Companies rely on multiple servers and network devices to provide business critical solutions and services for their end users. For example, Critical systems that function as database servers, ERP servers, CRM servers, Core app servers, caching servers, SSL servers, Web servers and more. Availability and performance of these servers are of paramount important in order to ensure delivery of business critical services. Therefore it is imperative to proactively monitor the health status and performance issues so that they are immediately rectified during early onset and initial detection before they cause any big threats and major outages ultimately affecting businesses’ negatively in in terms of company’s reputation and finance.
There are a lot of monitoring software solutions that provide multi-vendor support to monitor servers and applications continuously along with their services and processes. There are two main protocols namely Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) and Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) which allows periodic monitoring of servers and devices so that they are up and running at their optimum performance level, 24×7. These solutions store the collected data to provide historical performance tracking and granular reports as well as centralized management eliminating the need for multiple server monitoring tools.
There are a lot of vendor software providing server and network devices monitoring ranging from most popular such as Solar Winds, PRTG, Plixer, WhatsUp Gold, Manage Engine, and Nagios to more budget friendly monitoring solutions that offer free/cheap and open source software like Spiceworks, Zabbix, Zenoss. Personally I have had experience with software packages offered by Manage Engine, Plixer, Solar Winds and PRTG. I was really impressed and, without a shred of doubt, they deliver the best Monitoring solutions in the market. Having said that, Most of them do offer trial, free and limited versions so that you can test the functionality and features thereby allowing you to check if it is a fit for your business needs and requirements.
Why do I need to setup server and network devices monitoring?
- Monitoring and alerting you to up and downtimes or slow servers
- System health monitoring of your various hardware devices
- Network device monitoring, bandwidth accounting
- Application monitoring
- Monitoring virtual servers
- Service Level Agreement (SLA) monitoring
- System usage monitoring (for example, CPU loads, free memory, free disk space)
- Database performance and table values monitoring
- Email server monitoring and reviewing various backup solutions
- Monitoring your network’s physical environment
- Classifying network traffic by source or destination, as well as content
- Discovering unusual, suspicious, or malicious activity with devices or users
- Measuring Quality of Service (QoS) and Voice over IP (VoIP) parameters
- Cloud monitoring services
- Discovering and evaluating network devices
- Collecting system information for various hardware types
- Finding unexpected relationships between your network components to detect potential security issues and assessing the real usage of your network and hardware
- Fail-safe monitoring using a failover cluster setup