Finding the Best System Monitoring Tools & Software will help you manage all Windows, Linux, mac and other devices from a centralized dashboard and give complete control over your Server Infrastructure and Network.
These tools monitor every aspect such as networks, servers, computers, devices and more, and in the process, help you stay on top of security and performance.
Windows environments come with a built-in monitoring tool called “Task Manager” that gives a bird’s eye view of the running processes, CPU usage and memory. But, it doesn’t have advanced features such as alerting and reporting.
This is why it’s a good idea to use advanced monitoring tools in addition to Task Manager, to keep your infrastructure in good health and your up-time high!
Here’s a List of the Top System Monitoring Tools of 2021:
There are many monitoring tools available for the Windows environment and here’s a look into some of the top tools.
- SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor (FREE TRIAL) A server monitoring system that tracks resource utilization and also application performance on servers. The software installs on Windows Server but the system can also monitor Linux servers over a network.
- Atera (FREE TRIAL) A package of software tools for managed service providers that includes all of the remote monitoring and management tools needed by technicians.
- Datadog Infrastructure (FREE TRIAL) A cloud-based tool for tracking server resources and the services that support front-end systems.
- Site24x7 Infrastructure Monitoring (FREE TRIAL) A cloud-based monitor for networks, servers, and applications that links the application stack from front-end software down through to demand on server resource.
- Paessler PRTG (FREE TRIAL) A package of infrastructure monitoring tools that includes network performance management features. Installs on Windows Server.
- ManageEngine Applications Manager & OpManager (FREE TRIAL) A complete software and hardware monitoring package created by two monitoring modules. Both install on Windows Server and Linux.
- Operations Bridge An infrastructure monitoring system that can track resource utilization over a network, across the internet, and on remote servers.
- Zabbix A free suite of on-premises monitoring software that tracks the performance of networks, servers, and applications. Control software runs on Linux, Unix, and macOS, agent software runs on all of those OSs plus Windows and Windows Server.
- Pandora FMS An infrastructure monitoring system that installs on a bare metal server. This system includes network, server, and application monitor tools.
- Spiceworks Network Monitor A free, online connectivity monitor that focuses on checking website availability.
Below your find a quick description of each software we recommend along with Download links as well.
SolarWinds Server & Application Manager is a systems manager that offers excellent visibility into the performance of applications and servers. Its One of our Top Picks for monitoring Systems within your Network along with applications that run on them as well.
We Highly Recommend Solarwinds Server & Application Manager due to its extensive feature sets as well as their constant updates to the software that make it an All around great tool for utilizing in your network.
Below your find a list of capabilities and features that it has integrated that make it one of the most Popular Tools available today for the Windows environment, as well as monitoring other systems including Virtual Machines, UNIX/LINUX Server software and more!
- Multi-vendor systems can be monitored from a single console
- Scalable, and supports anything ranging from a handful of devices to multi-site deployments.
- Sends proactive alerts to inform users before an issue spirals into a problem that could impact businesses negatively.
- Helps to identify the root cause of the problems, so they can be fixed quickly.
- Comes with pre-packed monitoring templates and reports, so you can get started right away.
- New templates can be built or existing templates can be modified to meet specific preferences.
- Easy to install and the entire process can be completed in less than half an hour.
- Helps with capacity planning.
- Supports more than 200 applications spread across different environments including Windows.
- Helps to monitor hardware components like fan speed, temperature, power supply and more.
- Tracks assets throughout their life-cycle.
- Monitors both physical and virtual applications and servers.
On top of these features, SolarWinds Server & Application Manager offers three out-of-the-box templates designed specifically for Microsoft Exchange, IIS and SQL Server. These templates help to solve complex problems using advanced monitoring techniques as well as Reporting issues that arise quickly.
- Exchange Server – Helps to view mailboxes, storage levels and statuses, monitors user activity and identifies replication problems.
- Microsoft IIS – Monitors the availability of websites and applications, reports SSL expirations and allows users to remotely start or stop application pools.
- SQL Server – Monitors database connections, error logs, index fragmentation and more.
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Atera is a SaaS system that provides all of the software needed by managed service providers (MSPs). The tools package includes two systems: professional services automation (PSA) and remote monitoring and management (RMM). The RMM package includes all of the tools needed to administer a business’s IT infrastructure, including networks, servers, and applications.
The monitoring features of Atera include:
- Network discovery
- Server software inventory management
- Endpoint monitoring
- SNMP-based device health monitoring
- Network capacity monitoring
- Alert-based system-neutral
- Web server, email server, and database monitoring
- Virtualization tracking
- Active Directory integration
Atera is a cloud-based system and so needs agents installed on the local network. The system can monitor and manage devices running Windows, Windows Server, Linux, and macOS. The service bundle also includes patch management, software management, and incident management systems. Tools in the bundle include remote access and remote desktop software to enable MSP technicians to gain direct access to remote endpoints.
The Atera system is available in three editions: Pro, Growth, and Power. The full Power system is available for a 30-day free trial.
Pro: $79 per month, Growth: $119 per month, Power: $149 per month
Datadog Infrastructure is a cloud-based service that tracks the application stack that supports user-facing systems, such as websites. The monitoring service watches performance issues all the way down to the server operating system and is able to link services together so that it can trace the root cause of any performance issue.
Here is a list of its features:
- Aggregates performance and transaction metrics for system overviews
- Includes a drill-down function to expose individual asset performance
- Can group the monitoring of servers in different locations
- Will monitor cloud servers and serves as well as on-premises systems
- Monitors virtualizations and containers
- Live traffic analysis maps
- Alerts for performance thresholds
- Performance anomaly detection
- Customizable screens
- Log viewer
- Trace mechanism
Datadog Infrastructure is available in three editions.
Pro for $15 per month per host
Enterprise for $23 per month per host
For more information and access to a 14-day free trial:
Site24x7 is a cloud-based network infrastructure monitoring tool that is ideal for monitoring systems primarily through how their servers are performing. It’s great for debugging issues in real-time and gives you insights into Windows and Linux processes that are running.
- Some of the features of Site24x7 Infrastructure’s server monitoring system are:
- Application stack mapping to discover demand for server resources.
- Typical server metrics, such as CPU, memory, and disk capacity and load.
- Live performance tracking plus historical data analysis.
- Server capacity planning support.
- Alerts on performance thresholds.
- Problem notification by SMA, email, voice call, or instant messaging post.
- A customizable Web-based dashboard.
- The ability to unify the monitoring of servers on different sites.
- A hosted service that includes processing and storage plus constantly updated software.
- The collection and management of system and application log messages.
Site24x7 Infrastructure is a subscription service that costs $9 per month when paid for annually. You can get it on a 30-day free trial.
More Information and access to the free trial:
Paessler is another extremely well know software company that is based out of Germany with deep roots in Network Monitoring and Management. They offer a very robust solution for managing your network devices, servers and applications with their flagship product, PRTG Network Monitor.
PRTG can either be downloaded and installed locally on a server or they now have a Hosted solution for those who want to have monitoring off-premises.
Some features of PRTG included (but are not limited) to the following:
- VM Monitoring & Management with preconfigured templates
- SQL & Exchange Mail Server Management & Monitoring solutions
- IIS Application Server monitoring
- More Critical components via WMI & SNMP including CPU, Memory, Traffic stats and more!
- Citrix System Monitoring
- Syslog and Event Log Analysis
- Linux, Unix & Mac OSX System Support
PRTG is well rounded and very flexible out of the box. It includes many pre-built templates to quickly jump into whatever system management task you throw at it.
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You can start a fully functional trial for 30-days.
An IT system is made up of both hardware and software, so, to get a full system monitoring overview, you need to cover both of these resource categories. ManageEngine provides OpManager to monitor hardware – mainly network devices and servers. The company’s Applications Manager monitors software. So, a combination of the two covers all IT infrastructure. Both modules are written on a common platform, so they slot together.
The connection between software and hardware is particularly important when managing services that require both elements to exist, such as virtualizations. In other cases, such as website performance, the causes of problems could easily be due to software, hardware, or issues with combinations of the two.
Features of these monitors include:
- Network device health checks
- Server resource monitoring
- Cloud server status tracking
- Internet connection monitoring
- Website performance testing
- Application dependency mapping
- Network topology mapping
- Status impairment alerts
The connection between these two modules enables a system administrator to map and document all resources automatically. The alert system in both tools can be forwarded as notifications by email or SMS message, which means that system monitoring is automated because technicians can leave the tool to watch over normal operations, being drawn back to the system console only when needed.
ManageEngine offers a 30-day free trial of both OpManager and Applications Manager.
Get in touch with the sales team for a personalized quote.
7. Operations Bridge
Operations Bridge from Micro Focus is a containerized monitoring solution that works well on Windows. Based on more than fifty patents for high-volume data analysis and speed, this tool monitors the entire infrastructure efficiently.
Here is a list of its features.
- Containerization helps to automate many routine IT tasks.
- Deployment can be done in public or private cloud.
- Business Value dashboards give the real-time status of different metrics.
- Automated discovery model tracks changes in a visually-appealing way.
- Supports the monitoring of cloud services and SaaS applications to understand any issues or under-performance.
- Machine learning helps with predictive analytics
- Offers integration to a ton of popular IT service management tools.
- Automatic log, metric and event analysis
- Integrates all AI Ops capabilities
- Allows the use of HTML 5 policy editors to handle the generic output from Windows event log.
There are two editions – Express and Ultimate. The price of Express edition for 50 nodes is $18,425 and the Ultimate edition for 50 nodes costs $91,830.
A free trial can be downloaded from https://software.microfocus.com/products/operations-manager-i-single-pane-of-glass/free-trial
Zabbix in an enterprise-class open source network monitoring solution to track and monitor network services, software, devices and hardware. Created by Alexei Vladishev from Latvia, this tool can monitor millions of metrics collected form thousands of devices.
Some of the salient features of this tool are:
- Supports different metric collection methods and protocols such as SNMP, IPMI and IPv6.
- Offers flexible data gathering
- Pre-processes collected data
- Automatically discovers network devices
- Notifies any device configuration changes, as soon as they occur.
- Comes with out-of-the-box templates to monitor all metrics.
- Has configuration templates to update thousands of network devices simultaneously.
- Creates complex logical expressions to make it easy to identify problems.
- Defines trigger security levels to help users focus on the most important problems.
- Supports many alert notifications such as SMS, email, custom scripts, jabber and more.
- Allows users to run remote scripts on monitored devices.
- Integrates well with third party software
- Encrypts all traffic between Zabbix and the monitoring device
- Uses LDAP authentication and pre-determined user permissions.
- Comes with no limitations or hidden restrictions. Everything is completely free.
It is free to use.
Zabbix can be downloaded at https://www.zabbix.com/download
9. Pandora FMS
Pandora FMS is an open source monitoring software for IT infrastructure. It is ideal for Windows and Unix servers, networking equipment and all other kinds of applications.
Here’s a look at its features.
- Comes with events, graphs, customizable reports and dashboards to help you stay on top of any device’s performance and availability all the time.
- Supports different protocols and standards such as SNMP, WMI, Netflow, SNMP traps, remote plug-ins execution and more.
- Automatically discovers new devices and creates the network map accordingly.
- Supports a wide range of applications such as SAP, Oracle, Tomcat, IIS, DB2 and more.
- Comes with pre-built templates to start the monitoring process right away.
- Allows agent and agentless monitoring.
- Sends notifications through SMS, syslog, Slack, custom scripts and more.
- Scales well in large, complex and dynamic environments.
- Helps to create interactive graphs, where users can zoom out and point certain elements to accurately know the value of each element at any point in time.
It is free to use
Pandora FMS can be downloaded from https://pandorafms.org/en/features/free-download-monitoring-software/
10. Spiceworks Network Monitor
Spiceworks Network Monitor is a simple and easy-to-use software for monitoring any Windows environment.
It’s salient features include
- Provides real-time updates on servers, switches and other IP devices.
- Ideal for companies that need to monitor less than 25 devices.
- Simple to install and easy to setup. In fact, you can add devices at the click of a mouse and see its associated data right away.
- Easy to spot slow systems and devices.
- Helps to fix problems before they become major issues that could have a detrimental effect on the organization.
- Sends notifications when any metric crosses the threshold limit. These alerts can be customized to suit individual preferences.
- Comes with a good support team.
It is free to use.
Spiceworks Network Monitor can be downloaded from https://www.spiceworks.com/download/monitor/
To conclude, having a System Monitoring Software or Tools are essential for your Windows environment because the functionality of built-in tools like the “Task manager” is highly limited and monitoring critical components, applications, service and other production software is crucial to you and your companies success.
We recommend downloading a free trial of any of the tools above to get started with your System Monitoring tasks and ensure that your next melt down can be completely foreseen and avoided!