Basic Network Monitoring Tools

There are several tools with which you can monitor your network.

First, what has Network Documentation to do with Network Monitoring?

More then you might think! Because you need to now the ins- and outs of your network you look at your doumentation to find out what critical devices you got.
Depending on that information you can start building a monitoring system.

Here are several tools that you will find very usefull:
Use the software embedded in your managed switch from HP,Cisco, 3Com and Nortel, that will provide you with information to troubleshoot a slow network.

Linux Based Monitoring Systems

Windows Based Monitoring Systems

  • Nino
  • MRTG
  • Paessler Commercial, but very good value for money and easy to setup
Network Monitoring Prtg


Network Monitoring Guidelines

If you use a Network Monitoring system you will find out that there is a lot of information that you can get via the SNMP Protocol.

You have to make some choices on what you want to monitor and when you want to receive a notification about a certain event and how you want to receive it.

Start by making a basic monitoring plan, think about what you want to see:
For example:

  • Disc space usage on Servers, SAN or NAS devices
  • CPU usage on your most critical servers like Print, SQL and Mail Servers
  • Mail Que’s for Incoming and Outgoing Traffic
  • Intranet and / or Internet Webservers traffic and bandwith use
  • Routers Bandwith Usage and Traffic
  • Ping you most critical devices
  • Etc..

For all those items you have to write down the monitoring interval and thresholds and when you want to get a notification.
There is no point in sending a ping failure about a print server to the SQL Support person…

Only if you have written this plan down you can start building your system.

Starting With Network Monitoring Software Programs

This is the first post on this website and wil be extended… more information on which Network Monitoring Software options you have and what to look for.

Also pointers on what to do and what not to monitor and report on.