With each iteration, open-source network management tools get better. OpenNMS, Zenoss Core, NetXMS and Sensu Core deliver comprehensive monitoring, flexible reporting, cross-platform support and more.
Stories by Susan Perschke
Nagios Core is open source, free and has good documentation but could use a streamlined install process, updated Web interface and better configuration options.
We found all four products to be capable network monitoring tools that performed well in our basic tasks such as checking for host availability and measuring bandwidth usage. Beyond the basics, there were quite a few differences in terms of features, granularity and configuration options.
Platform as a Service is a cloud-based hosting environment for application development designed to provide a full-featured development, staging and production environment without the need for extensive in-house infrastructure.
Five commercial Linux versions feature easy install, solid management tools and cloud integration.
Connecting remotely to network servers is a fact of life for millions of end users. Whether working from a PC or a mobile device, users rely on secure, reliable remote connections to maintain their productivity.
Available since Windows Server 2008 R2, Microsofts DirectAccess server role became fully integrated with the OS in Windows Server 2012. DirectAccess is designed to connect a VPN-type session automatically as soon as a compatible Windows client is connected to the Internet.
Most of the products tested (except Windows Server 2012), use Oracle's Java in one form or another, at least for client access and also in some cases within the management interface. With numerous vulnerabilities recently discovered in Java, leading to guidance from Department of Homeland Security and others to disable it entirely, this raised some questions about usability and possibly even security of the devices tested.
Microsoft, Oracle offer impressive free versions of their commercial offerings, but MariaDB wins our test
Free or open source databases run hundreds of millions of public-facing and private applications worldwide, but how effective is this technology and how do these products compare? For answers, we reviewed six popular free or open source database products: Microsoft SQL Server Express, PostgreSQL, Oracle's MySQL, MariaDB, Apache Derby and Firebird SQL.
Even as social networking continues to gain in popularity, email remains the undisputed workhorse of messaging, far eclipsing all other forms of electronic communication. Email administration can be a costly function, especially for small to midsized organizations, and many administrators are looking for alternatives to enterprise-sized (and priced) commercial products.
Choosing a mail server is never an easy task. Email management itself is a complex endeavor, and this is reflected in the wide variety of tools we choose to create, edit, send, organize and reply to the vast numbers of email messages that crisscross the globe on a daily basis.
Email managers have a lot at stake. After all, the volume of global electronic messages sent via email dwarfs all other forms of electronic communication, including social networking. Since the inception of electronic mail, which, according to some Internet historians, can be traced to a small mainframe app called 'MAILBOX' from the mid-1960s, human-to-human messages have been created, transmitted and stored in electronic format. But early email administrators could hardly have envisioned the complexity of current email infrastructure and the concomitant maze of technical, security, business and regulatory challenges.
While many popular website applications (WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, etc.) are open source and therefore freely available, running these PHP-based apps on a Windows IIS web server requires a bit of retrofitting.
Freelance writer Susan Perschke recently sat down with <a href="http://www.networkworld.com/subnets/cisco/">Cisco</a> Vice President and Chief <a href="http://www.networkworld.com/topics/security.html">Security</a> Officer John N. Stewart for an in-depth discussion of the state of enterprise security.