I've been going through all the monitoring questions, and even the small wiki that one member already started, but I can't seem to be able to grasp the whole concept of monitoring a remote host.

Here is my scenario:

I am a VERY new Sysadmin (lost my previous Electronic Engineering job, need food, no other option), and I am in charge of 1 server. Now, this server is a dedicated box located inside a data center. Basically this server is running a VoIP application, and a small web server with a few pages, but still, most of the traffic is VoIP SIP traffic.

What I want to do is install a monitoring service, that will allow me to continuously monitor the current state of the server, and if something goes wrong, to notify me via email and even maybe SMS.

The VoIP software is running as a service, so checking if the service is running would be a plus.

So basically, what I want to check is if the server is running, that the server is running smoothly (CPU load, memory usage, HDD space, online, voip service running).

The thing is, I am not in the same network as the server, I work from an office not related to the data center and I use remote desktop to get in the server and configure it, but I want to be able to be notified when something went wrong, specially during the weekend.

I woud really appreciate any help you can give me.

  • I should probably clarify that everything I run is exclusively Microsoft. So the server is running Windows Server 2003 with IIS, I run Windows 7 as my main box. I noticed that a lot of the monitoring tools require either Linux or *nix, so Windows apps are a plus.
    – GusCrown
    Jun 2 '09 at 6:20
  • Just to clarify, it sounds like what you need is just a lightweight single-server status display page with email notification, not an enterprise solution. Sound about right? Jun 2 '09 at 13:42
  • Yeah, sounds just about right. I'm only taking care of this one server, and most of the stuff I do I do through RDP, I just want to be able to be away from the PC and be sure than everything is running OK, and that I will be notified when something goes wrong.
    – GusCrown
    Jun 2 '09 at 17:21

Try this free tool to see if it has the sensor that works in your situation.

PRTG Network Monitor (http://www.paessler.com/tools)


If you can access the system via RDP, can we assume you have the ability to ping the system and access other TCP ports?

If so, I recommend Nagios. You would run the Nagios server on your LAN and it can connect to the server over the network using NSClient or another addon.

Here is some relevant information on monitoring Windows systems with Nagios... http://www.nagios.org/faqs/viewfaq.php?faq_id=32

  • I've been checking some info on nagios, seems everyone is recommending it, but I guess I was under the wrong impression that I needed to be on the same network as the server I want to monitor. Yes, I can RDP into the server, and I can ping it and access several other ports, including the SIP port.
    – GusCrown
    Jun 2 '09 at 6:31
  • You'll find a lot of support out there for setting up Nagios. It's incredibly versatile once you get over the initial configuration challenges. We use Nagios of email, SMS and voice notifications (via Voiceshot, www.voiceshot.com)
    – Matt
    Jun 2 '09 at 6:41
  • Nagios is great, and if your SNMP port is open, its entirely possible to monitor your server remotely with it.
    – Sam Cogan
    Jun 2 '09 at 8:34

Look at Performance Logs and Alerts - it's under Control Panel -> Administrative Tools. There are lots of different alerts and performance monitors you can configure there.

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