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I have 3 servers that I need to (visually) monitor all the time. Currently there is a "method" using 3 ping -t processes running in separate command prompt windows and I am trying to replace it with something better.

The requirement is to monitor 3 (or more) servers, using ping, on a Windows XP workstation, with no keyboard and mouse access. I am thinking of a dashboard tool with a traffic light system but a graph-based interface is also acceptable. Alerts and logging are nice to have but entirely optional. It must be freeware.

So far I have a short list

but is there anything better ?

EDIT: I understand why some people recommended to go for a "proper" monitoring solution, yes, it might prove more appropriate some day but a ping-based solution is the only requirement today. I believe in the KISS principle - there is no need for "you are asking the wrong question, the right question is ..."

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10  
better to monitor the actual services you are interested in than just pinging the machine –  JamesRyan Oct 12 '11 at 12:08
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A server can respond to a ping even when just about everything else on that machine has ceased to function. I suggest you reconsider what you're doing and set up a proper monitoring system (Nagios is child's play to set up). As James said, you should monitor the services, not the servers. –  John Gardeniers Oct 14 '11 at 19:08
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I think you are missusing the idea of KISS. Testing the service itself is simpler than introducing a second independant thing to test (ping). KISS is about using a more direct solution not an excuse to use a halfarsed one just because it is easier. –  JamesRyan Oct 18 '11 at 13:09

6 Answers 6

up vote 2 down vote accepted
+50

DreamSys Server Monitor Sounds like it would fit your needs. It does TCP/Ping monitoring, but can also handle service monitoring. Free as well.

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This is quite good, it goes at the top of my short list! –  Adrian Oct 12 '11 at 13:44

A lightweight, free, configurable, and easy to setup monitoring solution for Windows is "The Dude" from Mikrotik: http://www.mikrotik.com/thedude.php (a screenshot here: http://www.mikrotik.com/img/demodude.png).

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Why go for a tool that won't extend your potential monitoring needs? If one day you want to monitor CPU usage,Event Log,etc. you don't have to reside in applications that check only the specifics.

There is already a list of monitoring tools(in serverfault) that will give you fancy reports and status of uptime based on ping and are much more extendable.

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With only needing to monitor three hosts, most actual solutions are going to be overkill so to speak. You should be able to make a pretty simple config with any of them to achieve your goal though. It will help give you something to grow on as well. –  sinping Oct 12 '11 at 12:20

You could have a look at PRTG Traffic Monitor. Don't be put off by the name as it is a pretty simple monitoring tool for Windows that will do ping and service checks as well. It also has a freeware version for 10 sensors that would cover what you are looking to do.

It also has various dashboard screens and will send alerts out when things fail.

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We use FreePing by tools4ever. It has the ability to ping multiple IPs at a specified interval.

http://www.tools4ever.com/products/free/freeping/

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Though windows only, Spiceworks is quite nice, and sets up in a pinch.- just to add my 0.02

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