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Top 10 Free Tools For Server Network Monitoring

Having a website or an entire network means that being aware of everything going on is not an option. A website and a network can both benefit from being alerted right away when issues come up and handling the situation as quickly as possible. If these issues do not get taken care of as soon as they happen, it could severely hurt the SEO’s strategy.

 Server and network monitoring tools such as freeware and open-source, which can guide your infrastructure in case any problems do come up. These tools were created to assist in evaluating whether your resource needs have now outgrown the infrastructure you have. Tools like these work wonderfully for your local restaurants, and they also work great for e-commerce websites, like retailers of automobile parts.

We will be reviewing what we feel is our best 10 server and network monitoring tools available for free. You will be able to see several server applications, which is going to help you in finding the tool(s) that will best benefit your situation.




It is hard to make heads nor tails on how well an entire cluster of something may be coming along (let us use machines for this scenario).




In many ways, this is like Munin. What makes it different? The thing that makes it different or rather stand out from the Munin is that it gives you the ability to view data and lets you resize graphs. Munin, however, has pre-set data, which is fixed on routine scheduling, such as by the day, week, month, or annually.

However, you could write a custom extension to change this. With Cacti, you have the ability to view your data whenever you want to, whether it is for the past 2 hours or the past 6 months. It also will let you select and click to zoom in any place you want to observe on your graphs.





This monitoring tool is packed! Its visualization has good support, which includes views that are user-defined, mapping, and zooming ability. It will even send out SMS and instant messages and send alerts by way of emails, including providing audible alerts, and this comes in handy if you are standing by the monitoring machine.





This is the open-source version for the server monitoring tool called Zenoss Enterprise (used commercially), and it is entirely in Python. There are various plugins of Nagios that you can use with Zenoss, as Zenoss supports Nagios plugin format. People are drawn to Zenoss because of the powerfulness it has, and so easy, anyone would be able to use its user interface.




The focus of Argus is on the monitoring of network services. It supports IPv4 & IPv6. If the issue has not been resolved after a certain amount of time, after going through the procedures of an escalated alert, there will be a second alert sent out (but the second alert is sent to a different individual).




Besides monitoring your server, Monit will also try to resolve other issues by using predefined actions, depending on the situation at hand. For instance, should the server of your database crash, it is able to automatically restart that server (if you want them too), and you will generally want them to!              

For those who have several different servers to be monitored, check out the M/Monit, it is an extended version for the Monit, which provides an easy way for multiple machines to be monitored at the same time. Now available for the M/Monit is the iPhone app. It assists you in checking your network more conveniently, and there is no more need for hauling your laptop everywhere you go.





The performance metrics of the Munin and graphs system automatically produces important metrics on performance graphs and reports on daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly schedules. It also has the ability to monitor the core system resources, like disk space, memory, server applications (Squid, MySQL, and Apache), and CPU usage.

Its simplicity for extending is one of Munin’s greatest strengths. It lets you write a plugin for about anything with only a couple of lines of code. Because it is so simple to extend makes it a great choice to graph stuff that is not related to server performance, for instance, the number of users who sign-up as well as the popularity of a website.




On Nagios website, it states that it is the standard for industries when it comes to IT infrastructure monitoring. It is prepared and ready to surpass all those other tools on the market today, and although it may be complicated for some to install and configure, its features will be worth the time spent doing it. Nagios is just waiting on that experience IT network administrator.

Not only is Nagios able to send alerts by email, but it also supports the monitoring of more than just one host, pagers (for those still using this), and even SMS text messaging. It also can be configured for automatically responding to issues, the same as Monit.




Observium was mainly created for use with BSD, Cisco, and Linux networks. It was set-up to support the automatic discovery (auto) of the infrastructure of your network, locating networks you might be interested in monitoring. This feature works in the same matter as Wi-Fi software, in that it can automatically locate signals that are in range for you to use. It is going to give you detailed graphs, and if you are interested in the alerts of Nagios, they can be set-by-side. Observium will integrate with Collectd (see below) to get a more vivid interface.




Like Cacti and Munin, whereas its focus is on graphing system metrics. The area where it excels is that it was created just for performance and portability, and this is to say that the Collectd works well with rugged systems, embedded systems, and low-end systems.         

By being created for its performance and to use low-system resources is saying that Collectd is able to gather its data every 10-seconds without getting in the way of the processes of the server, and are still able to provide statistics having a high-resolution. There are options in the extensions used with it, as you can write them using either in Java, Perl, or C.  

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