One day this year it hit me: I’m running an uptime monitoring service, but the uptime is not historically stored anywhere, for people to access whenever they need.
Of course all the information is nicely stored in our databases, but it was just aging there. The second part of the puzzle was that the new, custom reports, contained a lot of information that might or might not be entirely useful to our customers. And not everyone has the time to set up a nice report containing everything he/she might need.
So here’s how a new standard report looks like…
Some of you might recognize it, since we send these out on Mondays for the previous week. It contains the overall uptime, downtime and outage count, and the broken down information for each monitor and day that had downtime. Just the important information, right in your inbox.
Plus it has a small excerpt of the latest blog posts so you can go and read if the uptime report isn’t interesting enough. But since some customers requested copies of these reports, we went ahead an created an archive of all the weekly reports since… ever. Or to be more exact, since 2010, or when someone became our customer. And we’ve stored these report on Amazon’s S3 servers.
Now even if you miss a report, you have it there, stored for “eternity”. So after 12 hours of processing and uploading, 1.3 GBytes and 550.000 requests later, we had it all on Amazon S3. To be honest and fully transparent, it costed us $2.74 to transfer and store all of the reports on Amazon S3. And having such low costs in persisting these reports, I see no point in deleting old reports. You never know when you want to see how well your sites performed five or ten years ago. As long as you are our customer, you have all the reports, ever.
Standard and custom reports
From now on, these archived and emailed reports are called ‘Standard reports’. Those that you can customize, select monitors, date span, sections and everything but the kitchen sink are now called ‘Custom reports’. You have links to the latest reports and to the standard reports archive.
Another thing to mention is that we’ve removed the ‘Alerts’ section from the Custom Reports because they were generating way too much content and usually crashed the PDF version of the reports. You’ll still see all the other sections.
Bonus: Monthly Reports
I couldn’t help myself and went even further with these “standard” reports. We created and stored monthly reports as well, along with the weekly ones. So now not only you have all the weekly reports sent and archived, but you also get monthly ones. In your inbox, on the first day of each month, and into the Amazon S3 archive, for safe keeping.
So how do I get these?
Generating weekly and monthly reports is done automatically, there’s nothing to do there. But if you want to get them by email, you’ll have to edit your preferences and tick “Weekly” and “Monthly” reports.
We’ve enabled them for all of the users that didn’t have custom reports set up but you might want to get them even if you do have something custom.