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Web SLA Managers: The View From There

A Web monitoring service should offer a flexible and sensitive threshold mechanism. If you have specific objectives spelled out in your service-level agreement, make sure that your service provider can collect data in a way that lets you verify conformance.

Pricing for these services typically is based on the number of URLs monitored and the frequency of that monitoring. The pricing scheme may take into account the number of monitoring locations, the site location, the transactions monitored and even the number of Web pages involved in a transaction. For our purposes, we averaged price across a matrix that considers these pricing variables and split them into two groups, one for single URL monitoring and one for transactional monitoring. This is not a realistic price model; it's a price average, and actual costs are likely to be higher. We couldn't ignore price, but in our Report Card we gave it a low weighting of only 2.5 percent. "Web Monitor Pricing Chart" shows a simple chart of average prices. You can find a more detailed pricing chart here.

The Watchers

For our tests we monitored our NWC Inc. site, a real site housed at our lab in Green Bay, Wis. NWC Inc.
produces and sells the all-important ... and fake ... widget, but it is a real enterprise-scale business application testing lab with a real Web-based storefront for transactions. For more detailed information about NWC Inc., see


click to enlarge

For three months, we pointed Web monitoring services from Alert Me First, AlertSite, BMC Software, Computer Techniques, Dana Consulting, Elk Fork Technologies, Gomez and Keynote at our site. We monitored single URL pages and multiple pages strung together, aka transactions. Our transactions looked for widgets, bought widgets and even shipped widgets. We figure we bought more than 1 million widgets during our tests. Watch eBay for some good deals.

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