Networking

12 of the most recommended network monitoring tools

Intermapper control center

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.

Supported operating systems include: Windows 2008/Vista/XP/2003/2000, MacOS X 10.4, Solaris, RedHat, Fedora, SuSE, Debian, Ubuntu, FreeBSD. See the full spotlight review.

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Selena has been at TechRepublic since 2002. She is currently a Senior Editor with a background in technical writing, editing, and research. She edits Data Center, Linux and Open Source, Apple in the Enterprise, The Enterprise Cloud, Web Designer, and...

45 comments
etabush
etabush

I feel like Quest's PacketTrap really flies under the radar. Its a top of the line network monitoring tool i dont hear many people talking about. Need to host yourself but still great, and support is very helpful Another new one is MXAlerts. They only offer email server motoring (using round trip monitors) but the price and simplicity are great!

JoshtheGeek
JoshtheGeek

ntop is one of the most valuable tools in my network monitoring kit. Can't beat the price (FREE) if you run it on a *nix platform or compile your own Windows executable. A pre-compiled Win32 version is available for less than $100USD and includes one year of free upgardes and support. http://www.ntop.org/overview.html

andrefalconib
andrefalconib

Network monitoring tools should be able to bring information about availability, traffic, services status (in the case of servers) and a visibility of the network topology i think. In my opinion Zenoss is the best open source tool.

bott
bott

For large Enterprise Network monitoring we use Statseeker. Relatively simple to setup, Capable of polling using SNMP and receiving input from SNMP-Traps & Syslog, it also stores data for an extended period of time allowing trending over a long period of time (i.e. years), and is very scalable (We are monitoring over 5000 devices and over 45000 network ports.). It also does event, and threshold alerting, and you can also custom script your own requirements. Having said that it is mostly network centric, i.e. it primarily monitors routers and switches, The latest versions have incorporated Server, UPS, Printer monitoring, but these aspects are not as well developed as the network side is (The other monitoring systems are catching up pretty quickly.)

chrisbedford
chrisbedford

mrtg is very powerful - set it up many years ago and once I got it going it was a dream to behold - however as I recal it is what you might euphemistically call "non-trivial" to get it running! The graphs look just like thos of munin and Zenoss, probably all three based on / grew from the same original Linux code I guess. IT service view is a lot less of a mission to configure, all done in one GUI, but also takes some getting used to. Once it's set up & running you can also forget about it though - it just works.

tsgthenrik
tsgthenrik

We have used this for over 4 years now and it has worked exactly as described

LizNY
LizNY

We use it for automatic logical network maps and views of physical segments with port numbers, agentless monitoring of Windows, Linux, Mac OS X and full support of SNMP. Looks like it is more popular in Europe and Asia, or am I wrong?

stubones99
stubones99

How complete is this is you missed The Dude and OpManager Manage Engine? The Dude is free and fairly powerful while OpManager is VERY powerful, configurable and cost effective to manage larger networks.

oswaldofarith
oswaldofarith

Spiceworks is a very good free network monitoring tool. Why isn't in this list?

pconrad
pconrad

What about Cacti? You can plug in syslog, monitor, rrd graphs etc...

markbeckstrom
markbeckstrom

Please correct me but I only see 12 listed. Perhaps number 13 is too hush hush for the likes of me. :)

chostetler
chostetler

The Dude is another excellent network monitoring tool. www.mikrotik.com/dude/

pbyers
pbyers

I am really suprised WhatsUp was not listed here. This is easier to configure and has better dashboards than all of these

andrefalconib
andrefalconib

Is t a free tool? If not, how much do you pay for a licence (for example 1000 nodes). Do you pay for year support? Thanks

princekwame
princekwame

OpenNMS is open source and way better than WhatsUP Gold... They also have a great community that support the software even though it's open source

sreeleshvp
sreeleshvp

stubones99@ has said it perfect about OpManager!

mogrith
mogrith

The nightly scan and 4 hr "health" scans gives you a lot of info. It's not really a monitor. You can make a device offline alert but not much else. Use one of listed tools and set it to email spiceworks.

komelia
komelia

We use Solarwinds for most things but for non chart based service based notificatons you can't really beat Big Brother from Quest Software The free version is excellent We also use MRTG, Cacti and Nagios

Selena Frye
Selena Frye moderator

I'm not sure how I came up with an extra. Thanks for pointing it out, though. The title is changed accordingly.

saturno
saturno

Among all the others i think The Dude (from Mikrotik) must also be listed. I have it in some clients and it is just great! Besides it is completely free.

andrewm
andrewm

Advanced Host Monitor for windows, linux and network systems. UNNOC, no longer being developed but presents an excellent graphing and correlation engine for VI3 instances.

egamblin
egamblin

Great product, with the most responsive developers I've encountered.

RobinHoltet
RobinHoltet

I'm also missing Zabbix. Excellent tool IMHO. Especially when you need historical performance/statistical data with full detail, not compressed into rrd graphs. It also does service monitoring, web monitoring etc and adding custom checks can be done really easy.

dengelken
dengelken

I agree. What's UP is extremely informative and user friendly.

bott
bott

Yes It does cost, but for obvious reasons I cannot disclose how much we pay. (plus I cant remember anyhow.) we have been using it for so long that I dont even remember if there was a upfront cost, However we do continue to pay a yearly maintenance fee. There is a Free trial licence avalible on the Statseeker website, If you are interested I recommend finding their website and trying it out.

jcommunications
jcommunications

Been using it for about a year and it's a great free tool.

randy_scadden
randy_scadden

None of the programs listed are "Real Time." When it comes to network monitoring at least in my experience there is really only Near Realtime. I know typically within about a 10 or 15 minute window if one of my critical servers, devices or services is down and get an alert from Spiceworks. You just have to setup Spiceworks to do a Network Health Scan and viola it works like a champ.

Diakiao
Diakiao

The Dude is an excellent monitor!

ckelly
ckelly

Expensive. Used it, liked it, didn't want to pay for it. Lots of other stuff does as well - for free.

andrefalconib
andrefalconib

It's obvios that you get a good performance because of the server you have. But it sounds like a good tool. It'll be on my list, i wanna try it. Thanks.

bott
bott

the Statseeker guys could answer better, but I think (based on the info published on their webpage in the tech support help section) it sounds like your server should be able to deal with the load. From memory we are running a Dual Quad core server with around 16G of Ram and 6 x 80G HDD's in a raid 5 config, It is complete overkill and the server Runs at less than 20% util :-) but by the same token we dont have any problems when multiple users are all on there generating reports simueltaneously. -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- from Statseeker Tech support Page For best performance we recommend the following: Up to 20,000 network interfaces and minimal NetFlow collection requirements: * 64 bit Dual Core CPU, with 2MB of L2 cache for each core * 2GB RAM * 500GB Hard Drive * Gigabit capable NIC

andrefalconib
andrefalconib

I really find it interesting. Specially for the number of nodes that you are managing. I'm going to try the trail version. Is there any hardware requeriments in order to manage more than 500 nodes? I have a 4GB RAM, 512 GB hard disc, dual core server. Would it be enough to manage 1000 nodes?

darrell.hixon
darrell.hixon

The title of the article speaks for itself "13 of the most recommended network monitoring tools". HPov is clearly not one of those that falls into the top 13! HPov is complex, expensive and difficult to manage & maintain. My personal fav. is Solarwinds with a number of their plugin's NTA, NCM etc etc. Good balance of being cost effective, being able to provide a good support model and a large 'thwack' community following :)

jdavis
jdavis

Hello! Anyone ever hear of it? It is interesting that this article didn't list products from any of the top 10 network management and monitoring vendors.

JamesDinkins
JamesDinkins

Im currently in school and am interested in knowing about these free tool and where did you find them. please to reply to jamesdinkins06@gmail.com. Thank you

andrefalconib
andrefalconib

Sorry but i try WhatsUp half a year ago. I was interested in managing alerts for threshold of traffic and it didn't meet my expectations because i had to configure one by one the alerts with special commands in the router or switch. I did not try its other benefits. I'm working with Zenoss Enterprise .... for now it has all i need.