Web-Based Network-Management Solutions

Web-Based Network-Management Solutions

A Web-based network-management solution can provide several benefits over a traditional console, including enhanced ease of use, remote access, low overhead, compatibility with multiple network and OS technologies, and enhanced visibility of multiple network operations.

Web-based network-management tools are now widely used by businesses in all fields. Many major vendors have incorporated Web technology into their network-management product lines — particularly in the form of Web-based user interfaces — and a variety of smaller organizations also now offer the technology, often in open-source configurations. Here's a quick look at several popular Web-based network-management tools.


WebNM is an enterprise-class network solution that's completely Web-based and is designed to be simple to use and maintain. It lets you manage nodes, servers, applications and SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol) devices.

According to manufacturer Plixer International Inc., WebNM provides scalable, resilient and reliable monitoring of any resource. These resources include, but aren't limited to, servers, hosts, applications, databases, network devices and interfaces.

Without installing robots on servers, WebNM monitors the critical areas on servers and network devices and reports on perceived anomalies. Even if the server is operating smoothly, scheduled email reports keep users abreast of server health. The tool requires little or no resources on the devices being monitored.


Nagios is a host and service monitor designed to inform users of network problems. The tool runs on the Linux OS and related variants. The Nagios monitoring daemon runs intermittent checks on specified hosts and services using external, Web-based plug-ins that return status information to Nagios. When the tool encounters problems, the daemon can send notifications to administrative contacts in a variety of different ways, including via email, instant messages and text messages. Current status information, historical logs and reports can all be accessed via a Web browser. Web-based interface, front-end and GUI tools are widely available for Nagios.


NINO is a network-management solution that helps network administrators manage various resources such as applications, switches, routers and servers. Using real-time monitoring, reporting and event-monitoring technology, the product continuously evaluates the network's health and status. When emergencies arise, NINO can send email notifications to key employees. The tool can be used from any place on the network or via the Internet.


The Netdisco Web-based network-management tool is designed for midsize to large networks. Network device connection data and configuration information are retrieved via SNMP. Users can also locate an end-user system's switch port via a MAC (Media Access Control) or IP address. For speed and scalability, data is stored using a SQL database. Automatic discovery of the network topology can be handled by Layer 2 topology protocols such as CDP (Cisco Discovery Protocol).

Netdisco inventories the network by device model and OS. The application relies on Layer 2 switch MAC forwarding tables and router ARP (Address Resolution Protocol) tables to find nodes on physical ports and track them through their IP addresses. A time-stamped history of each port visited and IP address used is stored for each node. A wire-side wireless-access-point locator is also available.

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