Managing a network is one of the fundamental tasks of the system administrator. It is also necessary to closely observe connected systems for the network to perform at its best.
Network monitoring tools thus ensure the availability of network services.
The tools also ensure those host computers are available and functioning properly. Without monitoring tools, the network operations of any organization will be compromised.
In today’s article, you will understand more in-depth what network monitoring is and what open source tools you can use to enhance this service.
We’ve compiled a list of open source network monitoring tools that are proven to work in networks of all sizes.
List of 10 Best Open Source Network Monitoring Tools
Cacti is an open-source data logging tool that displays graphs in an elegant and detailed manner.
It contains an MRTG module to track and measure router traffic, such as processing time on a server, physical network traffic, etc.
It comes with an intuitive and easy to use interface. This network monitoring tool provides advanced methods of graph modeling and data acquisition.
It also comes with quick interrogator and understandable management features.
It is very useful for comparing results and processing them when needed.
Nagios is one of the most popular open-source network monitoring tools available in the market.
The main goal of Nagios is to create instances and event alerts based on aggregated data.
You can create charts based on the collected data by installing third-party or third-party plugins.
Although the Nagios has an older user interface, it is light in size, reliable, and fast.
Compared to other network monitoring tools on this list, Nagios offers better control, but the learning curve is steep, especially for beginners.
Other primary functions include alerts, responses, and reports.
This monitoring tool is also used for planning and maintenance. Some of its features include visibility, full monitoring, awareness, and troubleshooting.
Zabbix is an open-source network monitoring tool designed to measure the availability and performance of infrastructure components, applications and generate strategic indicators for the business.
It is popular for its user-friendliness and fully configurable web graphical user interface.
Zabbix focuses on monitoring and trending features. This software is frequently used to monitor servers as well as network hardware.
Although the learning curve is not as sharp as compared to that of Nagios.
One of the strengths of Zabbix is that it can predict your traffic trends. Zabbix can also predict future behavior based on historical data.
Also, Zabbix supports automatic discovery of the connected network and its components.
Icinga is among the best network and IT infrastructure monitoring tools of all time. This tool monitors any application and any infrastructure.
The tool also plays the role of supervising infrastructures of different sizes. It is possible through the use of the integrated cluster system, which is under the security of SSL.
The Icinga monitoring tool measures availability and performance through a web interface. Like Cacti, Icinga can create detailed graphs for data analysis and processing.
Icinga is an essential tool to compete with Nagios Monitoring. Outside of the region, Icinga doesn’t look much better through its responsive web interface, but it also offers a large database and much better development potential.
Although Icinga is only beginning to compete with Nagios, the developers have rewritten the entire core of Icinga to increase responsiveness, reduce complex settings, and make it easier to use.
Also Discover: 8 Best Practices for Network Monitoring
LibreNMS is somewhat similar to Cacti as it needs other devices to install SNMP clients or proxies to function properly.
It means that you can use LibreNMS on almost any router to collect data as widely as possible.
LibreNMS uses various network protocols to monitor devices, regardless of the size of the network. It retrieves, manages, and graphically represents the data collected.
One of the popular features of LibreNMS is the alarm system. You can configure alerts based on various events.
When triggered, notifications have been sent to you through different channels such as SMS or email.
Prometheus is another leading open source network monitoring tool designed to monitor server operating metrics and create alert management based on critical thresholds.
It is based on a time series oriented database to generate indicators.
The Prometheus solution offers robust event monitoring with the management of threshold alerts based on the collection of metrics and their storage in an in-house time-series type database.
Data restitution is ensured thanks to the powerful in-house query language PromQL.
The solution offers a WEB interface for rendering, but Grafana is used to create advanced dashboards.
Wireshark is one of the most proven and widely used open source network monitoring tools.
It works on multiple operating systems, including Windows, Linux, macOS, Solaris, FreeBSD, and NetBSD.
The tool captures live streams and allows them to be analyzed afterward.
It supports the main encryption protocols to understand the flows despite the security devices in place.
SolarWinds is simple to set up and can be up and running in no time. The tool identifies network devices on its own and also deploys within an hour.
Its simple approach to monitoring an entire network makes it one of the most intuitive and user-friendly interfaces.
The product is highly customizable, and the interface is easy to manage and modify very quickly. You can customize dashboards, charts, and web performance views.
You can design a custom topology for your entire network infrastructure. You can also create custom dependency-dependent smart alerts, and more.
In addition, it dynamically calculates baseline limits from historical network performance data.
PRTG network monitor is an open source network monitoring tool known to have advanced infrastructure management features.
It is the most suitable choice for organizations that, above all, do not have much experience with network monitoring.
It also allows you to create reports, make graphs and tables with the selected information. It schedules the automatic creation of the reports, that can be exported in different format options.
All devices, systems, traffic, and applications on your network can be easily viewed in a hierarchical view that summarizes the performance and alerts.
PRTG monitors IT infrastructure using technologies such as SNMP, WMI, SSH, Flows / Packet Sniffing, HTTP requests, REST APIs, Pings, SQL, and more.
Pandora FMS has comprehensive monitoring capabilities. It monitors the health and performance of any system on the network, including physical or virtual servers.
It has agents to record latency times, the temperature of a machine, and a service’s availability.
Of all the network monitoring tools listed here, Pandora FMS is the most versatile in functionality.
It has connectors to integrate into most open source graphics monitoring applications as well as hardware probes.
Although Pandora FMS supports monitoring keys, routers, and all other gateway devices, you can install additional components to monitor other systems such as Microsoft Exchange Server, Tomcat, IIS, etc.
Besides network monitoring, Pandora FMS comes with a built-in remote server management module to help manage devices remotely.
You may also like to read: Top 11 Network Configuration Management Tools