The Sysadmin’s Daily Grind: Smokeping
If you do not receive a response to a ping, or if the response is seriously delayed, you might like to take this as a warning. But who wants to ping all day? You need a ping-based monitoring utility like Smokeping.
The Smokeping monitoring tool is on the package list of many distributions such as Debian and Gentoo. And if you can’t find the package, the 200 KByte tarball from  is easy to install. Smokeping needs a few tools by the same author, such as RRDTool, Fping, SpeedyCGI, and a web server where it can display the results . Smokeping uses a central configuration file that gives admins several useful examples. The configuration file is the place to configure the paths to the binaries and the web server. Things start to get interesting when you configure the alarm triggers, as Smokeping uses an extremely unusual but efffective format.