet. This process otherwise known as end-end uptime monitoring is for end-user experience monitoring.

When a website isn’t available or is down in a certain country, external website monitoring helps pinpoint exactly where the issue is being faced and also the reason why the downtime happened.

There is another variation to external monitoring known as real user monitoring that reflects actual availability and performance for end users, individual incidents, and the effects resulting from a change.

Benefits of external monitoring:

This type of monitoring can be thought of as a safety net for your organization. It focuses on the user’s experience, including load time, response time and whether your website is available online. If load times are slow for users visiting your website, your external website monitoring application will be the first to alert you. Thus it acts as the first signal if anything goes wrong with the end-user experiences.

In addition, external services can check a whole range of other areas such as the operational integrity of various ports along the network, URL content, response times and behavioral patterns.

Perhaps the biggest advantageous element of external monitoring over internal is the ability to keep working even when the server goes down. If a problem is detected, no matter how small or catastrophic, the service will continue to monitor the system and diagnose the reason for the interruption.

It contacts you in whatever method you have arranged- text message, phone call, email, all of them if you like, and you’ll know the second when something has gone wrong. Thus it allows organizations to get started on fixing the problem immediately and minimize their downtime as much as possible.

How Much Does External Website Monitoring Cost?

The cost to monitor a website completely depends on your needs or requirements.

Some websites even offer “free” monitoring and even though it seems pretty enticing at the start, the features and services offered by these tools are usually very limited in their value and functions and hence you end up paying for a lot of upgrades to actually use the features that are needed to effectively monitor the performance of your website.

When choosing a website monitoring service, it’s never a good idea to select a service based on price alone. You need to look at multiple factors such as:

  1. How many checks does the service allow ?
  2. How you are notified if an issue does occur. (Extremely Important)
  3. How often does it check your website. (The shorter the interval, the better)

Which monitoring fits you best?

The most ideal setup for any organization is to have the combination of both the monitoring services up and running 24x7. This allows you to track user experience across a range of different locations and applications throughout the world, while also allowing you to correlate those findings with any issues that are happening inside your corporation’s management system.

Fyipe takes care of all these factors and provides a combination of both these monitoring tools. You and your IT team get notified with a call, SMS, email, slack or all of these when something goes wrong or is about to go wrong. It watches over and monitors your website 24 x 7 every minute so that you can be assured of not losing a single minute of your business revenue.