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I've been looking for a simple starter solution for monitoring my [currently] single server hosted solution. Other than Nagios and similar, are there other good (simple) solutions people are using?

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Nagious is not simple enough? Sure it can get a bit complex for a more elaborate system but for a single server it's almost an out of the box solution. –  John Gardeniers Apr 20 '12 at 8:44
No, it's not nearly simple enough. Nagios requires a web server, which may not run on the one server he wants to monitor, and to get it working remotely is a pain in the arse. Munin, however, truly does work OOtB. –  adaptr Apr 20 '12 at 9:13
I've looked at Lithium (which I can run in my scenario because all our dev machines are running OSX), and it looks simple enough. All I need on the servers being monitored is running snmpd. I haven't tried nagios or munin yet, but will give them a try. Wanted to see what others are using for the simple 1 or 2 server scenario. Thanks. –  Shyam Habarakada Apr 20 '12 at 14:37
@OOtB: Nagios requires a webserver? No. "Working remotely" - not sure what you mean by this. –  symcbean Apr 20 '12 at 15:38

3 Answers 3

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Everything depends on what you want. For example Munin is very simple, you can install and configure it in less then 10 minutes (on one server), it can sends alarms, make graphs from monitoring cpu, mem. apache connections, eaccellerator, disk io and many many more (it has many plugins). But if you are planning in future get some more machines, munin may not be enough. For example in munin you cant monitor state of individual processes, can't monitor changes in files (for security purpose). So if you wanna only see what is the utilization of basics parameters on your server and don't plan to buy some more servers Munin is what you are looking for, but if you wanna be alarmed when some of your service is down, take more control on what is happeninig on your server (servers) then you should consider installing Nagios (or even Zabbix which is great for monitoring whole bunch of servers :D )

You can read more about monitoring solutions here http://sixrevisions.com/tools/10-free-server-network-monitoring-tools-that-kick-ass/

Try out google there is much more info and many tutorials how to install and configure monitoring solutions.

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I ended up signing up with copperegg.com, which provides monitoring as a service. They have a lightweight agent process that you install on each server to be monitored and the setup process was very simple. The monitoring dashboard is very intuitive and designed super well to highlight status and key server metrics. And it maintains history for up to 30 days. And the dashboard with live graphs works on my iPhone browser. It also has email and SMS alerts, which are setup by default. They sold me on the simple setup, UX and their pricing plan -- free up to 2 servers. Great for start-ups like us –  Shyam Habarakada Apr 20 '12 at 18:29

Munin is great for just monitoring and historical graphs. You can run it just on a single host, or connect more hosts later. Takes very little time to set up aswell.

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There are also external monitoring services. I can recommend Monitor.us. The base functionality is free (updates every 30 min, service checking (HTTP, SMTP etc.) and also CPU/Mem/Processes etc. by installing an agent software).
If you want more, e.g. full page load monitoring, other (shorter) intervals, more testing locations or a log parser, you need to upgrade.
Managing multiple monitored servers is no problem. Monitor.us even offers a network map.

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www.monitor.us appears down :D getting a 502 from nginx. The irony! –  Shyam Habarakada Apr 20 '12 at 14:41
That's too bad :D. However, they are already back. They want to extend their services in 4 days, maybe there's a coincidence. –  SebiF Apr 20 '12 at 14:50

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