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How do you monitor network hardware

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How do you monitor customers switches, NAS devices, printers etc?

How have you set it up in Automate and what does it do for you?

Or are you using another tool for this and maybe integrate it to Automate?


Thanks in advanced!

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Posted (edited)

New to Automate but have used Solarwinds N-Central for a few years. I use the following combination:


Pros: Using SNMP, generally good for alerting. I like that I can classify devices on network scan/detection and automatically add them to a group with associated SNMP monitoring. Alert messages can be fully customized to provide details about the results (i.e. if SNMP returns a value of 3, I can provide a list of values with interpretations)


  • can't perform calculations on results (i.e. I have an environmental sensor that returns temperature in tenths of a degree (70.2 F = 702). My workaround is to put a note in the alert message clarifying units.
  • Not aware of data types and can't scale units
    • SNMP uptime generally time ticks (hundredths of a second). Can't tell Automate the result is a time tick and have it auto scale (i.e. 5 min; or 1 hr 23 min; or 50 days 12 hrs 43 min)
    • data size units. Can't tell Automate the result is in bits/bytes and have it autoscale between Kb/KB, Mb/MB, Gb/GB etc.
  • Alerts are generated against the probe rather than the target network device. Can't tell at a glance from the ticket subject line what device is at issue.
  • Monitor history is non-existent/useless. I.e. if you got a report that 2 days ago the network was slow, you can't practically go back and view the ping/bandwidth/device CPU utilization at a given point in time. Having this info in an easy to use graph is vital for efficient troubleshooting in my experience.


Trying them out and I'll probably add them until I find something better.


  • The out of the box monitors are very good. Things like device CPU, RAM, Storage, and interface bandwidth work well (although not all devices are covered; I use a lot of Zyxel equipment and some models aren't recognized). Graphing of interface bandwidth utilization is great: easy to move to a  previous point in time and can hover over the graph for details.
  • Device configuration backup and comparison is really nice. This will cut out our quarterly maintenance work of manually backing up config files.
  • L1/L3 network mapping is pretty good. Really easy to find out which switch port a device is connected to. It does map the network topology in weird ways for some networks though.


  • Custom SNMP monitoring is very limited with no alerting or graphing; basically just reports the current value.
  • Latency monitoring is oddly absent as well


Have used them for several years


  • Excellent graphing (although no mouseover details)
  • Data retention in whatever detail you want is only limited by your disk space
  • Very flexible in WMI, SNMP and other monitoring methods
  • Good price point


  • No template based monitoring. It will scan and auto create common monitors but custom monitors and thresholds must be created/modified for each individual device.
  • Email notifications only. No direct integration with CW Manage.
  • Cost is per sensor and each attribute monitored is a sensor (i.e. monitoring a bandwidth on each port of a 48 port switch will consume 48 sensors). But again per sensor cost is reasonable.


Have used them for a few years for all network syslog monitoring.


  • Excellent searching of collected logs (both inclusive and exclusive searching). Easier than RegEx but much more user friendly and nearly as capable.
  • Data retention is only limited by your disk space
  • Alerting is very customizable.
  • This tools has been invaluable for troubleshooting.


  • No template based monitoring so is creating/maintaining identical consistent monitoring in large deployments will be challenging.
  • Email notifications only. No direct integration with CW Manage so no auto pairing with configurations.
Edited by FireMedic949

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