NetXMS is an open source infrastructure and network monitoring and management solution. The tool features flexible event processing, reporting, and visual graphing for all layers of the IT infrastructure. For network monitoring, NetXMS offers automatic Layer 2 and 3 discovery and full SMNPv3 support. The program also includes both active and passive discovery, combining both scanning probes and information collection capabilities together.
As network engineers and administrators, we mostly focus on managing and configuring hardware devices such as routers, switches, firewalls, load balancers etc. We rarely deal with software management tools which are equally important in a corporate network.
There are many ways that network monitoring can help your business out. After all, being able to gauge the health of your servers, user workstations, computer applications etc is crucial to any business.
Out of all the network monitoring tools out there, there are some that can easily break your budget. Thankfully, there are many open source and free options for you to look at, so that you can get the job done without spending money.
In this article I have researched the best open source and free network monitoring software which you can install in your network and start getting statistics, alarms and other useful information about your devices and infrastructure.
This is another open source program that is designed to check the availability of network resources, notify administrators of any outages, and it can also provide performance reports among other monitoring tasks. It is comparable to the popular Nagios.
It is a fork of the Nagios tool we have described before and just like the previous monitoring solutions above it can run on the most popular Linux distributions such as Ubuntu, Debian, Red Hat, CentOS, Fedora, SUSE/SLES etc.
It is mainly used for system and service monitoring by collecting metrics from configured targets at given time intervals. It can then display the results and also trigger alerts if some conditions are met.
OpenNMS is supported by The OpenNMS Group which provides consulting and support services to customers who would like to integrate the solution in their network. As a software, OpenNMS is of course free to download and use.
Open source network monitoring tools are one of the best things for companies that can handle working and integrating such programs into their systems. As long as you have employees who know how to integrate OpenNMS into your business, you can rest assured knowing that you will be able to monitor almost anything.
This is a great free Network Management System software with many happy users. People use LibreNMS to manage and monitor Cisco devices, Juniper, Brocade, Foundry, HP, Pfsense, Linux boxes, telecommunication systems, almost any network device vendors etc.
This program specializes in providing all the information you need to know in an easy to read display, so that you can stay on top of your network monitoring, preventing problems before they become detrimental for your business.
If you are an SMB company with limited resources and time to monitor your network and IT infrastructure, then I suggest to invest the money and get the paid version of Solarwinds. Being one of the most sophisticated products in the market, it will surely offer you a complete and hassle-free solution.
If you are running a smaller company, but you still want to make sure that your networking is going okay, then you will want to keep an eye on the community edition of Observium, which offers many of the features and characteristics that you would want with most network monitoring programs.
Another community edition of a network monitoring tool is Zenoss Community Edition. This tool makes it very clear that it is neither a demo nor a trial version of its larger products, but rather a smaller version of them, modified to be better suited to smaller systems.
If you are still looking at community editions of network monitoring tools, then Zenoss is another one to consider. Choosing to put your time into such a tool can better your business significantly in the long run.
I like its in-depth network visualization and monitoring capabilities such as Automatic Layer 2 and Layer 3 discovery, Active discovery with scanning probes, passive discovery based on ARP and routing tables of routers, SNMPv3 support etc.
In a way, if you choose to get PandoraFMS while your business is still young and learning, it could potentially grow with your business. Aside from this, it can perform many of the functions that other commercial network monitoring tools can.
The commercial Enterprise Edition costs around $800 per year for 100 hosts and the price goes up according to the number of hosts (e.g for approximately 400 hosts the price reaches around $2800 per year which is a pretty good price for an enterprise software of this caliber).
This free option performs interface bandwidth polling and delivers visual performance reports. It uses SNMP to poll the bandwidth usage from device interfaces, which means that you must have SNMP enabled and configured (almost all network equipment support SNMP).
BitMeter OS is open-source and completely free, so it is accessible to anyone. You may use this software on Windows, Linux, and macOS devices as well, so this is another host-based tool (in contrary to most of the tools discussed in this article which are network-based).
As the name suggests, the ManageEngine option works using NetFlow technology. This means that you must enable and configure Netflow (or other flavors such as sFlow, J-Flow, IPFIX etc) on your network equipment (switches, routers etc) in ordet to send Netflow traffic to collectors for monitoring.
Similarly, the software used to monitor all those components is known as network monitoring software. It is a crucial weapon in your toolbox that can troubleshoot network issues and inform the administrator when things go wrong.
The tool collects useful data from various parts of your network and helps control and manage the network. Here, the focus is given to fault monitoring, account monitoring, and performance monitoring.
To examine your network, the software can send signals (or pings) to different system ports. If network monitoring is proactive, it will help find the solution to a given network problem sooner to prevent downtimes or network failure.
Many organizations walk past network monitoring, thinking all is well with their networks. But just because everything seems well at present, it does not mean it would remain as it is, especially in the era of cyberattacks and other factors.
The software alerts administrators on identifying a weak network link or overloaded equipment before it could become a problem. This way, administrators can easily adjust network configurations based on the requirements to eliminate bottlenecks and reduce unnecessary burdens.
Auvik is an easy-to-use cloud-based network monitoring software that allows you to have accurate visibility and control of your network. It will give you notifications and alerts instantly when something goes wrong so that you can spot anomalies with the help of traffic analysis tools.
Also, it can monitor flow-based technologies, including JFlow, sfFlow, NetFlow, etc. It can monitor OS like BSD, macOS X, Linux, and Windows without agents. It supports Hyper-V and ESXi monitoring and allows web monitors, Dockers, text logs, SQL servers, cloud, etc.
One more tool I have come across for monitoring is the Agentless monitor. I have used it for database monitoring and it worked great. It is a pure web based solution with easy to use UI and free for use. Find more about this tool at -monitor.php
Kismet is a wireless network sniffer that works for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, software-defined Radio (SDR) and other wireless protocols. It passively collects packets being broadcast in its vicinity and analyzes them to detect even hidden Wi-Fi networks.
Wireless monitoring and troubleshooting tools are basically for network admins and programmers working on Wi-Fi-based software. These tools help when some of your systems face problems in connecting to the network. They are also valuable for red teamers and penetration testers looking for potential vulnerabilities to exploit.
Howard Poston is a cybersecurity researcher with a background in blockchain, cryptography and malware analysis. He has a master's degree in Cyber Operations from the Air Force Institute of Technology and two years of experience in cybersecurity research and development at Sandia National Labs. He currently works as a freelance consultant providing training and content creation for cyber and blockchain security.
Capsa is a portable network analyzer application for both LANs and WLANs which performs real-time packet capturing capability, 24x7 network monitoring, advanced protocol analysis, in-depth packet decoding, and automatic expert diagnosis. Capsa's comprehensive high-level window view of entire network, gives quick insight to network administrators or network engineers allowing them to rapidly pinpoint and resolve application problems. With the most user-friendly interface and the most powerful data packet capture and analysis engine in the industry, Capsa is a necessary tool for network monitoring.
Capsa Enterprise is designed for small business as well as enterprise users and performs network monitoring, troubleshooting and analysis for both wired & wireless networks including 802.11a/b/g/n. Whether you're a veteran with years of experience or new to network monitoring, if your requirements are to identify, diagnose, and solve network problems quickly, or monitor user activity on your network, or you just need to ensure that the corporation's communications assets are safe, Capsa Enterprise is a must have network management tool.
If you use database software to store client data or allow third parties to log into your systems, an RMM application can also make sure that you are compliant with the latest privacy and security protocols. 2b1af7f3a8