change PAUSE TEST default from 15 minutes?

Is there a way to change the PAUSE TEST default from 15 minutes to another time interval? thanks

Report feature - does it exist

Does the option to have the actual ping results show in a report when Simon says pings failed.

Basically I'm looking to see the actual ping results to see more detailed info on reported failures.

I though I had seen this once, but maybe I was dreaming..

Could you let me know if it is possible and how to enable if it is.


Failures that won't recover

I'm checking a website for http service. Several times it's notified me that the website has failed. When I navigate to the website, it appears to be working fine. But, Simon says it still hasn't recovered. When I look at the source or the preview it shows that the server can't be found. But when I 'go to site' it looks fine. But, Simon still tells me that it has a failure.

I don't know why I'm getting these failures - but even if they are legit, why won't it recover?


"Error occurred: too many HTTP redirects" fixed in our case by removing cookies from tests

I just figured out an issue with Dejal Simon 2.4.2 monitoring uPortal 2.5.3 and thought I'd share, because it might apply to others as well.

The Simon tests we were using had recorded previous cookies (__utma, __utmb, __utmz, NSC_9803..., WT_FPC) which may have had to do with our Webauth here (or maybe is uPortal, don't know). After a reboot of the computer (MacPro1,1 Dual-core Xeon, Panther) after the latest OS X update, whenever it tried to access the uPortal sites, it got into an infinite redirect loop (it was getting "Error occurred: too many HTTP redirects").

When I removed the cookies from the tests that had that error, the tests started working again.

I know that removing cookies won't always help the "Error occurred: too many HTTP redirects" situation (sometimes it might be a valid error!), but just thought I'd offer this as a possible fix if anyone else runs into this.

I had gotten sidetracked a bit in the process because I also learned that Simon sends out the user-agent header "Simon2043 CFNetwork/422.11 Darwin/9.6.0 (i386) (MacPro1%2C1)", and when I used the Modify Headers plugin in Firefox 3.0.5 to send that user-agent, uPortal returned a page saying it didn't recognize the user-agent and asking the client to choose WML or HTML. But, I guess that Simon has been getting that page all along which is ok because we just need a quick test to make sure the webapp is up.

Hope this helps someone else,

AFP Mounts crashing FileMaker

I think that Simon is exposing a bug in OS X 10.5.x (I've seen this with 10.5.5 and 10.5.6).

I have Simon running and only doing two things: mounting and immediately unmounting AFP volumes from two different local AFP servers, every 30 seconds. These are just to confirm that AFP is running and successfully able to serve a volume on these servers. Just monitoring port 548 turned out to be not sufficient, because in certain failure scenarios port 548 is up and running, but volumes won't mount.

What I found was that my FileMaker Pro 9.0v3 app was randomly crashing after I started running Simon on my machine doing these AFP checks. At first I suspected a bad database or something, but I completely reinstalled it and did the usual troubleshooting steps, but to no avail....until I paused my Simon tasks. Then all was well. I can now reproduce the crash on demand (after a random delay of a few hours or so) whenever Simon is doing those AFP mounts.

I've attached a crashlog for FileMaker FWIW. I've also noticed that my VersionTracker Pro app is also sensitive to this same issue.

I'm not sure that there's anything that Simon can do about it, but perhaps get more information to report to Apple as a bug in OS X 10.5.x?

What does a "Check" do?

In order to calculate how my using Simon is affecting the traffic stats on my site, I would like to know what, technically, does a Check of a website actually do?

Does it ping the server? Does it get? If so, what does it get? The home page? The whole home page, or does it cancel after xxx bytes? What is xxx?


Jerry Krinock

P.S. The Simon manual focuses on the user interface, but I can't find any answers to technical questions such as the above. Also, the FAQ item in Simon's Help menu goes to Page Not Found.


The latest version seems to be maximizing 100% of the CPU after several hours! Has anybody else seen this. Do I have to redefine my alerts?

Best Practices in monitoring

Hi folks,
Just purchased a license and am enjoying Simon's "visualness" when it comes to server monitoring.

I'm hoping someone can speak of best practices when it comes to server monitoring. I'm not sure *how* to interpret results from Simon. For example, I have a ping and HTTP monitor created for one target website, but I'm not sure how to interpret findings.

Overall, these are the two questions I'm essentially driving at:
-- how can I properly evaluate server response time w/ Simon? (Can Simon tell me if a site/server is "slow"?)
-- how can I properly evaluate server uptime w/Simon? (Can Simon tell me if a server is "down"?)

Here are some specific questions that are raised:
-- for a ping monitor - what's considered appropriate for a "failure if" setting?
-- how often should I schedule a ping test? How many packets should I send?
-- for a HTTP test, why is one check "yellow" with a 1 sec check duration while another server's HTTP check "green" with a 2.2 sec check duration?
-- in evaluating server uptime, is ping or HTTP test more appropriate ?

I checked the forums and documents and didn't come up with answers but if I missed something, please share.


Simon teamed up with Wireshark

Greetings all - passing on an idea you may find useful.
I have used Simon for some years now to email me and IT when good computers go bad ( hey that could be a TV show ..). I also use Wireshark on the same box to capture all the packets in and out of the test machine, so we can go back and analyze the failure at the packet level later. Our IT folks are finally buying their own copies, having seen the benefit, (and getting tired of my auto emails ) and will set up three test locations - one inside our net, and two at divergent locations in our service area. They will also capture traffic, and we can see what's actually happening on the wire.

Get Wireshark free at Wireshark.org -
I capture just the first 68 bytes (no data), and use a ring buffer of 200 files, 20mb in size, so that's about a week or two of tests. I can go back and look at the traffic for any failure.

hope this helps - feel free to ask, if you have a question -
Best regards,

John Gonder

Las Positas College Cisco Networking Academy
Computer Networking Technologies
Web Home: http://lpc1.clpccd.cc.ca.us/lpc/jgonder
Online Calendar: http://ical.mac.com/jgonder/GonderLPC

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