Netcrunch 7 is a great piece of software for any network. I have been using the software for close to 7 years now. At first I would use the software to just let me know when network equipment has gone off-line, but now I used the software to get in-depth reports on hard drive activity, to watching Exchange, to watching my databases and even individual ports on switches. This software has become the first thing I look at in the morning and the last things in the evenings.
I run the software on a VM with Windows Server 2008R2. From the main dashboard I can see at a quick glance all of the networks running and if there are major or minor issues happening. It lists out the servers, networking equipment, printers, and other devices. Then I see a timeline of the past 24 hours and listed out are any alerts that may have come up during each hour, then I can drill down to see what was happening at that moment.
As I look at each IP network it will give me the rundown of the network. I can then explore each network and see each node based on many different layouts. I can see a node that is having issues from it being colored red and others that may colored yellow to tell me that there have been issues, but things are working. If I drill down to a node then I can see all of the individual parts of the system and what is being monitored. With a Windows server you can even see the Windows Services running. If you want to watch a new service you can add almost anything you want to see or create a new one based on your needs.
The great thing about this software is that you can know what is going on from just about anywhere you are at. From just getting E-mails, to text messages and now it also can be accessed through an Internet Browser from any device. Another great feature is its ability to always be watching if a new machine has been added to the network, so that you don’t have to go out and add it to the system, but you can if you want to. Once a new node has been added it will start checking it all out and verify all of the components and what it needs to be monitoring.
For me being a one man shop this software has been invaluable as I can tell when things happen usually before anyone else notices. Netcrunch has earned its spot to stay on my network for a long time and I look forward to each new release as they are always improving the software to meet the needs of today’s networks.