I'm not one to usually recommend software but I thought I would share my experience with what I consider to be a good application.
Most companies use a combination of applications to monitor the health of their network. The usual suspects are device Monitoring with tools like What's Up Gold or IPSentry. These tools do a great job of monitoring servers, routers, etc. Next would be bandwidth usage monitoring. Most companies utilize a great freely available tool MRTG to accomplish this. Finally there are times when you need to dig deeper on network issues and tools like wireshark or ntop let you capture packets in real-time. Enter PRTG Monitor. This web-based monitoring software combines all three areas covered above from one central location.
Some of the highlights that I find very useful are:
- Packet capture via port-mirroring. Similar to tools like NTOP that can help you catch a rogue device or abuse on the network PRTG can capture packets in real time and display Top Talkers, Top Connections, and more. Another useful feature is that this data is kept in logs for up to 1 year which allows you to go back and look at past events on the network!
- The ability to create custom "MAPS" which are basically HTML based pages that allow users to view real-time monitoring sensors in a READ only mode. Another advantage is that you can publish these pages with no login required.
- PRTG also has bandwith monitoring via SNMP Counters just like MRTG.
- Distributed approach which allows for exponential growth by allowing you to deploy more than one server/pc that will perform monitoring.
If you ever have time to check it out I highly recommend you do. You can get more details here:
Oh. Almost forgot to mention that there is a completely FREE version which limits you to 10 sensors!
PRTG Monitor now offers 100 FREE Sensors! Their latest versions have also added 100's of new sensors and capabilities including HTML 5 design.