Microsoft offers several tools that can be used for network monitoring, and these can be economically supplemented by Nagios and MRTG, powerful free software that runs under Windows or Linux.
Network monitoring typically consists of observing a network’s resource utilization in order to identify data traffic bottlenecks or troubleshoot hardware or software problems. Microsoft offers several tools that can be used for network monitoring, and these can be economically supplemented by powerful free software that runs under Windows or Linux.
Network Monitor, also known as NetMon, is a utility included with Microsoft’s Systems Management Server (SMS). SMS is intended primarily for change and configuration management, but you can use NetMon to capture and analyze network traffic patterns.
Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM), which is intended for monitoring various application servers across a network, can also track the usage of other network devices such as printers and routers.
Both SMS and MOM are useful in providing insight into problems that affect network throughput and reliability, but for more in-depth network monitoring capability engineers often use two popular, powerful and free tools: Nagios and MRTG.
Nagios is a host and service monitor that operates under Windows or Linux. The monitoring daemon runs intermittent checks on hosts and services you specify using external plug-ins which return status information to Nagios. When problems are encountered, the daemon can send notifications to administrative contacts in a variety of ways (email, instant message, SMS, etc.). Current status information, historical logs and reports can be accessed via a web browser.
Some of the major features of Nagios include:
MRTG lets you graph the bandwidth in and out of any SNMP-enabled network device. This includes servers, routers and switches. You can use the resulting information to identify network bottlenecks or trouble spots.
Information you can graph with MRTG include:
For more information, call Progent at 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.
Click here to go to the table of contents of the IT Connection newsletter.