Tools and tricks for monitoring your network



If you can’t monitor everything yourself, why not let your computers watch your computers? This month we examine some practical techniques for network monitoring.

You can’t inspect a computer network the way you inspect a line of show dogs. Dozens of processes are at work at any moment – all within a motionless rack or an innocuous beige case – and no one has enough eyes to watch the status of everything. While you stop to fill out another requisition form, files fly down wires, web servers serve up pages, data servers accept and log transactions, and CPUs execute millions of instructions every second. The need for network monitoring has been around for nearly as long as the need for networks. This month, we look at some tricks and tools for keeping watch.