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Computer monitoring systems are used to gather data for the purpose of real-time incident notification, performance analysis, and system health verification. Without such a tool, a system administrator would have to login to each machine to collect information on a regular basis. This kind of repetitive task can be automated using a system monitoring tool.

System monitoring can also help identify problems before they escalate to emergency status. This type of software is not only useful for network administrators. Home users with a small network or even just a single computer will benefit from advanced notification provided by system monitoring tools. Knowing that free space on the hard disk is running out, or that a particular server/daemon has gone down can be extremely useful.

These types of systems gather data relating to CPU, memory, network, disk utilization, response time of network services, and much more.

System Monitoring Tools
Nagios Host and service monitor designed to inform you of network problems
OpenNMS Enterprise grade network monitoring platform
ZABBIX All-in-one 24×7 free monitoring solution
Xymon System for monitoring of hosts and networks, inspired by the Big Brother software
Mon General-purpose problem alerting system
Pandora FMS Flexible monitoring system
Opsview Network and application monitoring tool that extends the capabilities of Nagios
FreeNATS Automatic network status testing, alerting and reporting package
Monit Utility for managing and monitoring processes, files, directories and filesystems
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