Email Round-Trip Monitoring

About E-mail Round-Trip Monitoring

Email Round-Trip (ERT) monitoring allows you to monitor availability and performance of an end-to-end email delivery process, to ensure that your incoming and outgoing email services are working properly end-to-end and emails are sent and delivered timely.

Once you add an Email Round-Trip monitor it will start automatically sending an email to your email server at your predefined email address with your set time interval, and your server will automatically send a reply email back to Monitis as soon as you have configured auto-forwarding to the specified Monitis mail box on your email server, as described further in this document. If the whole process is completed successfully within your preset timeout, it confirms to you that an email can be sent and received successfully by your email servers throughout the network channels.

You can also set Alert Rules so that you get alerted if the timeout for email round-trip reaches some critical level preset by you.

Adding E-mail Round-Trip Monitor

Go to the Monitors menu and select Application Monitors->Email Round-Trip.

Add New ERT

The Add E-mail Round-Trip Monitor window will open.

Under Test email address enter the email address to be checked.

In order for round-trip test to be carried out, you’ll need to configure your test mailbox to automatically forward back to [email protected] messages received from this email address.

Unless you have configured the forwarding, do not check the I have completed auto-forwarding box.

Once you check the I have completed auto-forwarding box, the Add button will be enabled.

Under Timeout (sec) enter the timeout that if elapsed before the round-trip is completed (the forwarded back email received by Monitis) the monitoring check will return failure.

Under Mail server (MX record) select from the MX record list that your DNS resolves to the mail server that you want to be used during the test. You can select a specific mail server, or choose an option of always using the first MX record in the list returned by NSlookup type=MX.

Enter a name for the monitor under the Monitor Name.

Select from the Monitor Group combo box the monitor group for this monitor to be assigned to.

You can also create a new monitor group by clicking Add a new Group.

Under Check Interval set the monitoring check frequency (1, 5, 15 or 20 min) by moving the slider.

For now, email round-trip monitoring is available from one location: US-MID , as shown on the screen. More locations will be added over the time.

Click Add when done.

The Alert Configuration window will appear.


Alert Configuration

  • Click Send to All Contacts if you want to send alerts for this monitor to all contacts.
  • Click Custom Configuration (Advanced) to configure sending alerts for this monitor only to selected contacts.
    The Alert Rules window will open. Click on the Add Alert Rule button to configure alert rule(s) for your monitor.
    New Alert RuleSet up the alert rule and click Add Rule. See Alert Rules in Alerts 2.0 for more info about alert rules.

    Note: To be able to add alert rules, you need to set up thresholds (Critical or Warning) in your monitor first.

    A threshold includes two conditions connected by a logical OR. If any of the conditions matches the monitor will enter your specified state.

    • Check fails (response timed out, connection failure, etc)
    • Any or all of your selected metrics meet the failure conditions you specified for them
      Edit Thersholds

    See Thresholds for more info.
    Please note the following important points:
    – The check will fail and ERT monitor will return NOK if:

    • The specified email server is not accessible.
    • The specified mailbox is not available.
    • The email round-trip (sent from [email protected] to your mail box and auto-forwarded back to [email protected]) timed out by exceeding the value of threshold set under the Timeout setting of ERT monitor (see above).
    • Any other error occurred while sending or receiving back the test email.

    The error message returned by ERT monitor will provide you with further details about the cause of the NOK status.


    – The below processes are excluded when measuring Round-Trip Duration.

    • Email address validation
    • Retrieval and check of domain from the email address
    • Resolving email exchanger(s) (via DNS)
    • Testing email exchanger for validity
    • Checking accessibility of email exchanger

    – If email round-trip fails to complete during the set Timeout of your ERT monitor (see above), the monitor will drop measuring the round-trip duration and will return NOK status. As round-trip has failed to complete “N/A” will be returned as the round-trip duration value, shown as “N/A” in table view and as a gap in chart view for this check.

    It means that if e.g. in the threshold you select the Round-Trip Duration metric’s operator to be “More than” and set the threshold value for this metric to be greater than the value of Timeout setting of your monitor, you will not be alerted for any round-trip duration exceeding the Timeout setting’s value.

    E.g. if you set the value of Timeout in your monitor’s settings to 10 sec, and the value of Round-Trip Duration in the threshold to 11 sec, you will not receive any alerts as upon round-trip duration reaching 10 sec the monitor will drop the check (and return NOK status).

    The following is recommended therefore for thresholds setup for Email Round Trip monitor:

    • Select the Round-Trip Duration metric if you want to be alerted for the round-trip duration of the email. Select the operator (”More than”, “Less than” or “Equal”) and enter the threshold value (seconds).
      Make sure to set the value of Round-Trip Duration metric in the threshold to be less than the value that you have provided under Timeout in ERT monitor’s settings.
      It means that you should use the Timeout value in ERT monitor settings to tell Monitis that this is the amount of time it has taken waiting for the round-trip to complete after which you consider the round-trip failed and therefore there is no need for the check to continue anymore, and use the Round-Trip Duration value in the threshold to tell Monitis that this is the amount of time it has taken waiting for the round-trip to complete that you want to be alerted about.
    • Click Don’t Send Alerts if you don’t want any alerts for this monitor to be sent.

    Your newly created Email Round-Trip monitor will appear in your Monitis Dashboard.
    Test_MailWait until it loads the first results.E-mail Round-Trip Monitor DataIn case an error message was returned by your mail server, it will show on your ERT monitor.Email_account_does_not_exist.You will also see an error message in case we didn’t receive the auto-forwarded email from you within the set timeout.Auto-forwarding

    Note that if your newly added ERT monitor shows an error message instead of loading data, it means also that monitoring was stopped. Make sure the shown error is fixed and click the Resend Test Mail button to start monitoring again.

    You can use the Settings menu to change Email Round-Trip monitor setup data at any time: e.g. change e-mail address, timeout and check interval. If you change the e-mail address, make sure that you have configured auto-forwarding for the new address as well.

    Viewing Email Round Trip Monitor Data

    In chart view, you can see the round-trip duration data of your Email Round-Trip monitor plotted over a period of time.
    ERT Monitor Data

    If you switch to the table view, you can see the email round-trip duration data in tabular format along with the status of the monitor (OK if round-trip completed within the set timeout, else NOK).
    E-mail Round-Trip Monitor Status