NewRelic quietly released a new product called Synthetics earlier this year. While services like Pingdom have been around for a while, New Relic’s Synthetics has been the first option that made me actually shut down my own personal monitoring systems.
For the last five years or so, I’ve been monitoring everything, from websites I run to internet services at rental property. I generally used Nagios, and configured it to alert me via email when things go south. The data has always been a help when dealing with power companies, ISPs, and hosting providers. You feel empowered when you can say things like, “I had packet loss 24 times yesterday,” or, “The power has been surging every 2 hours for 30 seconds.” In fact, I’ve discovered I generally have better data than the customer service folks I’m speaking with.