Most people are familiar with the term “probe” as a verb, meaning to search or examine thoroughly. In the networking world, though, it’s also a noun: a software plugin that tells the software to test a device for information. For most networks, simply checking the up/down status of your devices using pinging doesn’t provide enough information to adequately determine whether each device is operating correctly. Whether you have a physical device, like a router, or a host running virtual devices, Intermapper comes with a number of built-in network monitoring probes that can test different aspects of that device’s operation.
Intermapper invokes these probes on a regular schedule, receives a response, analyzes the values, and compares those values to your set thresholds. Based on the results, Intermapper then sets the device severity level so you can clearly identify what steps to take next.
Although Intermapper ships the product with close to 150 built-in network monitoring probes, these probes may not test the kinds of devices you want to monitor or they may not test them in the ways most useful to you. In such cases, you can also create your own custom probes. You can also search our user-contributed probe community, where our customers upload a diverse group of custom probes.
If I had to pick which probes deliver the most value, these five would be my personal favorites. Conveniently, they are all built-in network probes that come free with the product.
1) SNMP Traffic
By default, Intermapper assigns a device that is SNMP-enabled with this SNMP Traffic probe. This particular probe allows Intermapper to get the interfaces and data needed from your network gear and display the behavior on a map. SNMP Traffic probes can provide you with information on bandwidth utilization, as well as transmit and receive statistics on various interfaces, and assist in the creation of layer 2 logical map representation.
2) Host Resources
This network probe allows you to see different statistics on servers, routers, and switches, such as CPU utilization, memory utilization, and device load. Many people use WMI probes to access the server infrastructure, but with the host resources probe, there’s no need for authentication, and it actually puts less of a strain on your server.
3) SNMP High Utilization
This probe can be used to monitor critical links in your network, alerting you to links that are being saturated or overused. This probe is very useful when monitoring bandwidth utilization usage or monitoring a specific link such as an internet router. When a given link is above a certain percentage, it’s deemed critical, and Intermapper will alert you to this state. With the SNMP High Utilization probe, you can make sure your bandwidth is staying below a certain percentage and everything is running smoothly.
These network probes monitor web traffic on your web server. If your web server is down, you want to be alerted right away. With these probes, you can monitor traffic to your website so you know how many people are visiting it daily. If a link is down or broken, you can also monitor the port being used. These probes will clue you in to inordinate traffic usage that can potentially cause slowdowns or issues with browsing, and tell you that logs may need to be flushed. These probes are extremely useful for ensuring your web server is running optimally.
5) IM MAP Status
Intermapper’s network mapping is one of its biggest draws; naturally, you want a probe that helps you monitor the state of a map running on your Intermapper server. The IM MAP Status probe does just that. Intermapper periodically queries the specified map and sets the device status to the status of the “worst” item on that map. You can simply double click the device to view the specified map. The map status probe also allows customers to better manage large networks by representing smaller maps on a top-level map for better visual representation.