What program can monitor a large LAN and alert me if something goes down?

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by Mac4Brains, May 22, 2010.

  1. macrumors member


    Oct 18, 2005
    I am seeking to run software on my SN Server that will alert me if a device goes down. All I can find is Windows stuff.

    I live in an apartment complex that has over a hundred units and every unit has Internet access as part of the package. I was given the task of being the Johnny-on–the-spot for anything that goes down.

    I have found stuff like the <DUDE Network Monitor> that will ping devices on the network every so often, and tell me if hub is no longer responding to a Ping. However DUDE is a windows program and I am a Mac only person. I don’t want something that is going to just search out one device, I need something to ping 100 routers about every 60 seconds 24/7, type of thing.

    I do have a Mini server running my in home file sharing so I have a server running all the time, although I am no expert at running servers. Running a file server is about all I know how to do with it so far.

    If anyone has any suggestion on what program I can use, please let me know.
  2. macrumors 65816

    Jan 1, 2008
    The only answer I have is Xymon / Hobbit, which I know runs on OS X. Unfortunately, it is not a drop-in-and-run package, but something that needs to be compiled and installed via the command line/Terminal. If you aren't comfortable doing that sort of thing, you'll want to keep looking.

    In any case, their web site (which is also a live demo of their monitoring system) is here:


  3. macrumors 601


    Feb 19, 2008
    The Finger Lakes Region
  4. macrumors 601

    Aug 15, 2005
    I used Nagios for years without issue. Instead of pings, I'd use TCP packets to ensure you don't get erroneous pages.
  5. macrumors 6502

    Oct 1, 2005
    Solarwinds is the daddy of this. It costs money though, but it's worth it.
  6. macrumors 601

    Aug 15, 2005
    True, but it doesn't run on a Mac as the OP requested. Still, it is a great product.
  7. macrumors member

    May 15, 2007
    I use groundwork community edition to monitor about 30 servers.
    It runs great inside a virtual machine.
  8. macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    iPhone OS has a number of tools. One is: Net Status
  9. macrumors 601

    Aug 15, 2005
    Would you seriously consider running an app entirely from your phone to monitor your network?
  10. macrumors 68030


    Oct 15, 2008
    You only find Windows stuff because the only stuff for that purpose that really works without needing a team of developers to customize it requires Windows. Mac OS X is NOT an established or widely supported platform for the data center. Sad but true. Accept that fact and look for solutions on Linux or Windows.

    We use IPSwitch WhatsUp Gold to monitor our global network - and by global I mean global as in all around the world. WhatsUp Gold costs a good deal of money, but it works and it is very reliable.

    The only alternative that I could think of is nagios, but I don't have first hand experience with it. I only know that before I joined this company, the engineers who chose WhatsUp Gold instead of nagios said that they had very good reasons to do so, one being that you need to do a lot of programming to make nagios work for you. That's what they said, I don't know if it's true but I tend to believe them because those guys know their business.

    A good Open Source tool to create graphs about pretty much anything in your network, from traffic rates to Smokepings, is Cacti (www.cacti.net). It runs on Linux and is the worst nightmare imaginable if you're going to install it from scratch. With all the fine tuning it will consume about two to three months(!) of your time - and I'm not kidding -, but it's absolutely worth the effort. We also use this where I work, and I'd say that it's even more important for us than WhatsUp Gold.

    If you have more time than money, use the Open Source bundle nagios plus Cacti - but don't even try to install that on Mac OS X. Use Linux. If you want to make your life easier, there is a CentOS-based distribution called CactiEZ (http://cactiez.cactiusers.org/) that's customized to install and run Cacti without the pain. It was not an option for me, because we consolidated on 64-Bit Ubuntu LTS, but rumor has it that it works rather well (but probably has not all the available plugins or extensions like Smokeping).

    If money is not an issue, buy a Windows Server with a version of WhatsUp Gold on it that fits the size of your network.
  11. thread starter macrumors member


    Oct 18, 2005
    I am looking for something that I can have running all the time on my MacMini server.

    The network I am seeking to keep tabs on is in a sort of Condo complex. Every unit (100 of them) has a hub and a cluster of units (8 units) has a switch for that cluster. The gateway is behind a hardware firewall that I do not have access to change settings on. So since I live in the condo complex, I would love to have something that pings every hub about every 5 min and to scream at me if a Ping fails to pass. This way I can go and find out what the issue is.

    I would find it kind of redundant to get a Winblows unit just to run a single program. but that seams to be what I am going to halfta do if I cant find anything. especially since I have a Mac server in my home.
  12. macrumors member

    Oct 20, 2008

    if all you want to do is to ping some 100 devices to check if they are up or not, then why not write a small perl script? The entire script would be only a few lines, e.g. like this one: http://www.sdsc.edu/~moreland/courses/IntroPerl/docs/manual/lib/Net/Ping.html

    However, to ping, these devices they must have static IP addresses. If that is not the case, then it becomes more complex, but there are solutions, too.

    If you can settle for Windows or Linux but don't want to spend money on Entry-Level NMS tools such as What's-Up or spend hours on open source, then download this one: http://support.infosim.net/freeexpress/ It comes with 100 free measurements and is easy to setup.
  13. macrumors 68030


    Dec 7, 2002
    Florida, USA
  14. macrumors regular


    Feb 23, 2004
    San Diego, CA, USA
    InterMapper is pretty spendy, but also very very good. Runs on Mac OS X, Windows, Linux, FreeBSD, and Solaris. Nice native GUI on the Mac, with pretty network maps. It can test devices with ping, snmp, etc., and can send pages when devices go down. I know people at work who use it (quite happily and successfully) for monitoring hundreds of routers. The only thing you won't like about it is the price.
  15. macrumors 68030

    Les Kern

    Apr 26, 2002
    Whoa, interested in the subject then read your post and realized I own this software. Bought it two years ago and completely forgot about it. Thanks! :)
  16. macrumors member

    Dec 24, 2007
    stillwater, ok
    i couldn't agree with you more. i used intermapper at a public school system i worked for a few years back. very useful program.
  17. macrumors 65816

    Aug 1, 2007
    Hey guys, I don't mean to threadjack, but was doing some searching and found this discussion and reading up about intermapper.

    My issue is that I'm trying to monitor my internet traffic and speed - it seems like sometimes we have very slow speed and high latency and I'm not sure whether some device or maybe my kids computers is affecting.

    I'm amazed there is no simple way of plugging into my router some program that will give me a "speedometer" type of interface to see how much bandwidth I'm using and what is using it.

    Does this type of program do this? and does it collect from the router (I use 2 airport extreme and an airport express, bridged) or does it rely on a master domain server which is monitoring all the traffic?


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