I develop a monitoring system that continuously monitors remote hosts and provides a real-time report about the status of some components of this remote host.
For each component, I provide one of these options:
And here is a part of how it looks like:
The system has several components in which the way to check them is as following:
- Connect to remote host (through SSH or HTTP request)
- Check (poll) the component's status and get a result
- Returns the appropriate result (operating normally; Error; Warning etc.)
For instance, assuming I'd like to monitor the usage of memory component in a given remote host and provide an error if users using too much memory, firstly I have to (a) connect to this host, then I have to (b) collect data and (c) returns it.
My dilemma is about situations that you can't provide the data.
- That could be because you can't connect to host
- That could be because you can connect to host but it doesn't return a value (for some technical reasons, e.g. a problem in operating system)
My question: Would you provide a red icon of "Error" or gray icon of "check status is unknown" in case you can't provide data about the memory usage? Which one better reflects the situation?
Currently I use red "Error" icon in case that users use too much memory OR I can't provide data, but I'm not sure if the second situation should really provide red "Error icon". What do you think about?