Networking

Five free tools to ease network monitoring chores

Introduction

NOTE: If you'd prefer to view this information as a blog post, check out this entry in our Five Apps blog.

If you're a system or network administrator, you need to know the status of your systems so you can optimize performance and head off potential problems. Thankfully, plenty of tools are available to help you stay vigilant.

Here are five free system and/or network monitors that do as much or more than the pricier solutions.

Photo: iStockphoto.com/malerapaso

 

About

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website getjackd.net.

32 comments
donaldcarroll
donaldcarroll

slideshows don;t provide the information in a convenient manner, and are very hard to use more than one slide, Just one big waste of time!

Tink56
Tink56

I used to read a lot of your articles. Now when I see a slideshow I just close my browser. Too annoying and you can't print it out (yes, I print really good stuff out from time to time).

greg
greg

Glad to see other people hate them as much as I do.

ppieklo
ppieklo

I miss the articles . . . do not prefer the slideshows.

3suk
3suk

besides the presentation method, any comparison on the tools itself?

reece
reece

What a blabber about slideshows, here are people that seriously try to put things out for us and all you can do is complain about slideshows? Shame on you.. The contents of the article don't deserve this.. Tech Republic has thought me more than anything else. Maybe not always in the form I wanted, still it has always been there for me. Take a good two hours of search engine or 10 minutes of Tech Republic.. Obvious.. Thanks for letting me vent my thoughts..

Cicuta2011
Cicuta2011

Very good point...article is better that a slideshow.

tsgthenrik
tsgthenrik

We use Tembria to monitor network, servers, workstation, SQL databases, and many other items. The graphics are great, and the price is really great!

megamanx
megamanx

It has been and it still is annoying that we have to load the full page to see another image, at least make them show without having to load the full page.

ssanders
ssanders

It's free information. If they want to present it as a slideshow and put an ad or 2 here and there, shouldn't they be able to? I've gotten some useful information from these; I can't complain about their presentation. The ones I can't stand are the free downloads or trialware where they get your email address or worse yet your phone number (I've learned my lesson). They will pester the living hell out of you to get you to buy something you probably don't need... a perfect example is SolarWinds. Not bad software, but I downloaded a free TFTP server app once - and I got bombarded by their sales team for months to try and sell me a suite of monitoring tools priced in the thousands.

mongocrush
mongocrush

It's only free if you are monitoring less then 7 hosts/nodes. Who is going to go through all that effort to monitor 7 hosts/nodes. Get your facts straight before you post something like this.

crudder
crudder

I agree, I would rather have an article format. I don't even really need the screen shots.

joshenry
joshenry

Every time I read a free network monitoring tools article I hope to see Zenoss included in the list. How come it's always looked over? Very powerful free tool.

catchacold
catchacold

I hate slide shows. I never read the articles if I see its a slide show. Which sucks cause I would like to see this article.

siryvaine42
siryvaine42

Anyone have any idea the bandwidth consumption of Zabbix to monitor up to 10,000 devices? That's a lot of pings to be sending out just to test network connectivity to the device. My opionion of a safe time frame to check connectivity is 5 minutes or less. I would hate to blast the network once every 5 minutes with 10,000 pings.

pcr5791-tr
pcr5791-tr

The Blog post sould be the default view with the slideshow as an option if anybody wants it. I open up the Blog post as soon as I find the link. I have no time or patience to follow the slideshow, and scroll up and down to read the captions. I find the slide show to be an inefficient way to present information !

generalist
generalist

It's true, we should be providing comments relevant to the article, instead we're commenting (quite negatively) on the bloody slideshow. I'm a working professional and don't have spare time, I don't care about the incremental revenue boost you get from forcing us to look at multiple pages. Bag the slideshows.

support
support

Dude from Mikrotik is a fast and easy to use and provides agent-less discovery and mapping.

alijawad1
alijawad1

What about Cacti ? It actually does have audio alerts, OpenNMS anyone ?

tuttleesq
tuttleesq

Readers of post do not see any list of five (5) free network monitoring tools. Readers tend to move on to something else when they do not find what has been promised in the caption that got their attention.

Ssekiwere
Ssekiwere

am really glad 2 be part of the tech republic family. please guys help me build my system administrator career.

robo_dev
robo_dev

In order for TR to be useful for your average IT folks, we need more articles like this.

swells
swells

Slideshows = an annoyance to me and a way to boost ad profits for techrep.

michaewlewis
michaewlewis

Any chance of getting this redone as an article instead of a slideshow?

tneto
tneto

Hi sirynaine42. I do not have hard numbers for you, but I've work at two different companies that employed Zabbix. The first one monitored two separate data centers and many branch offices. The second is the company I'm currently with and again its two data centers. In both cases, a separate Zabbix server was used at each data center. Key systems from each data center was (is) monitored from the opposite remote data center. In neither company's deployment was degradation noted due to Zabbix's monitoring, ping, SNMP or agent. Yes, there are Zabbix agents available. Both company's had hundreds (>300) of systems being monitored, so I can not confirm the 10,000 ranging of systems. Tim

Necker
Necker

Another peep show of an article. Of no real value unless your 5 years old.

MetalFR0
MetalFR0

Agreed! When you do have slideshows that double as blog posts, it's also EXTREMELY annoying that they have to open up in a new window/tab versus just linking to it. Why must it be so difficult and annoying to get the bit of info we're looking for? I realize it may seem contradictory as I sit here typing this, but IT pros often don't have that much time, so clicking through 5, 10, 15, or 20 photos is a waste of time versus an article we can quickly peruse through to find the info. I'd rather take 5 minutes and read through an entire article than flip through photos.

tneto
tneto

I agree on the no vote to the slide show styling. It is very slow and cumbersome. If you must persist in this method, please add two options. One, buttons to go to the first or last slide. Two, a real summary page of the key items of the slide show with real links to the products. IMO... Tim

lee_h_shannon
lee_h_shannon

I find Tech Republic’s slideshows cumbersome - please ditch them in favour of proper articles.

matt.jordan59
matt.jordan59

slideshows are unnecessarily painful, what's wrong with an article? give us keystrokes not mouse clicks!

SpamTrashed
SpamTrashed

Agreed. This type of content is ill-suited to a slideshow. If I'm going to read TR's content, I want to be able to read it--not have to click on eleven slides to find one program which might be useful. Also, put some decent descriptive text in instead of a less-than-illustrative picture. (and don't publish it as a whitepaper. I can't tell you how many times I have clicked on a TR link and found it was a whitepaper that I need to do extra work to read. 99% of the time I decide I don't need to know that badly).