AdRem Software NetCrunch v11: Compelling monitoring solution with new features

AdRem Software's NetCrunch solution is a compelling monitoring solution that provides many great features to monitor your environment. AdRem Software recently released NetCrunch v11, which has even more monitoring capabilities.

New features in NetCrunch v11 ^

AdRem Software continues to improve the features found in the NetCrunch monitoring solution. The v11 release is a significant update to the previous version, with 25 new features. The new features cover all areas of the product and include the following:

  • Internal and architecture improvements
  • New monitoring packs and hardware sensors
  • Improved event log history and new analytics
  • Improved remote probe
  • Reporting enhancements
  • New IP tools
  • New vCenter monitoring
  • New desktop notifications
  • Web console update
  • Notes view

Let's look at these new features and see what the new NetCrunch v11 release brings to the table.

Internal infrastructure and architecture improvements ^

First, AdRem Software has improved the underlying infrastructure of the NetCrunch platform with the v11 release. New with this release, NetCrunch has implemented a web server for the solution that supports TSL 1.3. OpenSSL 1.0.2 has been removed, and the latest security patches have been added. Additionally, with Flash quickly being deprecated, the NetCrunch web console no longer uses any Flash components.

Other new improvements include a better webpage sensor, improved Windows monitoring that utilizes both the RPC and the WMI protocols for performance monitoring, and more efficient VMware and vCenter monitoring using fewer resources. You can now simulate the network atlas sensors, and support for multiple time zones has also been included with v11.

New monitoring packs and hardware sensors ^

NetCrunch offers a unique concept of monitoring packs, which provide a bundle of configured sensors that efficiently manage monitoring settings. When you add nodes to NetCrunch, it performs discovery to determine whether an applicable monitoring pack is suitable to apply to the node. You can also manually assign a monitoring pack to a node.

Each new release and update of NetCrunch adds to the list of available monitoring packs, which help to extend the solution to support new types of nodes. Currently, NetCrunch includes 245 ready to use monitoring packs, and 10 of them have been added in v11, including the Cisco Meraki cloud controller, ZyXel USG Flex SNMP, and NVIDIA Quadro GPU. For Windows security monitoring, AdRem Software has added basic Windows GPO monitoring and basic Windows authorization monitoring. Additionally, NetCrunch v11 supports new monitoring packs for hardware sensors from HW Group that are used for various types of environmental monitoring. These include WLD (SNMP), Damocles (SNMP), STE (SNMP), STE2 (SNMP), and PWR (SNMP).

New hardware monitoring packs are available for hardware and other nodes

New hardware monitoring packs are available for hardware and other nodes

Improved event log history and new analytics ^

NetCrunch v11 has expanded the capabilities of log history and analytics for events in your environment. These are great new additions to the platform and allow you to use historical analysis to determine deeper underlying issues with a node or connecting infrastructure.

Even log summary view

Even log summary view

NetCrunch does a great job of event correlation, so it does not present events that may be point-in-time or false positives. However, using the event log history and analytics, you can review all events for a particular node, including correlated events. Log history can help to build trends and other supporting information for a problematic node.

Event log history feature in NetCrunch v11

Event log history feature in NetCrunch v11

Improved remote probe ^

The NetCrunch v11 remote probe has been extended with additional features. The remote probes allow you to scale your NetCrunch architecture to monitor additional nodes and sensors in a separate network (without VPN). It also allows placing your monitoring close to workloads that are located at remote sites, making bandwidth use more efficient. New remote probe features include:

  • VMware ESXi and virtual machines
  • vSphere vCenter
  • Windows (WMI, Perfmon, Hyper-V, Windows Event Log)
  • Linux, Mac OS, BSD, and Solaris
  • SNMP traps
  • Syslog messages
  • Web messages
  • Generic agent requests
  • IPSLA
  • 70 sensors
  • 70+ network services

Reporting enhancements ^

Generating and providing reports for your environment is an essential part of monitoring. NetCrunch v11 has introduced a new Report Viewer that provides a unified experience between the desktop and the web console. There is also new reporting functionality for performance reports.

New NetCrunch Report Viewer has been enhanced with additional reporting capabilities

New NetCrunch Report Viewer has been enhanced with additional reporting capabilities

New IP tools ^

AdRem Software has had various IP tools available for some time as a separate download in parallel with NetCrunch. They have now included the IP tools as part of the NetCrunch v11 release. There are 12 new IP tools that can be run locally using the (desktop) console or remotely (from the NC server or any remote probe). It is nice not to have to launch an additional interface outside of the NetCrunch console. Under the Tools > IP Tools menu, you can quickly navigate to the new built-in tools. Updated tools can be run remotely on the NetCrunch Server or any remote probe.

NetCrunch v11 new IP tools included natively in the solution

NetCrunch v11 new IP tools included natively in the solution

New vCenter monitoring ^

AdRem Software has added a new vCenter Server sensor that enables monitoring ESXi hosts through a vCenter Server connection. To do so, add the vCenter Server sensor to your vCenter Server node in NetCrunch, provide the credentials, and ESXi nodes will automatically switch to using the vCenter connection for monitoring.

Adding the vCenter Server sensor and credentials

Adding the vCenter Server sensor and credentials

New vCenter Server sensor added to the vCenter Server node in NetCrunch v11

New vCenter Server sensor added to the vCenter Server node in NetCrunch v11

New desktop notifications ^

NetCrunch v11 provides a more seamless notification experience for Windows 10 users. Now, IT admins can see NetCrunch notifications as part of native Windows 10 notifications. NetCrunch groups these together to avoid a flood of desktop notifications. The notifications rely on the NetCrunch connection broker service and appear when the NetCrunch console is not running on the user's desktop.

New desktop notifications in NetCrunch v11

New desktop notifications in NetCrunch v11

Web console update ^

The NetCrunch v11 web console provides a very similar experience to the full desktop console. The new web console now includes feature parity with notifications, alerting, external events, a new trend viewer, and reporting. Below is a screenshot of the web console. It is hard to tell the difference between it and the dashboard. The web console provides easy access to NetCrunch without the need to install the console.

NetCrunch v11 web console offers close feature parity with the desktop console

NetCrunch v11 web console offers close feature parity with the desktop console

Notes View ^

Another handy new feature in the NetCrunch v11 release is the Notes View. The Notes View allows you to see all notes created for nodes in the environment. By default, notes are ordered by the latest notes entered into NetCrunch. They are searchable and filterable as well.

Using the notes view in the NetCrunch v11 dashboard

Using the notes view in the NetCrunch v11 dashboard

Concluding thoughts ^

The new NetCrunch v11 release provides many new features and capabilities within the NetCrunch platform. These features include updates to the underlying platform architecture, notifications, new monitoring packs, IP tools, reporting enhancements, log history and analytics, and web console updates.

NetCrunch is an intuitive monitoring platform. The monitoring packs make adding nodes to monitor extremely easy. It is very much a "point and click" solution that most will find their way around easily. The new enhancements provide many welcome features. The new log history and analytics, better reporting, and improved monitoring packs will appeal to many IT admins looking to stand up effective monitoring very quickly. For those who are already running v10 of the solution, it is a simple upgrade process by running the v11 installation.

You can find out more about AdRem Software's NetCrunch v11 here and download a trial here.

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