Keeping track of devices on your network is time-consuming. You might wonder how you can track devices efficiently. You can write a script to ping different computers and send yourself an email when a computer doesn't respond, or you can try MiraLink's Uptime Monitor 1.9b.
Uptime Monitor is a network-monitoring application that you run on your Windows NT system. The software provides a simple interface that lets you monitor the status of computers configured on your network. Uptime Monitor can also initiate a Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) trap when a computer sends an alarm or a device timeout.
Uptime Monitor uses an Explorer-like interface and can display a list of the devices it is monitoring in large or small icon format. You can access the most common Uptime Monitor commands (e.g., add or delete devices, view a device's properties) from a toolbar. When you click Details, the software displays specific remote-system uptime statistics and statuses for each device. For example, a small colored circle next to the device name indicates the device's status (i.e., red for offline, green for online, and blue for indeterminate).
Installation and Configuration
Installing and configuring Uptime Monitor is easy for a network administrator. When I ran the setup program, I had to provide an installation location, a serial number, and an activation key. The software installs two components: the monitor and a copy of WinSNMP, a utility that provides the software's SNMP integration capabilities. To use Uptime Monitor, you must install and configure TCP/IP on your system. You do not have to reboot after installing Uptime Monitor.
After you complete the installation, you can configure the software to monitor devices on your network. I installed Uptime Monitor on my Micronics-based dual-Pentium II system running NT Server 4.0, and launched the software from the Start menu. Screen 1 shows Uptime Monitor's user interface.
You must configure Uptime Monitor to monitor specific devices on your network. The software comes configured with two devices: CMU and Myself. CMU is a sample configuration entry you can refer to. You can delete this setting after you're comfortable with the software. Myself refers to the Ethernet loopback device--localhost--that every TCP/IP system has. I deleted these devices for my tests.
For my tests, I added several local devices to the software's monitoring function. I added IDEASBS (my NT server), PLANKTON (my NT workstation host), and ANOMALY and IDEAUW (which run SCO's OpenServer 5 and UnixWare, respectively).
I had to provide a device name and an IP address for each computer that I configured the software to monitor. You can use the SNMP tab to assign a device's read and write community to a computer. An Action tab lets you assign specific actions to situations. Two types of situations exist: a double-click, in which the software launches a program if you double-click the device in the status window; and an alarm, in which the software launches a program if it detects an alarm for the device. You can configure the software to play a .wav file if an alarm occurs. You can also configure a series of variables for each of the command options.
Miramail and Mirapage
Uptime Monitor includes two system-monitoring command-line utilities: miramail and mirapage. Miramail lets you send an email message to an individual. A series of command-line options let you define whom you send the email to, the host location, and the input file to use as the message source. Mirapage lets you use a dial-out modem on the COM port and page an administrator. Using these utilities, you can configure the software to page you if a crucial system goes down or send an email to an administrator if a less-crucial resource goes down.
A Moderate Price
Compared to many systems-management software products on the market that offer similar functionality, Uptime Monitor is moderately priced. One server license lets you monitor 100 devices on your network. I'd place Uptime Monitor on my systems-management software shortlist.
|Uptime Monitor 1.9b|
| Contact: MiraLink * 801-575-5465|
System Requirements: Windows NT 3.51 or 4.0, Windows 98, or Win95, 486 Intel processor or better, 8MB of RAM, 2.2MB of hard disk space