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What tool do you use to monitor your servers?

We are looking for a tool to keep an eye on our web servers (http, file exists, connects) and our smtp, pop servers. Also we'd like to check (simple queries) our databases (mySQL, microsoft). Anything else is not as important. Something really easy to use! Should work on Windows XP and also on Windows Server 2008. Thanks!

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marked as duplicate by Zypher Jan 23 '12 at 19:50

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9 Answers 9

Our PA Server Monitor product is (IMO) very easy and will do exactly what you're after.

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I've used this in the past. Works great for Windows-only shops. –  ThatGraemeGuy Jul 13 '11 at 8:34

Check out Nagios, http://www.nagios.org/, its pretty much the gold standard in monitoring.

It has a *nix heritage, but it does support windows.

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Thanks, but too complicated... :-) –  Leo Feb 15 '10 at 21:40

Have you tried PRTG Network Monitor? It can monitor web servers. It also has a built-in SQL database monitoring (mySQL, MS-SQL, Oracle). For SMTP/POP monitoring, you can set up a "round-trip-sensor" that sends an email via SMTP and checks whether it reaches your POP server.

I monitor a few server ports with the freeware version. For easy setup there's a nice web interface included. There, you FIRST create your servers ("devices") and THEN (on the "device") you set up the "sensors" you want.

PRTG also sends notifications when one of your servers is down. And you can see nice statistics and graphs for up to one year in the past! You see, I love it! ;-)

Maybe the freeware version is already sufficient for you. It supports 10 "sensors", which could basicly be 4 ping sensors, one email sensor, one ftp login sensor and 4 SQL query sensors or similar.

Freeware download at http://www.paessler.com/prtg/download

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This is similar to what I was looking for... but still too complicated.. and what's going on with the alarms by default? such noise! I will keep searching... There must be something more "stealthy".. and easier to use... perhaps I'm too lazy.. ;) –  Leo Feb 15 '10 at 21:42

I use monitoring tool "munin", it is easy and light. I'm Linux admin, and it is Linux tool, but it can monitor Windows also, see official site. (Sorry, but I'm newman here and I can't give you several links). I didn't check it in Windows.

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Zenoss's open source ("Core") release, plus some of Egor Puzanov's Windows-specific plugins (also open source), can monitor Windows hosts and services pretty well. But I don't know if this meets your threshold for "simple". I found it pretty trivial to get up and running, but you might not be so comfortable.

The Core package is capable of monitoring arbitrary TCP/UDP ports, and there is a long list of 3rd-party plugins to do specific work. Most of the performance data is gathered via WMI or SNMP, but Zenoss is flexible enough for just about anything.

While Zenoss doesn't have a native Windows port, you can download ready-to-run VMWare images that should work with VMWare Player on Windows. There is also a more recent, 3rd-party effort to port the Zenoss server to the LINA runtime on Windows and OSX:

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Thanks, but I was thinking of something much simpler.. –  Leo Feb 15 '10 at 21:43

There are a bazillion products that do this. I've tried half a bazillion of them. They range from the very simple to the very complex. Based on your responses to the answers posted so far, your best bet would be to peruse some of the vendor's web sites, download the ones that look promising to you, and try them out.

http://www.bing.com/search?q=server+monitoring+software&form=QBRE&qs=n

http://www.google.com/#hl=en&source=hp&q=server+monitoring+software&aq=f&aqi=&oq=&fp=baa94940edcea411

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We used to us OpManager which worked nicely for us. It's very easy to setup and run a simple monitoring scenario on (it looks complicated, but it's not just point and click web interfaces, automatic discovery and configuration, etc). In the end we decided to go with Nagios for all monitoring (previously nagios monitored our datacenters, and OpManager monitored our office servers)

They have a free edition for up to 10 devices.

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Personally I've used ActiveXperts Network Monitor for this - it's a no-nonsense Windows-based monitoring service with a very easy to use configuration tool... it has built-in checks for stuff like web site replies, sql queries and can handle most custom scripting and snmp if needed. It's not free, but it's extremely cheap imo.

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I can't believe I am mentioning "Whats up Gold" in the same thread as Nagios but wug is about as simple as you can get. Also every network is different so any product you install will require some work.

http://www.whatsupgold.com/

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