Network Device Monitoring is an extremely important, and useful, tool in almost any network environment. On the larger scales it's critical to keep close tabs on traffic-heavy switches, outward facing servers, and all manner of other systems which may or may not be critical! SNMP-based monitoring is not only fairly straightforward but it's also extremely common due to SNMP support and availability.
Even monitoring individual desktops or laptops for performance can help in keeping things running smoothly, especially with users who may not be entirely savvy.. or family members! Device monitoring also works great in smaller scale environments, like in a home network, with several systems that it'd be nice to keep an eye on. Monitoring, whether in large professional environments or small private ones, is one of the best ways to keep an eye on the performance and status of a range of devices to ensure their performance and avoid outages or other similar problems!
With that said, there's a lot of software options out there for this very task, but a lot of it can be rather spendy, or take a great deal of effort in setting up or configuring. Thankfully, a number of free tools exist as well, such as Solarwinds' Network Device Monitor!
It's a straightforward SNMP-based monitoring tool capable of gathering information from a capable device for easy and quick monitoring. Setup can easily be done in less than five minutes with an SNMP-ready device!
Simply provide the device name or IP Address and SNMP credentials and community string to get started.
Even better, the program has built-in monitoring for different sorts of devices via templates to make it even easier yet, and also offers a community-based option with a range of user-built monitoring setups and, of course, also has the option for a fully-customizable MIB based on the device to make sure you only monitor what you need to monitor!
After that, another screen offers a bit more flexibility for MIB options as far as gathering and collecting data via SNMP, with some options for polling and other basic SNMP configuration.
That's pretty much it! The software allows for a lot of configuration and a range of viewing options for MIB tree and MIB data in general, and of course plenty of tools exist for MIB parsing as well, but that's neither here nor there. A simple and free SNMP tool like this one is exactly the sort to help keep tabs on a home or small business network, or simply monitor a few especially mission-critical devices in a larger environment!
A range of monitoring is built-in and easy to enact – monitoring obvious things, such as fan state or CPU temp, can easily suggest and hint at potential hardware issues if something gets out of whack! After all, a system with a CPU fan entirely off, or a climbing CPU temp while in an idle state, would be quickly due for some further diagnosis and likely maintenance! But that's just one potential.. much the same larger switches can be monitored for traffic statistics or other performance metrics that can easily help you discern if it's running at proper efficiency – you aren't limited to just hardware status, of course! And once it's all setup, you simply have a small window with a general status indicator showing the tracking device and the given monitors.
Another example would be hardware space of a network storage drive or device – having to constantly check it or keep an eye on it is just an unnecessary burden when a quick installation and a few clicks can easily setup automated monitoring to track when space is running low. Internet connection status on a system or server can help ferret out quirky connection or ISP issues. CPU, RAM, or GPU usage can all help to determine bottlenecks in computers on a network. Server statistics can help determine a critical failure point for a lagging or unreliable application.. there's really almost no limit to the usefulness of properly configured monitoring when you apply it in just the right way!
Being able to gather data and swiftly assess it, all in an automated or centralized fashion, is no doubt the best way to perform oversight on a network, no matter it's size or needs. IT is all about solving problems while simultaneously making them easier to solve or less likely to need to be solved in the first place – and monitoring is at the very core of this! For an installation and setup that just takes a few minutes and a price tag of ‘free!' there's no reason to not give Solarwinds' Network Device Monitor a whirl when you need a quick and easy solution at no cost.