The 13 Best Open Source Network Monitoring Tools

The 13 Best Open Source Network Monitoring Tools

What are the best open source network monitoring tools on the market today? Monitoring your network for performance issues is important, and network monitoring tools help enterprises track down and fix those problems. However, implementing and maintaining a network monitoring solution can be expensive, and businesses may feel like they shouldn’t even bother. Network monitoring doesn’t need to be that costly, though — there are plenty of inexpensive or free solutions available, including open source tools.

That’s why we at Solutions Review have compiled a list of the 13 best open source network monitoring tools. These tools are released under an open source license and should definitely be considered if your enterprise wants to keep costs down. We should note that they may not be the best fit for your company, since a lot of open source developments require technical knowledge or developer expertise. As such, we’ve listed some of the major features of each open source tool so you know what each solution specializes in.

If you’re looking for more resources on the best network monitoring tools and vendors, open source or otherwise, our 2019 Network Monitoring Buyer’s Guide has you covered! It contains profiles on the top 28 network monitoring providers in the market today, including descriptions of the tools they offer and noteworthy features of each. The guide also features 10 questions you should ask prospective vendors and yourself before buying a network monitoring solution. You can check out that guide here!

Angry IP Scanner

Angry IP Scanner is an open source network and IP scanning tool. The software scans for IP addresses connected to a network and checks on the status and availability of every device. Angry IP Scanner uses a multithread approach to monitoring by creating a separate thread for each scanned IP address; this increases the speed of the tool’s IP monitoring. The tool also supports NetBIOS information, favorite IP address ranges, web server detection, and customizable openers.


Cacti

cacti free open source network monitoring toolsCacti is an open source network monitoring tool based on RRDTool’s data logging and graphing system. The tool uses network polling and data collection functionality to gather information on devices on networks of any size. This includes the ability to design custom scripts for data collection alongside support for SNMP polling. It then displays this information in easy-to-understand graphs which can be arranged in whatever hierarchy your business is most comfortable with.


Checkmk

Checkmk is an open source infrastructure and application monitoring tool that also includes network monitoring capabilities. For network monitoring, Checkmk can discover and monitor switches and routers, wireless networks, and firewalls; the software supports integration with several network hardware vendors. The solution uses a rule-based concept for configuring network and device monitoring, allowing your company to configure an entire network to monitor for specific metrics.


Icinga

icinga free open source network monitoring toolsIcinga is an open source network monitoring tool that measures network availability and performance. Through a web interface, your enterprise can observe hosts and applications across your entire network infrastructure. The tool is natively scalable and can easily be configured to work with every kind of device. There are also a handful of Icinga modules for specific monitoring capabilities, such as monitoring for VMWare’s vSphere cloud environment and business process modelling.


LibreNMS

librenmsLibreNMS is an open source network monitoring system that uses several network protocols to observe every device on your network. The LibreNMS API can retrieve, manage, and graph the data it collects and supports horizontal scaling to grow its monitoring capabilities alongside your network. The tool features a flexible alerting system that is tailor-made to communicate with you via the method that works best for your company. They offer native iOS and Android apps as well.


Nagios Core

naigos free open source network monitoring toolsNagios Core is an open source network monitoring tool designed as the basis for other monitoring and alerting software offered by Nagios. It is primarily a performance check tool that schedules and executes checks for network performance across the entire infrastructure. As the event processor for performance checks used by other Nagios software, Nagios Core is also able to extend its capabilities with independent add-ons via the Naigos Exchange.

Our Network Monitoring Buyer’s Guide contains profiles on the top network performance monitor vendors, as well as questions you should ask providers and yourself before buying.

NetXMS

NetXMS is an open source infrastructure and network monitoring and management solution. The tool features flexible event processing, reporting, and visual graphing for all layers of the IT infrastructure. For network monitoring, NetXMS offers automatic Layer 2 and 3 discovery and full SMNPv3 support. The program also includes both active and passive discovery, combining both scanning probes and information collection capabilities together.


ntopng

ntopng is an open source network traffic analysis tool that also features network monitoring capabilities. The tool is a network traffic probe that sorts network traffic into different criteria, including IP addresses and throughput. By characterizing network traffic, your enterprise can easily determine different network statistics that are affecting your network. While ntopng’s Community version is open source, Professional and Enterprise versions are also available.


Opmantek NMIS

Opmantek NMIS is an open source network management solution for scalable network performance and device status monitoring. NMIS has support for 10,000 vendors and classifies network events based on their business impact. NMIS is included in Opmantek’s NMIS professional bundle, which also includes opCharts for charting performance through customizable dashboards and opReports for analyzing performance data and generating reports on this data.


Pandora FMS

pandora fms free open source network monitoring toolsPandora FMS is an open source monitoring tool that helps companies observe their entire IT infrastructure. It not only features network monitoring capabilities, but also Windows and Unix servers and virtual interfaces. For networks, Pandora FMS contains features such as ICMP polling, SNMP support, network latency monitoring, and system overload. You can also install agents on devices to observe factors like device temperature and overheating, as well as logfile occurrences.


Prometheus

prometheus monitoringPrometheus is an open source monitoring solution focused on data collection and analysis. It allows users to set up network monitoring capabilities using the native toolset. The tool is able to collect information on devices using SNMP pings and examine network bandwidth usage from the device perspective, among other functinos. The PromQL system analyzes data and allows for the program to generate graphs, tables, and other visuals on the systems it monitors.


Wireshark

wiresharkWireshark is an open source network protocol analyzer that features live network data capture and analysis. The tool executes deep inspections of several different network protocols to determine your network performance on multiple levels. Wireshark also allows users to capture data packets and analyze them even when the network is offline. Data that Wireshark captures can be stored in many universal or shared file formats, allowing other tools to help interpret the data on your network.


Zabbix

zabbixZabbix is an open source monitoring tool suite that includes network monitoring. The network monitoring capabilties of Zabbix includes performance metric analysis, such as bandwidth usage, packet loss, and CPU/memory utilization. It can also detect network node and connection health problems by checking for devices in critical condition. Zabbix can alert you when hardware functions are dropping (fan speed of a network device is low) or when an SNMP check is not responded to.


Looking for a solution to help you improve your network performance? Our Network Monitoring Buyer’s Guide contains profiles on the top network performance monitor vendors, as well as questions you should ask providers and yourself before buying.

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Daniel Hein

Dan is a tech writer who writes about Enterprise Cloud Strategy and Network Monitoring for Solutions Review. He graduated from Fitchburg State University with a Bachelor's in Professional Writing. You can reach him at dhein@solutionsreview.com
Daniel Hein