As the title suggests, OzVoIPStatus was unable to discover and log an outage with a VoIP provider monitored by us. The provider is Freshtel, and they were found to be down for 17 hours yesterday.
OzVoIPStatus missed it.
One rather annoyed user resorted to comments claiming we falsify data (Freshtel haven’t sent us a cent unfortunately, so we have no reason to falsify anything, let alone cover up a 17 hour outage), and claimed the site was useless.
I didn’t really want to wake up to those comments. A lot of work has gone into that site to bring it up to the unreleased state, and the released states that exist. Insulting the site does little at sorting out the problem.
The user seemed to be a total tool, but of course, I definitely sought further information about this missed outage. I want to catch as many outages off as many providers as possible. The system is designed for it, and sure, we’ve found a few bugs here and there, but the majority of issues with providers have all been traced down to either a lack of monitoring of the server (being a server went down which isn’t monitored) or other scaled technical issues, such as when they run a cluster and the SIP process is running, but the far end connection to the termination provider isn’t, which causes us to see them as up, but of course, they aren’t able to carry any proper phone calls.
Now, we could rework the system so that it goes all the way, and doesn’t just stop at checking to see if a provider is running its processes, we could try and place calls over cross referenced trunks to see if a providers calling abilities are dropped, but, we would then have to open accounts with all providers and have minimum credit levels with them all, and even pay monthly fees with some of them.
Simply, the site doesn’t even cover its own costs now, let alone the time I put into it goes unpaid for. How on earth would it even be possible to get the extra dollars required to run calls across providers and pay for associated costs, when the site doesn’t even earn the required monthly fee to keep itself running? – The current method works fantastically, and there is a opinions page for each provider!
I do have plans of course to monitor the missing Freshtel services, the provider here has never actually come forth and told us they had more than one server, probably protecting their own better interests anyway.
But, I also have plans to finish the new website I have planned, which allows for more analysis on providers themselves to be done, and to link all servers to providers instead of the current method, so then, we can just simply add another server to a provider and all systems are set.
Ideally, we will also complete many other changes to make it more attractive for providers (and I said this a while ago, I know, see above comment about unpaid work, not covering own costs, etc, but I do plan to have some features to make it possible for providers to market themselves better using the site).
On that note though, there was no problem with OzVoIPStatus, the issue was with our lack of monitoring of another server we didn’t even know about, and that’s not really anyones direct blame, but certainly not worthy of accusations of falsifying data.
As for being useless, well, Koala Telecom improved their reliability extremely since the site was launched, many other users have found the site a great way to express their opinions on many providers, and some have gone from being a favourite provider to recently attracting negative feedback (PennyTel).
Other users have found it useful for checking if a provider is down, and I assume others would have found it useful to find out what provider is more reliable above others when it comes to maintaining a reliable user to VSP connection.
Anyway, those comments don’t bother me. I leave them up there for all to see, and judging just be a whirlpool thread (titled “OZ Voip Status Useless?”), others seem to take a light view of such attacks anyway.
I think I’m more annoyed at the fact I can’t find the time right this moment to finish it off due to the heat, and a few other things to fix up. I wish we had air conditioning, but then, I wish power were free then too.
On that note, keep on VoIPin’.