10 Free Networking Monitoring Tools

If you have a website or a network, it is quite wise to keep tabs on it and fix any issues as soon as they occur. The most easiest and handy way of doing it is by using any an advance network security and server/network monitoring tool that will monitor your infrastructure for any problems that may arise. Many free and open source server and network monitoring tools are present out there but finding the good ones for free is not an easy task.

So to help you out today we have a list of 10 Amazing Free Server & Network Monitoring Tools that will prove to be really helpful for you. Check the list out!

1. Monit


Monit is a great tool that not only supervises your server, but also tries to solve the issues by taking predetermine actions for specific situations. For instance, when your database server crashes, this tool has the ability of automatically restarting the service if this is the action that you wish to take (which usually is).

If you need to supervise more than one server, then you can utilize M/Monit, which is an extended version of Monit that allows monitoring multiple machines.

Its iPhone app is also available so that you can easily check on your network from anywhere.

2. Ganglia


Ganglia is a cool tool that will let you see how the whole cluster of machines is doing all at once. If you are working with a server cluster then this is the ultimate tool for you, but it might prove to be overkill for single-machine set-ups.

3. Munin


This tool supervises monitors and graphs system performance metrics. It has the ability of automatically producing daily/weekly/monthly/yearly performance graphs and reports of various significant metrics. It can monitor core system resources, like memory, disk space, CPU usage, server apps like MySQL, Apache, and Squid.

One of the best thing about this tool is that it can be extended quite easily. simply write a few lines of code, and you can create a plugin to supervise almost anything. We know that Munin is very easily extendable, so it can also prove to be a great choice for graphing things that are not even related to server performance, for instance, the number of user signups or website popularity etc.

4. Cacti


This one is quite like Munin. But what makes Cacti different is the fact that it lets you resize your graphs and see data for an arbitrary range. While Munin only provides fixed daily, weekly, monthly and yearly graphs (unless you have created a custom extension), Cacti allows viewing your data in any way you like: last 2 hours, last 4 days, last 6 months, out of the box. You even have the ability of visually selecting and zooming into regions on your graphs.

5. Nagios


This tool’s website says that it is “the industry standard in IT infrastructure monitoring”. Although this tool is a bit complicated to install and configure, but its all worth the pain as it boasts a plethora of awesome features. Nagios definitely stands out from all the rest of its competitor and is geared for the experienced IT network administrator. Nagios has the ability to monitor multiple hosts and also sends out alerts through email, pager (if you still use it!) or SMS/text messaging. Similar to Monit, it can also be configured to automatically respond to issues.

6. Zabbix


Zabbix is a great tool with a plethora of different features. It has amazing visualization support including user-defined views, zooming, and mapping. It has the ability of sending out alerts through email, SMS or instant message. It even provides audible alerts, that can prove to be quite helpful when you are near the monitoring machine.

7. Observium


This tool is geared towards Linux, BSD and Cisco networks. It boasts an auto discovery feature that finds the networks that you are most probably interested in monitoring. It provides detailed graphs, and has the ability of being set up with Nagios to provide alerts. It can also be integrated well with Collectd, which is reviewed below, for a more rich interface.

8. Zenoss


It is an open source version of the commercial server monitoring tool called Zenoss Enterprise. It was written in Python. It supports the Nagios plugin format, so various Nagios plugins can be utilized in Zenoss. One of the most amazing thing about this tool is that it has a powerful but handy user interface.

9. Collectd


This tool is like Munin and Cacti in that it focuses on graphing system metrics. Its speciality is that it has been designed specifically for performance and portability; which means that is it great for rugged systems, low-end systems, and embedded systems. Collectd can collect data every 10 seconds without interfering with your server processes, giving you really high-resolution statistics. You can even write extensions for it in C, Perl or Java.

10. Argus


This is a great tool that focuses on monitoring network services. It supports IPv4 and IPv6. It has an awesome alert escalation process: if the alert has been sent but the problem is still not resolved within a fixed time, another alert will be sent out to someone else.

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  1. I prefer nagios 🙂

  2. itoctopus says:

    Our system administrator has only used Zabbix from the above list.

    Having a lot of tools can be cumbersome, and can turn the job of a sysadmin into a nightmare.

  3. vivekrj says:

    A great list !

    These tools can and do give you a good overview of network traffic conditions, but the trend nowadays is moving towards deeper monitoring.

    This practice known as network security monitoring focuses on collecting as many data points about your network and tie it all up together. Statistics are a key datapoint but not everything, alerts, flows, thresold crossing events, URLs visited, Domains seen, even packets complete the picture. This works best at the perimeter of the enterprise.

    Trisul Network Analytics is a new tool that enables you to do just this. It is totally free for monitoring a most recent 3 day window. Please check it out at http://trisul.org

  4. A. Kootstra says:

    The tools mentioned in this list are of several classes of functionality and useability. Nagios, OpenNMS and Cacti together with the missing Hyperic: http://www.hyperic.com would form the top 4. Hyperic comes in both a commercial and open source version.

  5. Grateful Reader says:

    Thanks! Note: your Cacti screenshot links to the Munin site.

  6. fish says:

    Think you forgot about The Dude

  7. My server has RRDTool from Tobi Oetiker
    it’s simple but open source
    and it’s great for a fast use

  8. Martin says:

    You also forgot Xymon, easily one of the best monitoring solutions out there with a huge community around it.

  9. Ken says:

    Missed a massively obvious one, OpenNMS. About the most flexible and powerful monitoring platform you can get right now. It is leaps ahead of those mentioned here, but is not a point and shoot kind of tool; you actually need to understand and consider what you are attempting to manage in your organization to implement it successfully.

    It can do things like monitor 100,000 devices, or a device with 50,000 interfaces, but it also does the easy stuff. The software has no enterprise version. You get the version that Sprint, Rackspace, or Papa Johns has in production.

    opennms.org for the open source side, opennms.com if you want a support contract.

    -just a very satisfied user and community contributer