by December 1, 2004 0 comments

Keeping the network up and running is the key concern for every administrator, and there are many different network management software available for the task. NetPerf or the Network performance Monitor is one such application that manages large networks having lot of nodes. It centrally maintains information logs of all the desktops and servers on your network. For this, it installs an agent on every machine it needs to manage. Using this, it can get lots of useful information about each machine such as its processor type, memory, disk drives, installed software, network connections and the shares. Plus, the administrator, using the management console, can have a remote desktop connection to the clients’ machines for troubleshooting. Supported client OS are Win 9X/NT/2000/XP. 

Our tests showed that while it worked beautifully on some XP clients, it didn’t work on others running the same OS. It then required some tweaking in the software code with the vendor’s help. It worked fine on Win 2000. Some of the functionality provided by the management console-agent combination is pretty good. You can remotely logoff users, shutdown and restart their machines, and execute commands on the client machines. You can also get detailed reporting for different nodes, software and hardware. It helps you design alerts for fault notification and proactive troubleshooting. You can define alerts for higher CPU and memory usage than a predefined limit, node availability and for process availability on those nodes. The action taken for these alerts could be to pop a message, send e-mail to the administrator, create log on the server, terminate process, disallow new process, and shutdown or restart the node. 

Information about client nodes’ process, memory, network, disk usage etc can be seen using the console

Configuring the software to provide all this functionality was a little tricky. For instance, for the logs to show up on the management console, we had to change the system time format from its default format. Plus, a user can disable the agent running on his/her machine. 

The Bottom Line: The software is quite useful for managing all computers on a network, though we did miss having SNMP support in it.

Anoop Mangla

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