26 helpful open source network management tools

| | Comments

Share

Over the last decade or so, open source development has skyrocketed, and network management software has ridden that wave. Many frustrated IT administrators have turned to free tools to monitor, configure and map their networked devices. Here are 26 examples of open source network management software tools to help you do your job.

Next Prev
Next Prev yah

Big Brother BTF

Big Brother was created in the mid-1990s to monitor networked systems. Since its introduction, its author made a commercial version, now called Big Brother Professional Edition and acquired by Quest Software in 2001. The open source version is still available for students and non-commercial users.

Next Prev yah

Big Sister

The author of Big Sister says he was impressed by Big Brother but wanted to change it in a number of ways. In his readme file, he says he wanted to improve the performance, reduce the number of alarms when something goes down and make other enhancements.

Next Prev yah

Cacti

Cacti is a graphing tool that can be used to show network data over time, such as CPU load or bandwidth utilisation. It is a front end to RRDtool, an open source database tool for storing data that changes over time.

Next Prev yah

GroundWork Monitor

GroundWork is a platform for monitoring networks, applications and clouds. The software is available as an open source Community Edition, but the company pushes its Flex version with a per-device per-year charge, or even its Quickstart version which has more limited support but only costs $49 per year for 50 devices.

Next Prev yah

Hyperic HQ

Hyperic HQ is intended for monitoring custom web applications and monitoring their performance across physical, virtual and cloud environments. There is a paid Enterprise version that improves on the alerting function and is better able to create baselines.

Next Prev yah

JFFNMS

The Just For Fun Network Management System isn't really. From the description: "Despite the name, the program is a serious NMS that can help you look after your routers, switches, servers and other network equipment." It is written in PHP and monitors via SNMP.

Next Prev yah

MRTG

The Multi Router Traffic Grapher is a well known simple tool for monitoring traffic moving through SNMP-enabled network devices and, well, graphing it.

Next Prev yah

Munin

The site for Munin tells us that Munin was a raven in Norse mythology who would fly around and tell the god Odin what was going on. In a network management context, the site says Munin monitors networked resources, answering questions like, "What just happened to kill our performance?"

Next Prev yah

Nagios Core

Nagios Core is software for monitoring IT infrastructure and viewing current status, historical logs and basic reports. Nagios and other companies have built commercial capabilities onto the open source core.

Next Prev yah

NetDisco

NetDisco auto-discovers networked devices via NSMP and creates pictures of your network. The site says it would most often be used to locate devices, create an inventory and report on IP address and switch port usage.

Next Prev yah

Net-SNMP

Net-SNMP is a suite of applications that uses SNMP versions 1 through 3, over both IPv4 and IPv6. It can get information from SNMP-enabled devices, receive SNMP notifications and other functions.

Next Prev yah

NetworkAuthority Inventory

Starting out as open source project ZipTie five years ago, NetworkAuthority Inventory continuously discovers and tracks networked devices. It can back up and restore device configurations, and compare configurations between devices. It is free for internal business purposes.

Next Prev yah

Ntop

Ntop shows the top consumers of a network's resources, sorting by protocol or other criteria. It works with NetFlow and sFlow.

Next Prev yah

Observium

Observium is an auto-discovering network monitoring tool. According to the site, "Its design goals include collecting as much historical data about devices as possible, being completely auto-discovered with little or no manual intervention and having a very intuitive interface."

Next Prev yah

OneOrZero AIMS

OneOrZero AIMS is a management tool that includes a help desk, knowledge base, time manager and reporting system.

Next Prev yah

OpenNMS

Started in 1999, OpenNMS provides event management, service monitoring and performance measurement. The software has no licensing cost, you pay for consulting, training and support.

Next Prev yah

OpenQRM

OpenQRM is management software geared toward data centres with lots of virtual machines. It supports several virtualisation technologies, from KVM to VMware to Xen. It even configures Nagios with its information.

Next Prev yah

Opsi

Opsi (Open PC Server Integration) is a client management system for Windows clients. The system itself runs on Linux servers. It will install operating systems, applications and patches. It can keep hardware and software inventories and manage licences.

Next Prev yah

OTRS

OTRS (Open Technology Real Services) provides help desk and IT service management. OTRS Group offers consulting, support, customisation and hosting services. An OnDemand version delivers the help desk function as software-as-a-service.

Next Prev yah

Pandora FMS

Pandora FMS monitors systems and applications, detecting problems like memory leaks, website defacements or network interface failures.

Next Prev yah

RANCID

RANCID sounds like a negative name, until you learn that it stands for Really Awesome New Cisco config Differ. What that means is it monitors a router's or other device's configuration and maintains a history of any changes. And also despite the name RANCID supports many vendors' devices, including Juniper routers, HP switches, Redback NASs and many others.

Next Prev yah

TclMon

TclMon is network monitoring software written in platform-independent Tcl. A server gathers information from network devices, and a client provides the data visualisation. It automatically maintains a list of hardware and software configurations and maintains the network topology.

Next Prev yah

Wireshark

Originally called Ethereal, Wireshark is billed as "the world's foremost network protocol analyser" and a lot of IT folks agree. It captures network traffic, performs deep packet inspection on it and allows full analysis offline.

Next Prev yah

Xymon

Formerly called Hobbit, Xymon monitors servers, applications and networks, offering information about the health of all of those networked components via web pages. Its site says it was inspired by Big Brother, and like Big Sister, it attempts to address perceived shortcomings of Big Brother BTF, such as performance. Xymon is also intended to be easier to deploy and is free.

Next Prev yah

Zabbix

Zabbix is intended as an enterprise-class distributed monitoring system. Features include real-time monitoring, auto-discovery, mapping and scalability.

Next Prev yah

Zenoss Core

Zenoss Core does availability monitoring, performance monitoring and event management. A commercial version is also available from Zenoss.

1
/12

Share

Comments

Latest UK Updated 12:58pm

We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message