Monitoring

Monitoring the Networking

Once one has established a network it is important to monitor it’s health. Depending on the size of your network will determine how in-depth you monitor your network. For small companies that don’t have a dedicated network administrator, they may want an outside company to provide basic managed monitoring. I provide these services and you can learn more about them through another site of mine, networkingdave.com.

There are many monitoring programs available. It is my opinion that one should attempt to stay with as few vendors as possible, as it makes receiving support and understanding common interface designs much easier. For this purpose, I’m going to recommend that you seek to implement a monitoring application designed by a software vendor you already utilize. A number of different vendors offering hardware and software monitoring, these include hardware vendors. Both HP and Dell have decent monitoring applications bundled with their servers. On the other hand, you can also purchase a third-party monitoring application.

Many offices may want to consider AdventNet’s OpManager to monitor their networks. Available for free for small networks, it has a reasonable price for even the largest networks, far below many of its competitors. AdventNet offers a full suite of useful products which make them a valuable selection as a vendor.

Another option for monitoring is Microsoft’s System Center, which is designed for larger corporations. Microsoft has a foot up in this area because most networks are running Microsoft’s Operating System. Unfortunately, despite their inner knowledge the software is hefty and clunky.

Spiceworks is a free option, but I haven’t been entirely pleased with their monitoring functionality and recommend AdventNet OpManager instead if you can afford it.

Now that we’ve discussed several product options lets talk about important areas of the network to monitor:

  • Hardware:
    • Hard Drives
      • Free/Used Space.
      • Errors.
    • CPU
      • Utilization.
      • Errors.
    • Memory
      • Utilization.
      • Errors.
    • Network (NIC Card)
      • Utilization.
      • Errors.
    • Switch Ports
      • Utilization.
      • Errors.
  • Software:
    • Microsoft SQL Server.
    • Microsoft Exchange Server.
    • Microsoft Internet Information Server.
    • AntiVirus Applications.
    • Windows Event Log.