Monitoring uptime for your application

The Acquia Cloud uptime monitoring service monitors your Drupal application's uptime and responsiveness. This service checks your application every minute to see if it is online and serving pages. The service does this by loading a special, secure URL (the canary URL) served by the Acquia Connector module. The response to this canary URL informs Acquia Cloud that your application can bootstrap Drupal, and that all of its database and other basic dependencies are functioning. The uptime monitoring service also checks other pages on your application (such as your home page) less frequently and tracks their response time. Only if the page checks return errors repeatedly does the uptime monitoring service send an alert that the application is down. This approach helps minimize false alarms.

Uptime monitoring is a self-service feature you can use to monitor trends in response times and availability. It does not automatically notify Acquia Support of application outages or issues. Acquia uses different systems to monitor the health of an application's servers. If Acquia detects server issues that may impact application availability for a prolonged period of time, a proactive ticket will be filed by Acquia Support. However, not all application issues are caused by server problems, so uptime monitoring will sometimes catch issues that Acquia's server monitoring does not.

Before you begin

To use the uptime monitoring service, you must also install and enable Acquia Connector module on your Acquia Cloud environment. Acquia recommends that you always use the latest version of the Acquia Connector module. After you update or install the Acquia Connector module, go to the Home > Admin > Reports page of your Drupal website, and then click Status reports. In the Acquia SPI section, click the manually send SPI data link to register the presence of the new module with Acquia Insight. You may need to wait a few minutes before you can then enable the uptime monitoring service.

Roles and permissions for uptime monitoring

To enable uptime monitoring for an environment, you must have the appropriate Acquia Cloud permission, depending on the environment:

  • Add or remove domains for non-production environments
  • Add or remove domains for the production environment

By default, users with the Administrator, Team Lead, and Senior Developer roles have these permissions, while users with the Developer role do not. Learn more about roles and permissions.

Enabling uptime monitoring

Acquia Cloud Professional subscriptions can enable uptime monitoring only on their Production environment. Acquia Cloud Enterprise subscriptions can enable uptime monitoring on any environment.

To enable uptime monitoring, complete the following steps:

  1. Sign in to the Acquia Cloud interface as a user with the appropriate permission.
  2. Select your organization, application, and environment and then, in the left menu, click Uptime.

    Click Edit on the Uptime page

  3. On the Uptime page, click Edit.
  4. On the Edit Uptime settings page, select Enable uptime monitoring.

    Enable uptime monitoring

  5. Click Save.

As an alternative:

  1. Sign in to the Acquia Cloud interface as a user with the appropriate permission.
  2. Select your organization and application, and switch to the list view of environments.

    Enabling uptime monitoring

  3. In the Uptime monitoring section for the environment you want to monitor, click Enable Uptime.
  4. On the Uptime page, click Edit.
  5. On the Edit Uptime settings page, select Enable uptime monitoring.
  6. Click Save.

Viewing the uptime graph

To view information about an environment's uptime, select the list view for your application. In the Uptime monitoring section, the uptime graph displays your application's responsiveness over time, measured in milliseconds.

Uptime graph

The graph displays the environment's response with bars colored according to the response:

  • OK - Normal response
  • Impaired - Impaired response
  • Error - Uptime monitoring configuration error or DNS error
  • Down - Environment is not reachable

You can use the date menu to change the time period of the data presented in the graph.

Receiving email notifications

You can enable email notifications of environment uptime issues. If you do so, the uptime monitoring service will send an email notification after three consecutive minutes of errors. This threshold helps reduce false alarms. You cannot customize this three-minute threshold.

To enable email notifications:

  1. On the Uptime page, select Enable alerts.
  2. Enter one or more email addresses, separated by commas, to which uptime alerts should be sent, and then click Update settings.

Getting more information about errors

When the uptime service receives an error, a notification of the error is sent and displayed in the Insight notification list. The notification describes the type of error and possible causes. The following categories of errors are reported:

  • Site down. Here are some possible causes:
    • New code was deployed which may contain an error in the PHP that requires a code rollback. Check your PHP error logs for any fatal errors.
    • A new module was enabled and it has created an error condition on the website. Disable the module.
    • Caches were recently cleared and the website is hitting a memory limit when attempting to rebuild the cache.
  • Site impaired. The website is returning errors for some, but not all, of the pages Acquia monitors.
  • Site online. The website has come back online.
  • Site in Maintenance mode. The website reports that it is in Drupal maintenance mode.
  • Site health monitoring configuration error. The website is not responding to testing. Ensure that the Acquia Connector is enabled, the module version is 8.x-1.7, 7.x-2.13, or later, and that the website is connected to Acquia Insight.
  • Site not responding. This could be due to general internet connectivity issues, or the servers hosting the website may be offline. If your website is hosted with Acquia and the servers powering it are down, we will be opening a support ticket with you shortly.
  • Site DNS error. The DNS record for the website is failing to resolve, meaning we did not receive a timely response during a DNS lookup. This usually means either that your DNS provider or registrar is having an issue, or that there are networking issues outside of Acquia's control. DNS resolution problems are often resolved very quickly. If you can load the domain, the issue may be localized or already resolved. Acquia cannot investigate DNS errors.

Troubleshooting

To function, the uptime monitoring service needs to be able to receive an HTTP 200 response from your homepage, the https://[site_URL]/filter/tips page, and the canary URL, https://[site_URL]/system/acquia-connector-status. If, when you first enable uptime monitoring, the Site Health graph displays errors, the most likely causes are:

  • The Acquia Connector module on your environment is not up-to-date.
  • Acquia Insight has not yet received confirmation from your environment that the Acquia Connector module has been updated. Check the last connection date and time shown under Connection history on the environment's Insight page. Run cron, if it has not run recently.
  • The uptime monitoring service cannot reach the canary URL, the /filter/tips page, or your homepage because it is being redirected or blocked. This might happen if the canary URL is password-protected, is being affected by redirect rules, or if query strings are being stripped out.

If you have questions about an alert and your Acquia subscription entitles you to open support tickets, you can contact Acquia Support. The uptime monitoring service may detect momentary, transient issues on a website, or in the network between our service and a website's servers. For this reason, Acquia Support will not investigate momentary outages. We will, however, investigate recurring instances of partial or complete downtime detected by this feature, or issues which are currently in progress. Furthermore, Support will not investigate DNS errors, which usually mean either that your DNS provider or registrar (often the same) is having an issue, or that there are networking issues outside of Acquia's control.

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