Server Monitoring means continuously monitoring or scanning the available servers in the network and detecting any failure in the server or network. Server Monitoring is a preventive action which detects any failure before it causes some major issue to the network system. It includes monitoring the performance of applications, web services, IT Infrastructure etc. Server Monitoring is required to ensure if your server is running and the business transactions are getting saved as per the flow. Any crash, failure or downtime in the server causes huge loss to the business and the market reputation, so server monitoring is crucial to avoid all such downtime. In this article, we are going to discuss about Top 8 Open Source Tool for monitoring Windows Server. These tools help monitor individual nodes and applications for signs of poor performance.
Monitoring is necessary for businesses to make sure that the required system is up and working. Monitoring of various aspects of the IT infrastructure can be quite pesky and cause a lot of difficulties if not done properly. Regardless of the size of the company, one cannot ignore the need for Server, network and infrastructure monitoring. All modern cloud and on-premise infrastructure come with robust monitoring solutions. Sometimes it is wise to make use of default monitoring systems that come with the infrastructure providers. However, opensource monitoring tools provider a lot of functionality to monitor your infrastructure components. Following are the key areas when it comes to monitoring: real-time Server Monitoring, Network Performance monitoring, container Monitoring, Cloud Infrastructure monitoring and application monitoring.
A monitoring software should be: Scalable, able to handle and process huge amounts of monitoring data, collect system/application metrics in real-time, highly available, support all modern cloud and containerized applications, support metric visualization tools and also have a good user-friendly interface.
2.1 What is Open Source in Network Monitoring?
Open-source network monitoring refers to using typically free or low-cost software built to monitor common network problems to understand the root cause of network errors. But the software isn’t just free—open-source monitoring software is circulated under a licensing agreement, so its code can be viewed, shared, and modified by users and organizations alike. For an open-source platform, functionalities are only limited to the supporting source code.
Since contributions to open-source software can be made from a wide array of developers around the world, the built-in community support allows many open-source monitoring tools to evolve. Open-source solutions have the potential to improve their features and offerings over time as more and more people begin using them. While many open-source tools are free, some are supported by donation, many have crucial add-on features behind a paywall, and others are limited versions of more robust paid solutions. Open-source tools include both cloud computing platforms and downloaded applications.
- Need for Network Monitoring Tool
Network monitoring tools are vital to maintaining networks because they allow you to keep an eye on devices connected to the network from a central location. These tools help flag devices with subpar performance so you can step in and run troubleshooting to get to the root of the problem.
Running in-depth troubleshooting can minimize performance problems and prevent security breaches. In practical terms, this keeps the network online and eliminates the risk of falling victim to unnecessary downtime. Regular network maintenance can also help prevent outages that could take thousands of users’ offline.
A network monitoring tool enables you to:
- Auto discover devices connected to your network
- View live and historic performance data for a range of devices and applications
- Configure alerts to notify you of unusual activity
- Generate graphs and reports to analyze network activity in greater depth
TOP 8 OPEN SOURCE NETWORK MONITORING TOOLS
Now, just take a look at the top 8 open source tools to see which might best meet your needs.
Nagios Core is an open-source network monitor that has a web interface for monitoring network performance. Through the user network interface, you can monitor your Current Network Status with your Host Status Totals and Network Service Status Totals broken down at the top of the page. The GUI is colour-coded so you can easily see elements that are unavailable or compromised.
Figure 1: Nagios Core
- Performance dashboard
- Alerts system
- Availability reports
- Capacity planning
- Community-created plugins
Zabbix is a free and open-source software that was released under the GNU (General Public License) version 2. If you use Zabbix for commercial intent, they may courteously ask you to purchase some level of commercial support.
Zabbix has a smart, highly automated metric collection with advanced problem detection and intelligent alerting & remediation. The best part is that they provide solutions for all kinds of industries. Moreover, they have an appreciating clientele.
- Collects metrics from any devices, systems, and applications through multi-metric collection methods.
- Problem detection with defined smart thresholds with high flexibility options, multiple security levels, and anomaly detection.
- Visualization in a single pane of glass including widget-based dashboards, graphs, maps, and much more.
- Notification and remediation in case of any issue or problem detection as well as protection of data on all levels.
- Effortless deployment by saving your time, using out of the box templates, and scaling without any limits.
Cacti is a free and open-source platform that offers a complete network graphing solution designed as a front-end application for industry-standard data logging. Besides, it offers one best thing that allows users to examine services at pre-determined intervals and see the results.
However, all these features come packed in an intuitive, web-based, user-friendly interface that can even handle complicated LAN installation with thousands of devices.
- Unlimited number of graphs, automate grouping of GPRINT, auto padding, CDEF math functions, and RRDTool’s graph.
- Data sources support RRD files and utilize RRD Tools, custom Round Robin Archive settings.
- Data gathering, custom scripts, built-in SNMP support, PHP based poller, and graph templates.
- Tree view of a graph display, list view, host templates, data source templates, and a preview of the graph.
- User management administrators, levels of permissions, view preferences for each user, and co-location circumstances.
OpenNMS is a fully open-source server monitoring solution published under the AGPLv3 license. It is built for scalability and can monitor millions of devices from a single instance. OpenNMS is supported both by a large community and commercially by the OpenNMS group. OpenNMS brings together the monitoring of many types of servers and environments by normalizing specific messages and disseminating them through a powerful REST API.
Figure 2: OpenNMS
- Flexible and extensible architecture that supports extending service polling and performance data collection frameworks.
- Notifications are available via email, Slack, Jabber, Tweets, and the Java native notification strategy API
- Provides ticketing integrations to RT, JIRA, OTRS, and many others.
Icinga is an open-source network monitoring tool that monitors the performance of your network, cloud-service, and data center. The software is web-based and can be configured through the GUI or with the Domain Specific Language (DSL). Having the choice between the two gives you the power to monitor however you want.
Figure 3: Icinga 2
- Web-based GUI
- DSL configuration available
- Icinga Modules / Extensions
LibreNMS uses Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP), which means the devices it monitors must have SNMP agents installed or enabled. It supports a broad range of operating systems, including Linux and FreeBSD, as well as network devices including Cisco, Juniper, Brocade, Foundry, and Hewlett-Packard, making it among the best open-source SNMP monitoring software available.
- Auto-discovery system and customized alerting, which offer users plenty of autonomy over their monitoring practices.
- Boasts a mobile-friendly web user interface with customizable dashboards, making it easy for users to access on the go.
WhatsUp Gold is an all-in-one monitoring tool for the entire infrastructure of an organization. The software works both on-premise and cloud, thereby giving complete visibility into the performance of applications, devices, and servers.
With WhatsUp Gold, you can monitor application performance, network performance, bandwidth consumption, wireless networks, cloud-based resources, Hyper-V, and VMware.
- Layer 2/3 discovery provides a detailed interactive map of an entire organization.
- Real-time alerts to manage the network, traffic, physical servers, and apps.
- Intuitive workflows and easy customizations streamline the network monitoring process.
- Add-ons including network traffic analysis, virtualization monitoring, configuration management, and failover manager.
- Monitor remote sites with distributed edition and MSP edition.
Datadog is the monitoring, security, and analytics platform for IT ops teams, developers, security engineers, and business users in the cloud age.
The unified, SaaS platform integrates and automates infrastructure monitoring, APM, log management, and security monitoring to give you unified, real-time observability of your entire technology stack.
- Monitor and analyze system-level metrics (CPU, memory, storage) with out-of-the-box dashboards, visualizations, and ML-based actionable alerts.
- Gain end-to-end observability in a single, unified platform by correlating infrastructure metrics to your application’s logs and traces to reduce resolution time, improve user experience, and save on cloud-provider bills.
- Collect more data points across your full technology stack with more than 400 built-in integrations fully supported by Datadog.
- Define and track custom metrics (e.g. number of items abandoned in the shopping cart) collected by Datadog’s open-source DogStatsD daemon.
- COMPARISON OF TOP 8 OPEN SOURCE NETWORK MONITORING TOOLS
We hope this overview of the best open source server monitoring tools were helpful in making your decision on which software package you should try out. In this article, we listed the top 8 server monitoring tools have one goal in common is to monitor the uptime and health of your servers and applications. Most of these tools offer free trials or free versions with limited functionality, so make sure to try them out before selecting the best server monitoring tool for your servers.
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