Top Ten Monitoring Tools for System Admins
Local area network administrators, network admins, or system administrators, are the individuals within a company that oversee the performance of the organization’s networks. These professionals are expected to gather and assess information from network users so that they might identify and fix problems. Fortunately, admins do not have to struggle alone, there are some extremely valuable tools available today that can make the lives of system admins far easier. Here are the top ten tools.
- Microsoft Network Monitor
This is a packet analyzer that provides admins with the means to capture, view and assess network traffic. It’s especially handy for troubleshooting problems with applications and network issues. Some of the main features include support for over 100 Microsoft and public propriety protocols, capture sessions, and more. Moreover, Microsoft Network monitor is surprisingly easy to use. Simply choose which adapter to bind to and from the main window and then click on new capture, to initiate a new tab.
- Pandora FMS
Pandora is a network monitoring, performance monitoring and availability management service that can be used to watch your communications, applications and servers. It has a detailed correlation system for events that allows users to design alerts that are based on events taken from different sources. It also ensures that administrators are alerted before any issues begin to escalate too far.
Splunk is a data analysis and collection platform that allows system admins to gather, monitor and analyze data that has been taken from a number of different sources within your network, such as your devices, services, and event logs. You can create alerts that will notify you when something goes wrong, or use the extensive search function to make the most of any data that you do collect. Additionally, Splunk also supports the installation of apps to extend functionality within the system.
Nagios is a great tool for network monitoring which helps to ensure that all applications, critical systems and services are consistently up and running. It comes with features such as event handling, reporting and alerting. With the Nagios core, you can implement plugins that will allow you to further monitor metrics, applications and services, as well as add-ons for graphs, data visualization, load distribution and database support. The free version of Nagios is generally a good option for smaller organizations and can monitor as many as seven nodes at once.
BandwidthD oversees the IP/TCP network usage in your business, as well as displaying the data that has been gathered in various forms, such as tables and graphs, throughout disparate time periods. Each protocol, such as UDP or HTTP, will be color-coded to ensure easy reading. What’s more, this service can run discretely in the background without disrupting your normal activities. It is east to download and install. Once the program is up and running, give it a few moments to monitor your network traffic.
This tool is incredibly lightweight and simple for those who want to monitor remote and local hosts, to determine whether they are active or not. It is especially useful when it comes to monitoring critical servers from a desktop, and provides immediate notifications via popups and log files if a specific host does not respond to a ping. Once you’ve added the machines that you wish to monitor to the system, remember to configure your notification setting, and the ping delay time.
Fiddler is a tool for web debugging that can capture HTTP traffic as it moves between specific computers and through the internet. This tool allows you to carefully evaluate any outgoing and incoming data, as well as giving you the means to modify responses and requests before they hit your browser. The service also gives you detailed information regarding your HTTP traffic, meaning that it can be used to test your website performance and your web application security.
- Angry IP Scanner
IP Scanners are important tools, and the Angry IP Scanner is a free standalone application that allows you to scan ports and IP addresses. It is used to find out which hosts are active, as well as obtaining information about them, including their host name, ping time, MAC address and so on. By going into the Tools tab, you can decide which information you want to collect from any scan.
NetXMS is a multiplatform network for monitoring and management, that provides performance monitoring, event management, altering, reporting and graphing for your complete infrastructure IT model. The main features of this service include support for database engines and operating systems, distributed network monitoring, business analysis tools and auto-discovery. The program also allows you to run a management console or web-based interface if necessary. Once you’ve downloaded and logged into XMS, you should go into the Server configuration window and change settings according to the requirements of your network. Then, you’ll be able to run the network discovery option which will cause NetXMS to automatically find devices that exist on your network.
- Xirrus Wi-Fi Inspector
The Xirrus Wi-Fi inspector can be used to search for networks in your area, as well as controlling, troubleshooting and managing various connections. Xirrus verifies Wi-Fi coverage, locates Wi-Fi enabled devices and identifies any rogue access points around your business. What’s more, the Xirrus program comes equipped with quality tests, speed tests and tests for connection efficiency. Once you have launched the inspector and chosen an adapter, a list of Wi-Fi connections should be displayed in your Network pane.
Author: Rahul Sharma