I'm looking for some software to monitor a single server for performance alerts. Preferably free and with a reasonable default configuration.

Edit: To clarify, I would like to run this software on a Windows machine and monitor a remote Windows server for CPU/memory/etc. usage alerts (not a single application).

Edit: I suppose its not necessary that this software be run remotely, I would also settle for something that ran on the server and emailed me if there was an alert. It seems like Windows performance logs and alerts might be used for this purpose somehow but it was not immediately obvious to me.

Edit: Found a neat tool on the coding horror blog, not as useful for remote monitoring but very useful for things you would worry about as a server admin:


Try SmartInspect

Nick Berardi
+1  A: 

If you want something free, try Nagios.


@DannySmurf - I like Nagios a lot, but it doesn't run on Windows as far as I know...


MS's solutions used to be called MOM - looks like it's be redesigned a bit since I last used it.


@bcaff86 Looks pretty fancy, I think this is far more than I need though -- I only need to monitor a single server not an entire datacenter.

+2  A: 

I've been experimenting with munin for monitoring around 8 Windows 2003 servers.

Its a free linux-based system and the Windows agent works well & is easily extensible. Setup is simple if you have some minimal linux knowledge.


I kind of like perfmon my self. It comes with windows out of the box, and has support for a whole lot of different measurements.

Scott Wisniewski

Anyone have more details about how to use perfmon to do this?

+1  A: 

For performance monitor - start it on the server (Win+r/perfmon). Select "Performance Logs and Alerts" and expand. Select "Alerts". Select "Action" & then "New Alert". Give the alert a name, click "Add" to add a counter (there are hundres of counters, for example CPU %), then give it some limits.

Select the "Action" tab, and then decide what you want to do. You may need a third party program - for example Blat to send emails - but basiaclly any script can be run.

I'm using bmail instead of blat, but this is just the simple low-scale solution I was looking for.

There are many options out there. Google for "server monitor" or "windows server monitor" and you'll see products, some of which are free, many of which are pretty inexpensive.

+1  A: 

You can configure you perfmon to collect specific counters to "Trace Logs" files on your hard drive. We usually keep daily logs for important counters:

  • Vital signs (CPU, Memory, HDD space)
  • Application specific (ASP.Net counters / SQL Counters)
  • Custom counters if your applicaiton exposes such

You can add "Alerts" for specific counters / counters groups and define actions when these alerts fire.

+2  A: 

A list of monitoring tools from the High Scalability blog

Assaf Lavie
This link is dead now - can you update?
Ian Varley

You might try DIAB at it's not free but at only at 69.99 it's a pretty good bargain. It Monitors multiple servers from a single client. It looks at hardware and sql server and notifies you when problems occur. It also comes with a 90 day free trial.

Russ Guier