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137

I've used Nagios in the past with success. It's very extensible (over 200 add-ons), relatively easy to use and lots of reports. A negative would be the initial setup.


134

These are the utilities I have on my drive: CurrPorts displays the list of all currently opened TCP/IP and UDP ports on your local computer. ftpserver3lite is an FTP server ftpwanderer2 is an FTP client ipnetinfo answers questions about an IP address: owner, country/state, range, contact info, etc. miranda general messaging solution (supports most P2P ...


70

Cacti is a very good web-based frontend to RRDTool, providing very handy graphs and stats. RRDTool is the part that gathers data from multiple systems and monitors a wide range of technical data. We're using that cacti/RRDTool solution to monitor Unix and Windows systems. We get a lot of useful metrics including load, CPU/RAM usage, HD space, users logged ...


57

Personally, I love Munin which is very easy to install and to write plugins for as it has a very straightforward architecture. There are quite many plugins already around for all the purposes you could imagine, so you probably won't even have to write plugins in the first place. It also provides beautiful graphs and the option to configure (very basic) ...


51

GNU screen - essential when you're managing large numbers of systems and don't want to have a dozen terminal windows open.


46

Domain Monitor will do it. The only problem being that although they will send you e-mail alerts when your domain status changes, they aren't quite as fast as I would prefer. I was trying to watch a domain I wanted to buy, and the alert they sent came about 8 or 9 hours after the status actually changed. Domain Monitoring with Domain Monitor & more ...


45

Beyond Compare, brilliant for checking for changes


45

Most Previously SysInternals Tools Also Kudos to Palmin for mentioning "Sysinternals Live", in the comments. (see live.sysinternals.com/About_This_Site.txt)


42

I would prefer the free (for non-commercial purposes) version of Daemon Tools Lite. Some other tools (merged from the other answers): Virtual Clone Drive Magic ISO Microsoft Virtual CD-ROM Control Panel Gizmo Drive


40

3rd party tools are great, but before I start there, the basic ones you get with the system: Computer Management Event Viewer Services Console Perfmon Active Directory Users and Computers Active Directory Domains and Trusts Active Directory Sites and Services Group Policy Management Console (okay, so you download this one) The command line itself with ...


37

Things that I always carry on my person, so would be present: cell phone iPod pen/notepad thumb drive multitool Things that I keep in my laptop bag so I don't have to think about it: "carb bars" (I don't know what these are, but they last forever. My wife made me start carrying them after I had to sleep in a data center during a blizard.) quarters for ...


36

A workspace with enough room to work comfortably on a broken 19" server, with screen, keyboard, mouse. Separate from the racks. An old PC. Optimally with controllers and slots to fit every piece of hardware you may have to analyze. Mine speaks SCSI wide & narrow, IDE, SATA, PCI, USB, Firewire 400. Keep a small stash of old computers, if you can. They ...


35

You're probably looking for dos2unix, unix2dos, todos or fromdos depending on your distribution. Ubuntu/Debian package todos/fromdos as part of the tofrodos package from memory.


34

Zabbix. It's open-source, and reasonably simple to setup and customise. We have a lot of custom monitoring scripts that feed into the zabbix server, but it takes care of centralising that data, displaying it appropriately, notifications (email, IM, SMS, twitter, etc), and so forth.


34

As a Windows Sysadmin, you absolutely need to be familiar with SysInternals. Both for programming and for diagnosing what is going on with a machine, these are invaluable.


34

Some I know that I cannot live without... tee - allows simultaneous writing to STDOUT (standard output) and a file. Great for viewing information and logging it for later. top - the task manager of UNIX, gives a great overview of the system. tail -f - allows you to view appended data as a file grows, great for monitoring log files on a server. grep - ...


32

In top of that, I strongly recommend to add TrueCrypt if you keep any personal or confidential data. Sometimes I need to put customer's database backups and I'd be in great trouble if someone gets access to them.


31

I got these from crazeegeekchick.com some time ago and I really love them. TrueCrypt – encrypt your thumb drive to protect your information ToDoList – A task management tool that allows you to repeatedly sub-divide your tasks into more manageable pieces whilst still presenting a clean and intuitive user experience. (Windows Only) Portable Firefox – ...


30

iPerf Iperf helps you run tests that measure maximum TCP and UDP bandwidth performance. It allows the tuning of various parameters and UDP characteristics reporting bandwidth, delay jitter, datagram loss: http://openmaniak.com/iperf.php ,And MTR MTR (My Trace Route) is also a pretty good tool. It combines the functionality of the 'traceroute' and ...


29

I have been doing roll outs of Spiceworks at our company and we are finding it to be a great tool not just for monitoring servers but everything else on the network. It does things like automatic inventory and custom monitoring to send you emails when there is a problem (EG: Printer is down to 10% of ink or hard drive of this server has 20%). Its downside ...


29

PuTTY: A great free SSH client for Windows. Just about everywhere I've worked has used this to connect to Unix servers from Windows.


26

lsof to determine which processes are using a file or directory (useful when trying to figure out what is preventing a device from being umount'd) netstat to determine which processes are using network connections (especially useful when trying to figure out which daemon is bound to a certain port)


25

vi - I know not everyone likes it, but its pretty much going to be on any *nix server you come across, and when everything else is broken you are going to need to edit config files. I would also suggest csh and sh for the same reasons


24

Paperclips: I've had to use paperclips to pick the locks on the front of a sun and dell server We've all used them to open a cd rom HotPlug This thing is awesome. Want to move a server to the next rack over without turning it off? http://www.wiebetech.com/products/HotPlug.php Blocks of wood The idiot before you not mount the server properly? The server ...


23

JMeter is free. Mercury Interactive Load Runner is super nice and super expensive.


22

[Update: Initially I deleted this answer because I spotted it was already mentioned in the question. However I think it would be good for it to see votes so I have checked the Community Wiki box to prevent people from thinking I'm trying to game the system] Apps from http://portableapps.com/ like Portable Firefox leave no trace on the system you run them ...


22

What doesn't fit on a thumb drive, these days? 16GB drives are like $50!


22

Basically, here is my software list (maybe not completly up to date) : Edition Pspad: A free and really powerful editor. NVU: An HTML editor. Kompozer: The NVU bug-fixes release. System Process Explorer: Replace the default windows task manager by Process Explorer! Autoruns: Want to know what is launched when Windows starts? Try autoruns! ...


22

I find iperf to be one of the more useful utilities to test point-to-point bandwidth. It has many options to test over tcp/udp, with udp it can tell you how much jitter there was. Ports of iperf are available for almost every OS. I also like testing with NDT, but it is isn't quite as easy to work with as iperf since NDT basically has to be setup as a ...



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