Server & Network Monitoring Software

Posted on 2011-05-08
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-12-06
I have 4 servers, 3 routers, 3 switches, and 1 firewall that I need to monitor remotely in case one of them were to fail. I would like to be notified via email in case one of them were to fail.

Are there are free solutions out there that will do this for without making me install software on one of the servers there?
Question by:Cobra25
LVL 88

Expert Comment

ID: 35715085
First of all I suggest you check with your hardware manufacturer, particularly the servers. Compaq Servers for instance included "CIM" (Compaq Insight Manager), and I believe HP still has the same product, but it may have been renamed. Dell and IBM servers will have something similar. You can use this for what you want to do.

Otherwise there are also opensource products, like nagios and OpenNMS:

LVL 88

Expert Comment

ID: 35715089
Forgot to mention, you will have to install "Agents" on the Servers so they can send Alerts to the management station (that is a separate PC which will gather those alerts and do with them what you want, or which you can connect to remotely to do the monitoring), and many other devices like managed switches etc can also be configured to send out traps to the management station, but this always depends on the deviices.

Another option I forgot about is spiceworks, it probably is the easiest of these get running:


Expert Comment

ID: 35718791
I agree with rindi
 - Nagios http://www.nagios.org - as main monitoring system
 - Check_MK http://mathias-kettner.de/check_mk.html collecting data for performace analysis and graphing

I stronly recommend using SNMP for all checks on servers and network devices.
SNMP is built-in in all Windows Server systems as well as all managed network devices have SNMP as default monitoring protocol.

To send notifications about failures you can enable SNMP traps to be sent to Nagios server.

In addtion to Nagios with check_mk you can consider collecting configurations from network devices.
For that I woudl recommend:
 - RANCID - http://www.shrubbery.net/rancid/ - engine to collect configurations from entwork devices
 - CVSweb - http://www.freebsd.org/projects/cvsweb.html - as presentation framework to show content of RANCID archive (RANCID is collecting it in CVS repository which is versioning system, so you can keep track of historical configurations and compare them).

Once you will have SNMp enabled you can also have a look into:
 - Cacti - http://www.cacti.net
This si pretty neat graphing system which allows you for example to collect information about bandwidth utilization.
With multiple plugins (like mactrack) you can also have information about all devices connected to your network.

To manage alerts generated by Nagios in case of failures you might want to check ticketing system:
 - RT - http://bestpractical.com/rt/ 
which has plugin to Nagios to open case once alert is raised.

Of course RANCID, Cacti, RT and maybe other solutions will be next stages of environment development.
For good beginning I would recommend to start with Nagios and check_mk.

Hope that helps.

Hope that helps
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Expert Comment

ID: 35827039

Author Comment

ID: 35829111
Is there Nagios for windows??
LVL 88

Accepted Solution

rindi earned 2000 total points
ID: 35829411
No, but that isn't an issue. What matters is that it can monitor Windows machines. If you want the simplest option go for spiceworks which I also suggested earlier...

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