Email remains a primary means of business communication. Interruptions to email services impact your business in profound ways, and are a sure way to annoy customers. So making sure your company's email is working properly is a key element of business continuity.
NodePing provides a range of email monitoring features that together provide a great tool set for your email availability. The tools that NodePing provides comprise four different types of checks: SMTP, POP3, IMAP, and RBL monitoring. These checks together check not only that the services are responding, but that your overall email systems are healthy, all without requiring you to install anything extra on your servers. Since NodePing monitoring is remote, this ensures that your services are not only running, but are accessible to customers on the Internet.
Our SMTP monitoring check can verify that your service is operating, that it is accepting logins, that the certificate for SSL and TLS requests is valid and current, and whether your server is relaying and rejecting relays properly. To set this up for a full range of monitoring, you'll want to set several checks for the server to monitor different aspects of the SMTP service. The primary check can verify that the service is accepting connections. Additional checks can be configured that will
The RBL monitor checks a number of "Real-time Black Lists" to make sure that your domains are not listed on commonly used lists as a spam or malware site. RBLs are widely used on the Internet to prevent spam and other abuses of email systems. If your server is listed on an RBL you will not be able to email to any service that uses that list to prevent spam. It is a good idea to create a check for each of your SMTP servers so that you can act quickly if one of your servers gets listed. RBL can hit any server that sends email, so if for example your web servers send mail it is a good practice to use RBL monitoring for each of them as well.
POP monitor and IMAP monitor are used to verify that your employees and customers can get their email from their mailboxes. Like the SMTP check, these two email monitoring components are fully aware of the email protocols. They can log into the service to verify that authentication is working properly. Also like the SMTP check, they can verify the SSL/TLS certificate on your mail server and warn you in advance when the certificate will expire.
Monitoring the authentication component of your email systems is a key element that some monitoring services miss, and some system administrators don't consider fully. Email systems (SMTP, POP, and IMAP) are often integrated with other services, which means that your mail servers are connecting to an external service to verify accounts for authentication. This might be an LDAP service, or it might be verifying against Active Directory or other directory services. Monitoring successful email authentication helps quickly detect problems with this integration before your customers start complaining.
Another important component for email monitoring is monitoring for the web interface. For this component, NodePing's HTTP Content monitoring is important as well. This check should be used to verify that the web interface to your email servers is responding appropriately.
Full spectrum email service monitoring is available for all NodePing accounts. If you don't have a NodePing account yet, please take advantage of our free 15-day trial and be the first to know if there are issues with your email service.