I have researched a quite a few network monitoring tools which can be used for various monitoring purposes of not only the servers, but the intermediate routers as well. There are majorly three types of these softwares. Ones which are completely open-source, you can do almost anything you want using these, but they require quite some expertise before you can use them. Then there are the ones that are not open source, the enterprise softwares and cost you some money, but on the other hand, they are extremely easy to set-up and learn. You can have them up and running in a matter of minutes. And then there are those which are completely cloud based. They can be free of cost or charge some money depending on the software. The good thing about these is that you don’t have to install any extra software, and it can be managed completely online but then again these have limited features and you cannot exploit them to the full extent as you can do with the open-source and to some extent the enterprise software, so I won’t suggest you to use these, because these are generally not the complete solutions and require other support software to achieve the same. Below I have listed the outstanding pros and cons of the various Network analyzers that you can look into.
Paessler has completely redesigned its Web interface to make it simpler to use. In addition, the company has added support for a mini-HTML interface for mobile devices, including iPhones, BlackBerrys, Androids and Windows Mobile devices. What’s more, with the iPhone app — available through the iTunes App Store — IT managers can not only receive alerts about network status, they can also take action.
**I did not find any cons!
Spiceworks is a network management and monitoring, Help Desk, PC inventory and software reporting solution for handling IT in small and medium-sized businesses.
● Fast installation
● Main dashboard completely configurable
● Easy to use monitoring console
● Active user community, with forums, ratings and reviews, how-tos and whitepapers
● Easy to install and configure for Windows environments
● “All in one” solution for Inventory, Monitoring, and Help Desk
● Great starting point for IT management
● On larger networks, performance can be slow
● Limited scalability
● Does not facilitate managing control of monitored devices
● Some initial device configuration is required to be recognized by Spiceworks
● VMWare and Unix systems not discovered nearly as easily as Windows
● Does not provide the same depth of monitoring and control as enterprise-level
|Software||Faster Config Process||Good web interface||Compatible to leading OS||Better Graphics and Navigation||Cost Effective||Free?||Mobile Access||Integrated Maps|
|Solarwinds Orion Network Performance Monitor||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||
If you want to try out an open-source software, which is absolutely free, you should opt for Zabbix. You can also try out the PRTG Network monitor as it is free for up to 30 sensors. Considering the fact that currently we do not have a lot of servers, you can opt for the PRTG monitor as it is much simpler than Zabbix with almost all the same features and actually much better GUI. Like Zabbix it also has excellent community support and once you feel that you need to add more sensors you can opt to pay for those using the PRTG Network monitor or go for Zabbix. The problem with softwares like Zabbix and Nagios is that they require a very steep learning curve and unless you devote a person for that purpose it would be really time (that implies money) consuming. So basically its just the same. I would suggest to give the PRTG Network Monitoring System a try.
Extended Feature Comparison of the Network Analyzer tools
|Name||IP SLA Reports||
|PRTG Network Monitor||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Supported||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Nagios||via Pliug-in||Yes||Yes||No||via Pliug-in||Supported||via Pliug-in||via Pliug-in||Yes|
|Name||Triggers/ Alerts||WebApp||Distributed Monitoring||Inventory||Platform||Data Storage Method||License||Maps|
|Zabbix||Yes||Full Control||Yes||Yes||C, PHP||Oracle, MySQL, PostgreSQL, IBM DB2, SQLite||GPL||Yes|
|PRTG Network Monitor||Yes||Full Control||Yes||Yes||Unknown||Proprietary||Freeware and Commercial||Yes|
|Nagios||Yes||Yes||Yes||via Pliug-in||C, PHP||Flat file,SQL||GPL||Yes|