Networking

Review: InterMapper Network Monitoring Software

The InterMapper Network Monitoring Software provides administrators of networks of all sizes with a simple, easy to use device monitoring interface.

InterMapper from Dartware makes network monitoring a snap with a simple, easy-to-use interface that assists network administrators by alerting them to system outages. No network should be without a monitoring and alerting system.

Specifications

  • Manufacturer: Dartware
  • Product: InterMapper Network Monitoring
  • Version: 5.1.5
  • Operating Systems: Windows 2008/Vista/XP/2003/2000, MacOS X 10.4, Solaris, RedHat, Fedora, SuSE, Debian, Ubuntu, FreeBSD
  • CPU: 1GHz or better
  • Memory: 512MB
  • 50MB hard drive space minimum plus additional space for historical data
  • Trial: a 14-day free trial is available
  • Price: Base, 25 Devices w/ 1 yr Maintenance, $495
  • Additional vendor provided information
  • For a closer look, check out the TechRepublic InterMapper Photo Gallery

Who's it for?

The InterMapper Network Monitoring Software provides administrators of networks of all sizes with a simple, easy to use device monitoring interface. This tool can help minimize downtime for critical systems by providing administrators with immediate notification of outages, rather than having to wait for user complaints or trouble tickets.

What problem does it solve?

InterMapper monitors system availability using a variety of methods from simple ping through SNMP protocols, to specific tasks such as HTTP, DHCP, DNS, and LDAP availability using customizable probes. Using specific probes for specific machines, an administrator can monitor service availability and be notified instantly of problems.

Standout features

  • Lightweight: InterMapper monitoring uses very little active memory and CPU time to monitor devices. Also, with as little as 50MB needed on the hard drive, nearly any system can run this software.
  • Easy to Use: With a simple startup wizard InterMapper can have you up and running with simple Ping probes in seconds. Additional probe types are a quick configuration step away.
  • Robust Help: Any advanced features are a short tutorial away in the well-documented help file included with the system

What's wrong

  • Limited Feature Set: Most network monitor applications come with additional features for diagnosing problems with network systems, including packet analysis. InterMapper only monitors availability and reports to the network administrator.

Competitive products

Bottom line for business

Business networks, from small businesses to large enterprises, often have critical systems that can seriously harm productivity, output, and revenue if they experience significant outages. With InterMapper's monitoring and alerting, network administrators can immediately begin diagnosing system problems, before the users begin opening trouble tickets.

User rating

Have you encountered or used InterMapper Network Monitoring Software? If so, what do you think? Rate your experience and compare the results to what other TechRepublic members think. Give your own personal review in the TechRepublic Community Forums or let us know if you think we left anything out in our review.

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13 comments
egamblin
egamblin

Review the feature set again. There's a lot more there than just availability... I'd suggest its ability to import NetFlow/xFlow feeds largely offsets the reviewer's perceived lack of a protocol analysis capability. That allows answering questions like which addresses/protocols are consuming bandwidth on a link, and how much. If you really need to analyze raw packets there are other options.

klkaliski
klkaliski

I've known Dartware for a while - great company with a refreshing focus on customer service and technology that delivers fast return on investment. Nice to see this review.

chris
chris

Christopher, Director of Software Development from Dartware here. Appreciate the review. Just thought I'd mention our IMFlows package, a NetFlow (not to mention sFlow, jFlow, etc.) analyzer that works with InterMapper, as well as a couple of fun and useful things: 1) InterMapper can integrate with Google Earth; 2) InterMapper is in the cloud--there's an InterMapper AMI (Amazon Machine Image) available. I'm happy to answer any questions anyone might have about InterMapper. Thanks!

CraigPallett
CraigPallett

Intermapper is considered to be the best cost advantage with the strongest feature set tailored for SMBs. They also offer a free community edition of their monitoring software and netflow analyzer.

brian
brian

I used to work for a company that monitored their networks with an old version of Intermapper. I hated dealing with it because the version they were running only worked on an ancient G3 mac. The fact they kept it around so long says something though. I think it had benefits in our situation; we were monitoring a large number of Cisco routers and mixed-brand switch networks across the country. Pros included very easy setup for each site and reliable cell paging. The software just ran happily in a corner forever. Inherent in the setup of each site was making a graphical layout of that site's hardware and its connectivity, which was very nice because it forced whoever set up monitoring for a new site to produce some documentation for the rest of the team, new employees etc. to see. When a site triggered an alert you could look at the Intermapper screen and instantly see what was there and how it was connected. I found I could do a basic check of most anything I wanted, but it was not capable of doing a full check on a custom service, just an open TCP port check. I remember it could check for the presence of specific text on a web page returned from an http request to a certain site. That helped us nail functional web servers that were actually down because of a database access problem. (example: site linux server goes down but no complaints about internet come in. Look at Intermapper: Oh ok, at this site there's an extra switch in the stack and that switch is down. The office PIX and the server are on that switch, but most users are on a different switch. Tells us the office has no internet, but isn't bothering to call because they expect us to already know and fix it.) Cons on that old version were just that it ran on that ancient mac, but obviously that's changed. Setting up new sites was a lot slower than, say, if you could fill in an Excel sheet and import the data. That was OK with us, it's a one-time tedious task. Since we had a very busy team, new people all the time and lots of differing sites, having the monitoring and the topology in one spot was a good thing. One thing that might be a deal-breaker is the software had to be running AND had to have loaded the map file for every site. One day we had to move that old mac, which meant shutting it down. When we brought it back up Intermapper loaded up blank and we had to hit File -> Open for every site. Extra PITA was the folder full of maps had dozens of old versions, backups, badly named files, files named according to old conventions, and files for sites that we no longer had. Of course I haven't been using monitoring software for quite a while, and it all comes down to price and the alternatives.

rmerchberger
rmerchberger

... if you just have way too much money. ;-) Orion's Solarwinds is a very nice product & works well, but is somewhat pricey. On the plus side, they do have some very nice free tools as well, if nothing else I'd recommend stopping by the website & checking out the freebies. Laterz!

rkuhn040172
rkuhn040172

I'll keep mine...Overseer. It's simple, cheap and just works.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

What network monitoring application or suite of applications do you recommend to your peers when they ask for advice? Why?

brian
brian

I was tasked with looking for monitoring alternatives once and definitely drooled over SolarWinds. IMO they should have gone for it, considering the amount of money that flowed through the place and the potential "cost" of downtime. I think they ended up developing some kind of in-house Nagios extension instead. Which of course probably cost them as much as SolarWinds, just in dev team salaries instead of license fees. :)

kwigle
kwigle

I have been using Intermapper for around 5 years. I first "inherited" a installation on a MAC - which I wasn't familiar with and to make it even more interesting, the MAC was failing. Fortunately, Intermapper became available on a Windows platform and we migrated quickly. Everyone I demonstrate Intermapper to is so impressed and they say they're going to look at it for their shop. You get a lot of bang for your buck with Intermapper not the least of which is the superior support from Dartware - unbelievable to actually talk to the president sometimes!

jmoldenhauer
jmoldenhauer

I'll stick with Nagios. It's free, has a far deeper collection of features and is easy to use. For a Linux novice you can be up and running in less than a day (speaking from firsthand experience) and for an intermediate/pro you can be up in 20-30 minutes. Oh and did I mention its free?

darrob104
darrob104

I have implemented and used Intermapper in a couple of different network environments and like it very much. Fairly simple to begin using, but lots of features and functionality to implement as you become more familiar with the software. I would recommend it in most environments.

istoptofly
istoptofly

I use Zenoss in a mid size network and love it.

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