Halcyon Network Server Suite 1.4 review

£595
Price when reviewed
There’s certainly no shortage of network-monitoring products on the market, with prices to suit all pockets. Halcyon’s Network Server Suite (NSS) sits in the middle of this price bracket, and aims to offer larger businesses and service providers with centralised network device monitoring and alerting features.

Integration isn’t a strong point: NSS comprises some ten components, although Halcyon advises us that later versions will have many combined into a single product. The Server Manager sits on one system and provides full local monitoring facilities for that system, but NSS also has the ability to monitor any number of SNMP-enabled devices. If you want more from your server monitoring than simple SNMP statistics, you need to purchase extra Server Managers for each one. With this service in place, you can keep an eye on disk space, CPU and memory usage, monitor availability of services such as FTP, Web and email and use all three Windows event logs to generate alerts.

Device Manager provides auto-discovery tools for SNMP-enabled devices and those running the Server Manager. It populates a central database, making this information available to all other components. Usefully, default applications can be assigned to each device, so you could, for example, fire up a Remote Desktop connection to any server with a mouse click. Alerts and actions are created at the CCM Console component, where you choose something to monitor and decide what should be done if thresholds are breached. There’s also a display showing the status of the remote system’s hardware.

Multiple criteria can be assigned to one filter and you can chose to activate it if any or all of your thresholds are breached. Next, you choose an action to assign to the filter, and these range from controlling a local service, running an application, sending messages and posting an alert to the NSS Enterprise Console. The latter offers a central location for monitoring all NSS components and provides dashboards of alert and filter activity, plus device lists and their status.

There’s no denying NSS would benefit from better component integration, but otherwise it offers a wealth of network-monitoring tools and extremely good alerting capabilities.

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