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SNMP Monitoring Options


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Hi all


After the last podcast and Dave wondering how to monitor his internet usage it got me thinking - a lot of us on these forums have got multiple network switches, servers, access points etc.. and I was wondering what, if any, device monitoring software people use, not just for bandwidth, but also for general home infrastructure performance reasons.


Over the past 12 months I've taken a look at a few of the options out there for Windows platform - each with good and bad points to them which I've listed below.


PRTG by Paessler


Nice interface, auto-discovers, has mobile iOS app to monitor remotely. Limited number of sensors available in free version - ran out after adding a couple of 24 port switches.

Good for a small home setup but too expensive to consider moving from the free version to a paid solution with more sensors.




Free, Auto-discovery, resource hungry, add/spam supported platform - removed after less than 24 hours


Cacti (using Windows installer)


Good free solution, number of plugin options to expand product - liked the weathermap plugin in particular to show graphically traffic across the whole network and where issues were occurring. Ran for 9 months - low CPU, Memory, Disk requirements.

Reasonable community information available to 'Google' any issues.


Observium (Not Windows, but used Turnkey download solution for ease of setup)


Better looking than Cacti, supports realtime polling on demand to monitor issues on the fly. Simple to setup using Turnkey image, low CPU, Memory, disk requirements.


Currently running this.



What's everyone else's views? Is anyone using different products they'd recommend (ideally open source or low annual cost options - it's a hobby not a business after all!!)



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Fancied trying something different to be honest!! Plus I was running it on a Windows 7 VM which needed a couple of GB whereas the Turnkey Observium which is Linux based runs perfectly happily with 512MB as its dedicated just to that!



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I tried it again pretty recently and noticed the increase to 100 sensors but to be honest it's still 100-200 short.


In my core infrastructure I'm currently running a couple of L2 network switches (24 and 8 ports), 2 access points and an ESXi host. Just monitoring these took it over 100 as it did Auto-Discovery. Once I'd added in the VM's which run my home network (WHS2011, Sophos UTM and a W7 VM for Media Streaming eg Plex) and any Lab VM's I'm experimenting with it was over 250!



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I've had another go with PRTG in the last 24 hours but it's sensor limit is way too low.




This screen shows the 1 sensor used for checking the Internet and a further 29 sensors for a 24 port switch with only 13 ports active.

If fully populated the switch would use 51 sensors.


The UTM uses over 50 sensors as well so I've run out already!!


The auto-discovery progress detected 269 sensors on my network with correct device credentials for some outstanding devices I'd expect this to rise over 300.




Even with some aggressive pruning of the types of sensors used (e.g. removing SSL check and the duplicate Traffic and RMON sensors on the switches) I'll struggle to reduce by more than 60% !!


It's a real shame as I like the Mobile App functionality and the dashboard customisations look interesting, but an initial cost of over $1,400 for 500 sensors is just way to high to justify for a hobby!


I also took a look at Zabbix overnight but have struggled to even get that to detect devices!!


What's anyone else using?



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