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Which free, real-time monitoring system do you think would suit your environment best and why? Research commercial real-time monitoring systems. Which one do you think would suit your environment best and why?

For your new E-business, you need to research some monitoring systems. Answer the following questions:

Which free, real-time monitoring system do you think would suit your environment best and why?
Research commercial real-time monitoring systems. Which one do you think would suit your environment best and why?
Decide between the free and commercial real-time monitoring systems.
Why would you choose to implement the package you chose?

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Which free, real-time monitoring system do you think would suit your environment best and why?
The free, real-time monitoring system that I think would suit my environment best is:
HSLAB HTTP Monitor is a handy real-time performance monitoring and statistics analysis software application for Apache servers, which are used ubiquitously in the web hosting industry. Basically, with HSLAB monitoring system administrators always know who is currently connected (via connection tree), server operations distribution, amount of bandwidth being consumed, number of server requests per unit of time and other important server parameters.

Most importantly, HSLAB HTTP Monitor is server-independent. That is the server running on Apache may be located thousands of miles away, while the program (HSLAB HTTP Monitor) could be installed on home or office PC and the system administrator will always have access to server's statistics or history real-time. This tool is very handy for many system administrators and web masters, because less then 1% of all servers are located in the same place where IT professionals work from.

HSLAB HTTP Monitor shows all virtual servers being hosted, statistics for them and what files or documents are being accessed. There is an option to create a profile for each virtual server - a handy feature indeed. HSLAB HTTP Monitor shows what operations are being executed:
Waiting for Connection, Starting up, Reading Request; Sending Reply; Keepalive (read); DNS Lookup; Closing connection; Logging; Gracefully finishing; Idle cleanup of worker; Open slot with no current process.
Taken directly from: http://www.freedownloadscenter.com

This is not suitable for an e-business:
Windows Defender (Beta 2) is a free program that helps protect your computer against pop-ups, slow performance, and security threats caused by spyware and other unwanted software. It features Real-Time Protection, a monitoring system that recommends actions against spyware when it's detected, and a new streamlined interface that minimizes interruptions and helps you stay productive. Taken directly from: http://www.microsoft.com

The following material has directly been taken from: http://www.cacti.net
Cacti is free with no strings attached. Cacti is a complete network graphing solution designed to harness the power of RRDTool's data storage and graphing functionality. Cacti provides a fast poller, advanced graph templating, multiple data acquisition methods, and user management features out of the box. All of this is wrapped in an intuitive, easy to use interface that makes sense for LAN-sized installations up to complex networks with hundreds of devices.
Cacti is a complete frontend to RRDTool, it stores all of the necessary information to create graphs and populate them with data in a MySQL database. The frontend is completely PHP driven. Along with being able to maintain Graphs, Data Sources, and Round Robin Archives in a database, cacti handles the data gathering. There is also SNMP support for those used to creating traffic graphs with MRTG.
Data Sources
To handle data gathering, you can feed cacti the paths to any external script/command along with any data that the user will need to "fill in", cacti will then gather this data in a cron-job and populate a MySQL database/the round robin archives.
Data Sources can also be created, which correspond to actual data on the graph. For instance, if a user would want to graph the ping times to a host, you could create a data source utilizing a script that pings a host and returns it's value in milliseconds. After defining options for RRDTool such as how to store the data you will be able to define any additional information that the data input source requires, such as a host to ping in this case. Once a data source is created, it is automatically maintained at 5 minute intervals.
Once one or more data sources are defined, an RRDTool graph can be created using the data. Cacti allows you to create almost any imaginable RRDTool graph using all of the standard RRDTool graph types and consolidation functions. A color selection area and automatic text padding function also aid in the creation of graphs to make the process easier.
Not only can you create RRDTool based graphs in cacti, but there are many ways to display them. Along with a standard "list view" and a "preview mode", which resembles the RRDTool frontend 14all, there is a "tree view", which allows you to put graphs onto a hierarchical tree for organizational purposes.
User Management
Due to the many functions of cacti, a user based management tool is built in so you can add users and give them rights to certain areas of cacti. This would allow someone to create some users that can change graph parameters, while others can only view graphs. Each user also maintains their own settings when it comes to viewing graphs.
Lastly, cacti is able to scale to a large number of data sources and graphs through the use of templates. This allows the creation of a single graph or data source template which defines any graph or data source associated with it. Host templates enable you to define the capabilities of a ...

Solution Summary

Tutorial is 3,170 words plus 11 references.