Send a Contact ID alert when the E-mail server is down

In this article, you will learn how to send a Contact ID alert in case of an e-mail server error. Contact ID is a protocol that can be used to send information through a telephone line automatically. With reading this tutorial, you will be able to create such system and have 24/7 server monitoring. The solution only takes about 10 minutes to do and it is an easy process with the help of this detailed tutorial. We are using the Ozeki SMS Gateway for this process which is an easy to use yet very powerful gateway software. It offers you a very intuitive user interface so you will have no problem with following the steps. This guide is targeted for users who are already familiar with the concept of SMS messaging technology. Don’t waste any more time. Start using it now!

What is a Contact ID?

Contact ID is a protocol, it contains user ID information and alarm information, as well as alarm system's status information. It is used to notify a user of a system error.

Setting up a Contact ID alert when the E-mail server is down system

In this video, you will learn how to setup a system that will send a Contact ID alert in case of an e-mail server error. It will start with adding a new communication channel and will take you all the way to having a working system. You will learn how to configure the new channel, how to add an alarm source and how to configure it properly. The video is only 2:37 long and it contains all the information you need to successfully complete the setup. We are using the Ozeki SMS Gateway in this tutorial which is a very powerful gateway application that allows you to provide an SMS service to your customers, employees or business applications, and it can help you control the messaging activity of these users

How does a Contact ID alert system works? (Mobile Phone)

This solution consists of an e-mail server, a monitoring mobile and the security monitoring station. The e-mail server is the server computer of your company, that is responsible for delivering mail. We want to make sure that this server operates continuously. The monitoring mobile is a phone, that runs the Ozeki Alarm software. This mobile is responsible for checking the health of the e-mail server periodically. If it detects an error, it will send a Contact ID Alert. The security monitoring station will receive the alert and start the error handling process.

send contact id alert to mobile when email server down
Figure 1 - Send contact ID alert to mobile when E-mail server is down

How does a Contact ID alert system works? (PC)

This Contact ID alert solution makes sure that the Security Monitoring Station will be notified in case of an E-mail server error. The system consists of an e-mail server that needs to be monitored, a monitoring PC that runs Ozeki Alarm System, and a Security Monitoring Station. The Monitoring PC will perform a periodic download every 5 minutes. If the download is not successful, it will send a Contact ID Alert to the Security Monitoring Station. You can use the Ozeki Alarm System to modify the recipient of the Contact ID Alert.

send contact id alert to pc when email server down
Figure 2 - Send contact ID alert to PC when E-mail server is down

Add a new channel

The fist step of the process is adding a new notification channel. The button for it is located in the left-side panel of the Alarm System app’s home page (Figure 3). Click it to start the new channel installing process. This way start with choosing what type of channel you wish to install.

add new channel
Figure 3 - Add new channel

Installing a Contact ID sender

In the notification channel installing list, you can see your options. Choose the Contact ID sender option, by clicking the Install button located next to the contact ID sender title (Figure 4). This will open the notification channel setup page. There you can customize the channel, so it works great with the Contact ID sender system.

install contact id sender
Figure 4 - Install Contact ID sender

Provide details about the channel

In the next step, you need to perform the setup of the notification channel. You need to provide some information you see on Figure 5. For example, the name of the connection and it's login credentials. You need to provide a domain and a port number in order to connect to the VoIP service provider. After you have completed the groupbox, you need to click the Ok button located under the groupbox, next to the cancel button. This way you can start using the Contact ID protocol.

configure sip account
Figure 5 - Configure SIP account

Flip the connection switch

Now that you have the Contact ID sender ready, all you need to do is turn it on. You can do that by finding the Connection switch button. Flip the switch to green. That means that your connection is alive and you can start using it. As you can see on Figure 6, the Events tab of the notification channel will log every process done on the channel. You can see that now it is only the registration process is visible here.

contact id sender initialized
Figure 6 - Contact ID sender initialized

Add new source

Go to the home page of the Ozeki Alarm source application. On the left side, you will see a list of all the existing alarm sources. There you will find an Add new source button located under your last sources (Figure 7). Press it to open the source configuration screen where you can start the setup process of a new alarm source.

add new source
Figure 7 - Add new source

Choose the E-mail server offline option

In the following list (Figure 8), you can see all your options. You can install all these notification channels by clicking the Install button next to each title. In this case, choose the Email server offline option, which is located in the IT infrastructure monitoring alarm sources list. By clicking the Install button, you will start the email server offline alarm source installation procedure.

install email offile source
Figure 8 - Install email offile source

Configure the Email server

To have a working alarm source, you need to provide a Host address and a Port number. To do so, find the Email server groupbox where you will find a place for all these information (Figure 9). When you are finished with the groupbox, click the Ok button to proceed to the next step.

configure email server
Figure 9 - Configure email server

Turn on the Email server offline alarm source

Now that you have the alarm source configured, all you need to do is turning it on. Search for the connection switch and flip it to green (Figure 10). It means that the alarm source is now active and it will monitor your server periodically. In case of an error, it will send a signal to the notification channel which will send a notification to a predefined address.

enable email server offline
Figure 10 - Enable email server offline

Create a new route

To add a new route which will serve as a link between the alarm source and the notification channel, open the Routes page and click the blue Create new Route button located next to the Routes title. After clicking it, you will see a Route details panel on the right-side of the screen. There you need to find the Settings groupbox (Figure 11). There you need to fill in the From textbox with the address of the server offline alarm source. In the To field, you need to choose the address of the contact ID sender. This way the route will get all the message from the server offline alarm source and forward it to the Contact ID sender.

add new routing rule
Figure 11 - Add new routing rule

Report sent of server down

On figure 12, you can see how a working alarm sender system will record all the events in the log of the alarm source. As you can see, there is a serve check and it comes back as failed. The blue line of text is the report which tells you that the server was unreachable. In this case, the alarm sender will send a notification to the contact ID sender through the created route.

send report when email server goes offline
Figure 12 - Send report when email server goes offline

Contact ID alarm sent

Now on Figure 13, you can see the log of the contact ID sender. Here you can see the event of a received notification of server downtime. In this case, the contact ID sender will dial the Security Monitoring Station. It will receive de contact ID and will act as prescribed in case of an error. You can get all the necessary information about the event from this log, like the time of the error and the details of the contact ID message.

contact id alert sent
Figure 13 - Contact ID alert sent