The best way to remotel monitor a server or a network of servers from a Windows machine

Apr 17th, 2012 | By | Category: Internet

Well I ran into a fairly rare dilemma a couple months ago and just remember to blog about it now.  My situation is one where I have a windows server in a basement somewhere that is performing a bunch of automated tasks using windows only software.  The tasks are really not that intensive and aren’t taxing the server at all(some marketing stuff mainly) and so I had a good think of what else I could use this server for and I came up with two more things..  The first being daily backups using rsync and cygin (blogged about it HERE) and the next thing I figured would be handy would be to have a monitor for all of my servers(there’s 8 of them now I believe – 3 of them windows and 5 of them linux).  I wanted to do something simple like a ping request and an http request every minute and get alerted via email or sms when downtime occurred.  Sounds like something you want isn’t it?  Of course it is!

Now if you want to do this through linux there’s a ton of great tools but unfortunately for me I wanted this check to take place from a server that wasnt’ in my production queue and this means I could either setup a colo or a new shared account JUSt for monitoring(because if I didn’t who would monitor the monitor?) or I could use this free windows box running in a basement 5500km away.   I chose the latter.

Now it would seem that the main bulk of this blog post is really just to describe my plight because I like so much to listen to myself talk but honestly I wanted to tell you what software to use and why.  I spent the better part of 2 days trying every piece of software under the sun and in the end the one that won out by a LANDSLIDE was ‘The Dude’  .  It’s free, it does pretty graphs, it can do pings or http requests without needin server software setup on the servers so it’s totally self contained.  Did I mention it was free?  and it runs on windows which was a big plus for me.  It can even do some cool mapping stuff and show you an overlay of your network.. Very very and I mean VERY cool software, and it’s FREE!

So head over to

http://www.mikrotik.com/thedude.php

and check those guys out.  Trust me, it’s the best solution for this challenge by such a long shot it’s not even funny and you’re wasting your time even looking at anything else..  I spent 2 days doing that and testing everything else out there so you don’t have to 🙂

 

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