7 Best Open Source Monitoring Tools for Network & Server Admins

IT infrastructure monitoring is very important and critical task these days thanks to the digitization. Due to the various services going down people face lot of difficulties in their daily lives and the businesses lose trust of their clients and lot of money.

According to this report businesses losing $700 Billion a year to IT Downtime!

As a business or as an individual (network or system admins) its very important to keep an eye of your IT infrastructure and making sure to avoid any service fail.

You can achieve this goal by using different tools and services. In this article we discussed and presented you with 7 best open source monitoring tools you can use for FREE to proactively look after your network and online services.

Network monitoring is the art of managing the functionality of a computer network. The management of the computer network is done by the use of specialized software tools.

Open source or commercial monitoring tools are the specific software used to oversee the operations of a computer network.

Some of the Open Source IT infrastructure and Network Monitoring Tools will be discussed below.

First look at the list:

  1. Ntop
  2. Nagios Core
  3. Zabbix
  4. Cacti
  5. OpenNMS
  6. Icinga

Why is it critical to have Monitoring tools?

Network monitoring tools play a vital role in any system. First of all, we have to understand what a network is. A network is a digital telecommunication channel that allows nodes to share resources.

Network monitoring tools thus ensure that the network services are available. The tools also ensure that the host computers are available and functioning well.  Without monitoring tools, network operations of any organization will be impaired.

These tools can also be used by the administrators in many ways. These include tracking access, failing components and the performance of the server.

It is thus important, that all large organization get these tools.  Such organizations include universities and other large-scale corporate organizations.

Benefits of Monitoring Tools

Network monitoring tools come with a lot of benefits. These are the tools that ensure that a network is normal. Some of the benefits that the tools bring forth include:

  • Benchmark network performance

With the high and continuous activities that go on in a given network. Monitoring tools can be used to ensure peak network performance. This is because it ensures increased network speed and reduced downtime. The tools also ensure that all components are in order.

  • Prompt troubleshooting

Networks and servers pass and store a lot of data and files. Monitoring tools help in keeping track over these components. The tools will alert the administrator in case of any problems that may arise. It also keeps track of any important events that take place across a given network.

  • Increased customer satisfaction

Monitoring tools make the users of a network satisfied. This is because they put everything on the check and prevent any interruptions. In case of any problems, the tools will notify the admin for action to be taken.

  • Error correction

Monitoring tools check and send reports in case of any discrepancy on the network.

  • Downtime reduction

Updating network monitoring tools reduce network downtime by a great percentage. This is possible by the set actions on memory consumption, CPU consumption, and traffic on NIC.

There are many IT infrastructure and network monitoring tools. These tools play different functions depending on the system that they are usedin. Some of the most common free or open source tools used include the following:

1. Ntop


This is a traffic tool that is used to track the usage of a network. This monitoring tool depends on libpcap. It has been composed in a portable manner.  This is done to cater for all intents so as keep it running on each UNIX stage, MacOSX and on Windows also. Some of its features include

  • Sort organize movement as per many criteria,
  • Show real-time arrange movement and dynamic hosts
  • Geolocation and overlay has in a geological map
  • Report IP convention use arranged by convention type
  • Full bolster for IPv4 and IPv6

This tool comes in three different versions. These versions include community, enterprise, and professional version. It is also used to Screen a Physical Interface and Inline Traffic Bridge.

2. Nagios Core

Nagios Core

This is an open source tool used for monitoring and alerting. Other core functions include alerting, response and reporting. Besides the listed, the monitoring tool is also used for planning and maintenance. Some of its features include visibility, comprehensive monitoring, awareness and problem remediation.

3. Zabbix


Zabbix is a definitive business level software intended for continuous observation and monitoring. This tool monitors measurements gathered from countless servers, virtual machines, and system gadgets. Zabbix is Open Source and is always acquired with no cost incurred. Its features include technical support, scalability and all in one solution.

4. Cacti


This is a basic network graphing tool. Cacti used to tackle the energy of RRD Tool’s storage of data and graphing purpose. It comes with an intuitive and easy to use interface. The networking tool provides advanced graph templating and data acquisition methods. It is also accompanied by a fast poller and understandable management features.

5. OpenNMS


This is an open source network monitoring tool. OpenNMS is a well-integrated carrier-grade tool that performs its functions in real-time. This tool comes in two distribution forms; these are Horizon and Meridian. Businesses and enterprises that seek for continuity and stability can use Meridian distribution. Horizon is perfect for monitoring different information technology ecosystems. Some of its features include performance management, easy integration, and service assurance.

6. Icinga


Icinga is among the best IT infrastructure and network monitoring tools of all time. This tool monitors any application and any infrastructure. The tool also plays a role of overseeing infrastructure of different sizes. This is possible by the use of the integrated cluster system, which is under the security of SSL.



MONITOR.US is a very reliable network monitoring tool. The tool provides instant alerts via email and an open API. Open API is monitors the available opportunities needed to make a business productive. It also features real-time views, interactive charts, and a reports section.

The above are some of the most common Open Source Monitoring Tools. They can be of great help to any enterprise or institution.


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