A network and server monitoring software are essential in the corporate environment to ensure the operation of computer systems and avoid any network failures. In addition, this type of software is of great help in optimizing the network as it provides extensive information on the use of its different resources.
What are these tools for?
Several situations make it practically obligatory to choose the network monitoring tool that best suits the company’s needs in question.
Firstly, it is important to assess whether the company’s activity is highly dependent on server availability.
Secondly, it is necessary to analyze whether server components are beginning to grow to the point where their management and administration are becoming increasingly complex.
And finally, it is advisable to analyze whether there is any bottleneck in the corporate web traffic.
Benefits of network monitoring software
We will now explain the main advantages offered by the installation of such a system.
Optimization of the installation: the company can quickly and easily access a global analysis of the installation in question. In this way, it is very easy to detect bottlenecks or any other type of anomaly that requires more hardware.
Intrusive traffic: a good network and server monitoring software enable early detection of malicious traffic, becoming increasingly common in the digital world.
Logs: these tools also allow you to generate logs and easily analyze the installation’s performance in question over time.
Best network and server monitoring software:
Probably the best-known free tool. Since 1996 they have been working in the USA to build this monitoring software. Its core is the most important part of the tool, and plugins can be built on top of it to monitor specific elements.
It is interesting to see how the demand trend on the Internet has been decreasing over time. What was once one of the most powerful and well-known networking tools is losing ground.
Its wide use is because it was the first to develop a tool that covered the essential features in network monitoring. For this reason, Nagios was very popular. Moreover, due to its initial high market penetration, it is still widely used.
- If you have a great knowledge of the tool, manual configuration can give you a lot of power to monitor isolated and particular cases.
- It offers many plugins to adapt Nagios to the user’s needs.
- Complex configuration and editing due to the need to make manual modifications to get the tool ready.
- High learning cost.
This Lithuanian company has been working on Zabbix since 2005. Easy configuration and powerful graphical interface. Performance starts to drop when you start monitoring a lot of nodes. It highlights the monitoring service without the need to install agents. Experience tells us that up to 10,000 nodes can be monitored without performance problems.
- Its community is quite active.
- It is powerful at a low level.
- Although it has been used in large installations, its performance may decrease after 1000 nodes.
- It does not have real-time reports.
GroundWork , An American company that reuses different pieces of software from Nagios, Icinga, or Cacti to create a global solution. It manages to enter among the best network monitoring tools, thanks to its grouping of other tools.
- It does not have many plugins developed.
- It isn’t easy to integrate its different modules.
An American company has created the Zenoss software for monitoring storage, networks, servers, applications, and virtual servers. It stands out for its agentless monitoring. It has a “Community” version with very reduced functionalities and a commercial version with all the functionalities.
If you have few machines and think you don’t need to invest in support and great functionalities, you could count on Zenoss as one of your network tools.
- Capable of monitoring multiple platforms.
- It presents a customizable and flexible dashboard.
- Great capacity for event management.
- Very powerful and flexible.
- Depending on the complexity of the installation and the elements to be monitored, its adaptation can be difficult.
- The database layer can become cumbersome in large environments.
Manage Engine / OPManager
Manage Engine belongs to Zoho Group, the giant Indian business conglomerate, and is one of the network monitoring tools to watch out for. Its trend in terms of demand is slightly upward.
- Easy to install.
- Very good graphical interface.
- It offers a very wide range of functionalities to cover.
- Complex configurations with a lot of documentation.
- Long learning curve.
- Complicated user experience when navigating through its screens.
Op5 monitor, One of the most focused monitoring tools for monitoring hardware, network traffic, and services. It is also based on Nagios. Ability to monitor multiple platforms. It also monitors cloud systems and virtual environments. We highlight its capacity for large environments and its ability to scale in these.
From 2008 to 2010, it had an increase in demand. Since then, it began a gradual decline. Its market is still Sweden, it’s country of origin.
- Easy to use.
- Optimal load balancing monitor.
- Difficult to extend functionalities and monitoring on our own.
- It does not allow deployments from the console, having to be manual.
PRTG Network Monitor
PRTG Network Monitor, A network monitoring tool that stands out for its great user-friendly interface. It stands out for its flexibility when configuring alerts and its ability to generate reports. The free version (not open) is limited to 100 types of applications to be monitored.
PRTG is an application that only runs on Windows machines like Microsoft Network Monitoring. In any case, we emphasize that its monitoring is cross-platform, and it is also capable of monitoring virtual systems and cloud applications. It allows you to display reports in real-time.
- Very good interface with great possibilities to navigate through your data.
- Monitoring can be accessed from mobile systems.
- PDF / HTML reports.
- Very powerful and flexible alert system.
- Certain plugins require additional Microsoft user licenses, so costs go up a lot.
- Limited scalability.
- Very rigid when implementing own controls.
Solarwinds, A Network and server monitoring software that stands out for its automatic mapping of networks and nodes without the need for manual actions. Quite a powerful graphical interface in which you can easily see the network topology and its status. Solarwinds allows you to integrate virtual machines into your monitoring.
Its trend shows that after being overwhelmingly successful in 2004 and 2005, there has been a decline, which is now relatively stagnant.
- Great graphical interface.
- Very good community behind SolarWinds.
- Access from mobile devices.
- Manual and file-based alert configuration.
- Reporting system needs to be improved.
- Does not integrate with cloud applications such as Amazon.
WhatsUp Gold is one of the best network monitoring tools when it comes to load balancing your systems. Its scaling is horizontal and allows the use of several processes to distribute the load. It can perform some automatic actions depending on the events that occurred.
Like other tools such as Solarwinds or Pandora FMS, it has an auto-discovery system for networks and topologies.
By creating your scripts, you can add and integrate more applications or services in the monitoring. You can connect from mobile devices to access the monitoring panel. Alerts can be sent via email, SMS, and other different types.
- Easy network configuration and discovery process.
- Console and navigation are not very intuitive.
- Configuration is divided between web configurations and manual configurations via console.
- Very poor for server or application monitoring.
Microsoft Network Monitor / Microsoft Message Analyzer
Microsoft Network Monitor was discontinued and is now called Microsoft Message Analyzer. Its main functionality is to analyze protocols and get a view of network traffic. We have introduced this tool in this report because we know that many people look for it and ask us about it, but we should know that it cannot compete in functionality with the networks mentioned above tools.
We hope you found this list of network and server monitoring tools useful. In our opinion, we have chosen the best options in the network tools market. We know that there is a lot of competition and many options and it is frankly difficult to choose the best option.
Most of the network and server monitoring software we mention in this article are for small and medium-sized companies. It isn’t easy to find tools for large enterprises that provide the performance they need and support the different technologies and protocols these companies need.