How to check if redis master is OK?

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http://serverfault.com – On the documentation, they advice the monitor command. But it has a 50% performance penalty for the whole system, and how should I do that ? Whatching the ouput using SSH until I don't see anything ? Let's say I have 3 servers: 1 with a redis master, 1 with a redis slave, and one with my website querying the redis master. How can I, from my website server, make cleany the decision to fallback to the slave by sending the SLAVEOF NO ONE command ? My first step would be to put some kind of timeout check with a simple ping, just to be sure the server is online. But for redis specifically, I hav (HowTos)