The Monitor Plug-in can send scheduled messages to the Notification Server computer. These messages are called heartbeats. Heartbeats are used to determine if a Monitor Plug-in is available and in communication with the Notification Server computer. In addition to monitoring the health of a Monitor Plug-in, heartbeats also give insight into the host system's uptime and availability. The Monitor Plug-in is a service on the monitored computer so Monitor Solution equates uptime to the time that the Monitor Plug-in is up. A computer is more likely to be up and available if a Monitor Plug-in on that computer is running and communicating. Likewise, if expected heartbeats are not received from a Monitor Plug-in, it could indicate a possible problem. The problem can be with either the computer that hosts the non-responsive plug-in or with the network connection that is used.
Should a heartbeat fail to be received, an alert is generated in the Event Console. With Event Console you can create rules to automatically execute server-side tasks in response to a failed heartbeat alert. For example, you can have a rule configured to send an email to you when a heartbeat fails. You can even configure the rule to execute a run script task that you preconfigure to diagnose the source of the heartbeat failure.