Free Network MonitoringSoftware for SmallNetworks WHITEPAPERIntroductionNetworks are becoming critical components of business success - irrespective ofwhether you are small or BIG. When network fails, customers and employees cannotcommunicate, employees cannot access critical information or use basic print or emailservices, resulting in productivity loss and revenue loss. Network monitoring softwaretools reduce network outages and allow businesses to operate more fluently, cut costs,and prevent revenue loss. And for those who are small and are not allowed to think of abudget for network monitoring software, a better alternative is to start with open sourceand freeware network monitoring software that reduce the time and money spent onnetwork administration and management. This paper talks about the top freeware andopen source network monitoring software available today.4 Critical Network Elements that Need MonitoringBusinesses depending on their size buy various networking infrastructure elements.Some of the basic network elements that need continuous monitoring are:Email Servers:Every organization will have an Email server which distributes emails to all LAN users. Ifthe email server fails, users are disconnected from the external world and key functionssuch as customer support takes a hit. IT Managers need to monitor their email serversfor availability, mails in queue, size of mails received etc.WAN links:Small Enterprises can save money by optimizing the WAN links. If oversubscribed, itcosts heavily and if under subscribed it chokes the network. Hence IT administratorsshould carefully balance the throughput, committed information rate (CIR) and burst ratewith congestion, response time, and discards to optimize the link utilization. IT Managersshould also find out who’s using the most bandwidth to make necessary arrangements.Apart from bandwidth monitoring (discussed above), routers need to be monitored foravailability and performance periodically.1 2010 ZOHO Corp, Inc. 1-925-924-9500

If a router fails it halts the entire LAN and hence IT Managers should set thresholds onvarious parameters on routers and attend problems immediately.Business Applications :Servers & Services: Servers run critical applications and hence should bemonitored for CPU, memory, disc space, services running on them (FTP,DNS, ECHO, IMAP, LDAP, TELNET, HTTP, POP, etc.) and their responsetime. Moreover the traffic utilization trends of these servers should also bemonitored.Server logs: Small businesses running windows machines should alsomonitor the server logs for failed logon, account lockouts, bad passwords,failed attempts to secure files, security log tampering etc. Monitoring theselogs gives clear picture of security loop holes existing inside the organization.Applications, Databases, & Websites: Small businesses run several missioncritical applications, websites, and databases which need to be monitoredperiodically. Applications can be monitored for availability, response time etc.URLs should be monitored for availability.LAN Infrastructure:Your LAN infrastructure devices such as switches, printers & wireless devices.Top 3 Network Management Requirements For Small NetworksSmall businesses have different network management needs and expectation becausetechnical expertise and staff are limited. They want tools that are low cost, easy to installand use, and feature rich.Low Cost : The network monitoring software should be affordable.Easy to install and use: The network monitoring software should be intuitiveenough to get started without reading that dry boring documentation.Feature rich: The network monitoring software should be able to monitor allyour resources - both what you have today as well as what you might havetomorrow.Open Source Network Monitoring Software for Small NetworksOpen Source offers many tools for various IT needs including network monitoring,bandwidth monitoring, network discovery etc. Most popular open source tools for networkmanagement are:Nagios: Network Monitoring SoftwareMRTG: Traffic Monitoring SoftwareKismet: Wireless Monitoring SoftwareNagios: The Open Source Network Monitoring SoftwareNagios is a host and service monitor designed to inform you of network problemsbefore your clients, end-users or managers do. It has been designed to run under theLinux operating system, but works fine under most *NIX variants as well. The monitoringdaemon runs intermittent checks on hosts and services you specify using external"plugins" which return status information to Nagios. When problems are encountered,the daemon can send notifications out to administrative contacts in a variety of differentways (email, instant message, SMS, etc.). Current status information, historical logs,and reports can all be accessed via a web browser.2 2010 ZOHO Corp, Inc. 1-925-924-9500

MRTG: The Open Source Traffic Monitoring SoftwareThe Multi Router Traffic Grapher (MRTG) is a tool to monitor the traffic load on networklinks. MRTG generates HTML pages containing PNG images which provide a LIVEvisual representation of this traffic like this:Kismet: The Open Source Wireless Discovery / Intrusion Prevention SoftwareKismet is an 802.11 layer2 wireless network detector, sniffer, and intrusion detectionsystem. Kismet will work with any wireless card which supports raw monitoring (rfmon)mode, and can sniff 802.11b, 802.11a, and 802.11g traffic.Kismet identifies networks by passively collecting packets and detecting standardnamed networks, detecting (and given time, de-cloaking) hidden networks, and inferringthe presence of non-beaconing networks via data traffic.3 2010 ZOHO Corp, Inc. 1-925-924-9500

Popular Open Source Tools Related To Network Monitoring:Network ManagementOthersNagios - Network monitoringOpenNMS - Network managementJFFNMS - Network managementBigBrother - Systems managementBigSister - Systems managementGenesys - Network and systemsmanagementNetDisco - Network managementREMSTATS - Network monitoringsoftwareSysmon - Network monitoringsoftwareCricket – Router monitoringMRTG - Traffic monitoringNtop - Traffic monitoringNessus – Remote security scanningPIKT – Systems monitoring andconfiguringRRDTool – Analytical graphingWebmin – Unix system adminCacti – Network and systemsperformance graphingCfengine – Network configurationKismet -Wireless scanningNeDi - Network discoveryNmap - Network discoverySyslog NG – Log file analysis,consolidation, and filteringCommercial Freeware Network Monitoring Software For SmallNetworksAnother alternative for SME's is to use freeware versions of popular commercialsoftware like ManageEngine. The main advantages of this approach are obvious - SMEsget the same high quality software that is used by their larger counter-parts. Thesecommercial software are also easy to install and use. There is also an active usercommunity to turn to when they need help. The only disadvantage is that, there aresome restrictions on the number of devices you can manage. However, the good newsis, you can start with the freeware versions and later when your network grows you can4 2010 ZOHO Corp, Inc. 1-925-924-9500

conveniently upgrade to the affordably priced paid versions. ManageEngine offers freeversions of the following tools :* ManageEngine OpManager : Network Monitoring Software* ManageEngine ServiceDesk Plus : IT Help Desk Software* ManageEngine Applications Manager : Applications/ Database Monitoring Software* ManageEngine WiFi Manager : WiFi Security and Management Software* ManageEngine Event Log Analyzer : Event log & Syslog Analysis SoftwareManageEngine OpManagerOpManager is a popular network monitoring software used by thousands of ITadministrators worldwide. Using the Free version of OpManager, you can monitor 10 ofyour most critical devices like Routers, Servers, switches, Mail-servers, firewalls,printers etc. OpManager actively monitors these critical devices for availability andhealth and immediately alerts you by email or SMS, when it detects a problem.OpManager also generates useful charts and reports to analyze performance of yourdevices over a period of time.ManageEngine ServiceDesk PlusServiceDesk Plus is an integrated IT helpdesk and Asset Management tool. Using thefree version of SDP, you can run an efficient helpdesk to provide IT support to your endusers and also keep track of accurate hardware and software details of up to 25workstations. A simple email from your end-users requesting help can automatically beconverted into a ticket in SDP.5 2010 ZOHO Corp, Inc. 1-925-924-9500

ManageEngine Applications ManagerApplications Manager allows you to gain in-depth visibility into how your applications areperforming. Using Applications Manager you can monitor Application Servers, DatabaseServers, web-sites and Systems and alerts you instantaneously when it detectsavailability and health problems.6 2010 ZOHO Corp, Inc. 1-925-924-9500

ManageEngine WiFi ManagerManageEngine WiFi Manager is enterprise-class software for centralized managementand security of Wireless LANs. It enhances the availability and security of your WLANsby continuously monitoring the network as well as the airspace. WiFi Manager candetect almost all major wireless threats including rogue attacks, intrusions, sniffers, DoSattacks, and vulnerabilities. It can also save your time by enabling you configurehundreds of access points at one click. With WiFi Manager you'll have complete controlover your wireless devices as well as your airspace, and more time to focus on core IToperations.ManageEngine Event Log AnalyzerManageEngine Event log Analyzer, a web-based event management solution thatcollects, analyzes, and reports on event logs from enterprise-wide Windows and UNIXsystems. Event Log Analyzer improves security and reduces downtime of critical serverson your enterprise network. And generates graphs and reports that help in analyzingand troubleshooting system problems with least impact on network performance.7 2010 ZOHO Corp, Inc. 1-925-924-9500

Free Network MonitoringNext Generation Integrated Yet Affordable IT Management SolutionsFrom ManageEngineManageEngine offers a broad range of network monitoring software, wireless networkmonitoring software, bandwidth monitoring software, application monitoring software,event log monitoring software, firewall monitoring software, and helpdesk software ataffordable price points. Their free tools cater to small networks. Those who start withfree tools from ManageEngine can later migrate seamlessly to the commercial versions.With its simple and powerful architecture of collaborating point products, ManageEngineoffers SMEs the option to build an integrated Network Monitoring software (or solution)at highly affordable prices.ManageEngine SoftwareOpManagerServiceDesk PlusApplications ManagerWiFi ManagerNetFlow AnalyzerEventLog AnalyzerFirewall AnalyzerPrice starting from 445 495 595 495 595 595 495For more details on ManageEngine network monitoring software, please contact [email protected] For comments on this article contact [email protected] WH TEPAPERIZOHO Corp, Inc.4900 Hopyard Rd, Suite310Pleasanton, CA 94588, USA8 2010 ZOHO Corp, Inc. 1-925-924-9500

Feature rich: The network monitoring software should be able to monitor all your resources - both what you have t oday as well as what you might have tomorrow. Open Source Network Monitoring Software for Small Networks Open Source offers many tools for various IT needs including network monitoring, bandwidth monitoring, network discovery etc.File Size: 1MB