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Network Monitoring/Hardware Tools

Posted on 2013-01-25
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Last Modified: 2013-11-29
Good day everyone. So I just found out today that we have some money left over in our IT budget and was informed if there were any monitoring tools I would like to purchase before the fiscal year ends for us.

I have been looking for a robust tool that I could manage up-time of our websites, manage our servers (both VM and host), how the network is doing, have reporting functionality, intrusion detection, etc.

What would you guys recommend or what do you use?

We are a small shop but have about 12 physical servers, 15 VMs, 3 web applications, 12 desktops/laptops, a few switches and routers. We currently don't manage any network hardware/software as it is managed by our IT department.
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Question by:mig1980
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19 Comments
 
LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:Levi Gwyn
ID: 38819340
Not sure of there is one tool to do everything you need but look at Manage Engine.  It does patch management, help desk, asset management and network inventory as well as server health and a ton of other cool stuff.

http://www.manageengine.com/
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Author Comment

by:mig1980
ID: 38819370
I would preferably like a tool that has a web interface that we could load on a server and access it from our desktops.

Not specifically looking for one tool that does it all but more on the best tool for each function (if there is one tool that combines a few of these...great).

Also, would like input on other areas left out of my initial post that I should be monitoring and what tool to use for monitoring.
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LVL 21

Expert Comment

by:Rick_O_Shay
ID: 38820639
Check out Solarwinds products.
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Author Comment

by:mig1980
ID: 38820821
Thanks. Anything else? I would be interested in software that whomever posts has had experience with and can recommend.
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LVL 39

Assisted Solution

by:Aaron Tomosky
Aaron Tomosky earned 100 total points
ID: 38833936
I personally use solarwinds free stuff, spiceworks (also free), and monitor.us (free). Looking at nagios and cactus (free).
Most of these tools also have paid versions with increase functionality. I'd suggest looking at the free stuff and narrow down the ones that help you the most and get those. For vmware if you don't have vcenterserver get that, or look at convirture.

Look at it not as monitoring stuff, but finding the answer to a problem: who is using the Internet bandwidth, why can't I connect to that server file share, are my websites up, etc...
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LVL 82

Assisted Solution

by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
David Johnson, CD, MVP earned 100 total points
ID: 38834438
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LVL 11

Assisted Solution

by:Khandakar Ashfaqur Rahman
Khandakar Ashfaqur Rahman earned 100 total points
ID: 38834866
Might be only one product/software won't give you all facilities.I can give you name of some products that you need to look:

For Network Monitoring:

1. PRTG
2. Nagios
3. Solar Winds

For graph/utilization:

Cacti or MRTG

Moreover you can check the Spiceworks that can
http://www.spiceworks.com/
http://www.foxguardsolutions.com/company/intro-video
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LVL 64

Assisted Solution

by:btan
btan earned 200 total points
ID: 38835177
1)
I was thinking initially of SIEMS type but monitoring and having it to be incident response may be beyond your needs - but worth considering as another scope. Splunk is one good option if you have those device pumping in syslog for SPlunk to generate and create alerts...

Some use cases
- http://blogs.splunk.com/2012/10/29/splunk-5-%e2%80%93-what-it-means-for-security-and-compliance-use-cases/
- http://blogs.splunk.com/2012/06/18/security-and-the-splunk-for-vmware-app/

2)
Else SNMP monitor using PRTG is not a bad idea unless you want specific MIB OID. Nonetheless PRTG has great flexibility to get more than just SNMP, e.g. WMI, netflow, network sniffs, application type etc. There is customised sensor (scripted). It is the adapability that gain its popularity and probably the access via mobile is interesting extension ....their free version has 10 sensor and for perm basis...

See it use case - http://www.paessler.com/prtg/features

browser based and more UI enhancement - http://www.paessler.com/blog/2013/01/22/prtg/improving_prtg_user_interface_again_and_again

sensor list-
http://www.paessler.com/support/kb/prtg7/features_networkmonitoring
http://www.paessler.com/manuals/prtg9/available_sensor_types
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Author Comment

by:mig1980
ID: 38836206
Thank you all for your input. I realize that most open source applications run on OS' other than Windows. Are there any available that are intuitive (setting up) and run on Windows?
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LVL 39

Expert Comment

by:Aaron Tomosky
ID: 38836466
All the ones I mentioned are windows.
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Author Comment

by:mig1980
ID: 38837010
aarontomosky...I took a look at Solar Winds and they seem to have a lot of tools available. I can't tell but do all of their tools have a web interface to access?
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LVL 39

Expert Comment

by:Aaron Tomosky
ID: 38837492
i made a vm, and put the solar tools on it and just rdp or vmware console into it. The free tools are all standalone, I think the for $$ version gets you a web console but I'm not sure as I don't have it.
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LVL 24

Expert Comment

by:Dirk Kotte
ID: 38842704
PRTG is windows based an a good monitoring an reporting tool
( seen within companies with only a handfull servers and also within realy big lan (20000+)user)

also check your firewall ... there are devices with realy good reporting and ips included
i liKe sophos utm
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LVL 64

Accepted Solution

by:
btan earned 200 total points
ID: 38843588
0
 

Author Comment

by:mig1980
ID: 38844856
I have PRTG already installed as the freeware version monitoring a few servers and I like it. I think I am going to pay for the full version and use this to monitor all my devices.
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LVL 64

Expert Comment

by:btan
ID: 38846107
good that you like it - it is free for 10 sensor and for long term. if need more then will need to buy :)
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LVL 39

Expert Comment

by:Aaron Tomosky
ID: 38846772
10 sensors go fast
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Author Comment

by:mig1980
ID: 38852147
10 sensors do go fast. They went on two servers. I plan to start off with the 100 sensor pack and go from there. Has anyone experienced any known issues with PRTG?

I also wanted to ask, what intrusion detection software would be good to purchase? I want to mention that I don't have management access to the network hardware on our structure. That is managed by our company-wide IT department.
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