One of the stresses associated with running your own Internet servers is, frankly, knowing if they’re running. Most people host public servers elsewhere, to take advantage of the massive bandwidth, secure facilities, earthquake-proof racks, and tech support of companies like digital.forest. But remote hosting means you can’t just look in on your server to see how it’s doing, and that’s where server monitoring software like Simon from Dejal Systems comes in. It can pretend to be a normal Web browser or email client or whatever, all for the purpose of connecting to your server on a regular basis and verifying not just that the machine is running, but that your server software is doing what it’s supposed to do. I’ve been using Simon 2 for some time now to keep track of various Internet services on my Web Crossing server, and it’s been quite helpful in alerting me to problems ranging from local connectivity outages to severe slowdowns related to some particularly annoying mail loops. I could have had Simon send me email, or play sounds, or various other alerts, but I opted for it bouncing its Dock icon, which is obvious while I’m at the machine and won’t wake me up at night. Overall, I’ve appreciated not feeling as though I should be manually checking in on my Internet services all the time.