Network administrators must rely on network and server monitoring software if they want to keep an eye on their networks, in order to detect faulty equipment, or slow or malfunctioning components. These tools can be a lifesaver and automatically update tech support and activate backup systems in case the network fails or has a temporary outage. There can also be servers crashing, or overloading and interruptions in network connectivity.

Many system administrators are hunting for server monitoring software tools that can handle any type of situation, on any size of infrastructure. Following is a short list of some of the best FREE (open-source) network monitoring software that are available in today’s market. Hope you can use this list and enjoy testing some of these.

Server Monitoring Review


Nagios is considered by many network professionals as the best open-source software out there for network monitoring. It is certainly the most popular among the bunch. Originally designed to best be run on a Linux setup, it is also available in Unix formats and these Unix variants are not difficult to locate. Nagios is designed to monitor many different network protocols including POP2, HTTP, NNTP, FTP, SSH, SMTP, ICMP and SNMP. It is also designed to monitor resources such as disk usage, and system logs, and also processor loads. It manages remote monitoring by utilizing SSL or SSH via encrypted tunnels.

Nagios is server monitoring application designed with a simple but extremely user-friendly interface all installed with a simple plug-in. This allows users to customize their setup based on their individual needs. Nagios has an amazing ability to differentiate downed hosts from those that are simply unreachable. This is accomplished by utilizing a hosting hierarchy which uses “parent” hosts. When network problems arise, the network administrator is immediately notified via the method of choice, be that email, SMS, or whatever other method that has been selected. Nagios is head and shoulders above some of the other competition in this niche, when it comes to customer loyalty, and reputation.


Zabbix is a network server monitoring software tool that is rich with features (full-featured) as well as being supported via a pay system (paid tech support) if needed. This software has the capability of tracking multiple types of network services as well as servers and hardware. Zabbix has an amazing viewer that dazzles users. It can define user views with a special customizable interface that includes zooming and mapping. Its communication capabilities are extremely versatile, and it allows for fast and easy-to-implement setups of various notifications options for events which are preselected or defined. Zabbix also includes a system for support and monitoring via SNMP, or ICMP and TCP. IPMI and parameters(custom) are also available as an additional option for installation of agents on specific hosts.


Cacti is a tool for graphing, that is considered web-based. It was designed to act as a front-end data storage and also utility for web-based graphing. It can easily monitor or graph such variables as load (CPU) and also total bandwidth usage for specified time periods.

This graphing can also be easily set up for network traffic stats. It can also be utilized to set up and configure collection of data and thus this will enable pre specified setups to be monitored without previously being configured manually. Cacti allows preset polling of services and then automatically graphs the results. The primary usage of Cacti is for timed series data graphing, which gives minute by minute metrics on data such as CPU usage, bandwidth usage, and also network utilization of bandwidth. Cacti also has expansion capabilities that allows it to monitor almost any source by utilizing scripts(shell) and also executables. Plugins are also supported and there is a large community and support groups available that are very versed in this software.


Zenoss is a server monitoring software network management application that is open source, but it also incorporates original programming. It is written in both Zenoss and Python. Integration of both data collection and data storage and it utilizes a user interface which is web-based. Users are able to monitor web based events, server configuration, inventory and performance. Zenoss Core is also able to effectively monitor network device availability. There is also a plug-in architecture which is provided to community members by ZenPacks. This allows members to extend the functionality of the software greatly.


Somewhat like Cacti, Munin is able to utilize the tool called RRD (RRDTool) and this allows it to display graphical output via a web interface. By utilizing Munin, network administrators can quickly monitor and easily observe the performance of their computers and networks and applications. The observance of when an issue or problem occurs and exactly what is causing the problem is made effortless with this tool. Observing capacity of restricted resources, and available capacity to access is also swift and smooth with Munin. There are many plug and play options available as well as a large online community for support.

Server Monitoring

The above short list of server monitoring software tools is certainly not a complete list of available software. Hopefully though, the list can guide you in the right direction to some tools, both paid and open source, that will be an excellent addition to your server management tool arsenal. Thanks for dropping by to read it.

For some additional Server Monitoring Software tools, take a look at these reviews.
Tembria Server Monitor
GFI Network Server Monitor/
Uptime Software

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