MG-SOFT Net Inspector Fault and Performance Manager

Main features

The following is a brief list of the main features in MG-SOFT Net Inspector.

Note that the software is available in three editions and that some of the described features are not available in all editions. For details, compare availability of certain features in different editions of MG-SOFT Net Inspector.

Net Inspector is a cutting edge network fault and performance management application that enables collecting device status, system resource utilization, service availability and IP traffic data from monitored devices by using multi-vendor technologies like SNMP, WMI, VMware API, NetFlow/sFlow, and ICMP protocols and by polling a variety of network services. Net Inspector provides a dynamic web-based front-end that presents the collected data using all relevant fault reports (e.g., active alarms, device problems, alarm history, availability, etc.) and performance dashboards (e.g., TopN utilization, interfaces, host resources, processes, etc.), including detailed drill-down history charts and tables. The user interface features light and dark color themes (screen shot1, screen shot2).
Monitoring the device status and system performance. The software continually monitors the current device status (up/down), device response time and packet loss, as well as the status, statistics, and utilization of network interfaces on devices. On servers and Cisco devices the memory consumption, CPU load, and disk utilization is monitored automatically. Additionally, status, memory and CPU usage of any process running on the monitored computers can be monitored, as well as network services and arbitrary, vendor-specific SNMP OIDs (screen shot).
Monitoring the VMware and MS Hyper-V virtualization environments. Net Inspector supports discovering and monitoring the organization's virtualization infrastructure, i.e., virtualization servers (VMware ESX/ESXi and vCenter and Microsoft Hyper-V) and guest virtual machines (VMs) by using VMware web services API and WMI. This lets you effectively monitor your virtualization environment's health and the resources of virtualization servers and VMs, like the CPU load, memory usage, network utilization and traffic, datastore usage, etc. (screen shot).
Net Inspector includes a state-of-the-art NetFlow and sFlow collector and analyzer module that receives NetFlow and sFlow packets from configured source devices and offers detailed IP traffic statistics identifying the applications that generate the most traffic (in packets and bytes), endpoints (IP addresses) that receive and send the most data, protocols that are used most, etc. NetFlow/sFlow dashboards offer filters let you effectively drill-down NetFlow dashboards to a specific view (e.g., to view traffic in terms of packets and bytes of a specific endpoint filtered by a selected application protocol, network protocol, peer endpoint, country, etc.) (screen shot).
Net Inspector supports monitoring Windows servers and workstations with Windows-native WMI (Windows Management Instrumentation) technology. Complete device health and performance can be collected through WMI, which eliminates the need to install and configure SNMP agents on Windows machines. This feature is available in the Windows version of Net Inspector only (screen shot).
Net Inspector also lets you monitor the IP SLA statistics, including HTTP, FTP, TCP, DNS and VoIP Quality-Of-Service metrics (e.g., MOS, jitter, latency, packet loss, etc.) on devices implementing the IP SLA functionality (e.g., Cisco routers) (screen shot).
Distributed network management. Net Inspector can simultaneously utilize a number of polling engines deployed on remote computers for more efficient management of your network. Distributed management enables load balancing and better performance of the management system. Remote polling engines offload the CPU intensive tasks of polling managed devices, storing collected performance data and generating reports to remote computers, preserving the power of the main Net Inspector server. Distributed management also makes the system easily scalable without degrading its performance (additional polling engines can be employed for monitoring additional devices), so the management system's capacity can seamlessly grow with your network (screen shot).
Net Inspector continually polls network devices on IPv4 and IPv6 networks via SNMP, ICMP, WMI or VMware Web services and triggers alarms when there is a problem (e.g., if a device or service stops responding, if a monitored variable crosses the threshold value, etc.). The software also lets you monitor the availability and latency of a number of network services (HTTP, HTTPS, FTP, DNS, SMTP, IMAP, IMAPS, POP3, SIP, H.323, SSH, Telnet, NNTP, NNPTS, LDAP, LDAPS, IPP, LPD, MsSQL, MySQL and Oracle service) (screen shot).
Besides actively polling devices, Net Inspector also receives SNMP Trap and Inform notifications, which are sent to it by managed devices when certain events occur. The software translates SNMP notifications to alarms. Alarms are automatically cleared when the conditions that triggered them have been resolved.
Network operators can acknowledge, comment on and manually clear alarms, as well as search for and filter alarms according to their preferences. Net Inspector includes the list of active alarms and the alarm history list (screen shot).
Displaying network topology. Net Inspector automatically discovers and displays the topology and nodes on the network. The physical topology view displays discovered devices by means of icons connected with lines that symbolize physical connections, while the logical topology is represented by means of layered maps that reveal how devices are logically arranged into networks and subnets on the IP level (screen shot).
A graphical map editor allows users to manually model the network and maps, e.g., by adding devices, folders, connections, bitmap images, text, frames, etc. to maps (screen shot).
Dynamic visualization of connection status and network traffic. Net Inspector dynamically visualizes the network status and traffic by changing the thickness and color of network connection lines, thus depicting the current connection status (up or down) and traffic (data throughput and interface in/out utilization). The width of a connection line automatically increases with increasing connection data throughput (bitrate) and its color gradually changes from black to orange with increasing link utilization. If a link is down, the color of the respective connection line is red. By dynamically visualizing network traffic, Net Inspector provides intuitive insight into network utilization patterns and lets you quickly identify performance bottlenecks in the monitored network (screen shot).
Ability to display a map in a full screen mode, where the content of the map is spread across the entire screen. Map panning and zooming is possible also in full-screen mode.
Layer 2 and layer 3 network discovery. Net Inspector implements advanced network discovery methods and network topology calculation algorithms that let it automatically discover network devices and their interconnections and graphically represent the layer 2 (physical) and layer 3 (logical) topology of the discovered network. The discovery operations can be performed on a local subnet, on the user-specified address range or as an intelligent progressive SNMP-based network scan that examines the routing tables and other relevant network information provided by SNMP agents in order to discover all network subnets (up to the given depth), as well as devices within these subnets. The integrated scheduler can automatically run the network discovery operation in regular intervals in order to detect new network devices and changes in the network topology and adapt the Net Inspector configuration accordingly (e.g., add new devices, new connections, etc.) (screen shot).
User views as a means of access control and network management delegation. In addition to the standard user-based authentication mechanism and associated access rights, Net Inspector lets you configure and assign different user views to users. A user view is a specific view of the network that can include either all managed objects in the supervised network (e.g., an administrator user view), any subgroup of those objects, or even individual services running on particular network devices (e.g., user views assigned to users with limited access rights). This principle facilitates the division of the supervised network into smaller units and enables efficient delegation of the network supervision activities to other staff members or even end-users (e.g., in case of ICT infrastructure and services providers) (screen shot).
Receiving and mapping SNMP Trap and Inform notifications to alarms. Net Inspector Server receives standard SNMP Trap Inform notification messages sent by network devices and maps them to alarms, based on the trap-to-alarm mapping scheme. The software also lets you configure your own rules for mapping enterprise-specific SNMP notifications to alarms. All alarms are presented and logged uniformly, no matter if they are based on events detected through polling managed devices, or reported by SNMP notifications sent by the managed devices (screen shot).
User-notifying mechanisms. Net Inspector can automatically perform certain actions on events/alarms. Actions are primarily used for notifying network operators about events, e.g., by e-mail or by executing arbitrary commands (e.g., to fix specific network problems in an automated fashion or to notify responsible persons via some other means, for example, by emitting an audible alarm, by sending an instant message, etc.). This feature ensures that network operators are always notified of important alarms on time, regardless of their current physical location (screen shot).
Charts with selectable time frame, trend lines, 95th percentile lines, linear and logarithmic scales etc. Majority of measured parameters, like the device response time and packet loss, CPU, memory and disk usage, interfaces utilization, bit rate, packet rate, error rate, discard rate, etc., VoIP QoS parameters, IP traffic flow details, etc. can be presented in graph charts that show how those variables change over time and let you determine their trends from calculated trend lines, etc. Data in tabular form (hourly and daily averages and raw data) is also available in performance management reports (screen shot).
Net Inspector comes with a series of pre-defined detailed fault and performance management reports (e.g., device availability, number of alarms per severity, network interface utilization, NetFlow, Top-N, Problems, ...) that are accessible out-of-the-box. A user can select the desired time interval (a specific day, week, month, year, etc.) for any of the predefined reports (also termed time reports) and view the results in form of a table. Results can be filtered and sorted by any column included in reports (e.g., device name, value, min. value, max. value, etc.). Predefined reports can be exported to PDF and CSV (comma separated values) file formats for external viewing or post-processing. In addition to predefined reports, users can create also custom reports that include charts and/or tables of any of the built-in measurements or custom, user-specified OIDs (screen shot).
Polling profiles and access profiles simplify the configuration. Polling profiles and access profiles provide a centralized and efficient means of configuration, by which one can easily modify device access (SNMP, WMI, VMware) and polling settings (including threshold values and alarm delays) for all managed devices that are accessed and polled according to those profiles (screen shot).
Importing devices from a CSV file. Net Inspector can import information about devices from a simple CSV (comma-separated values) text file. Several device properties can be specified in a CSV file, with the simplest form requiring only the name and IP address of devices being present in a CSV file. The import feature lets you add and start monitoring network devices in a rapid and straight-forward manner.
Net Inspector uses client/server architecture paradigm in a sense that the server part of the application runs all the time in the background and performs the network monitoring activities (polling devices, receiving notifications and NetFlow/sFlow data, raising alarms, invoking actions on alarms, etc.). Net Inspector incorporates a dynamic, completely web-based front-end (user interface), which is accessible via a web browser application. A number of users can connect to Net Inspector server via a web browser and use the application concurrently, e.g., monitor the status and performance of managed devices, view and manage alarms (acknowledge, clear, filter, find, etc.), configure Net Inspector, etc. In this context, only the server part of the application needs to be installed, while the client (web browser) typically comes preinstalled with the operating system.
Net Inspector Server is available for 64-bit MS Windows operating systems (Windows 7, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2012, Windows 8.x, Windows 10, Windows Server 2016, Windows Server 2019, Windows 11, Windows Server 2022), as well as for 64-bit Linux (RHEL/CentOS V8+ and Debian V10+). Net Inspector has a web-based user interface that runs in modern web browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Edge, etc.) irrespective of the operating system.
Secure access (HTTPS) to Net Inspector Server. Connections to Net Inspector web-based user interface are secured by using the HTTPS protocol. If HTTPS is not enabled on the Web server (IIS), Net Inspector installer (Windows version only) offers you the option to quickly configure HTTPS access on the Web server with a self-signed digital certificate. This way, one can immediately start using secure connections that ensure server authentication and payload encryption.
SQL database support. Alarms and events, as well as the collected performance management and NetFlow data is stored in PostgreSQL database.
Support for all standard SNMPv3 USM security modes: HMAC-MD5 and HMAC-SHA authentication; CBC-DES and CFB-AES-128 privacy protocols. In addition, Net Inspector implements also the HMAC-SHA-2 family of authentication protocols (HMAC-SHA-2-224, HMAC-SHA-2-256, HMAC-SHA-2-384 and HMAC-SHA-2-512), as well as CFB-AES-192, CFB-AES-256 and CBC-3DES privacy protocols in SNMPv3 USM.
High availability and scalability of the system. Net Inspector supports High Availability by utilizing the Windows Server Failover Cluster feature (Windows version) or RHEL/CentOS failover cluster (Linux version). At least two computers with Net Inspector installed are present in the failover cluster configuration (one active, one on stand-by). If one computer in a cluster fails, the other one automatically takes over and provides Net Inspector services, thus effectively eliminating or minimizing the application downtime to a minimum (screen shot).
Comprehensive documentation. Net Inspector online help in HTML format with numerous images, examples and step-by-step instructions will help you get started using the software quickly and effectively. The online help includes the full-text search feature and is context-sensitive and therefore quickly accessible from almost any location in the GUI. In addition, the bundled Net Inspector Installation and Configuration Guide (PDF) provides detailed, step-by-step instructions for completing the installation and configuration tasks.
The enclosed MG-SOFT MIB Compiler lets you compile any standard or vendor-specific MIB file. Compiled MIB files can then be utilized by Net Inspector, allowing you to perform SNMP monitoring activities in a user-friendly manner, for example, identify and display SNMP Trap and Inform notifications messages by their names, resolve SNMP OIDs to names, resolve OID values, etc. The software installs 384 standard MIB files, with roughly 28000 OID, textual convention and SNMP notification definitions (screen shot). The bundled MIB Compiler includes the Batch Compile functionality that ensures that private (vendor-specific) MIB modules can be added in no time.
Flexible and robust application design. Intuitive and easy to use user interface incorporating the latest industry trends in the user interface design (screen shot).
Much more ...

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