This is probably a very silly question, but I'm new to this. I am currently learning about system administration, and was asked to set basic monitoring in place (that checks a website returns HTTP 200). Here's the setup:

  • Server one runs a web site and backups daily to server two.
  • Server two stores the backups.

So, if I am tasked to "set basic monitoring in place", so that the website on server one returns an HTTP status of 200, where should I place the monitoring software? On server two? I am thinking it must be that way because if server one's site didn't return an OK HTTP status, then that'd mean the monitoring tool would fail as well?

I am planning to use Nagios for this, but I'm very confused and don't even know where to start. Sorry for the dumb question!


  • Do you have an option for a third server where you can set up monitoring separate from the two servers you already have? – Kassandry Nov 24 '15 at 23:11
  • Nope, I only have those two servers at my disposal. – J. Doe Nov 24 '15 at 23:12

The answer here, if possible, is to use a third server specifically for the purpose of monitoring Server One (which can then also be expanded to monitor Server Two). Where it's possible to do so, each server should have a single function - and in doing it this way, your monitoring system's health is not tied to the health of the monitored systems.

If it is not possible to add a third server, for whatever reason, then you would monitor Server One from the outside using Server Two as you correctly state in your question, and for the reason you outlined - if Server One is down, and Server One is also running Nagios, Nagios can't tell you that Server One is down!

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If your monitoring requirements are simple (just checking one page for a HTTP 200) you could use the free tier of https://www.pingdom.com/ or https://www.statuscake.com/alternative-to-pingdom/

The problem with Server two monitoring Server one, is they are on the same network. If your connection to the outside world goes down your two servers would still be able to talk to one another. A real solution has to be on the same network as your users and if Server one serves the public then the monitor should simulate a user as best it can.

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