Netmon Professional Edition

The Netmon appliance went to work quickly to establish a baseline of network activity and begin identifying network problems.

Augmented by its built-in protocol analyzer, the Netmon appliance pinpointed network trouble spots in our tests by decoding key packets in addition to depicting the problematic network devices and servers. The Netmon device comprehensively monitored network traffic, specific protocols, bandwidth utilization, TCP/IP-based network services, switches, routers, routers, network printers, UPSes and application performance.

Netmon thumbnail: Click to enlarge

You'll especially appreciate the Netmon appliance if you like solving network problems at a low level. Netmon Professional Edition lacked the application-layer perspective of Extended Technologies.

The device, through its browser-based Visual Network Explorer component, shows network activity in real time. You can display the packet decodes from Netmon's raw packet-level capture facility in a protocol-analysis display utility, such as Ethereal or Wireshark. The vendor says Netmon can decode thousands of protocols.

Netmon detected half/full duplex mismatches, frame collisions and other low-level network issues. The Netmon appliance integrates closely with Cisco NetFlow to gather statistics from Cisco devices.

The appliance collects Windows performance statistics to display the status of Windows background services as well as CPU, memory and disk use. It includes a port scanner for monitoring switch and router health, and it examined router Address Resolution Protocol tables to identify new network nodes as they appeared on the network. It also did a good job of keeping a close eye on our event logs and security logs across multiple servers.

The Netmon device notified us via e-mail or pager when network activity exceeded previously set thresholds. However, it couldn't express threshold interrelationships and time of day/day of week situations in as sophisticated a manner as the other products reviewed.

Netmon’s remediation feature can run a Python script or Linux command within the appliance. It does produce uptime/availability reports, bandwidth-use reports and historical reports of network errors. Netmon comes with clear and comprehensive online documentation. It installs in a few minutes.

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