Okay let's face it, at some point we all take care of personal matters on company time and it usually involves a computer. Here's how one of our senior Application Engineers (AE) used SolarWinds Server and Application monitor (SAM) to get herself some primo concert tickets before everyone else.

 

The Setup

One day our heroine, Kate (who happens to be a Kung Fu expert) wanted to score some tickets to the Austin City Limits (ACL) music festival. The only way to get tickets was to go to their website and wait for them to become available. (The twist with their website was that they never mentioned when tickets were actually going to be available. There was no set time or date. You just had to keep checking the site until they were available for sale.) Who has time for that? Kate certainly did not. All of her time was spent helping valuable SolarWinds customers!

 

The Plan

Having an unparallelled knowledge of SAM, server performance monitoring tool, Kate used this knowledge to set up SAM to alert her the moment her prized tickets went on sale. Here's how she did it:

  1. First, Kate checked the source code of the concert webpage and found the words, "Coming soon." She figured that these are the words that would change in the webpage the moment the tickets went on sale.
    Note: You can find the source code of any webpage by right-clicking on it and selecting, View Source.
  2. Once she chose the words she thought likely to change, Kate went to the SAM web console and created an HTTP Monitor.
  3. She then took that string of text ("Coming soon") and put it in the Search field for the HTTP Monitor.
  4. Next, she set the polling interval to every 60 seconds (the lowest allowed).
  5. Then, she created an alert for this monitor that would send her a link to buy the tickets when her two keywords, "Coming soon" were not found. This link would be sent directly to her email inbox as well as her cell phone.
  6. Next, she configured the alert to check every 60 seconds.
  7. Finally, receive the alert, click the link, and buy the tickets!

 

The Wrap-up

Granted, this is not a typical use-case scenario for server and application monitoring. It does however highlight the ease of use and flexibility that SAM, your effective server monitoring tool offers. With SAM, you are only limited by your creativity. What can SAM do for you, other than:

  • Monitor virtually any application: Leverage out-of-the-box monitors for email, Active Directory®, Java® applications, databases, and more; select from an extensive library of community-contributed monitors; or easily create your own monitors for custom apps in a few simple steps with SAM application monitor.
  • Out-of-the-box hardware, Hyper-V, and VMware® host monitoring: Monitor the health of Dell®, HP®, and IBM® System X servers and the underlying hardware for your VMware hosts to get valuable insight into environmental data, hardware status, and more.
  • Built-in expert knowledge: Take advantage of built-in expert guidance on what to monitor, why to monitor it, and optimal thresholds for popular applications and servers.
  • Root-cause analysis: Use dynamic service groups to determine where your problem is — the application, database, hardware, O/S, or something else.
  • Auto-discovery: Have SAM scan your network and auto-discover applications and servers, making deployment a breeze. Graphical, easy-to-use interface: View trends, capacity, and performance in easy-to-use dashboards and reports that can be customized to your needs.
  • Enterprise scalability: Consolidate application and server monitoring with one tool that scales to thousands of logical endpoints.
  • Start monitoring in minutes: Enjoy a product that is easy to download and deploy in less than an hour, easy to use, and easy on your budget.
  • Manage O/S performance out-of-the-box: Leverage built-in templates that support Windows® Server 2003 and 2008, UNIX, Linux®, IBM AIX®, Sun Solaris®, and more.
  • Monitor server processes in real time: Monitor all of the processes running on your servers in real time, including CPU, memory, virtual memory, and disk I/O.
  • Microsoft® Active Directory® support: Simplify creation of login credentials by leveraging Active Directory user accounts and groups.
  • And so much more!