Server and network monitoring can be crucial to a host’s success. I mean, how embarrassing is it when your customers are aware of downtime before you are? You don’t have to pay big bucks or spend loads of time setting up monitoring for your server. We’ve compiled a list of free monitoring solutions you can use to guarantee minimal downtime for your users, and show customers how reliable your service is!
With a software option, you’d basically be setting up a server to act as a monitor, or installing software on your PC. Here are some free and open-source software solutions that we’ve used:
Nagios is considered one of the best free server/network monitoring tools in the industry. It’s highly customizable and hundreds of plugins are available for it, not to mention that you can easily write your own plugins as well. The only downfall is that the setup can be tricky, and for most setups you need to install the nagios client (NRPE) on the monitored server.
Munin is a plug and play monitoring software mostly for network performance analysis. On a cPanel server, you can install this easily via WHM > Plugins.
Monitorix is a free, lightweight monitoring application similar to Nagios and Munin
Monitors multiple services across multiple servers, allowing each to have its own custom notification settings.
PHP-based monitoring software allowing monitoring for multiple ports on a server, and provides details uptime reports
Here is a nice list of a few more: http://sixrevisions.com/tools/10-free-server-network-monitoring-tools-that-kick-ass/
A hosted monitoring solution is a service offered and maintained by another provider, so you don’t have any software to install or configure. You’d generally sign up with the provider and use their control panel to manage your monitored sites. Here are the ones we’ve tested and recommend:
Update: This post used to list Monitor.us, which is now Monitis. Monitis has introduced a free monitoring plan to replace monitor.us.
Monitis is a relatively new monitoring service that promises FREE monitoring forever, for external and internal hosts. When you sign up, you get free access to reports and uptime statistics, as well as widgets you can add to your site. At the time this article was written, this service is still in beta but is rapidly improving and is considered very reliable.
This is a 100% free monitoring service that provides a wide range of flexible features for up to 5 sites at intervals of 15, 30, and 60 minutes. Features include content monitoring, pie charts, email/SMS notifications, maintenance mode, and an easy to use control panel. Site also includes a demo showing the service’s easy of use.
The free plan provides monitoring for one site at 30 or 60-minute intervals for HTTP, POP3, SMTP, and FTP, from multiple locations. Low-cost upgrade options are also available: http://www.siteuptime.com/compare.php
The free plan includes monitoring for one site and up to 20 SMS alerts, with free unlimited email alerts.
A more advanced monitoring service that will monitor an unlimited number of resources from several geographic locations at 1,5,15,30, and 60-minute intervals. Features include advanced reporting and statistics, and unlimited notifications.