Network monitoring developer HoundDog Technology has added a bandwidth monitoring checker to its IT monitoring system, and is planning an edition of its software aimed at corporate users - its current version is primarily aimed at service providers.
The bandwidth monitor can be used to give an early warning of server problems, misbehaving users or network problems. "You would probably monitor for a while to see what's normal, then set a threshold," said Dr Alistair Forbes, the Dundee-based company's CTO.
The agent can monitor the volume of data sent in either direction over any SNMP-enabled device, such as a gateway box or server on a remote site, or a managed switch if the gateway does not support SNMP. It can monitor both physical and virtual network interfaces.
Forbes said that while other SNMP tools could pull back the same information, the advantage here is that it is tied in with all the other information gathered by HoundDog's web-based dashboard and its agent software, such as server stats, disk space and anti-virus status.
"For example, if bandwidth is high you could look at what's happening on the server," he said. "You can also look back over time and see how long the activity lasted, so if bandwidth use was high overnight, that could flag up a virus or a Trojan."
The monitoring agent can also be pointed at an individual port on an SNMP-capable device, so it can be used to detect high network usage by the individual user or workstation connected to that port, he said.
The HoundDog software, which was a finalist in this year's Techworld Awards, is primarily bought by companies providing managed services, such as resellers. They can now add bandwidth checking to the portfolio of remote monitoring services they offer, Forbes said.
"Our checks are typically 50p or £1 a month per server. Most customers pay £7 or £8 a month per server to have their systems monitored," he said.
Forbes added that HoundDog is planning a version of the software specifically aimed at corporate customers for early 2008.
"A lot of the things that service providers do are the same as the things corporates need to do," he said. "Nothing prevents them using [the current version], we just haven't promoted it."
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