If you do not know at all times the state of your network and your servers, you are like a blind pilot … it is the disaster announced. Fortunately, there are now some very good tools – commercial or open source – for monitoring the network and Windows Server.
Since good and free is always better than good and expensive, we have developed a list of open source Windows Server monitoring tools that have proven themselves in networks of all sizes. Features include device discovery, network equipment and server monitoring, network trending, graphical display of monitoring results, and even backup of switch and router configurations, these monitoring software tools Windows Server will not fail to amaze you. Here is a list of the best Windows Server monitoring software tools in 2019:
Cacti is a popular open source network monitoring software. Valuable for the IT infrastructure, it focuses on the graphical representation of the network. Cacti is available as a free download, and it is included in the LAMP suite (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP), which offers a standardized software platform for creating graphics for any kind of statistical data. If a device or service returns numeric data, it is likely that it can be integrated with Cacti. It includes templates for server application monitoring platforms – from Linux and Windows servers to Cisco routers and switches – in general anything that communicates with SNMP.
Cacti divides data collection and graphical display into discrete instances, making it easy to reprocess and reorganize data for various visual representations. For example, you can quickly check data from past years to see if the behavior of network devices or the server is abnormal. And with Network Weathermap, a PHP plug-in for Cacti, you can create real-time maps of your network, which indicate the load of communication channels between network devices. Cacti is therefore a toolbox with extensive graphical display capabilities and analysis of network performance trends. It can be used to monitor almost any indicator that can be represented in a graph. However,
Nagios is a powerful network monitoring tool, actively developed for many years. Written in C, it allows you to perform almost any task that a system and network administrator can expect from a monitoring application package. The web interface is fast and intuitive, and the server part is extremely reliable. The rather complex configuration of Nagio can be a problem for beginners, but it is also an advantage, as the tool can be adapted to almost any monitoring task. As for Cacti, a very active community supports the core of Nagios, so there are various plug-ins for a wide variety of equipment and software. Nagios allows to constantly monitor the state of servers, services, network channels and everything that the IP network layer protocol understands. For example, you can monitor the use of server disk space, RAM and CPU usage, FLEXlm license usage, server air temperature, WAN and Internet latency, and many other things.
It goes without saying that a server and network monitoring system would not be complete without notifications. The Nagios software platform provides a customizable mechanism for email, SMS, and instant messaging notifications through major Internet messaging services, as well as an escalation procedure to help make reasonable decisions about who to notify, when and under what circumstances. In addition, the display feature presents all monitored devices within a logical representation of their place in the network, with color codes that signal problems as they occur.
The main disadvantage of Nagios is its configuration process: it is mainly done via the command line, which greatly complicates the installation if you have never used it before. Those familiar with standard Linux / Unix configuration files should not encounter any particular problems. The possibilities of Nagios are gigantic, but some of them call for efforts that are not always worth the effort. The advantage of the early warning indicators offered by this tool for so many aspects of the network should not be underestimated.
Zabbix is a comprehensive network and system monitoring tool that combines several functions in a web console. It can be configured to monitor a variety of network servers and devices and collect data. It monitors the services and performance of each object. Zabbix allows you to monitor servers and networks using a wide range of tools, including virtualization hypervisors dedicated to monitoring and stacks of web applications:
Basically, Zabbix works with software agents running on controlled systems. But this solution can also work without agents, using the SNMP protocol. Zabbix supports VMware, Hyper-V, and other virtualization hypervisors, providing detailed information about the performance, availability, and activity of the hypervisor. In particular, it can monitor Java application servers, web services, and databases. New monitoring hosts can be added manually or through an automatic discovery process. A wide variety of templates are applied by default, such as those for Linux, FreeBSD, and Windows Server operating systems, as well as for SMTP, HTTP, ICMP, and IPMI.
Zabbix allows you to customize the dashboard and web interface, so you can focus on the most important network components. Notifications can be based on custom actions that apply to a host or groups of hosts. You can configure actions that will execute remote commands if certain criteria for events are met. The program displays graphs of CPU utilization and network bandwidth. In addition, Zabbix supports custom maps, screens, and even slideshows that illustrate the current state of monitored devices. Zabbix may be difficult to implement initially, but using automatic detection and different models can make it easier. In addition to the installation package,
Icinga is another excellent open source network monitoring tool. Icinga was originally a branch of the Nagios monitoring system, before being rewritten recently to become a stand-alone solution called Icinga 2. At present, both versions of the program are actively developed and available. While Icinga 1.x is compatible with a large number of plug-ins and Nagios configurations, Icinga 2 has been designed to be less tedious, more powerful and more user-friendly. It has a modular architecture and a multi-threaded design, which is not the case for Nagios or Icinga 1. Several variants of the Web interface for Icinga are proposed.
Icinga is a surveillance and alert software platform as open and expandable as Nagios. The main difference is in the configuration process: Icinga can be configured via the web interface, while Nagios uses configuration files and the command line. This feature is a boon for those who prefer to manage their monitoring software without the command line. Icinga integrates with many surveillance software packages, such as PNP4Nagios, Graph and Graphite, for reliable network viewing.
Paessler’s PRTG Network Monitoring Tool is an integrated solution for businesses of all sizes. Its configuration is dynamic, which means that your monitoring capabilities can increase or decrease depending on the business requirements of your business. PRTG is more than just a server monitoring tool, it can monitor all the computing resources that connect to your network. PRTG can send alerts by e-mail and SMS based on thresholds you have defined. This means that you can adjust the sensitivity of specific servers to receive more frequent warnings from critical servers and almost no noise from others.
The application can monitor all aspects that you need to know about your server, such as CPU load, HDD capacity and performance, RAM usage, and bandwidth. Administrators have the entire server environment in front of them with customizable dashboards and reports. Specific graphs and analyzes can be generated for specific needs. Predefined templates make it easy to set up and speed up your first installation. Other major features include distributed monitoring, flexible alerting methods, multiple user interfaces, monitoring that supports failover, and customizable maps and dashboards.