Neon Software's LANsurveyor 9.5 is an easy-to-use network mapping and monitoring system. After scanning your LAN and WAN segments, LANsurveyor creates a hierarchical, graphical view of your network. With the proper client software, the software monitors and records the configuration and state of hardware and application components on selected systems.

LANsurveyor has three primary components. LANsurveyor is the main console, offering mapping, monitoring, drill-down, and logging functionality. Neon Responders, an optional component that you install on monitored systems, let you see and log to Microsoft SQL Server or Microsoft SQL Server Desktop Engine (MSDE) detailed hardware and software configuration information. Another optional component, Continuous Scan, monitors your network for new, possibly rogue systems. If you use managed switches, Continuous Scan can automatically disable network access for new systems.

I first installed and tested LANsurveyor without the Responder component. The installation proceeded quickly, and the included tutorial got me up and running quickly. I had my first map within minutes, and LANsurveyor prompted me for a network segment to scan. By default, the product uses Ping, NetBIOS, and SNMP requests to find systems.

Next, I tested the TCP polling feature, which is designed to monitor applications (e.g., Web, email, DNS) and alert you when one goes down. This feature was simple to implement: In the Monitoring window, I selected from a list of known nodes, and LANsurveyor displayed them, along with the TCP services that the software monitors out of the box. If you can write a script to query a service port, you can monitor other applications, as well. Configuring alerts to report problems during prime and non-prime work hours is easy.

Next, I used the integrated click-and-deploy Remote Deployment feature to install Responder and test LANsurveyor with Responder clients. Doing so revealed a wealth of information.

Considering these easy-to-use, comprehensive features as well as the many other features I don't have space to touch upon LANsurveyor is an excellent network-monitoring value.

LANsurveyor 9.5
PROS: Easy to implement; powerful and easy to use; nicely crafted UI CONS: A client component is required for the highest levels of data capture.
RATING: 4 1/2 out of 5
PRICE:
LANsurveyor 9.5: $795; Neon Responders: $495 for 25 licenses; $495 for Continuous Scan
RECOMMENDATION: If you re evaluating network-mapping and monitoring solutions, put LANsurveyor 9.5 on your short list.
CONTACT: Neon Software * http://www.neon.com * 925-283-9771 800--334-6366