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I would like to buy or d/l an application that will alert our sysadmin in the event of network failure, like via email and/or phone call. I've looked around the net before posting this question, but I have one main concern: if our network goes down, how can a network monitoring application send email to alert us that it's down? Doesn't this have to be an external application that looks at our network from outside?

Well anyway, I want to find something that will handle this for us - freeware if possible, sice we're not looking for heavy analysis - just simple alerts. Advice is appreciated.

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try including the term "out of band" in your searching. Phone, gsm, etc. something along those lines to allow for communication even when the network is down. –  Beanish May 21 '10 at 17:37

2 Answers 2

Here's how we do it: We have a main monitoring system (NMS1) that monitors 90% of the components in our environment and sends an email alert on failures. We have a secondary monitoring system (NMS2) that monitors NMS1, the network, and the email server (the other 10% of our components) and sends a pager alert via a modem and POTS line on failures. You don't have to get fancy, but look for a monitoring system (software) that allows you to send alerts via multiple mechanisms (email, pager, SMS), get the appropriate hardware and infrastructure (modem and POTS line) and set up the appropriate monitors and alerts. There are too many available programs to list here, from the very cheap to the uber expensive.

Try this Google search and try out a few.

EDIT*** I should have mentioned that our secondary monitoring system is in a different facility, on a different network and power grid from our main monitoring system. That's why we have it, so that it's completely independent and isolated from any failures that might occur in our main data center.

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+1 for the alternative alerting method ... another option is you are big enough is to have the monitoring servers x-monitor everything needed to alert. –  Zypher May 22 '10 at 1:36

I'm not at all a network expert but wouldn't it be easier to go the other way around, by using an app on the sysadmin computer that pings the server to see if it's down?

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