Key concepts

BMC PATROL for Internet Servers monitors and manages internet servers including servers supporting Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption, across a distributed environment from a centralized PATROL console (using a PATROL console is optional). BMC PATROL for Internet Servers monitors the availability, performance, and integrity of your internet servers. 

The parameters for BMC PATROL for Internet Servers enable you to analyze internet server performance quickly and easily, providing a detailed statement of all system activity over time. You can clearly identify peaks, troughs, and trends in the performance of server resources. By enabling you to detect problems, optimize the system, analyze trends, plan capacity, and manage multiple hosts simultaneously, BMC PATROL for Internet Servers helps to ensure your Internet servers run efficiently 24-hours a day.

BMC PATROL for Internet Servers provides the following primary features:

Broad range of internet server support

The following types of internet servers can be managed on single, multiple, or virtual hosted systems:

  • Hyper Text Transfer Protocol (HTTP) and secure ( HTTPS) Web servers
  • Domain Name System (DNS) servers and clients
  • File Transfer Protocol (FTP) servers
  • Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) servers and secure LDAP.
  • Mail ( SMTP, IMAP, and POP3) servers
  • Network News Transfer Protocol ( NNTP) news servers
  • HTTP proxy servers
  • Microsoft Internet Security and Acceleration ( ISA) Server

For a detailed list of supported servers, see System requirements.

Content validation

BMC PATROL for Internet Servers acts as a normal client when monitoring your servers to ensure that they are responding properly and in a timely manner. You can also use BMC PATROL for Internet Servers to verify that your monitored web applications are returning the correct data to your customers. You can check the web application's results against single-line, multi-line, and complex regular expressions. For more information, see Monitoring virtual host statistics.

Monitoring dynamic web pages

BMC PATROL for Internet Servers provides options to monitor dynamic web pages, so you can easily monitor and validate web-based applications and databases as well as the web servers themselves. While monitoring dynamic web servers, you can specify how dynamic cookies are accepted and whether to follow web server dynamic redirects. For more information about monitoring dynamic web pages, see Monitoring virtual host statistics.

True Page response time

This configuration option allows you to retrieve all the elements belonging to a page in addition to the page itself. You can also choose to separate response times for the page into three categories:

  • Text (for example HTML)
  • Images
  • Applications (for example Java applets or Flash applications)

For each category measured, the element requiring the most amount of time to retrieve is also noted. With this option you get a much more accurate representation of your users experience with respect to web page response time. You can use this feature to retrieve key pages within your site (static or dynamic) and all the elements on those pages. You can also perform content validation on these pages to make sure that the key elements are delivered. BMC PATROL for Internet Servers provides you with the composite response time for the page and, at your choosing, the response time for the three data types mentioned to the left. 

This option provides three parameters: pageTextTimepageImagesTime, and pageApplicationsTime, which are inactive by default until True Page Response Time is selected. 

The true page response time option makes use of annotated data points that provide useful information in diagnosing response time problems. Data to be annotated for each of the parameters include:

  • The top element in terms of longest response time will be listed (including the actual response time).
  • Any element whose response time has increased significantly compared to the average response time for that element.

For more information about how to activate the true page response time parameters, see Adding servers for monitoring (step 2).

Server automatic restart and recovery

When a server fails to respond successfully to client requests, BMC PATROL for Internet Servers can automatically shut down and restart the server. This function helps resolve server hangs and crashes. For more information, see Managing servers

Defining server availability alarms and recovery

You can configure BMC PATROL for Internet Servers to use server availability alarms and recovery actions. When problems occur, these defined alarms and recovery actions can restart a server or notify a server administrator of problems occurring at your site. For example, you can configure BMC PATROL for Internet Servers to report an alarm when a server has timed out without a response for a given number of polling cycles. For information about setting server alarms and recovery actions, see  Adding servers for monitoring.


Automatic recovery of servers is supported for local servers only.

Access and error log monitoring

You can use BMC PATROL for Internet Servers to monitor web server access logs and error logs, including request rates for standard types of requests or request types of your choice. By monitoring your server's access log, BMC PATROL for Internet Servers can alert you when client use reaches peak levels, helping you plan for additional resources to avoid unexpected down time. 

You can also configure BMC PATROL for Internet Servers to look for virus attacks recorded in your server's log files and to alert you when these occur. You can then find the source of the attack to prevent further spreading of viruses. For more information, see Monitoring error log.


For access and error log monitoring you must have read permissions on the filesystem.

Advanced support for secure web servers

This feature allows you to install a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) client certificate into the BMC PATROL for Internet Servers key store database. You can use this client certificate when monitoring highly secure SSL web sites. 

BMC PATROL for Internet Servers provides parameters that allow you to monitor SSL certificates on secure web server instances. These parameters check the server certificate and each certificate in its chain to determine the time before a given certificate expires. You can use this feature to prevent unexpected problems with SSL web servers. For more information, see Monitoring secure web servers (SSL).

Domain name management

This feature allows you to track the domain record for each of the internet domains monitored by BMC PATROL for Internet Servers. For those domains that expire (top-level .com, .net, or .org domain), the product reports the days remaining for each monitored domain. The KM also allows you to configure content check against the domain record data. By checking the content of your domain record, you can be alerted if any key elements are changed by an outside body without your knowledge. For more information, see To define the content of a domain record.

Monitoring specific DNS queries

You can configure BMC PATROL for Internet Servers to make specific requests to a monitored DNS resource (either a local or remote DNS server) to ensure that the server is returning appropriate content. For more information about monitoring DNS queries, see Configuring DNS queries.

TCP IP, SSH, and telnet port monitoring

The purpose of this feature is to allow you to monitor TCP/IP based servers for protocol types that are unknown to BMC PATROL for Internet Servers. You can monitor any service existing on any single TCP port. You can also use BMC PATROL for Internet Servers to connect to local or remote Telnet servers to perform any type of command to measure the response against expected results. BMC PATROL for Internet Servers reports the services' availability, response time, down time, and content validity of the service response. You can also use BMC PATROL for Internet Servers to monitor SSH sessions. 

Use the port monitoring feature to

  • Define both TCP/IP-based (excluding Telnet) and Telnet sessions
  • Use the SSH session option to define and monitor SSH sessions
  • Define simple sessions using a KM dialog or define more complicated sessions such as sending an actual mail message using a definition file
  • Use the Telnet option to log into any local or remote server, on any platform, and then, issue one or more commands of your choice
  • Use the Telnet option to track the availability of services such as NIS (user login) and NFS (user home directories)
  • Verify the return content for validity

For more information, see Configuring a port monitor and Editing a monitor. To view examples for each session type, see Portmon TCP IP-based session example and Portmon telnet example.

Export and import monitored URLs

This feature allows you to export and import defined URLs or web pages using standard CSV (comma-separated values) files. You can generate reports on the web pages you are monitoring. These CSV files can be modified using Microsoft Excel, or another editor, and then imported into another PATROL Agent's BMC PATROL for Internet Servers configuration. You can also use information to verify product configuration. For more information, see Importing and exporting monitored URLs and Importing monitored URLs.

Advanced monitoring capabilities for UNIX servers

While BMC PATROL for Internet Servers can monitor all SMTP mail servers and DNS servers for availability and response time, for UNIX systems it can gather additional important usage data when used to monitor a Sendmail mail server or a BIND DNS server. You can use this additional data to identify and resolve performance problems.

  • For Sendmail servers, you can monitor mail queue statistics, mail server usage, and remote hub performance. For information about monitoring Sendmail servers, see Configuring Sendmail servers.
  • For BIND DNS servers, you can configure BMC PATROL for Internet Servers to gather and report statistical data for clients that use your DNS server. BMC PATROL for Internet Servers reports the request rates that you can use to predict when you might encounter bottlenecks on your system. You can use this data to decide when to add additional DNS servers into your environment. For information about monitoring BIND DNS servers, see Configuring BIND DNS servers.

Digest authentication support

BMC PATROL for Internet Servers supports servers using the basic security features provided by Digest Authentication. Digest Authentication is not supported with client certificates and is supported only for BMC PATROL for Internet Servers running on Microsoft Windows platforms.

Windows Process Activation Service (WAS) monitoring

The Windows Process Activation Service (WAS) provides process activation, resource management, and health management services for message-activated applications. BMC PATROL for Internet Servers enables you to monitor the WAS processes.

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