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Open source for monitoring systems

I manage a mid-sized server environment, and I'm looking for an easier way to monitor the systems. Is there an open source solution I should try?

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OpenNMS is a free open-source enterprise grade network management system designed as a replacement for more expensive commercial products like HP's OpenView, IBM's Tivoli, and CA's Unicenter. It keeps you up to date on what's happening with your network by periodically checking that services are available, isolating problems, collecting performance information and performing actions that can help resolve outages.

Once installed, OpenNMS scans the network to automatically discover available services, essentially anything running on a port within your network. Then it polls those services (every 5 minutes, by default) to check availability. If there are outages, it will try to isolate the problem to help you respond. For example, it will try to determine if the problem is a single application or an entire section of the network. Once the problem has been isolated, it can record the event, run any pre-configured script, send emails or pages and create a report. Check out the OpenNMS group site for commercial support.

This was first published in June 2006

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