Network Management on a Budget

Contributed by Timothy Burns

Monitoring a network includes many different things. The scope needs to be very broad to incorporate many details in between. Having a good plan in place along with helpful applications is key to having a healthy network and being able to troubleshoot potential problems when they occur. Many software companies have been created and do very well in specializing in network monitoring. However, while some software can be quite expensive and do provide a tremendous value, many smaller companies simply do not have the budget to make these kinds of purchases. In certain environments they are worth every penny. Smaller IT departments have smaller budgets and usually have to do without or find alternatives. Thankfully there is software available that is open source which can be used for free that in many cases can compete with the paid for alternatives. However, there are cons that should be kept in mind with using open source as well. This discussion will revolve around some of the methods that are used to monitor networks. Equally, which applications can provide the ability to use those methods and if there is a cost alternative application that can be used.

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