Explore NetXMS, an enterprise-grade, open-source network monitoring and management solution with advanced features such as customized data visualization, comprehensive monitoring, and automation capabilities.

NetXMS is a multitenant, multiplatform solution designed for businesses of all sizes. Developed by Raden Solutions, it provides many capabilities for monitoring the health and performance of your IT infrastructure. It enables monitoring networks, devices, power equipment, sensors, etc.

In addition, you can monitor network switches and routers, track application performance, and provide availability monitoring and notifications for alerting. NetXMS provides a threshold system for collected data, log file content monitoring, and automatic event correlation. It also includes template-based data collection configuration, which helps simplify the management of large networks with many devices and sensors.

NetXMS provides integration with existing systems and customer specifications. With its open-source roots, it has been widely adopted and boasts a large community of users.

The monitoring solution can handle large networks, servicing over 10,000 monitored objects with a single monitoring server. With built-in configuration possibilities and a scripting engine, you can use NetXMS to adapt to your unique requirements and provide flexible event processing and automation.

NetXMS features

Note some of the core features included in NetXMS:

Network monitoring: NetXMS automatically builds network topology and maps, collecting information via various protocols and providing easy access to important data such as routing tables, MAC tables, and VLAN information. It supports all SNMP versions and offers configurable routing change detection.

User Interface: NetXMS allows you to choose between a desktop or a web-based version or to use both simultaneously. It offers graphical network maps, user-configurable dashboards, and integration with Grafana for data visualization.

Launching the NetXMS web or desktop client

Launching the NetXMS web or desktop client

Server and workstation monitoring: You can use NetXMS agents available for all popular platforms and operating systems to monitor a wide range of metrics, from network and I/O performance to application-level metrics. It also includes file transfer capabilities and user support features.

Server and workstation monitoring and load usage in NetXMS

Server and workstation monitoring and load usage in NetXMS

Distributed monitoring: This allows for logical grouping or distributing the data collection load, ensuring automatic load balancing and failover. It also enables continuous data collection, even when the central management server is unavailable.

Built-in scripting engine: The built-in scripting engine makes advanced automation and management possible. This allows for data transformation, complex thresholds, complex event processing rules, SNMP trap transformation, etc.

NetXMS scripting engine

NetXMS scripting engine

Integration and security: NetXMS offers integration options with full Java and REST APIs and additional security mechanisms, such as encrypted communications, two-factor authentication, and fine-grained access control configuration.

NetXMS architecture

The NetXMS architecture is designed to be scalable and flexible, allowing it to manage large and complex networks comprising tens of thousands of devices. Its architecture is made up of several key components:

NetXMS architecture and logical overview

NetXMS architecture and logical overview

  1. NetXMS server: The server component performs data collection, event processing, alerting, and reporting. It communicates with devices on your network, collecting data for monitoring and analysis.
  2. NetXMS agents: The agents are installed on each network device. They collect metrics and transmit them to the NetXMS server. They are available for all popular platforms and operating systems and can operate in proxy mode for other agents and SNMP devices, if necessary.
  3. Management console: This provides the user interface for NetXMS. It can be a desktop or web-based application, or both can be used simultaneously. In addition, the console provides graphical network maps, user-configurable dashboards, and a range of other tools for managing and monitoring your network.
  4. Proxy agents: For distributed deployments, local proxy agents handle local traffic and store it when there is no connection to the central server. This feature is useful for massive distributed networks that may have connectivity issues or low bandwidth.
  5. Data collection: NetXMS supports multiple protocols for data collection, including SNMP, MQTT, OPC UA, SSH, NXCP, DLMS, and Ethernet/IP.
  6. Integration APIs: The system also includes APIs for Java and REST, enabling integration with other systems and applications.
  7. Built-in scripting engine: The scripting engine allows for advanced automation and management. Each script runs inside a VM, providing additional security.

Integration across platforms and databases

NetXMS provides support for various operating systems and database engines. If your server runs on Windows, AIX, or Linux or utilizes database engines such as Oracle, DB2, MSSQL, PostgreSQL, MySQL, MariaDB, or TimescaleDB, NetXMS can monitor the environment. It also has a wide range of supported protocols, including SNMP, MQTT, OPC UA, SSH, NXCP, DLMS, and Ethernet/IP.

Real-world use of NetXMS features

South African agricultural co-operative Sentraal-Suid Co-operative Ltd. (SSK) has been leveraging NetXMS for over six years to monitor its network infrastructure, comprising hundreds of devices, from servers and routers to industrial refrigerators storing veterinary medicine.

The monitoring capabilities of NetXMS have reportedly saved SSK millions of rand in potential losses stemming from medical storage glitches, which could have resulted in significant livestock care issues. In addition, SSK leverages the data visualization and customizability of NetXMS to ensure network service.

Below is a look at SSK's Network Overview dashboard, which provides a view of the organization's overlay network.

Network overview dashboard in NetXMS

Network overview dashboard in NetXMS

Installing NetXMS

The installation process with NetXMS involves installing a supported database server, preparing the database, installing the NetXMS server, and then installing the web UI. As mentioned above, NetXMS supports many open-source database technologies and paid solutions, such as Microsoft SQL Server and Oracle, if companies already use these database services. The installation is easy and can be accomplished in a couple of minutes by following the installation wizard.

After you finish the installation, you can start discovering devices on your network using Network Discovery.

Configuring network discovery in NetXMS

Configuring network discovery in NetXMS

NetXMS can scan and import devices found on your network segments, which you can use to begin rolling out agents and inventorying your network, or using the built-in scripting engine. Below, NetXMS has scanned a lab subnet and imported several devices.

Scanned and discovered devices using NetXMS discovery

Scanned and discovered devices using NetXMS discovery

NetXMS user interface

NetXMS offers a user-friendly Windows, UNIX, and Android management console. It features graphical network maps, system logs, user-configurable dashboards, customizable reports, and both desktop and browser clients with a single interface. The high level of customization makes it an excellent tool for network monitoring and management.

For example, you can easily create network dashboards that detail traffic statistics gathered from devices in your network.

Network internet traffic dashboard in NetXMS

Network internet traffic dashboard in NetXMS

You can use NetXMS to gain visibility into system logs across your infrastructure. Below is an example of logs gathered from a client endpoint.

Viewing system logs for monitored devices in NetXMS

Viewing system logs for monitored devices in NetXMS

Security measures in NetXMS: Ensuring safe network monitoring

Aside from other technical features that can provide what organizations need, NetXMS supports many technologies to help meet security and compliance requirements. It supports authentication with passwords, X.509 certificates, smart cards, RADIUS, or LDAP servers and provides two-factor authentication with TOTP or one-time codes sent via SMS or instant message. All communications are encrypted, and fine-grained access control configuration is in place.

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Configuring TOTP in NetXMS

Configuring TOTP in NetXMS

Wrapping up

We have only scratched the surface of what NetXMS can do in the overview of features. However, NetXMS is a fully featured open-source solution that provides flexibility for configuring monitoring. In addition, it's a scalable platform that can adapt to unique network requirements. As a result, companies whose network health directly impacts customer satisfaction will benefit from the features and capabilities offered by NetXMS, regardless of their size, distribution, and diversity of infrastructure. To try it, you can download NetXMS for the various supported operating systems.

  1. Nick Kulkarni 3 months ago

    Nice but boy is it expensive and support for legacy servers is only in the premium version which is way out of the league of most SME IT departments.

    • Tatjana 3 months ago

      Don’t see how this product can be expensive as it is open source. You can build all the code for legacy servers by yourself (https://netxms.org/documentation/adminguide/installation.html#installing-from-sources) or use old agents that are compatible with any NetXMS server version (available in download archive). Moreover there is free comunity support channel and forum available.

      • Nicholas Kulkarni 3 months ago

        Hi Tatjana, See my reply to Chris.

    • Chris Clemson 3 months ago

      @Nick Kulkarni Expensive? You can run it for free.
      I set it up for a local council, and it didn’t cost anything. However, we did pay for a support contract, but there’s nothing wrong with that.
      The learning curve for the software is pretty steep, and there aren’t many templates included, so a lot of customization is required to get the most out it, but I love it, and the interface is great.
      I have no idea what you mean by “legacy servers”, SNMP is pretty legacy, and that comes as standard…

      • Nicholas Kulkarni 3 months ago

        Hi Chris and Tatjana, I see your points and understand what you are saying. However, Chris has honestly answered my question and put it in perspective for a Small to Medium Enterprise (SME) with a one man IT department.

        “We did pay for a support contract…”
        That is what I meant by expensive.

        “The learning curve… is pretty steep… aren’t many templates included…so a lot of customization is required…”
        QED the support contract is necessary not optional.

        Legacy Servers comment is based on their documentations supported OS list

        Supported platforms for NetXMS server and agent:
        Windows 11, Windows 10, Windows Server 2016, 2019

        I know that many SME, and others too, are still running legacy OS from before Server 2016 and Windows 10 due to either cost of new licences or incompatibility of existing software. This doesn’t get fixed overnight and 2012 is likely to be with us for a fair while to come.

        • Chris Clemson 3 months ago

          Sure, the support contract isn’t the cheapest, but it’s not obligatory, plus if you have the time and the brains you can probably figure it all out.
          Can you get support for LibreNMS? no. Can you get support for Solarwinds? of course, but that costs thousands too and you pay per # of hosts you monitor.
          I’m using NetXMS with others OSes, and it’s fine. SNMP and WMI work, and the agent is fine on w2012.
          If you have only 1 person in your IT department, then maybe you should pick something else. It took me a few months (not full time) to get it in a good state.
          I’d still recommend it over LibreNMS (which I also use heavily), as it’s less linux-centric, and adding templates for unknown hardware for LibreNMS is a nightmare.

          • Nicholas Kulkarni 3 months ago

            Hi Chris,
            Good points but I think I must have hit a nerve here.
            “if you have the time and the brains you can probably figure it all out.”
            “If you have only 1 person in your IT department, then maybe you should pick something else.”

            Not the subtlest of digs at me, or the rest of us poor beggars, working in small business struggling with a heavy workload and limited budgets and looking for tools we can afford.

            NetXMS is something I will consider and I thank you for the honest comparison of it with LibreNMS. Clearly NetXMS has advantages. However my initial comments still stand for the average small business IT user.

            I was merely pointing out that, like most things Open Source, the reality of corporate monetisation has implications for many things including Total Cost of Ownership. In the absence of either Time or Relevant Skillset or both as you correctly pointed out, the paid for support is often vital, even if not a contractual obligation. This has to be weighed up in the decision to deploy or not.

            Case in point is the recent Oracle vs IBM comments on Source Code and RHEL https://www.theregister.com/2023/07/10/oracle_ibm_rhel_code/

            Clearly all is not well in the pseudo “open source” world and downstream development can be affected by this too.

            • Chris Clemson 3 months ago

              I’m not digging, I’m just saying. There are loads of people that would have worked out how to use it quicker than myself.
              Working out TCO is tricky. Is NetXMS expensive in time to set up? Quite possibly. Is it expensive in terms of cash? No.
              Did I get most of it working without a support contract? Sure. Did I think it was sensible to have a support contract so the whole IT dept has a backup when I left or something went badly wrong? Yes.
              NetXMS did fix quite a few bugs I reported before I even got a support contract, so, I think they are trustworthy and willing to fix things without paying.
              Also, it’s a lot easier to contribute to the project than LibreNMS, I couldn’t even get a dev box configured correctly with all the packages needed so I could contribute code via github. At least with NetXMS I can file bug reports, and write templates, scripts and dashboards and publicize them on the forum etc.
              I think the most frustrating thing with NetXMS is that I do want to do the intermediate/advanced training course, but they seem uninterested in offering it 🙁 That bit certainly is not free so there’s no excuse….

              • Nicholas Kulkarni 3 months ago

                Hi Chris,

                thanks for the detailed reply, your point about having a support contract for when you left is really important and something I find when consulting that management don’t understand; they see it only as extra expense. It is fine while you are there but what happens when you are not or you have left?

                I hope to have some time to try NetXMS next year, in the middle of upgrading multiple server OS for a number of VM servers. I have no downtime windows to play with (a business with night shifts and weekend workers too) it is intense right now. I often end up working the Christmas Shutdown week so I have some space in case it goes wrong and I have to roll back from backups.

                Really weird that NextXMS aren’t running that course particularly as they get paid. Normally with the likes of Microsoft, Cisco et.al the courses are being pushed at you even if you don’t want them. Perhaps NextXMS are truly different as the bug fix without a support contract suggests.

                It has been really good talking to you.

                • Chris Clemson 3 months ago

                  Agreed about the support about the extra expense. Luckily where I was working they were sensible about it.
                  Sounds like you’re busy! Yes, I’d definitely put it on the list to try, but expect to spend a decent chunk of time on it 🙂
                  About courses – yes, other companies are always bugging me about courses that I don’t want to take. NetXMS is too much the other way!
                  Likewise, take it easy @Nick!

                • Tatjana Dubrovica 3 months ago

                  I’m sorry you have to work in such a harsh conditions. If you will decide to try NetXMS you are always welcome in our community support channels: Telegram or forum.

  2. katya 3 months ago

    Hi Chris!
    Sorry to find out you cannot find info about our Advanced training course. Meanwhile, the info is on the website out in the open — https://netxms.com/training-and-certification
    You can apply at any time!

    • Chris Clemson 3 months ago

      @katya – Oh, I can find the info no problem, but every time I have asked about it, it has been a struggle to get dates, or the Basic training has been offered, which is not what I want.
      1 date was offered for the Advanced training I think, but sadly it was too short notice and I was busy. Sadly the time has passed when I could do the training, as I have a new job and can only work on NetXMS in my spare time.
      Since your site has been redesigned, I can see more courses on offer, which is great.
      Hopefully I will be able to take one once my current contract is over. Thanks!

  3. Katya 3 months ago

    @Chris — yep, we streamlined a few processes here since then, so next time there won’t be any hassle.
    Anyway, thank you for being such an advocate for NetXMS! We must say our community is the best <3

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