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No Need to Stay in the Dark: Using Health Check for Power Outage Notifications

Like many people in New England, our family lost power the night before Thanksgiving this year. Ultimately, we were not without power for long, but many of our Dyn colleagues and friends went without Mr. Kilowatt for several days. While I’ve written in the past about how customers of Dyn’s products could use the tools to determine when power is back on and safe to return home, I received an unexpected surprise with one of Dyn’s newer products, Health Check. I received an alert letting me know not only when the power went out, but another alert telling me when the power was restored to my home. Let me tell you how it worked.

Automatic and External Checks

Users of Dyn’s remote access products have always been able to manually access their systems and hostnames via web browsers, video cameras, media servers, etc. to determine if power (and internet connections) are on in their homes or businesses. Health Check is one of Dyn’s newest products that runs on top of an existing Remote Access service. Essentially, it provides external monitoring to determine if your web server is accessible and reachable. The Health Check service currently allows you to specify monitoring of a HTTP or HTTPS server running on any port you specify. It also allows you to configure the URL path and expected response.

How it Works

If, during a 30 minute window, the Health Check service cannot reach your server, a “down” notification is sent to your email.
getmyip1
When power, internet connection, and server are restored, you’ll get an “up” notification.
getmyip2

Requirements

To get get notifications you’ll need a few basic things:

  • Web server accessible over the internet (when power and internet are on)
  • Dyn Remote Access service pointing to the web server
  • Configured Health Check service monitoring your web server
  • Active internet service to your home or business
  • Cell phone or computer to receive the “down” and “up” notifications

In Summary

Fortunately for me, my power was restored within an hour of it going out. It was, however, a really nice surprise to get an email notifying me that Dyn’s Health Check service could again reach my home web server. It got me thinking, as many of our friends and family were spending Thanksgiving (and a few days after) not in their homes, this simple use case would let them know when power was restored and when they could return home or to work.


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Whois: David DePiano

David DePiano is a Sr. Business Systems Analyst for Dyn, the world leader in Internet performance solutions. Follow him on Twitter: @DDepiano and @Dyn.