Cacti is an open-source network and server monitoring/graphing tool that is great for visualizing your data along with your systems on a very basic level. It gives you the ability to poll network devices as well as track bandwidth usage and graph it very nicely.
Here is our list of the top Cacti alternatives:
- SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor – FREE TRIAL This top-of-the-range network monitor constantly polls network devices for operating data through SNMP routines and creates a network inventory and map. Runs on Windows Server. Get a 30-day free trial
- Site24x7 – FREE TRIAL This SaaS bundle of different monitoring services provides full-stack observability for on-premises and cloud-based assets with SNMP and NetFlow monitors included. Access the 30-day free trial.
- Paessler PRTG – FREE TRIAL A package of monitors for networks, servers, and applications provides live network feedback with live inventory and maps drawn up from SNMP data. Runs on Windows Server. Download the 30-day free trial.
- Nagios Core and XI A free monitoring system (Core) and its paid upgrade (XI) that covers networks, servers, and applications. Runs on Linux but you can run it on Windows over a hypervisor.
The Best Alternatives to Cacti
Below you'll find a list of suitable replacements for Cacti software that will assist you in collecting and visualizing your data with the same granularity, or better, as you could with Cacti. These alternatives will also provide you with added benefits and upgrades that will keep you systems monitored and newer OSes supported better, as many open-source projects eventually die off due to lack of support and more importantly, funding.
When looking for an Alternative to Cacti, we'll want to ensure that we get the same functionality, if not more, out of a replacement software package. Some of the main features Cacti has that we want to ensure our replacement has include the following:
- Graphing Functionality with adjustable parameters and data for manipulating graphs
- Multiple data sources for information
- SNMP Monitoring and WMI Polling
- Templating to allow for custom graphs and information
- User management and Permissions for different user levels and types
SolarWinds latest version of their Network Performance Monitor suite is an all-in-one solution that encompasses a large array of features and functionality for network, server and bandwidth monitoring. Features that include Network Topology mapping, Auto-discovery and configuration of network devices, Historical and Real-time Graphs of usage, Bandwidth Monitoring capabilities (including Netflow, Sflow, IPFix and more) make it the top contender as a replacement.
Other major Features include:
- Pre-Built and pre-packaged templates
- Automatic forecasting of network resources and hardware
- Hardware Health Alerts and Monitoring
- Multi-Vendor support built-in
- Automatic Discovery and Scanning of network components
- Critical Path analysis via NetPath
- Wireless Network monitoring
- Packet Capture and Analysis for QoE for end users
- Built for medium to enterprise size networks, with features designed to streamline troubleshooting and improve TTR and overall productivity
- Can automatically discover new devices on the network and provide templated health reports for immediate insights upon installation
- Offers configuration management, allowing teams to quickly backup and restore changes that may have impacted performance
- Can monitor settings for unauthorized changes and specific teams or managers
- Offers a customizable dashboard that has a host of different options for visualizing network performance
- Not designed for home networks, this is an enterprise tool built for system administrators and network technicians
30-Day Free Trial Available for SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor along with Easy and Fast configuration, getting your network mapped and configured could take as little as 2 hrs time with their Auto Network Discovery and configuration wizard.
Free 30 Day Trial Download: http://www.solarwinds.com/network-performance-monitor/registration
Site24x7 is a cloud platform that offers a range of system monitoring tools. This service can monitor servers, applications, and Web assets, as well as networks.
The network monitoring capabilities of Site24x7 provide device health checks through the use of SNMP and traffic monitoring with NetFlow, J-Flow, sFlow, CFlow, IPFIX, NetStream, and AppFlow.
Some of the main features of Site24x7 are:
- Device component availability reports including CPU and interface performance
- Device capacity and utilization reporting
- Alerts for device status problems
- Traffic flow monitoring that identifies end-to-end capacity on a path
- Bottleneck detection
- Capacity exhaustion alerts
- Full stack observability
- Root cause analysis
- Notifications by email, SMS, push notifications, voice calls, or RSS
- Offers a specific package for real user monitoring
- Offers a host of out-of-box monitoring options for infrastructure, servers, and applications
- Allows administrators to view dependencies within the application stack, good for building SLAs and optimizing uptime
- Offers root cause analysis enhanced by AI to fix technical issues faster
- Site24x7 is a feature-rich platform with options that extended beyond databases management, may require time to learn all options and features
Download: This is a cloud-based system so there is no download. You sign up for a 30-day free trial at the Site24x7 website.
Paessler PRTG has been around for some time as well, and also comes with a free version that allows you to monitor up to 100 sensors. PRTG starts to scale up from there and the pricing model is based on the amount of sensors you would like to monitor within your network.
Some of the main features of PRTG include:
- Performance monitors using SNMP, SSH and WMI for Windows environments and unix/linux support
- Flow Packet Analysis (via Netflow, etc)
- Network Topology Autodiscovery via Ping/ICMP
- Network Mapping functionality
- Alerts and Warning Systems
- and much more
PRTG has a solid track record and has made strides in the past several years to really bring a solid product for Network and Server monitoring to the masses.
- Built for professionals and enterprise use
- Offers monitoring templates for quick insights into network and device performance
- Can check device health through a series of checks such as ICMP and ping
- Makes great use of visualizations to map out more complex wireless networks
- Pricing is based on utilization, making it a predictable and scalable option for any size network
- Offers a wide range of monitoring options, requiring time to fully utilize all features
Download: PRTG is free to use up to 100 sensors. You can start with a 30-day free trial.
4. Nagios Core and XI (Open-Source)
Nagios has been the go-to network monitoring solution for thousands of Network engineers and administrators due to its open-source nature and price-point, being that you can use the Core version of Nagios free, and the XI version which is fully-supported as an upgraded, paid alternative.
Some notable features of Nagios XI include:
- Configuration wizards and pre-built templates
- Nagios Core monitoring Engine
- Capacity Planning and Reporting
- View Graphs and Alerts of Network Incidents via Web GUI
- Bulk Host Importing, Auto-Discovery and Auto Decommissioning of Network devices no longer on the network
- and much more
Nagios Core doesn't have quite the feature set that the paid version has, but nonetheless it will get the job done if your looking for a low-cost solution. We tend to stay away from open-source software as we're operating at higher levels than other shops and need enterprise support when the occasion does arise.
If we could give all our readers a suggestion, it would be to go with a paid solution over a non-paid version, unless you are extremely well versed with writing your own custom scripts for an open-source solution.
- Open-source transparent tool
- Simple, yet informative interface
- Flexible alerting options support SMS and email
- Robust API backend makes it a great option for developers who want to integrate their own custom applications
- Very generous two-month trial period
- Open-source version lacks quality support found in paid products
- Installation can be technical and complex
Official Site and Download information: https://www.nagios.com/products/nagios-xi/
Any one of these Solutions would work great for a Cacti Replacement, considering that it is a Fairly out-dated program as it is and many of these newer software suites have great features for monitoring the same metrics that Cacti has!