The Linux operating system provides a powerful feature for scheduling certain programs to run on a predefined frequency – this feature is popularly known as “Cron”. Developers create a “Shell Script” for running a Cron job. Cron jobs are used for several things and are a frequently used feature of the Linux operating system. It is imperative to keep a close watch on all the Cron jobs you have defined on your system, this would include checking errors and validation of codes. For monitoring of defined Cron Jobs, a developer can use a “Hosted monitoring system” like PushMon. This kind of a system is defined as a push monitoring system as it depends on receiving signals from Cron jobs for monitoring and error notification. A system like PushMon has the following 4 steps in its monitor of your Cron job.

  1. Establish a monitoring process on your System: Most systems that specialize in informing about a Cron job or process status invariably end-up sending multiple emails/alerts about the job status. After a while these messages become routine and people stop paying attention. The result is manual intervention to understand and keep a watch on what is happening. A better way is defined by PushMon – the user just needs to create a URL a call to which is embedded in your Cron job. Now it is the job of the Cron to actually notify its status to the monitoring system.
  2. Your process sends Alerts to you: Once a URL is set up and the required code modifications are done, you can relax. With this set up the Cron will notify successful execution at a predefined time. If the Cron does not call this URL the PushMon monitoring system alerts you. That is, a red flag is raised only when things are not in shape, bringing the right attention to the notification. The best part is that PushMon works with systems/websites which are not even in the public space. It works well with the secured sections of your website and your organization’s intranet as well. It also works with shell scripts, scheduled tasks or other applications that can call a URL. It is so easy to use that you can even call the PushMon URL through the bookmark in your browser.
  3. Receive notifications over Instant Messages, Calls or SMS’s: PushMon provides multiple ways to notify you if things are not in shape. Current 8 different modes are available including e-mail, SMS, phone call, Twitter notification or webhooks. Support for Skype and Slack is in the roadmap and would soon be made available.
  4. Works as a Powerful Push Notification System: PushMon is a powerful system, it works with Cron Jobs, internal applications and the secured section of your websites. It is not limited to just Linux platform. It not only presents a potent way of monitoring scheduled tasks it also can be used to monitor your other monitoring software.  PushMon monitors what existing monitoring services cannot. External monitoring services cannot check nonpublic websites, internal applications, batch jobs and scripts. Internal monitoring services can check internal websites but not suitable for applications, batch, and script monitoring. PushMon fills in the gap.

Conclusion

A SaaS service like PushMon has made monitoring of your Cron Jobs easier. It only requires access to the internet, it doesn’t even require a software deployment. PushMon should not be seen as an alternative to existing monitoring infrastructure, it actually complements what is already deployed.

Modifications in PushMon 1.21 Release

New Feature

  • Update Credit Card
    • For our paid subscribers, we have provided an interface so you can update your credit card information in Stripe. Simply go to the View Account page and the Update Credit Card button will be available. Note that PushMon does not store any of your card information.

Bug Fix

  • every lastXXXOfMonth schedule sometimes sends down alerts on the wrong date
    • In PushMon release 1.19, we introduced new schedules, one of which is the “every lastXXXOfMonth schedule” (e.g. every lastSunOfMonth). We fixed a bug wherein Down alerts may be received unexpectedly.
Photo by Geralt from pixabay.com

Want to make sure your daily backups are running? Take a look at PushMon, the easiest way to monitor your cron and scheduled tasks.

Introduction

There is a digital revolution happening in all sectors of society, driven by consumers who are increasingly eager for innovation. In a market driven by the maxim “time is money”, it is practically impossible not to fail for lack of good performance. So how do you stay competitive in the face of these rapid transformations, demands and growing expectations of users? Before launching or presenting any product or service, it is imperative that all processes are structured and fit. For this, a good idea is to use DevOps practices to support a continuous delivery model.

A survey by Puppet Enterprise points out that high-performance DevOps users are more agile, deployments 30 times more frequent and 8,000 times faster than the traditional system. They are even more reliable, with 12 times faster recovery if there is a problem. In addition to this model, it is important to follow some relevant metrics and tips on how to launch an application that provides a responsive, responsive, and most importantly, digital experience that does not fail at the time of its use.

Do not force without a plan

If your applications are not ready, are slow or have crashes, do not go forward. The company’s best campaign, which has been invested the most time and money, can turn out to be the worst of them and damage the company’s image if there is a flaw in its presentation. To give you an idea, during a major sporting event, the organizer’s mobile-developed website featured a favicon (small icons that stand next to a browser’s address bar and serve to quickly identify a website) with size of 370 kb, when the normal is to be between 512 bytes and 2048 bytes. Obviously the action was seriously compromised and the case could have been avoided if there was a basic optimization of web performance and testing throughout the development pipeline.

Do not assume that you know the environment

In an application, however small, there are many potential points of failure. The multiple devices, technologies, channels, and methodologies exponentially magnify the possibilities of something going wrong. Therefore, it is important not to assume full knowledge of the environment without the actual perception of a user.

Be careful when reuse components

Developers are always reusing existing components, but this does not always work for the company. It is advisable to closely follow all the processes.

Metrics

Key performance metrics include number and size of features, page size, number of functional errors, third-party calls, number of SQL executions, and number of SQL statements. Other highlights include time spent on APIs, API calls, number of domains, total size, number of items per page, and AJAX per page.

Ideally, you should control these metrics manually throughout your application development pipeline. Once there is control over what you need to know, it’s time to start looking at how to simplify performance monitoring. This is the goal of continuous delivery: automate your procedure with quality portals based on metrics at each step.

We have updated the PushMon sample code for Windows Batch File and Bash Script:

  • Use cURL as preferred method to ping PushMon URLs.
  • In case errors occur, ping command will not be executed.

For other code samples, visit the sample code page.

Release 1.20 – Minor Release

This is a minor release to change some of the wordings in PushMon notifications:

  • Alert Notifications
    • “Schedule URL” in notifications was modified to “Schedule ID” to make it more accurate. PushMon URLs look like http://pshmn.com/<Schedule ID>. Example: http://pshmn.com/WgxnYk0
  • Phone and SMS multiple numbers support:
    • You can now include multiple phone or mobile numbers using comma as a separator.

New features for PushMon 1.19 release:

New Schedules

  • every 5 minutes (Paid Plan)
  • every firstSunOfMonth, every firstMonOfMonth, … , every firstFriOfMonth
  • every lastSunOfMonth, every lastMonOfMonth, … , every lastFriOfMonth
  • every X within N days (e.g. every 1st within 3 days)
    Already supported are “every X hours within N hours” and “every X minutes within N minutes”

Multiple phone numbers

  • Users are now able to use multiple phone and SMS numbers to receive alerts from PushMon. Multiple phone numbers are separated with a comma.

    Multiple Phone Numbers

Schedule strings are now case insensitive
Schedule string validation now allows days of the week that are in lowercase. Examples:

  • every mon (saved as “every Mon”)
  • every friday (saved as “every Friday”)
  • every firstSunofMonth (saved as “every firstSunOfMonth”)
  • every lastfriofmonth (saved as “every lastFriOfMonth”)

Release 1.18 – IFTTT Service

New feature for this release:

* IFTTT Service support
PushMon users who have IFTTT accounts can now be alerted by any available IFTTT notification services by providing their IFTTT Webhooks Service Key. For more details, here’s how to use IFTTT on PushMon.

* YM removal
PushMon will no longer support Yahoo Messenger alerts.

* Bug fixes

How to use IFTTT on PushMon

1) Create PushMon applets

Sign in to your IFTTT account. Go to your IFTTT applets page and create a new applet.

Follow through the guide provided by IFTTT in creating a new applet.

  • Choose a service by clicking the “this” icon. Search and select the Webhooks service.
  • Create a trigger by clicking the Receive a web request box. Enter “pushmon_alert” as the Event Name.
  • Choose an action service by clicking the “that” icon. Search and select the service with which you wish to be notified. Make sure to connect your IFTTT account to your chosen action service account.
  • Fill out the necessary details for your alerts:
    1. If the action requires a “Title” field, click the “Add Ingredient” button and select “Value1” or you can write “{{Value1}}” directly on the field.
    2. On the other hand, put “{{Value2}}” on the “Message Text” field, or click the “Add Ingredient” button and select “Value2”.

Review the details you entered on your applet and click “Finish”.

Example Skype Alert applet

Connect your Skype account to IFTTT’s Skype service. To be able to receive notifications from IFTTT, you need to add the IFTTT bot to your contacts in Skype by clicking on the IFTTT bot boxed in red in the figure below.

Once you’re connected, your conversations will be loaded on the applet. Choose which conversation you prefer to be alerted with when your PushMon URL is down. You can choose the 1:1 conversation with IFTTT bot if you want the alert to be sent to you only.

2) Locate your IFTTT Webhooks Service Key

Make sure you are connected to IFTTT’s Webhooks service. Once you’re connected, go to Webhooks settings to get your IFTTT Webhooks Service Key.

You can test if your applets are working by going to https://maker.ifttt.com/use/{your_ifttt_webhooks_key} and filling out the details as such:

Click “Test It” and check if you have received a notification with the values you have provided.

If everything works fine, you may now use your IFTTT Webhooks Service Key in the PushMon App. Just input your key in the IFTTT tab.

And that’s it. You can now receive alerts on different services you will connect to.

Missing Pings on 9/28/2017

Please ignore any alerts caused by any missing pings today, September 28, 2017, from 12:05 AM to 8:57 AM EST. We had a database issue that caused us to lose pings during this time period. We apologize for any inconvenience caused.

Should there be any more issues or concerns, you may always contact us. Thank you for using PushMon.

Release 1.17 – Paid Plans

Finally! We introduce to you the new and improved Plans for PushMon:

  • Free Plan
  • Professional Plan
  • Business Plan
  • Corporate Plan

From now on, you can subscribe to either a Monthly or Yearly subscription of the paid plans. Please visit our Plans and Pricing page for more information on the rates and the features that these plans offer.

Make sure your websites, applications, scripts and background jobs are running.