Spiceworks Community Monitor


MSRP
  • Free

  • Professionals

    It is free. Extensible with different (not free) merchandise. Good fundamental monitoring. Simple to make use of and perceive.

  • Cons

    Presently solely helps Home windows servers.

  • Backside Line

    Well-known and mature, the Spiceworks Community Monitor is free and really slick with sufficient IT punch to behave as a a one-stop IT store for small to midsize companies (SMBs). And if that is not sufficient, it additionally provides you entry to the Spiceworks neighborhood, which is without doubt one of the extra knowledgeable and responsive IT knowledgeable communities round.

The Spiceworks Community Monitor (out there totally free) continues the corporate’s lengthy custom of offering high-quality and software program, they usually do it totally free—so long as you do not thoughts some adverts within the UI’s corners. Generally much more useful than the Spiceworks software program is the truth that by downloading it, you’ll be able to signal as much as develop into paart of the Spiceworks neighborhood. Certain, that may embody excited expertise followers and orange dinosaurs, nevertheless it additionally consists of an incredible and surprisingly responsive community of specialists to assist in case you get into any form of IT hassle or need assistance getting probably the most out of the Spiceworks platform. (If the orange dinasour remark is throwing you, simply ask the neighborhood about “SpiceRex.”)

In comparison with platforms resembling Editors’ Selection-winning , the Spiceworks Community Monitor is not probably the most full community monitoring product out there, nevertheless it’s remarkably full for a free product. The features are well-chosen, and every thing works solidly for probably the most half, which is in sharp distinction to a number of the community displays we have seen not too long ago resembling . Higher, when you’ve got questions there’s greater than only a tech help quantity: The Spiceworks neighborhood is there to assist. So is Spiceworks for that matter because the product does get a full vary of tech help regardless of its standing as a free software program package deal.

Presently, the first limitation to the Spiceworks Community Monitor is that it solely works with Home windows computer systems. Nevertheless it additionally works with a full vary of community units so long as they help (SNMP) variations 1 or 2. Linux help is deliberate for late summer time 2015 and, apparently, help for SNMP model three can be deliberate.

Community Monitor tracks infrastructure units resembling switches and routers for the fundamentals, together with I/O Fee, packets per second and packet loss. It tracks servers (and as a bonus, Home windows 7 workstations) for CPU utilization, disk utilization, community information fee and packet loss, and reminiscence utilization. It’s also possible to drill right down to show these parameters graphically in expanded views. Nonetheless, Spiceworks Community Monitor doesn’t monitor or handle different units, most notably cell units.

You may discover that whereas Spiceworks Community Monitor gives wonderful for fundamental monitoring, there are options that are not current, resembling per-port numbers for switches. Spiceworks will promote you add-on merchandise from associate firms (which is the way it makes its cash) that may combine seamlessly into the Community Monitor software. But when all you want is the fundamentals, then it is all free.

Getting Set Up

For this check, I used Spiceworks Community Monitor to observe the exercise on the Cisco IOS-based switches in my lab in addition to to watch the well being of some Home windows computer systems. Whereas Spiceworks says that Community Monitor works with Home windows Server, the very fact is that the product can be able to dealing with Home windows 7 machines. For the monitoring to work in both case, you have to allow SNMP and (WMI) on the machines you want to monitor. Sadly, Community Monitor doesn’t seem like able to supporting Home windows 10 right now.

I used to be additionally in a position to have Spiceworks Community Monitor present data on a Ruckus Wi-fi ZoneDirector 1200 and a D-Hyperlink DGS-3627 swap. Spiceworks Community Monitor will join with some community units that will not do you quite a lot of good. For instance, I used to be in a position to monitor the well being of an APC SmartUPS 1500 (UPS). However, because the Spiceworks Community Monitor does not embody the power to watch energy provides, the one factor you may be taught is that it is nonetheless alive.

Including units or servers to the monitoring software is straightforward. So as to add a tool, you have to click on Add Swap on the dashboard. Then you have to inform Spiceworks Community Monitor the host title or the IP handle in addition to the neighborhood string which, on most units, is “public.” When you inform the software program to attach, you may see a brief delay after which Spiceworks Community Monitor will begin monitoring.

Including a brand new server (or Home windows 7 pc) is just barely extra difficult. As within the case of a tool, you begin by clicking the dashboard however this time the place it says “Add Server” and then you definitely enter the host title or the IP handle. You then’ll want to offer the login title and password. The servers used on this check had been working Home windows Server 2012 R2 and related with no hitch.

As you join every server or system, a shifting graphical show is added to the dashboard below the suitable heading. For servers, the graph shows disk exercise, reminiscence use, CPU utilization, and community exercise. The swap show reveals the (I/O) fee, packets per second and packet loss. This assortment of shows is named the Watchlist.

You’ll be able to select to have a look at particular units in considerably extra element with what Spiceworks calls a Essential Machine Widget. You’ll be able to select three units or servers to show extra detailed graphs in packing containers on the dashboard beneath the Watchlist.

When you want much more particular particulars, you’ll be able to click on a particular parameter within the Essential Machine window, and the graph for that parameter is expanded and extra particulars present up on the display screen with it. For instance, I used to be in a position to click on the show for one of many Cisco switches and look at the precise numbers for the whole swap bandwidth utilization, full with the stats at every level the place the numbers modified.

You are able to do one thing comparable with the Watchlist graphics. Hover your mouse pointer over any of the shifting graphs and the graph is changed by the precise quantity it represents. Click on the title of any system or server and you will get a full-page show of detailed numbers of the thing’s efficiency. This may be helpful if a graph seems to indicate a excessive quantity or degree of exercise as a result of you’ll be able to verify the precise quantity. As a result of the scaling of the graphs is automated, there will be occasions when a tiny quantity appears to generate a big motion on the dashboard’s graphs.

Limitations

Regardless of the spectacular capabilities of the Spiceworks Community Monitor, there are some limitations. For instance, the alert thresholds are dealt with on an total foundation however you’ll be able to’t change particular person settings. This implies that you could be get emailed about occasions that are not truly important. I seen a disk exercise alert when one of many machines being monitored began doing backups, for instance. Nonetheless, you’ll be able to management when Spiceworks Community Monitor sends out emails so, whereas such an alert might present up on the dashboard, you don’t want to get emailed about it.

The opposite notable limitation is that, at the moment, Spiceworks Community Monitor doesn’t help Linux servers. Assist for Linux is due out shortly and Spiceworks informed me that an replace to mirror this will likely be out there in beta kind even sooner.

Presently, you will note a lot of references to the beta crew displayed on the dashboard and elsewhere within the Community Monitor. It is a launched product and got here out of beta in early June 2015. Nonetheless, Spiceworks stated that a number of the documentation hadn’t been up to date to mirror that. Additionally, whereas the Community Monitor is a launched product, it stays below growth so updates are frequent.

I discovered the Spiceworks Community Monitor to be a well-featured, simple to make use of product that may properly meet the wants of most small and medium-sized companies. You do not want to be an expert community engineer to implement the product and you do not should be within the IT division to make use of it. Nonetheless, the Community Monitor is watching how your community operates so information of networking and community occasions is required to take full benefit of this product, though the graphical shows are intuitive sufficient that somebody who is not an IT skilled ought to be capable of inform when a server or system wants consideration. However the good factor is, this can be the entire community administration you want—and it is free.

Spiceworks Community Monitor

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