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  • Monitoring

    Hello!

    I'm a IT Tech for a company of about 200pc's, and 20 servers.

    Wondering if anyone has come across a free tool that can easily monitor servers(cpu/memory load, disk performance) and network equipment (bandwidth/throughput). Additionally it would be nice to have it alert me if a server or router or switch goes down... possibly through ICMP ping or SNMTP, regardless... some alerting system is necessary!

    We currently have PRTG monitor(server performance and availability) & Netflow Analyzer (for network traffic on our Cisco equipment). However, these are only trial or free version which limit you to the number of interfaces and sensors... not really ideal for monitoring everything.

    I've been trying out Cacti, Zenoss, GroundWorks, OpenNMS, and the learning curve for these is steep (Linux & Python) and I'm afraid I don't have the time to learn it all.

    I am just trying to put as many systems in place to keep my workload down as I'm am 1 of 2 tech people for this company and I handle most of the everyday Helpdesk/Maintenance stuff.

    Thanks in advance!

  • #2
    Re: Monitoring

    Not sure but maybe Spiceworks will do this for you.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Monitoring

      Originally posted by networkguy View Post
      Hello!

      I'm a IT Tech for a company of about 200pc's, and 20 servers.

      Wondering if anyone has come across a free tool that can easily monitor servers(cpu/memory load, disk performance) and network equipment (bandwidth/throughput). Additionally it would be nice to have it alert me if a server or router or switch goes down... possibly through ICMP ping or SNMTP, regardless... some alerting system is necessary!

      We currently have PRTG monitor(server performance and availability) & Netflow Analyzer (for network traffic on our Cisco equipment). However, these are only trial or free version which limit you to the number of interfaces and sensors... not really ideal for monitoring everything.

      I've been trying out Cacti, Zenoss, GroundWorks, OpenNMS, and the learning curve for these is steep (Linux & Python) and I'm afraid I don't have the time to learn it all.

      I am just trying to put as many systems in place to keep my workload down as I'm am 1 of 2 tech people for this company and I handle most of the everyday Helpdesk/Maintenance stuff.

      Thanks in advance!
      Try Zabbix. Its FOSS and is less cumbersome than Zenoss. If you're a MS partner you may be able to use N-able for free. N-able is by far the best and most robust monitoring platofrm i have ever used. It can monitor everything from layer 2 to layer 7 in granular detail. The reporting side of it is par-excellent.Even if you have to pay for it i would say its worth the money.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Monitoring

        Originally posted by wullieb1 View Post
        Not sure but maybe Spiceworks will do this for you.
        I tried Spiceworks about a year ago, and it was not that great. We had constant problems with with it recognizing PC's and it just ran slow in general. However, that was a year ago, so I'm guessing they've made improvements since. Might definitely give it another go.


        Originally posted by scurlaruntings View Post
        Try Zabbix. Its FOSS and is less cumbersome than Zenoss. If you're a MS partner you may be able to use N-able for free. N-able is by far the best and most robust monitoring platofrm i have ever used. It can monitor everything from layer 2 to layer 7 in granular detail. The reporting side of it is par-excellent.Even if you have to pay for it i would say its worth the money.
        Thanks! I will give Zabbix a try for sure.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Monitoring

          I've tried Spiceworks as well and also found it to be too slow and not quite configurable enough for my needs.

          Franky, I'm getting a little tired of products with web or Java interfaces. IMHO they tend to be bloated and not responsive enough for my taste. Give me a Windows GUI and I'm happy. I don't want to have to install IIS, Java, SQL, etc., etc. just to run your program.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Monitoring

            Originally posted by joeqwerty View Post
            I've tried Spiceworks as well and also found it to be too slow and not quite configurable enough for my needs.

            Franky, I'm getting a little tired of products with web or Java interfaces. IMHO they tend to be bloated and not responsive enough for my taste. Give me a Windows GUI and I'm happy. I don't want to have to install IIS, Java, SQL, etc., etc. just to run your program.
            answer. If I remember correctly Joe, you look after something substantially larger than the OP so what may be slow and clunky for you may suit what the OP's requirements. And yeah, I agree. There is too much bloating of tools.
            1 1 was a racehorse.
            2 2 was 1 2.
            1 1 1 1 race 1 day,
            2 2 1 1 2

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Monitoring

              We use a combo of nagios, zenoss, and scrutinizer, (netflow analyzer), free version. With the exception of zenoss these are all relatively simple to setup, and perform and work really well.

              We have approximatley 100 servers 100+ switches, and 15+ routers currently monitored using this solution.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Monitoring

                Originally posted by joeqwerty View Post
                I've tried Spiceworks as well and also found it to be too slow and not quite configurable enough for my needs.

                Franky, I'm getting a little tired of products with web or Java interfaces. IMHO they tend to be bloated and not responsive enough for my taste. Give me a Windows GUI and I'm happy. I don't want to have to install IIS, Java, SQL, etc., etc. just to run your program.
                I tried Spiceworks and felt like I was transported on to an alien battleship. I couldn't figure out how to do anything with it.

                I think folks go with Java so its easier to code across multiple platforms. Personally if I'm evaluating a product and it only offers me a Java interface I'll do my best to find another product.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Monitoring

                  I think I've finally settled on Nagios for server monitoring (pretty simply to learn and config), however I'm still looking for something that would work for strictly network bandwidth monitoring.

                  I would prefer something that can work with netflow as that would give me the most detailed reporting. Currently I run Netflow Analyzer and it is limited to 2 interfaces. I did find a free software called Scrutinizer which allows for unlimited interfaces, however all the data is dumped at midnight.

                  I have been looking into mrtg & trying to add netflow functionality to it. Not sure what else to go after.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Monitoring

                    Here's what I've used for NetFlow monitoring:

                    PRTG
                    ManageEngine Netflow analyzer
                    Plixer Scrutinizer

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Monitoring

                      Originally posted by joeqwerty View Post
                      Here's what I've used for NetFlow monitoring:

                      PRTG
                      ManageEngine Netflow analyzer
                      Plixer Scrutinizer
                      Hehe... I got PRTG running too, but for SNMP stuff. My only problem with all these apps is that they are limited in some way.

                      PRTG - 20 sensors...
                      Netflow Analyzer - 2 interfaces...
                      Scrutinizer - data gets deleted at midnight...

                      It would be nice to have everything in one place and be able to monitor everything rather than pick and choose.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Monitoring

                        Sorry for thread hijack, I didn't wanna post new topic for this. I need a simple free networking monitoring tool that will tell me only what's the current load on Internet connection (for example, if our Inet connection is 10 Mbps, how much of it is used) and how many GBs sent/recieved the whole office had by week/month/year/ etc. Is zabbix way to go? I don't have the time to install SQL, IIS or w/e just to find out that the program is way more complex than it is. We're small office with only 1 IT in charge (me) and 35 clients, so with all the regular day job, I don't have that time to experiment.

                        Thanks a lot in advance, and sorry for thread hijack

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Monitoring

                          For just bandwidth monitoring

                          I'd suggest PRTG or Netflow Analyzer.

                          Here is how you decide which one to use:

                          PRTG - uses SNMP, simple to use. You can get an extra 10 sensors by following the directions on here: http://www.paessler.com/prtg/prtgbanners Almost everything supports SNMP.

                          Netflow Analyzer - uses "Netflow" this will give you the most detailed statistics however this requires you to have cisco or juniper equipment.

                          Both of these comes with an installer and run on Windows just fine

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Monitoring

                            For ease of installation and use I'd recommend PRTG. It can give you exactly the information you're looking for.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Monitoring

                              We have Cisco ASA 5505 hooked up to provider's cable modem, so I can use Netflow.

                              I just installed PRTG to play with it, and I have 10 sensors. If I have 35 clients, should I hook up sensor for each one of them, or just hook up the ASA device, and mark it's outgoing interface? Also we have a lot of laptops and mobile phones that are heavily using WiFi connection, so then that solution wouldn't be free, if I need at least 1 sensor for each NIC

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