Remote server monitoring for few offices


I want to offer a free remote server monitoring service for few clients, it will be a basic monitoring solution including few windows services, free HDD space,etc. It would be nice for the software to send alerts and automated (customized) reports once a week showing up time, problems and other information. Another nice option to have would be a possibility of a client to log in via a web portal to check logs, and stats, one client should be able to see only his or her servers.

What would be the best software for this task? It will run on VMware ESXi behind a firewall, it could be either Windows or Linux based. Since I am going to offer this service for free a free software would be nice, I am also willing to pay some $$$ for it to get better functionality. Ease of deployment/installation would help a lot.

Appreciate any suggestions.
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Sebastian TalmonConnect With a Mentor System Engineer Datacenter SolutionsCommented:

f you want a agent-based monitoring-solution combined with the capabilities of Nagios, I would recommend "check_mk" (an agent plus new webinterface for nagios)

For an easy installation process and a best-practice preconfiguration of nagios, check_mk and other plugins you should also have a look at "OMD", the OpenMonitoringDistribution. This is not a linux distributiion by itself, but like nagwin a bundle of many realy good nagios extensions.

OMD ( is a monitoring package that runs on (it's your choice) SuSE, RedHat/CentOS, Debian/Ubuntu. It comes preconfigured with many best-practise solutions: the team behind OMD are the authors of famous nagios extensions (pnp4nagios, shinken, check_mk, mk_livestatus, mod_gearman) themself, and they have implemented the best configurations for their software in this package.

OMD currently comes with the following software:

    MK Livestatus

with check_mk you get an agent-based solution that fetches Harddisk, CPU and a lot of other things for you in a single step, and also provides auto-inventory of possible monitoring things in nagios

(and yes, it is completely open-source)
Em ManCommented:
Cheaper and most comon one is Nagios. :)
A couple of ($$$) solutions I know of and have used before would be Kaseya and Labtech both install an agent on the machine and provide a lot of information back to you. You can get a hosted setup for both of these so you don't need to pay for a server and licenses just for the number of agents you use.
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CoffinatedAuthor Commented:

Is Nagios free? I have installed a VM edition of Nagioos XI it says "Purchase a license now or Enter your license key"
Em ManCommented:
Hi Coffinated,

Yes its Free, look for the Nagios Core v3.1 (?)
forgot the version we use in the office, I'll get back to you tomorrow.

the latest was a bit commercialized because of improvement.
but the Free version has it all when it comes to monitoring the health of you server, heck even your routers load. hehehe
Em ManConnect With a Mentor Commented:
sorry its Nagios Version 3.0.6
ghodderConnect With a Mentor Commented:
I use Zabbix for all my server monitoring. For Windows/*nix you install an agent on your target servers and Zabbix polls them at the interval you specify for the items you decide to monitor.

It's all web-based and you can easily define your own templates with items to monitor if you find that the defaults are not adequate. I found it a lot easier to work with than NAGIOS. It has a prettier interface (to impress your clients :), all the same features, and is also open source.
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