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Looking for recommendations on Network Monitoring Tool?  What is your favorite?

Posted on 2017-03-07
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Last Modified: 2017-03-24
Hello EE,

We have alerts and ping loss notifications, but I'm looking for a network monitoring tool that can get more granular on
-congestion
-qos
-latency
-who, what, where is causing
What is your favorite?
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Question by:operationsIT
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5 Comments
 
LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:Natty Greg
ID: 42038601
Wireshark,intermapper, microsoft system center, these will help to troubleshoot and prevent all of the above you mention
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neilpage99 earned 250 total points
ID: 42038752
Paessler PRTG (https://www.paessler.com/prtg) is pretty good. I've used it quite a bit. It can do packet sniffing via mirrored ports on the switch, or using full-blown NetFlow and other proprietary flow protocols. There are add-ins that can do a lot of customer monitoring too.

SolarWinds is another one I've used a lot. It's a beast, but can do just about anything.

You did write "network monitoring" and not "protocol analyzing". They are different. Wireshark is the king of free protocol analyzers, and I love it. But it's really meant for real-time analytics of your packets and protocols. The capture files grow huge, pretty fast - so you typically use these only for a few moments and then analyze the results. Whereas "network monitoring" as you specified is continuous, 24/7. It monitors for packet loss, latency, "top talkers", "top connections" HTTP query/replies, SMTP responses, Windows services, and anything else you could possibly want.

On the free side, Nagios has been around for a few decades and has a HUGE following, which means a HUGE knowledge base. The downside is that it's a BEAST to setup. Once it's setup though it's pretty easy to manage... and did I mention FREE?  I like its small footprint. You can install it on a tiny PC running a tiny OS with no graphics and almost zero attack surface area. Plus, even though it's primarily a Linux product, it's Windows-friendly and can use plugins to monitor almost anything Windows related. It has enormous how-to's on monitoring network equipment, routers, switches, etc. Highly customizable; you can create complex notification schedules, targets, dependencies, etc.

Cheers,
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LVL 62

Assisted Solution

by:gheist
gheist earned 250 total points
ID: 42038897
TCP handles all of that automatically, there is no need to monitor to detect and panic on no-problems.
I would vote for prtg too.
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Author Closing Comment

by:operationsIT
ID: 42046932
Great input thanks!
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LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:Adrian Parzentny
ID: 42063103
While at it, evaluate NetCrunch network monitor as well. It pretty much does everything you specified above on a very granular level (including automatically generating Layer-2 maps with live usage data).
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