Best Server Monitoring Software Products - Advantages and Disadvantages








Are you trying to know the best Server Monitoring Software?

This guide is for you.


Server Monitoring Software is an essential tool for system administrators, as it allows for automated reporting, scheduled checks and pre-emptive warnings about the health of your many servers within your operating environment.

Generally, Server Monitoring Software manages servers and is required to enhance the uptime of servers.

The bottom line is that proper server management software will guarantee the security and stability of servers throughout its lifespan.

Here at Ibmi Media, as part of our Server Management Services, we regularly help our Customers to perform Server Monitoring queries.

In this context, we shall look into the best Server Monitoring Software along with their Advantages and Disadvantages.


Best Server Monitoring Software

Server Monitoring Software is able to check everything about your system, such as:

i. CPU usage

ii. RAM utilization

iii. Hard Disk Space

iv. System Temperatures

v. Server Alerts (Hardware status warnings)

vi. RAID Array health checks

vii. Virtual Machine Alerts


In addition, we can monitor user logins, suspicious activities, and the status of the services and daemons.

It saves enormous amounts of time for system and network admins.

Moving ahead, our Support Experts introduce a few popular server management software products.


1. Hyperic HQ

An exclusive company, Hyperic provides native management for Unix, Linux, Windows, and Mac.

Hyperic HQ efficiently manages any operating system, web server, app server, and database server.

In addition, it provides the most scalable systems monitoring and management software available in open-source with Hyperic HQ 3.2.


Advantages of Hyperic HQ:

i. Powerful, high-level monitoring functions

ii. Graphing, alerting, and a very well-designed user interface, which allows easy navigation.


Disadvantages of Hyperic HQ:

i. It falls short of automatic corrective actions

ii. Requires more manual effort to run Hyperic HQ’s remediation feature.


2. Nagios

A centralized enterprise server, application, and network monitoring software, Nagios XI gives insight into server performance, network protocols, applications, and services.

It supports hundreds of third-party add-ons to allow the software to monitor common business applications.

With a customizable GUI, users can create the best layout and design for their IT team's needs:

i. It has a web interface that helps us check network health from anywhere.

ii. Creates reports on trends, availability, alerts, notifications – via the web interface.

iii. Monitors network redundancies and failure rates.


Advantages of Nagios:

Nagios offers an extensive set of collector plugins that allows users to gather performance and availability data from a broad range of operating systems.


Disadvantages of Nagios:

Web GUI is not good and requires a steep learning curve to manage config files to run devices and tests.


3. Zabbix 1.8

An open-source monitoring tool suite, Zabbix includes server monitoring functions.

For server performance, Zabbix measures CPU and memory utilization, network and server bandwidth usage, and packet loss, and interface error rate.

In addition, it monitors availability parameters, including system and hardware status checks, disk space availability, and remote server monitoring.

Since it is fully configurable from its web front end, it is easier to use it.

Its Web monitoring function allows us to monitor the availability and performance of web-based services over time.


Advantages of Zabbix:

Open-source and has a well-designed Web GUI and overall concept.

Offers good alerts, dedicated agents, and an active user community.


Disadvantages of Zabbix:

It is not suitable for large networks with 1,000+ nodes, due to PHP performance and Web GUI limitations, a lack of real-time tests, as well as complicated templates and alerting rules.


4. SolarWinds – Orion Network Performance Monitor 10.1

It allows IT teams to monitor the status and performance of servers. The tool monitors the server's critical hardware components.

With its customizable server monitoring, IT departments can work with pre-established templates or import custom scripts for deployments.

SolarWinds's ConnectNow Topology Mapping allows users’ environment to map in real-time automatically.

Similarly, SolarWinds’s Integrated Wireless Poller monitors wireless devices for security and other issues.


Advantages of SolarWinds:

i. Excellent UI design

ii. Customizable, automated network mapping

iii. Great community support provided by Thwack

iv. Mobile access

v. Native VMware support


Disadvantages of SolarWinds:

i. Unable to configure alerts from the web-console

ii. Clumsy "Group Dependency" configuration

iii. Reporting module needs better ad-hoc reports

iv. No native support for Microsoft Hyper-V. Features SNMP only.


5. WhatsUp Gold – Gold Premium

With WhatsUp Gold, remote sites handle the processing loads by minimizing the overhead at the central location.

It features real-time centralized network management across multiple sites using individualized dashboards.

In addition, there is continuous uninterrupted monitoring, and each site runs independently of the central site.

With monitoring localized at each remote site, there is minimal traffic overhead on the network.

It ensures air-tight security with 128-bit SSL encryption between each remote network connection to the central site. In addition, we can configure SSL over VPN.


Advantages of WhatsUp Gold:

i. Easy setup and network discovery

ii. Great feature set

iii. Many notification options, including via email and SMS.

iv. Detailed, customizable reporting; supports custom date ranges.


Disadvantages of WhatsUp Gold:

i. Non-intuitive

ii. Clumsy interface

iii. Configuration requires both Web and Windows consoles

iv. Unfriendly “Passive” SNMP reporting


6. ManageEngine OpManager

A network monitoring software, it features server monitoring capabilities. OpManager performs real-time monitoring of networks.

In addition, it discovers and measures the performance of every device connected to a network.

A periodical monitoring of physical and virtual servers via SNMP and WMI protocols, observing server health, etc. is done in real-time.

Easy to install, they offer various facilities, including incident management, problem management, and a change management facility.

In addition, Process Automation can be done.

They provide powerful SLA features through Manage Engine Service Desk.


Advantages of ManageEngine OpManager:

i. Great feature set

ii. No client required as it is completely web-browser based;

iii. Monitoring devices using SNMP, WMI, SSH/Telnet

iv. Notifies admins on alarms, or escalation thresholds.


Disadvantages of ManageEngine OpManager:

i. Lots of manual configuration needed

ii. Errors in device classification

iii. Unconventional UI is hard to navigate;

iv. Configuration can be complex;

v. No multiple threshold alarms (e.g. Warning, Critical, etc.)


7. Sciencelogic EM-7

With Sciencelogic EM-7Sciencelogic EM-7, we can perform rapid deployment and optimized operations.

In addition, it provides superior security architecture through-hardened operating system and built-in dynamic firewall:

i. Lower “Total Cost of Ownership”

ii. Support for the entire system by a single vendor

iii. Future enhancements are added to one coherent system.

iv. No modules; all the functionality is included in the base product offering

v. No costly integration projects

vi. EM7's single data store is fully integrated, performance-tuned and self-managed

vii. An automated back-up strategy is efficient

viii. Scalable solution architecture provides a cost-effective solution to start small and grow fast.


Advantages of Sciencelogic EM-7:

i. Cost: EM7 starts at $25,000 for a single all-in-one box that can manage a few hundred devices, while others are at least 10 times more expensive

ii. Faster installation

iii. Robust GUI offers device pop-up menus and is easy to navigate.


Disadvantages of Sciencelogic EM-7:

i. Does not support Windows WMI

ii. Cannot collect network-flow information, as sFlow or Cisco Systems’ Netflow do.

iii. EM7 neither provides an overall topology map nor can it correlate network and systems outages.


8. GFI Network Server Monitor

A tool to monitor network and servers for software and hardware failures, it automatically alerts and corrects network and server issues.

In addition, they monitor Exchange, ISA, SQL, and Web servers


Advantages of GFI Network Server Monitor:

i. Easy to learn and use; easy to deploy.

ii. Offers a good library of built-in checks that you can instantly tap into

iii. Simple, intuitive configuration interface

iv. A mature product that just works.


Disadvantages of GFI Network Server Monitor:

i. The cost of the product varies with the number of IP addresses monitored.

ii. The web interface is pretty limited by current standards.


9. OpenNMS : OpenNMS 1.6.10

OpenNMS is designed for Linux but can support Windows and OSX as well:

i. Easy installation process

ii. Features ability to configure “Path Outages”

iii. Offers Event and Notification Management.

iv. Features thresholding.

v. Alarms and automation – reducing events according to a reduction key and scripting automated actions centered on alarms

vi. Sends notifications regarding noteworthy events via e-mail, XMPP, or other means


Advantages of OpenNMS:

i. Free licensing

ii. Offers good support and documentation through wikis and mailing lists

iii. Full-featured and infinitely flexible

iv. “Path outages” featuring “minimize excessive alerting”

v. Reasonable support costs via the OpenNMS Group.


Disadvantages of OpenNMS:

i. Steep learning curve

ii. Interface not very intuitive

iii. Requires learning and modifying various config files for customization

iv. Money saved on licensing may have to be spent on development and maintenance.


10. Paessler: PRTG Network Monitor Version 8

Paessler PRTG is an IT monitoring tool that includes server, network, bandwidth, cloud, application, and IP monitoring.

The software functions as an all-in-one monitoring suite that is able to monitor cloud environments, virtual machines, and hardware in addition to a network.

For server monitoring, PRTG can monitor a wide number of server types, including web, mail, database, and storage servers; the tool unifies server monitoring and management into a single-pane solution.

In addition, the company has added support for a mini-HTML interface for mobile devices, including iPhones, BlackBerrys, Androids, and Windows Mobile devices.

Paessler features include:

i. Google Maps integrated with the Web interface.

ii. Real-time availability of up to a year of actual historic data, not aggregated data

iii. Integrated native Linux monitoring functions

iv. Monitoring of virtual environments, including VMware, HyperV, Xen, and Amazon Cloud Watch

v. Installation of a reliable alarm system.

vi. A variety of new sensors and remote probes to monitor distributed systems, including xFlow sensors for monitoring via NetFlow or sFlow.


Advantages of Paessler:

Very easy setup, a broad range of sensors, self-contained design


11. Spiceworks

It is network management and monitoring, Help Desk, PC inventory, and software reporting solution for handling IT in small and medium-sized businesses.

They offer real-time monitoring capabilities for networks, Windows servers, and Linux servers.

In addition, we can perform ping checks to verify the server and all connected nodes are currently functional.

The tool also allows users to start and stop malfunctioning server services and processes from the software.

Features of Spiceworks are:

i. The main dashboard is completely configurable.

ii. Easy to use monitoring console

iii. Active user community, with forums, ratings and reviews, how-tos, and whitepapers.


Advantages of Spiceworks:

i. Free

ii. Easy to install and configure for Windows environments

iii. “All in one” solution for Inventory, Monitoring, and Help Desk.

iv. A great starting point for IT management


Disadvantages of Spiceworks:

i. On larger networks, performance can be slow

ii. Limited scalability

iii. Does not facilitate managing control of monitored devices

iv. Some initial device configuration is required to be recognized by Spiceworks

v. VMWare and *nix systems not discovered nearly as easily as Windows

vi. Does not provide the same depth of monitoring and control as enterprise-level products.


12. Monitis

A performance monitoring solution, it analyzes the performance of networks, websites, servers, and applications for Windows and Linux deployments.

Their server monitoring solution includes CPU, memory, storage, and disk monitoring in addition to server health checks.

In addition, Monitis features custom service monitoring capabilities to help IT teams tailor their monitoring solutions.


13. LogicMonitor

A SaaS-based performance monitoring platform, it features comprehensive server monitoring.

Generally, the solution automatically discovers all network devices and interfaces.

The server monitoring solution features CPU and memory alerting, volume utilization, data requests per the second visualization, and support for Microsoft Exchange, IBM AIX, Windows, and Linux servers.


14. Datadog

A cloud monitoring service provider, allows IT teams to monitor the entire infrastructure, including servers, networks, cloud deployments, and applications.

The Datadog monitoring tool unifies IT service and technology monitoring.

In addition, it can integrate with several cloud environments and servers, including Microsoft Exchange Server, Kubernetes Metrics Server, and SQL Server.


15. OpsView

Opsview is a multi-platform monitoring service that runs on Windows, Linux, and Unix.

We can gather and sort any potential server failures using Opsview.

Its historical graphs feature makes Opsview so usable.

Generally, if we have issues for a specific period of time, highlighting them will help us find what the cause and possible solutions to the issue could be.

Opsview offers a user-friendly interface, easy to navigate and customize.

In addition, the new menu layout has made it even more intuitive.

Similarly, it is easy to monitor server-specific issues. 

Then there is support for over 3500 Nagios plugins.

In short, this is an excellent solution for server monitoring, be it physical, virtual, or hosted in the cloud.


[Find these Server Monitoring Software useful? Feel free to check us out. ]



Conclusion

This article covers the Best Server Monitoring Software. Basically, Server management software takes the burden of managing servers and other critical applications.

Reporting and monitoring is critical in business, especially when it comes to IT infrastructure such as network connectivity and server monitoring.

Being able to look back at historical trends and faults is especially useful when troubleshooting an issue on a critical server or service, so if you don’t already have a solution in place, then it might be time to seriously consider it.


Server Monitoring Software is able to check everything about your system, such as:

1. CPU usage

2. RAM utilization

3. Hard Disk Space

4. System Temperatures

5. Server Alerts (Hardware status warnings)

6. RAID Array health checks

7. Virtual Machine Alerts

8. You can also monitor user logins, suspicious activity on your server, and the status of your services and daemons


Best server monitoring software and tools includes:

1. SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor - Tracks the statuses of key server components and also watches the performance of applications running on each server. The tool runs on Windows Server but can also monitor Linux servers across a network.

2. Atera - A remote monitoring and management system that includes server monitoring features. Ideal for managed service providers.

3. Site24x7 Server Monitoring - A cloud-based monitoring system that can track the statuses of Windows and Linux servers as part of a company’s infrastructure.

4. ManageEngine Applications Manager - A server and applications monitoring system that includes extra capabilities such as VM monitoring. Runs on Windows Server and Linux.

5. Paessler PRTG - A package of monitors that includes a range of server status trackers. Installs on Windows Server.

6. Nagios XI - A comprehensive infrastructure monitoring system that includes live server monitoring services. Installs on Linux.

7. Opsview - A system monitoring tool that includes sever monitoring and is billed as an alternative to Nagios XI. Runs on Linux.

8. Zenoss - A system monitoring tool that includes a server monitoring module and is also available in a free version. Installs on Linux.

9. OP5 - Monitor Server monitoring as part of a system-wide monitor tool that accepts Nagios plug-ins. Install on Linux.

10. AppOptics - A cloud-based server and applications monitoring system that will track the performance of Windows and Linux servers.

11. Monitis - A cloud-based monitoring system that specializes in tracking the performance of Web servers and Web applications.

12. ManageEngine Free Windows Admin Tools - A collection of 15 free tools that cover different aspects of server monitoring including disk space, software inventory, and user lists.


What is server maintenance?

Server maintenance is process of keeping a server software updated and running so that a computer network can operate smoothly and avoid downtime or loss of data. Regular maintenance will keep the server running as expected and will help avoid a total or partial network failure.


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