Last modified on December 16, 2019
A DNS monitor tests a DNS lookup, which is resolving a domain name to an IP address. The monitor queries a DNS server for the specified domain name and compares the result with the expected IP address. You can customize the monitoring interval, timeout, locations and other settings described below.
You must be an Admin, Co-Admin, or Power User to change the monitor settings.
It may take a few minutes for the changes to take effect.
You can set the default settings for new monitors in > Settings > Preferences > Monitor Defaults in AlertSite UXM, or in Account > Manage Account in AlertSite 1.0.
Monitor Name (or Site Name in AlertSite 1.0)
The monitor name that appears in dashboards and reports. For example, Customer Login.
Monitor ID (in AlertSite UXM)
Enable Monitoring (or Monitoring Is in AlertSite 1.0)
On the Main tab, select or clear the Enable Monitoring check box to enable or disable monitoring.
Set Monitoring Is to Enabled to enable the monitor or Disabled to disable it.
Enable availability or performance alerts on the Alerts tab.
Set Notify on Error to Yes to enable availability alerts for this monitor or No to disable availability alerts. Performance alerts are configured separately by clicking the Performance Alerts button in the top row.
This section shows custom properties defined for your monitor. You can select a value for each property from the predefined list.
Measurement Plan (or Site Plan in AlertSite 1.0)
The monitoring plan used for this monitor.
DNS Server (or URL in AlertSite 1.0)
The DNS server to send the query to. You can specify either the server name or the IP address, for example, ns1.mycompany.com or 184.108.40.206.
Name to Resolve (or Resolve in AlertSite 1.0)
The domain name to test the DNS lookup for. For example, mycompany.com or www.mycompany.com. Possible values are pulled from your other monitors. To resolve a different domain, you first need to create a monitor (web URL monitor, real-browser monitor, FTP monitor or other) for that domain.
If this DNS monitor runs from a private location, the Name to Resolve must be a domain monitored from the same private location that this DNS monitor is assigned to. Otherwise, the monitor will not be able to resolve the domain name.
Run Interval (Minutes) (or Check Every in AlertSite 1.0)
How often the monitor will test the DNS lookup. Possible values depend on your monitoring plan.
The TCP connection timeout, in seconds. If no response is received from the tested DNS server within the timeout interval, the monitor will report status 1 (TCP connection failed). Default: 30 seconds.
Monitor Note (or Device Note in AlertSite 1.0)
Leave a note for yourself or other users. Note text can be up to 1000 characters long. This note will appear on the AlertSite Dashboard when you hover over the icon. The note can also be included in alerts.
Monitoring Mode (or Monitoring Type in AlertSite 1.0)
The monitoring mode controls if locations check your website simultaneously or sequentially, and when they send alerts. See Monitoring Modes for possible values and details.
For each monitor, you define a location pool. Rotation means the monitor uses a subset of this location pool (say, 2 out of 10 locations) on every run, cycling through the locations. If rotation is not used, the monitor checks from all of its locations every time.
Rotated locations are not available for monitors that use Private Node Server locations (private monitoring stations installed on your local network).
If your monitor uses both public and private locations, location rotation applies only to the public ones. Private locations will run in the configured intervals.
The maximum number of locations for rotation is limited to the number of public locations.
Usage-Based Monitoring plan allows rotated locations for the following monitoring modes: Round Robin, SLA (MultiPOP), Global Notify, and Global Verify.
Legacy plans (Performance Pro, SLA) support rotating through locations only for the Round Robin and SLA (MultiPOP) modes.
Locations Per Run (or Locations per Interval in AlertSite 1.0)
If Rotate Locations is selected, you need to specify the number (subset) of public locations to use for each monitor run. This value ranges from 1 to the total number of locations you selected for the monitor.
If Monitoring Mode (or Monitoring Type in AlertSite 1.0) is Round Robin or SLA (MultiPOP), you need at least 2 locations per interval.
Enable Local Retry (or Disable Local Retry in AlertSite 1.0)
Used only for Usage-Based Monitoring plans. Controls the monitor behavior when it finds errors. Select this to retry the test from the same location to see if an error was just a temporary error. Clear (or select in AlertSite 1.0) to suppress the retry on errors. To learn more about that, see Local Retry and Global Verification.
||The retry consumes extra measurement credits.
Allow AlertSite QA Testing (or Disallow AlertSite QA Testing in AlertSite 1.0)
Before releasing AlertSite updates, SmartBear runs regression tests to make sure that both existing and new functionality work correctly. Select (or clear in AlertSite 1.0) this check box to include your monitor in SmartBear regression testing, so we can make sure your monitors will work correctly after AlertSite updates. Participation is voluntary.
TCP Traceroute on Error (or TCP Traceroute on Network Error in AlertSite 1.0)
If this is selected, the monitor runs a TCP traceroute to your website when it detects a network connectivity problem (status 1 or 2), and sends results to all email alert recipients. The traceroute shows the path that data packets are taking from a monitoring location to your server, and can help administrators and engineers troubleshoot problems.
These options are currently available only in AlertSite 1.0 (classic interface).
Keyword or Phrase
The expected IP address (IPv4) for the domain specified by the Name to Resolve option. You can specify the IP address directly, or you can use a regular expression. For the regular expression syntax, see our regular expression tutorial.
Plain Text or Regular Expression.
Select one or more locations to test the DNS lookup from. For details, see Selecting Locations for Monitoring.
On this tab, you can view and edit monitor blackouts. Blackouts are time periods when the monitor either does not run or does not send alerts on errors. To learn how to create blackouts, see Scheduling Monitor Blackouts.
Existing blackouts are displayed in a table with the following columns:
The blackout status: Scheduled or Past. The column is shown if the Hide Past Blackouts check box is cleared.
The blackout date and time.
What is disabled during the blackout – the Monitor itself, or just Alerts from this monitor.
Optional blackout notes. For one-time blackouts only.
The user who created this blackout. For one-time blackouts only.
Click the image to enlarge it.
To filter out the blackouts, click the Filter by dropdown and select how to filter the blackouts:
To remove expired blackouts from the blackouts table, select the Hide Past Blackouts check box.
Here you can configure availability and performance alerts for the monitor. To receive alerts, you need to have alert recipients configured. By default, the monitor sends alerts to all configured recipients, but you can target alerts to specific recipients by selecting recipient groups for this monitor.
Recipient Groups (or Notifier Groups in AlertSite)
Select the recipient groups that will receive alerts from this monitor. The recipient groups must have been previously created in Alerts > Alert Recipients (or Notifiers > Notifier Groups in AlertSite 1.0).
||If the monitor is not assigned to any recipient group, it sends alerts to all the recipients configured in your AlertSite account.
||Adding a monitor to the recipient group overrides any step-level associations for that recipient group. So if you want to add individual steps to a group, remove the monitor from that group first.
Availability Alerts (or Notify on Error? in AlertSite 1.0)
Select this check box to send alerts when the monitor detects errors like HTTP errors, timeouts, or incorrect website content. The monitor status turns red in these cases.
Enable performance alerts if you wish to be notified when the monitor response time exceeds the specified value. See Performance Alerts for a description of available settings and to learn how to set up these alerts.
In AlertSite 1.0, click the Performance Alerts button in the top left corner of the monitor configuration screen to view or change the performance alert settings.
For multi-step monitors, the response time thresholds should include the total response time for all test steps.
Creating a DNS (Name Server) Monitor