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Know your network monitoring options

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How do you monitor your organization's network? What tools do you use to monitor the health and availability of critical devices? What measures have you taken to secure your monitoring? Share your comments about making sure network monitoring is secure, as discussed in the Jan. 7 Security Solutions newsletter.

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Nagios - Priceless tool

by thomas.nilsen In reply to Know your network monitor ...

I've been using Nagios for more than 6 years to keep track of larger networks. Even though the server code is based on unix platforms, it integrates well with monitoring of Windows equipment as well. Many different plugins exists, so it is possible to monitor nearly anything - only your own imagination limits the possibilities.

This tool is enterprise quality!

When it comes to security, limiting IP addresses to the monitoring server/clients and ports/agents is a necessity. With Nagios a lot of the plugins supported use an agent which supports SSL encryption.

SNMP based services must be secured with IP access restrictions, plus non standard community strings. However if IP access restriction is enforced, the community sting is not so much of an issue, as even if the traffic is picked up by a listening 3rd party, it is not likely to contain any useful information that can be used in further attacks against the system.

I would recommend anyone looking for a monitoring system for small or larger organisation to take a peek at http://www.nagios.org. It is amazing what this tool has to offer.

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We use SA for monitoring

by zaferus In reply to Know your network monitor ...

We use Servers Alive for our monitoring software. We have the enterprise version that cost a few hundred dollars but has all the features unlocked.

The positives:
1. It can monitor windows services, web pages as well as as ICMP, SNMP, databases, FTP servers, drive space remaining and a bunch of other connectors using most TCP protocols.

2. We like it because it uses on call lists and can be set to only notify whoever is on call if there's a problem. You can also set different contact information depending on the time of day (or don't contact during certain hours). As well you can set hours where it doesn't check certain servers (like during backup times).

3. Responses and messages can be set for each device. As well you can have dependant devices so if one goes down it knows to stop checking the others (like if your firewall goes down it will only alert you of that, not of all the devices that will also have failed because of having no Internet access).

4. It can output results to a web page, so you can have it on available for people to check what's up and down quickly. This is also a good tool if several things fail at once to quickly discern a pattern.

The negatives we've found:
1. It can page us if systems dependant on E-mail are down. Although the paging system only seems to work 70% of the time.

2. We paid for the 1 year support on the product, although after three days of getting no response from their support E-mail (which I never did get a response from) I found out that they have a mailing list for free that gets answered normally within a few hours.

3. If you have one group with a few hundred things being monitored (like remaining drive space), and you decide you want to change something on this group you have to go through and manually change them all. They have a "universal" change mechanism but it changes everything and you cannot set it to just one group or element and seems to cause more problems than it solves when we've tried to use it. As we're getting into the thousand range of things being monitored changes are very time consuming.

All in all though, it's better than many systems we evaluated that cost 10 times what SA did, and it's already given us quick notice of services and servers that failed that we were able to get a fast jump to confirm and fix the problem. It's very flexible, easy to configure and runs 24/7 without any issues so far.

I give it an "A" overall and recommend it to anyone who wants to make their IT department more proactive at identifying failures.

Zaf

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Do you have comparision of free network monitoring tools

by shah_s98 In reply to Know your network monitor ...

By chance is there any comparision available for free SW tools between Big Sister and Nagios.

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by Liz NY In reply to Know your network monitor ...

I use AdRem's NetCrunch for inventoring and monitoring the network, plus get alerts in case of any emergency to pagers or cell phones, and can resolve problems in weekend situations, before others realize there were problems. My team is alerted when servers or routers are not functioning, in the past we didn't know until the next business day. This allowed us to substantially reduce our response time to outages on weekends and after hours.
We are able to see early on what workstations or servers need more memory and hard drive space. What's more, with NetCrunch generated reports on asset, availability and performance issues, I've been able to identify and justify to management the need for additional memory and CPU for our server."
You can downlad 30-day trial at
www.adremsoft.com

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Try NetCrunch

by Liz NY In reply to Know your network monitor ...

I use AdRem's NetCrunch for inventoring and monitoring the network, plus get alerts in case of any emergency to pagers or cell phones, and can resolve problems in weekend situations, before others realize there were problems. My team is alerted when servers or routers are not functioning, in the past we didn't know until the next business day. This allowed us to substantially reduce our response time to outages on weekends and after hours.
We are able to see early on what workstations or servers need more memory and hard drive space. What's more, with NetCrunch generated reports on asset, availability and performance issues, I've been able to identify and justify to management the need for additional memory and CPU for our server."
You can downlad 30-day trial at
www.adremsoft.com

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I Use Nimbus from Nimsoft

by umeshkmr In reply to Know your network monitor ...

We use Nimbus software for our Enterprise Network, Although there are other similar cheaper products available in the market, we as a Bank cannot use those software because of our policy, i also tried Najios and Cacti softwares pretty good tools but not very user friendly.

Best Regards
Umesh (umeshkmr@gmail.com)

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Use Network monitoring Software with OpExpert

by nmsolutions In reply to Know your network monitor ...

I would recommend that you try the solution from opexpert, which is free and is well supported. The link is http://www.opexpert.com

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