I want to make sure I get an automatic heads up the next time something like this happens. But since it’s hardly a mission critical service, I don’t want to bother with setting up Nagios or paying for anything. So I’m giving Pingdom a try.
Pingdom offers a free account that lets you monitor exactly one service, with alerts sent via email, Twitter, and mobile apps. (It can send a few SMS alerts too, but you have to pay for those eventually.) The reports look pretty nice, with some nifty details like average response times. Checks seem to be run from several locations around the US, and at least one in Europe.
This is more than enough for my needs right now. Let’s see how it works out.