Hi Jim,

> I think we're going to try SNMP first since that's already installed.

the question should be less "which tool", rather "what do I need to do with it".

SNMP, in terms of "already installed" is an *agent* on the server, comparable to NRPE from the Nagios family or many other agents out there. In your initial post you asked for a tool with "notification capabilities" - while the SNMP agent basically has such capability, it usually is not more than sending a "trap" (an SNMP packet that is sent event-driven) and you'll need a "manager" that will both catch that packet and report it to you in a fashion matching your requirements.

Out of 30 years of systems management experience, I strongly suggest that you first define what you want to monitor and how you'd like to react to a violation of your self-defined monitoring limits. Only then you'll be able to identify a tool that does what you require and is reasonable both in terms of TCA and TCO.

If your monitoring needs currently boil down to "availability", "enough remaining disk space" and "enough performance", the questions you should ask yourself are

- Can I run with central monitoring and notification (versus multi-tier solutions with remote office mid-level managers)?
- What notification mechanisms do I need to support (email, SMS, online UI,...)?
- Do I need escalation mechanisms (to handle situations where no-one reacts to sent notifications)?
- Do I need historic data (versus plain notifications on limit violations)?
- How does all this play together with existing management tools and/or other systems' monitoring requirements (so you don't create a myriad of non-cooperating tool chains in your IT)?

Then you'd have a basic starting point for selecting a suitable tool.

Regards,
Jens