If you have ever been a system administrator or network manager, you can appreciate a tool that allows you to efficiently check the health of various components of your network. Receiving alerts to problems the moment they happen lets you solve them as quickly as possible and prioritize your time effectively.
So how can we accomplish this? Well, if you're a Linux guru and have plenty of time on your hands, you can always write tons of custom scripts to do the requisite monitoring. However, if time is at a premium and you want something more complex than a network ping, you need to consider other solutions.
Today, we take a look at the GFI Network Server Monitor, software that promises to scan automatically for network failures and irregularities. System administrators can be alerted to problems via email, pager, or even SMS.
The tool can monitor a variety of devices, including Windows and Linux servers, and even routers. You can download it over at GFI, where a 30-day evaluation version is available.
I tested GFI Network Server Monitor, and concluded that it has several strengths and weaknesses.
- Easy to setup -- you can expect to be up and running within the hour
- Good library of built-in checks that you can instantly tap into
- Simple, intuitive configuration interface
- Mature product that just works
- Cost of product is tiered by number of IP addresses monitored -- can get costly pretty quickly
- Web interface is pretty limited by current standards
GFI Network Server Monitor is not perfect. Despite the plethora of built-in checks with configurable settings, it is possible to find oneself in a situation where the checks library proves inadequate. Still, GFI has a done a pretty good job of anticipating the most common kind of options. If it fits your budget, it is most likely able to perform to your expectations.
For me, the GFI Network Server Monitor is The Right Tool for the Job.
Paul Mah is a writer and blogger who lives in Singapore, where he has worked for a number of years in various capacities within the IT industry. Paul enjoys tinkering with tech gadgets, smartphones, and networking devices.