GIT – If you are new to any of the top 5 tools mentioned here, please read the rest of the article to understand more about them.

Top 5 Best Free Network Monitoring Tool

Fig: Favorite System Monitoring Tool Voting Results

1. Nagios – Network Monitoring Software

Nagios System Monitoring Tools for Linux

Nagios won by a huge margin. This is not a suprise to lot of people, as Nagios is hands-down the best monitoring tool.  As you already know, I love Nagios and have been using it for a long time.

2. Cacti – Network Monitoring Software

Cacti Network Monitoring Tool for Unix

Cacti uses RRDtool for the network graphing solution. Using Caci you can and graph – CPU Load, Network bandwidth utilization, network traffic etc.,

Cacti also supports plugin architecture. Some admins like the powerful graphing feature provided by Cacti, they use both Nagios and Cacti in their environment as the network monitoring tools.

3. Top (and other top variations)

Unix top, ntop command for Network Monitoring

  • Top – Few of you have mentioned top as your favorite monitoring tool
  • ntop (Network Top) – Ntop is a free network monitoring software. ntop displays network usage information in a similar fashion to top command output. You can also create HTML output file (dump) of the network status using ntop.  Apart from the command line, you can also launch the web version of the ntop once you’ve started the ntopd service and visit http://{ip-address}:3000 from browser.
  • htop (interactive process viewer for Linux) – htop is similar to top command with few additional features. The main difference is that you can use mouse to interact with the htop command output.

4. Zabbix

Zabbix Open Source Infrastructure Monitoring Solution for Unix Platforms

Zabbiz is an open source monitoring solution with a commercial support provided by a company – Zabbix SIA, who primarily develops the software.  Zabbix requires a database to store the monitoring data. You can choose any DB of your choice – MySQL, PostgreSQL, Oracle, or SQLite.

Zabbix has the following three main modules:

  • Server (written in C)
  • Agents (written in C)
  • Frontend (PHP and Javascript)

Additional information about Zabbix:

5. Munin

Munin Network Badwidth Monitoring Platform Using Plugins

Similar to Cacti, Munin uses RRDTool to present the output in a pretty graph via web interface. The primary emphasis of Munin is on the plug and play architecture for it’s plugin. There are lot of plugins available for Munin, which will just work out-of-the box without lot of tweaking.

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