Old tools , tablet, computer on a wooden table

A few months ago my car needed a lot of tender loving care.  As part of a routine oil change, my mechanic discovered that the car needed a new air filter, tail lights, battery, trunk handle, and tires. Now, some of these things seemed easy enough. I figured I’d go the DIY route and do it all myself. How hard could it be? All I had to do was watch a few videos, buy parts, and a few hours later I’d be done.

To my surprise, it took me an entire weekend. I had to take the car back to the mechanic to fix the trunk handle, and AAA would have to install the battery. I would have been better off having the mechanic take care of it all.

Free Tools: the DIY Approach to Network Management

Why am I telling you all this in a technology blog?  DIY has many parallels in technology.  IT pros have numerous free tools and open source tools at their disposal to get their job done.  A simple Google search will show free tools for monitoring, asset management, and more. In other words, a DIY approach to IT management. This can be perfectly fine for some IT pros who have few other options.

Free tools and open source tools can be good enough to address a specific need or two. However, there are some important considerations that IT pros should look at before going the DIY route:

  1. What level of effort is required to get free tools up and running?
  2. Is there any documentation and support?
  3. Do your free tools have any security flaws or malware hidden inside?
  4. Is it licensed to use commercially?
  5. What is the developer’s roadmap to keep up with the rest of the infrastructure?

From what I have seen, free tools and open source tools are often a stepping stone to something more advanced. Many IT pros see the value that comes from monitoring aspects of their networks, servers and apps. And they are left wanting more. My recommendation is to consider a very affordable set of network monitoring tools, with tech support and a development roadmap.

Related articles:

We’re Providing Free Microsoft APM Tools for IT Teams

A Free Toolkit to Make Network Managers’ Workdays Easier


Today we announced the release of our Network Manager’s Free Toolkit that provides three tools to make IT pros’ workdays a little easier. I get the pressure IT pros are under to keep applications, servers and networks performing well, which is why we created this new toolkit as a free and helpful resource. (Click here to download the tools.)

The Ipswitch Network Manager’s Free Toolkit includes the following:

  • Visual Traceroute
    Ipswitch Virtual Traceroute
    Ipswitch Virtual Traceroute
    • Displays the route a packet takes across a network and provides detailed response time information hop-by-hop from start to finish


  • Syslog Server
    Ipswitch Syslog Server
    Ipswitch Syslog Server
    • Collects, stores, analyzes and monitors syslog files so you can troubleshoot application problems quickly and proactively address security issues


  • TFTP Server
    Ipswitch TFTP Server
    Ipswitch TFTP Server
    • Securely transfers operating system software or device configuration files across computers and devices in your networkFor organizations that need more robust network monitoring software,


For organizations that need more robust network monitoring software, Ipswitch WhatsUp Gold™ monitors the performance and availability of networks, applications, servers and devices from a single dashboard – without high costs or complicated implementation. (See related announcement: “New Ipswitch WhatsUp Gold Release Reduces Complexity for IT Teams and Extends Network and Systems Management Value Leadership”)



WhatsUp Gold’s free Syslog Server provides you with a feature rich tool to help you manage your syslog needs, including enhanced export capabilities. View the messages in real-time or filter results data the way you need to see it. Take charge of your network by understanding the data your devices are giving you.

Would you like to:
  • Automatically collect both Syslog and Windows event logs across your network?
  • Store your log files for as long as you need (e.g. HIPAA mandates log data retention for 6 years)?
  • Prevent tampering with your archived log files?
  • Receive real-time alerts for key events (e.g. access and permission changes to files, folders, and objects containing employee or financial records, patient information and any other critical information).
  • Generate and automatically distribute compliance or security-centric reports to key stakeholders such as auditors, security personnel or upper management?

Get the Syslog Server today for free (or, if you answered yes to any of the above questions, consider checking out WhatsUp Event Log Management Suite)

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