4 open-source monitoring tools that deserve a look

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Network monitoring is a key component in making sure your network is running smoothly. However, it is important to distinguish between network monitoring and network management. For the most part, network monitoring tools report issues and findings, but as a rule provide no way to take action to solve reported issues.

For this review, we tested four open source network monitoring products: Cacti, Icinga, Zabbix and Observium. They were selected for their widespread use and availability, maturity, stability and the fact that they have currently maintained releases. We focused mainly on installation/configuration, day-to-day management and reporting. (Watch a slideshow version of this story.)

We found all four products to be capable network monitoring tools that performed well in our basic monitoring tasks such as checking for host availability and measuring bandwidth usage. Beyond the basics, there were quite a few differences in terms of features, granularity and configuration options.

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