Looking for a hybrid monitoring solution LAN/Servers/Sites

Looking for a hybrid monitoring solution for my internal servers, VMWare hosts, VM's exchange, sql etc....
I have multiple sites and we've become too spread out in my opinion for our internal monitoring solution which is a bit outdated.

As a bonus if it could talk to Sonicwalls, and Dell Equalogics that would be nice. The sonicwalls more than the storage would be nice.

I looked at Site 7x24
But seems pretty pricey overall and from the plans seems to be targeting websites but maybe I'm reading it wrong.

I'm curious about what others are using and recommendations.
I understand I'll need some kind of Agent at each site but I want the heart of the monitoring cloud based so essentially a hybrid solution as I said.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Do you want to do it via SNMP ?

You could use PRTG or Observium ?

both available as FREE and Licensed options.

We use both.

I'm surprised you are not using SanHQ for FREE from Equallogic!

or do you want to take in an analyse email messages and alerts, e.g. Splunk ?

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When you say "talk to Sonicwalls, Equalogics, etc"... do you mean you are looking for a product that can view the status of these devices and get additional information via SNMP? Just about all network monitoring solutions can do this.

There are a ton of network and application monitoring solutions on the market.

Some you can host yourself and can use agents (installed on each server) or run agentless:
Zabbix, Nagios, Spiceworks Network Monitor, PRTG

If your preference is a cloud/hosted solution, some are very nice but some can get pretty expensive depending on your budget:
Site24x7, Splunk, Solarwinds, Connectwise, ManageEngine

If you're looking to get your feet wet and just see how they work, I'd recommend Spicework Network Monitor (not the same as Spiceworks helpdesk). You can download this for free, install it on a Windows VM (or a space computer) and be up and running within 30-45 minutes with minimal configuration.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
other than Sonicworks and Dell Equallogic may not talking SNMP!
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tiinettechAuthor Commented:
I have SANHQ so like I said whether it talks to those units isn't of much importance.
Just hoping to find a single solution that can talk to most of my infrastructure. Something that knows how to look at VMWare, exchange, windows server etc. Without spending half my life setting it up.

We do have an old licensed copy of PRTG, but it was out of maintenance before I got here.
The new copy probably does have a lot more options. I've gotten what we have to work for some things to a point with scripting on my own.

One problem I have with it is the fact that to centrally manage it I have the server here, if we go dark there go the alerts. Now power wise obviously I can still get them as long as my UPS holds out, and the UPS sends it's own alerts. However at times this area has gone completely dark in this area internet wise regardless of primary and backup ISP. I'll find out eventually when somebody complains about email or another site trying to get to us.

That's why I'm looking towards something at least partially cloud based that can continue to monitor all of my systems globally and not vulnerable to a single site.
Now of course I could deploy monitoring software like PRTG at each site to decrease the vulnerability but I wouldn't want to manage it lol.

Sorry I rambled there, but maybe that gives you a better idea where my head is on this.

I'll look closer at Observium, haven't heard of that one until now.
How do you have it deployed all at one site, or one install for each site and a basic cloud solution to monitor sites themselves?

I'm open to suggestions, honestly our server and network infrastructure has drastically spread out for various reasons I can't get into.
However our monitoring has not grown with it and I was never satisfied with it fully. I also find at least our old software cumbersome to plug into anything because short of simple pings it really doesn't know how. But of course I can't expect old versions to talk to modern solutions.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
If you go dark, you've not nothing to monitor have you ?

and your internet goes down, you cannot monitor....

I think you need to define what you actually want to monitor, health, hardware, performance, issues ?

and all that does require some human effort to set levels, alerts, green, amber, red warnings, which we use and have a Traffic Light system for Ops!

We use ALL of the above, and hence why we use two PRTG and Observium! (SNMP). vCenter Server, Dell OSMA, HPE Systems Insight, Syslogs, Splunk, and all the email alerting feeds into.....email AI for routing....

and get me out of Bed when it goes Red!

and what technology are you going to use Agents, Agentless, SNMP, emails (with clever AI and routing via email and SMS (Text Messages, Pagers)

and we have large UPS, Generators to maintain, so we get alerts... if all gone dark it's serious!

All the Monitoring equipment is on it's own Monitoring Cluster, with UPS, Generator, and emails Internally, and to the Cloud (Paging and Text Messages), measures HVAC, temp, electricity, humidity etc

You can really spend a long time getting it all configured...
Bryant SchaperCommented:
PRTG Could be centrally managed with remote probes.

Or house PRTG in the cloud and have your systems to talk to it there.
tiinettechAuthor Commented:
Nothing at that site no,  but plenty of others sites with servers. Plus failover scenarios if it comes to a long term outage. But even without a failover we have other sites that are self sufficient to a point.
This is my main issue.

If some of these solutions have options for a secondary server that could work.  I know I could of course redirect them via DNS but automated would be nicer.

Anyway I've got alot of feedback to work with and test with so I guess at this point I'll just have to look into them all and see what fits my needs.

Cloud based PRTG deployment is an interesting idea I hadn't considered though.
And might be the best option.

Obviously test out the current freebie release first and see if I'm happy with it.
And if I need the paid,  I may need to buy it to get the current version to get any maintainence but I'm sure I could work out a nice discount on that.

Thanks everyone. For all the feedback.
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