Product Reviews

ipMonitor: Excels at Ease of Use

DeepMetrix's Web-based monitoring tool is easy to use and set up, and comes with a comprehensive set of monitors.

Being Canadian, it’s nice to have a homegrown entry for this roundup. ipMonitor from DeepMetrix is a comprehensive Web-based monitoring tool that’s easy to set up and provides excellent functionality at a reasonable price. It also supports SMS messaging and other alert options not found in competitors.

After executing the downloaded file, you’re guided through the installation process. By default, ipMonitor installs itself using the Local System account, but that should be changed to a domain-level administrator account with permissions on the machines you want to monitor. This also means that, unlike InfoCare, you need to install ipMonitor on a computer that’s a member of your domain or a trusted domain to enjoy full functionality.

After installation, invoke ipMonitor to continue configuration. DeepMetrix gets my award for the easiest Web-based monitoring software to configure. The first time ipMonitor’s invoked, you’re presented with a to-do list of tasks and asked to discover the network. Then you can configure what you want to monitor on the network or discover additional networks or other resources. You then automatically cross off additional configuration items on the checklist displayed on the Web form. During each step, you’re guided through a process that indicates required and optional items. Getting up and running couldn’t be easier.

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ipMonitor is not only easy to use, but it also provides a comprehensive set of monitors for a product in its price range. You can monitor standard TCP ports and applications like SMTP, POP3, HTTP, FTP, DNS and so on, but there’s also an option to monitor the quality of these services. Quality monitoring performs an action like transmitting an e-mail or testing HTTP round trips, executing a database query and so on. Furthermore, you can monitor disk space changes on a shared network drive, individual files on the network, Windows Event Monitor events, Lotus Notes server or Kerberos functionality. ipMonitor also lets you execute programs and test their response times. You can even monitor another ipMonitor’s capabilities.

ipMonitor 6.1
DeepMetrix’s ipMonitor 6.1 can report on the active vs. historical availability of network services. (Click image to view larger version.)

Notification is another ipMonitor strength. You can be notified by e-mail, configure logging to a file or the Windows Event Log, send an SMS message or a numeric or simple page, execute an automatic recovery script, or send a network broadcast. Many of these features are available in other products, and all support e-mail; but DeepMetrix went a bit further in providing it all as part of the package.

All in all, this one is a winner.

ipMonitor 6.1, $695; DeepMetrix Corp., (819) 776-0707, www.deepmetrix.com.

About the Author

Damir Bersinic, MCSE, MCDBA, MCSA, MCT, is an independent consultant, trainer and author.

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