SAN FRANCISCO (07/27/2000) - Neon Software Inc.'s CyberGauge has long been the best entry-level Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) tool for monitoring networks. And until now it was affordable, even for small-network users who needed to monitor their Internet routers' traffic statistics. With version 3.0, Neon repositions CyberGauge as a professional network administrator's tool, with high-level features and a price to match.
CyberGauge uses SNMP to collect and display interface statistics from TCP/IP network devices such as routers, switches, and firewalls. The utility can locate routers on your LAN, or you can give it specific IP addresses to monitor. The US$295 entry-level version monitors as many as five devices, with an unlimited number of interfaces per device. A customizable graph for each interface plots trends; you can export statistics for analysis in Microsoft Excel or in other Internet traffic-monitoring utilities, or you can save them as JPEG files for automatic publishing via a Mac Web server.
New in this release is the ability to generate e-mail and pager alerts for failed devices or high traffic volume. For example, you can configure CyberGauge to page you whenever outbound Internet traffic exceeds 80 percent of available bandwidth for more than ten minutes. CyberGauge can generate daily, weekly, or monthly HTML-based quality-of-service reports, which record interface uptime, traffic distribution, and bandwidth use, and can calculate percentile usage over time.
The new version also retrieves interface descriptions, and you can edit device and interface names. Other new features let you archive JPEG images, resize graphs, and report text formats.
The only negative aspect of the new release is Neon's elimination of the $139 two-user package. Now the cheapest package is more than twice that price, while the most expensive option still limits you to 20 devices. For a few dollars more you can buy a full-fledged network monitor, such as Dartware's InterMapper; it has most of CyberGauge's features, supports an unlimited number of devices, and can generate complex network diagrams, to boot.
PROS:Inexpensive for a few devices; pager and e-mail alerts; quality-of-service reports; JPEG export capability; no limit on number of interfaces per device.
CONS:Low-cost version no longer available; expensive if you have many devices to monitor.
List Price:5 devices, $295; 10 devices, $495; 20 devices, $695COMPANY:800/334-6366, Neon Software Advice:CyberGauge 3.0's new features make it a useful tool for network administrators responsible for medium-size operations. The program's 20-device limit makes it less useful for large-network administration, but the new quality-of-service reports are perfect for keeping tabs on the cost of Internet service.