If I wanted to set up and resell network monitoring to the SMB market place, what types of tools and infrastructure would I need to have in place to accommodate this?

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Your equipment and infrastructure needs depend heavily on what you mean by "network monitoring." If you mean 24 x 7, proactive monitoring with 99.99% service availability, you're going to need a NOC with enough personnel to cover 3 shifts every day, a backup power supply, two or more routes to the Internet, routers, two or more work stations to run the monitoring software, and, of course, the monitoring software itself.

A more realistic service schedule for the SMB market might include proactive monitoring during business hours and emergency alerting after hours. For this you'd need a work station, preferably two routes to the Internet (cable modem and FIOS or DSL, say), a router, a UPS, and some monitoring software. An excellent free software monitoring solution is Nagios. It provides monitoring and alerting for a variety of systems, devices, and protocols.

This was first published in May 2007

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