• United States
Neal Weinberg
Contributing writer, Foundry

WhatsUp Gold 8.0

Feb 10, 20043 mins
Enterprise Applications

* The Reviewmeister checks out monitoring tool WhatsUp Gold

The Reviewmeister this week checks out some impressive tools that can help you keep tabs on your network.

WhatsUp Gold 8.0 from Ipswitch is a highly useful tool on small and midsize networks. Its quick and accurate discovery process and informative status and availability charts are a godsend to administrators who’ve struggled to improve availability and uptime by hand, without an automated monitoring tool.

WhatsUp Gold’s designers have made several improvements to the monitoring and alerting tool since we last reviewed it in the fall of 2000. WhatsUp Gold now sports two corrective action features. It has the ability to restart failed Windows services and it can also run a user-specified external program when a problem occurs. WhatsUp Gold can also export data in XML format, and has a user interface that’s more responsive and more intuitive.

WhatsUp Gold is simple and uncluttered, has a good autodiscovery function, uses Internet Control Messaging Protocol (ICMP ) pings at a timed interval you specify to check the network’s health and produces helpful reports. If you prefer, WhatsUp Gold can use IPX or NetBIOS packets to monitor a device.

Autodiscovery, which Ipswitch terms SmartScan, is impressive. It uses SNMP requests and data from router tables to find network devices quickly and accurately. In our tests, SmartScan turned its hierarchical connectivity data into a set of separate subnet maps instead of drawing one map containing all devices. An alternate but equally accurate discovery process uses a configurable combination of Network Neighborhood exploitation, ICMP pings, Hosts file entries and Windows Registry data.

At intervals, WhatsUp Gold polls the network to collect device status information. It also tracks network traffic associated with Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP), HTTP, DNS, FTP, POP3, Internet Message Access Protocol, telnet and other common services. It includes ping, port scanning and throughput utilities.

The software can notify administrators of problems via e-mail or pager. Setting up an e-mail alert that told us of unavailable devices and showing the last several lines of the Windows NT event logs took just a few minutes to configure. The product’s network event and statistics reports are useful for tracking device and service outages.

The interactive Web page interface was a joy to use and encompassed all the functions of the Win32 native interface. For example, it let us check the status of any network device from a remote location, using only a dial-up connection and Web browser.

WhatsUp Gold has come a long way from its simple beginnings as a freeware download. It’s a reliable monitoring tool that administrators of small and midsize networks can quickly begin using without a lot of training.

For the full report, go to