If you’re a Mac user who manages or monitors web sites and servers, the be-all, end-all of monitoring apps is Dejal’s Simon. I first began using Simon many years ago. It’s not an app for everyone. You know who you are and what you need. If this image looks valuable to you, you’ll love Simon.
What Simon does is monitor remote sites and servers. When something goes wrong, Simon will tell you via an alert, Twitter, sounds, an email and more. When a server recovers, Simon will tell you that, too.
Simon keeps a complete log of checking attempts and results. Data can be plotted over time as a graph. However, it takes merely a quick glance at Simon to see what’s up and what’s down. Green and up is good. Red and down is not. Chances are good you’ll be notified long before you see a status arrow.
Toolbar And Configuration
The Toolbar is where you start. Click New to create a new server monitor. Each one can be edited and duplicated (saves lots of set up time). You’re a click away from visiting a site. All sites and server checks can be paused, resumed, or checked again with a click.
Simon is so versatile that it can check sites down to the comments level, posts level, even check for email (but it’s not an email app). You control the options of which server to check, how frequently to check, and what to do depending on what Simon finds when it checks. If you lose a network connection, Simon will wait until the connection is restored, then resume checking.
Not Just Web Sites Or Servers
Simon does the web, yes, but also checks on specific server applications, DNS, disk status and health, POP, IMAP, and SMTP mail. It can mount remote servers, check on MySQL databases, ping everything and anything, even to the point of scanning ports.
Do you see a problem? Simon does too much. If you’re into servers, you know the value of Simon. But some of us don’t need that much complexity, so Simon comes in multiple flavors, each lower in features and price, all the way to a free version on the Mac App Store.
I’ve used Simon for many years and find it indispensable for monitoring servers, server apps, web sites and pages, even the content of specific sites. If there’s a better Mac app, I don’t have it on my machine.
What’s wrong with Simon? Initial set up and site tracking is easy enough, but Simon gets complex with filters and options. I suggest starting simple, adding what features you can figure out. I don’t like that Simon is sold in so many versions. Simon Standard, Simon Express, Simon Free, Simon Bronze, Simon Silver, Simon Gold, Simon Platinum. See? That’s a range that goes from free to hundreds of dollars (worth it for business operations), with increasing complexity along the way.