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10 Best Network Monitoring Tools (July 2024)

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Effective network monitoring is crucial for maintaining the performance and reliability of today's complex IT environments. With the right tools, network administrators can proactively identify and resolve issues before they impact end-users. In this blog post, we'll explore some of the best network monitoring solutions available, including both cloud-based platforms and open-source options.

1. Auvik

The Easiest Network Monitoring & Management Solution

Auvik is a cloud-based network monitoring and management platform designed to give IT teams full visibility and control over their networks. It automates many complex and time-consuming network management tasks, allowing administrators to work more efficiently. By providing real-time network mapping, detailed device information, and intelligent alerts, Auvik enables IT professionals to proactively monitor network health and quickly troubleshoot issues.

One of Auvik's standout capabilities is its ability to automatically discover and inventory all devices on the network within minutes of deployment. It creates dynamic, interactive topology maps that visualize physical and logical connections between devices. Auvik also provides in-depth traffic analysis to easily identify who is on the network, what they are doing, and where their traffic is going. With features like automated config backups and an intuitive dashboard to access key network data from anywhere, Auvik is a comprehensive tool to streamline network management.

Key features of Auvik include:

  • Automated network discovery and inventory that provides a complete view of all network devices
  • Dynamic network mapping to visualize physical and logical network topology
  • Intelligent network traffic analysis to monitor bandwidth usage and identify traffic patterns
  • Automated configuration backups and easy restore to quickly recover from network issues
  • Extensive integrations with popular IT platforms and a powerful API to build custom workflows

Visit Auvik →

2. SolarWinds

The SolarWinds Platform Explained

SolarWinds is a leading provider of powerful and affordable IT management software. Their flagship product for network monitoring is called Network Performance Monitor (NPM). NPM is designed to provide comprehensive network monitoring capabilities that allow IT professionals to quickly detect, diagnose, and resolve network performance issues and outages.

SolarWinds NPM can automatically discover network devices and start monitoring them within hours of deployment. It provides real-time visibility into the health and performance of routers, switches, firewalls, load balancers, wireless access points, and any other SNMP-enabled devices. NPM uses a web-based interface with customizable dashboards, views, and charts to present critical performance metrics at a glance. It also includes advanced alerting capabilities to notify administrators of issues before they impact end-users.

In addition to NPM, SolarWinds offers several other tools that extend its network monitoring capabilities. NetFlow Traffic Analyzer provides detailed visibility into bandwidth usage by application, protocol, and IP address group. Network Configuration Manager automates network configuration and change management. IP Address Manager streamlines IP address management with integrated DHCP and DNS servers. Taken together, these tools provide a comprehensive and scalable network monitoring solution.

Key features of SolarWinds network monitoring tools include:

  • Automated network discovery and mapping to quickly inventory devices and visualize topology
  • Customizable dashboards, views, and reports to present key performance metrics and health data
  • Over 1200 pre-built templates for monitoring Cisco, HP, Dell, Juniper, and other network device vendors
  • Advanced alerting with dynamic baseline thresholds and dependencies to reduce false alarms
  • PerfStack performance analysis dashboard for easy cross-stack data correlation and root cause identification

Visit SolarWinds →

3. LogicMonitor

LogicMonitor

LogicMonitor is a SaaS-based infrastructure monitoring platform that provides unified visibility into complex and hybrid IT environments. It offers comprehensive monitoring capabilities across networks, servers, cloud resources, applications, and more. By collecting metrics, logs, and traces through an agentless collector architecture, LogicMonitor delivers real-time insights into the health and performance of the entire technology stack.

One of LogicMonitor's key strengths is its ability to automatically discover and monitor devices within minutes of deployment. It creates dynamic topology maps to visualize relationships between critical resources. LogicMonitor also leverages AI and machine learning for advanced capabilities like anomaly detection, forecasting, and intelligent alerting. With customizable dashboards, pre-configured alert thresholds, and extensive integrations, LogicMonitor optimizes digital experiences while consolidating tools and reducing operational overhead.

Key features of LogicMonitor include:

  • Automated discovery and monitoring of devices, cloud resources, and applications
  • Dynamic topology mapping to visualize relationships and dependencies
  • AI-driven insights for anomaly detection, forecasting, and smart alerting
  • Customizable dashboards and reporting for tailored views of key metrics
  • Extensive integrations with 2000+ technologies and open API for custom data sources

Visit LogicMonitor →

4. Nagios

Nagios

Nagios is a powerful open-source IT infrastructure monitoring tool that enables organizations to identify and resolve problems before they impact critical business processes. Originally developed under the name NetSaint in 1999, Nagios has evolved to become one of the most widely used monitoring platforms, with thousands of projects and plugins extending its core functionality. Nagios runs natively on Linux and other Unix-like systems but can also be deployed on Windows using virtualization.

At its core, Nagios is designed to monitor hosts, services, and network devices. It uses a server-client architecture where plugins run on remote hosts to collect data and send it back to the Nagios server for processing. When issues are detected, Nagios can send alerts via email, SMS, or other notification channels to IT staff, allowing them to quickly respond to outages or performance problems. Nagios also provides a web-based interface for viewing monitoring status, generating reports, and managing configuration.

Beyond its core monitoring engine, the Nagios ecosystem includes several other tools to extend its capabilities. Nagios XI provides an enterprise-grade web interface, advanced visualizations, and features like capacity planning and audit logging. Nagios Fusion allows centralized viewing of multiple Nagios instances. Nagios Log Server enables log monitoring and analysis, while Nagios Network Analyzer provides NetFlow-based traffic analysis.

Key features of Nagios include:

  • Comprehensive monitoring of IT infrastructure components including servers, network devices, applications, and services
  • Flexible, plugin-based architecture that allows monitoring of virtually any resource
  • Centralized view of monitoring status via web interface with user-specific views and dashboards
  • Proactive alerting via multiple channels to ensure rapid response to issues
  • Extensible ecosystem with add-ons for log monitoring, network analysis, configuration management, and more

Visit Nagios →

5. Zabbix

Zabbix

Zabbix is a mature and feature-rich open-source network monitoring solution designed for monitoring the availability and performance of IT infrastructure components including servers, network devices, virtual machines and cloud services. It provides a centralized monitoring system that enables real-time monitoring of thousands of metrics collected from servers, network devices and applications.

One of Zabbix's key strengths is its flexibility and extensibility. It can monitor a wide range of devices and systems using multiple methods including Zabbix agent, SNMP, IPMI, JMX and custom checks. Zabbix also provides powerful data visualization capabilities including custom graphs, network maps, dashboards and reports. With features like anomaly detection, predictive analytics and auto-discovery of devices, Zabbix helps IT teams proactively monitor their infrastructure and quickly troubleshoot issues.

Key features of Zabbix include:

  • Distributed monitoring with support for remote Zabbix proxies for monitoring across multiple locations
  • Agentless monitoring using multiple protocols including SNMP, IPMI, JMX, SSH and Telnet
  • Powerful data visualization with custom graphs, network maps, dashboards and slideshows
  • Flexible alerting with customizable escalation scenarios and multiple notification channels
  • Auto-discovery for automatic registration of new devices and application of appropriate monitoring templates

Visit Zabbix →

6. Datadog

Datadog Network Device Monitoring (NDM)

Datadog is a comprehensive cloud-based monitoring and analytics platform designed to provide real-time visibility into modern IT environments. It enables organizations to monitor their entire infrastructure, including servers, databases, applications, network devices, and cloud services. By collecting, searching, and analyzing metrics, traces, and logs across fully distributed architectures, Datadog empowers IT teams to proactively detect and resolve performance issues before they impact end-users.

Datadog supports over 600 technologies and services out-of-the-box. This allows seamless data collection from various sources, providing a holistic view of the IT ecosystem. Datadog also offers customizable dashboards, intelligent alerts, and collaboration features, enabling teams to efficiently monitor, troubleshoot, and optimize their systems. With its scalable architecture and flexible deployment options, Datadog caters to businesses of all sizes, from startups to large enterprises.

Key features of Datadog include:

  • Real-time monitoring of servers, containers, databases, and cloud services, with auto-discovery and detailed performance metrics
  • End-to-end tracing of requests across distributed systems, identifying bottlenecks and optimizing application performance
  • Centralized log collection, indexing, and analysis, with powerful search and filtering capabilities 
  • Visibility into network traffic, analyzing communication between services, containers, and cloud environments 
  • Customizable dashboards for visualizing key metrics in real-time

Visit Datadog →

7. AdRem NetCrunch

Ultimate Network Monitoring | NetCrunch

AdRem NetCrunch is a comprehensive network monitoring and management solution designed to provide real-time visibility into IT infrastructure. It offers a wide range of features to streamline network monitoring, including auto-discovery of devices, performance monitoring, customizable dashboards, and an intuitive alerting system. NetCrunch runs on Windows and provides an agentless approach to monitoring, making it easy to deploy and scale.

NetCrunch automatically discovers and maps network devices, creating a dynamic, interactive network atlas. This allows IT teams to visualize their network topology, identify dependencies, and quickly locate the root cause of issues. NetCrunch supports monitoring of various devices and systems, including servers, network devices, applications, virtual environments, and cloud services.

Key features of AdRem NetCrunch:

  • Agentless monitoring using protocols like SNMP, WMI, and SSH
  • Automatic network discovery and interactive topology mapping
  • Customizable dashboards and alerts for tailored network insights
  • Supports monitoring of servers, network devices, VMs, and cloud services
  • Extensive reporting and integration with IT management platforms

Visit NetCrunch →

8. Observium

Observium is an open-source network monitoring and management platform that offers auto-discovery capabilities to automatically detect and monitor devices on the network, including servers, switches, routers, and more. Observium supports a wide range of device types and operating systems, such as Cisco, Windows, Linux, HP, Juniper, Dell, and others.

Observium boasts a user-friendly web interface, which presents network data through customizable dashboards, graphs, and reports. It collects data using SNMP and stores it using RRD (Round-Robin Database), enabling efficient storage and retrieval of historical performance metrics. Observium also provides alerting features to notify administrators of potential issues or performance degradations.

Key features of Observium:

  • Automatic discovery of network devices for easy setup and monitoring
  • Support for a wide range of device types and operating systems
  • Customizable dashboards and graphs for data visualization
  • Alerting system to notify administrators of potential issues
  • Scalable architecture to monitor large and complex network environments

Visit Observium →

9. Domotz

Domotz is a comprehensive cloud-based network monitoring and management software designed for MSPs, IT professionals, and enterprises. It provides real-time visibility and control over IT infrastructure, enabling users to work more efficiently, increase productivity, and resolve issues faster. Domotz offers a user-friendly interface and automated features such as network discovery, topology mapping, and device inventory.

Domotz can monitor a wide range of devices, including servers, workstations, printers, routers, switches, firewalls, and IoT devices, regardless of the manufacturer. It supports various monitoring protocols like SNMP, WMI, and SSH. Domotz also provides secure remote access to devices for troubleshooting, as well as network configuration management with backup and restore capabilities.

Key features of Domotz:

  • Automated network discovery, inventory, and topology mapping
  • Supports monitoring of diverse devices across multiple sites and networks
  • Secure remote access for troubleshooting and issue resolution
  • Network configuration management with backup, restore and change alerts
  • Intuitive web-based interface with customizable dashboards and reporting

Visit Domotz →

10. AKIPS

AKIPS

AKIPS is a powerful and scalable network monitoring software designed to provide comprehensive visibility into large enterprise network infrastructures. It offers a fully-featured, fast, and cost-effective solution for monitoring network performance, enabling network engineers to proactively identify and resolve issues before they impact business operations. AKIPS can monitor over one million interfaces and 500,000 flows per second from a single server, making it one of the most scalable network monitoring tools on the market.

One of the standout features of AKIPS is its ability to provide real-time insights and historical data down to one-minute granularity for up to three years. This allows network administrators to quickly identify the root cause of issues and make informed decisions. AKIPS also offers automated device discovery, adaptive polling, syslog and SNMP trap management, NetFlow analysis, and configuration management capabilities, providing a comprehensive toolkit for network monitoring and management.

Key one-line features of AKIPS:

  • Scalable architecture monitoring over 1 million interfaces from a single server
  • Real-time insights and 3 years of historical data at 1-minute granularity
  • Automated network discovery and adaptive polling optimizing SNMP traffic
  • Advanced syslog, SNMP trap management and alerting for proactive issue detection
  • NetFlow analysis with up to 500k flows/sec and configuration management tools

Visit AKIPS →

The Bottom Line

Choosing the right network monitoring tool is essential for keeping your IT infrastructure running smoothly. Whether you opt for a comprehensive cloud-based platform, a flexible open-source solution, or a combination of tools, having real-time visibility into your network's performance is crucial. Consider your organization's specific needs, budget, and existing IT ecosystem when selecting a monitoring solution. By implementing the right tool or combination of tools, you can proactively identify and resolve issues, optimize network performance, and ensure a seamless experience for your end-users.

Alex McFarland is an AI journalist and writer exploring the latest developments in artificial intelligence. He has collaborated with numerous AI startups and publications worldwide.