I just had a question closed on Server Fault: Open Source Monitoring for Windows

However, I can't understand why.

The FAQ states that questions about monitoring (which it is) are allowed. I guess at a casual glance it might appear to be a shopping question, but it is not. It's a question about whether there are any solutions, at all, that meet the given criteria.

Did I misunderstand something about acceptable questions?

  • 2
    "I need a product that does X, Y, and Z" - How is that not shopping?
    – Chris S
    Commented Mar 8, 2012 at 5:26

3 Answers 3


Or, the TL;DR version:

Your question was closed for being a shopping question: a request for "Product, service, or learning material recommendations." That type of question is routinely closed on all SE sites.

  • It's also a polling question, so ... double whammy
    – Zypher
    Commented Mar 8, 2012 at 22:43

While I personally think we've gone much too far with the shopping question issue, something I've raised before, your question is a shopping question as described in the FAQ. I should also mention that I think my views on shopping questions are in the minority, so don't expect anything to get changed any time soon.


Disclaimer: I'm not an active user on ServerFault or associated with the close votes on your question, but I'll try to do an attempt here based on other sites' experience and what is available to me from SF.

Under what criteria is it closed?

Here is the close reason, emphasis mine:

closed as not constructive

This question is not a good fit to our Q&A format. We expect answers to generally involve facts, references, or specific expertise; this question will likely solicit opinion, debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. See the FAQ.

From the FAQ I quote, emphasis mine:

If your question is not about...

  • Product, service, or learning material recommendations

Furthermore; a question should be practical, answerable and based on actual problems that you face.

It's a question about whether there are any solutions, at all, that meet the given criteria.

does not meet that criteria.

Why exactly is it closed?

Questions on any Stack Exchange website are about learning (see the last paragraph on the blog post you referenced), they are not meant to let others search for you. This is also why the page you get to see as a new user mentions to do your homework, showing that you really can't find anything.

What can I do?

That requires (quite) some search results to wade through, but given that a large enough share of the servers that exist are also Windows-based there should be search results for it. Worst case you'd have to come up with an alternative solution where you virtualize Linux or buy a separate box to use Linux on.

In any case, try to look further than a single ServerFault questions and you'll might find something that fits your situation. Alternatively try to see what other Windows hosters do, ask on chat or some forum. And if you really can't find a solution, you'll have enough to show us that you can't find it anywhere...

And then, you can go in defense of obscure, niche hardware recommendation questions.

  • I don't agree that the question involves polling or specific product recommendations, or that I was asking others to search for me (after an extensive search, I could not find any open source, Windows-hosted solutions). Clearly, though, my opinion is in the minority.
    – Eric J.
    Commented Mar 8, 2012 at 3:51
  • 5
    @EricJ.: Although these are off topic for the site, asking if anyone has any recommendations is pretty common in chat. (However, in this case I can't think of any systems that meet your requirements, so I wouldn't get your hopes up) Commented Mar 8, 2012 at 4:30
  • @KyleBrandt: How do I get my account linked with Meta ServerFault? It's weird to see my name as anonymous here, disallowing me to change a typo in the Disclaimer. :( Commented Mar 8, 2012 at 10:58
  • @TomWijsman - I fixed that typo (hopefully that was the one you were thinking about.
    – EEAA
    Commented Mar 8, 2012 at 15:28
  • @ErikA: Indeed. Thanks. Still makes me wonder why I'm still disassociated. But anyway, no need to edit this post anymore. Still funny that my own comment appears in my own inbox... :) Commented Mar 8, 2012 at 20:07

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