10 Free Server Tools Your Organization Needs

By Kenneth Hess (Send Email)
Posted Nov 24, 2010


More on data center management

This list of 10 free, essential tools is an amalgam of tools for all sizes of companies and networks. The range of tools covered here are generally cross-platform (i.e., they run on multiple OSes) but all are extremely useful to the system administrator, network administrator and first-level support personnel. While all of these tools are free to download and use in your network without payment of any kind to their developers or maintainers, not all are open source. The 10 essential tools listed here, in no particular order, are from various sources and represent the very best in tools currently used in large and small enterprises alike.

1. PSTools

Got tools? Add these valuable and free server tools to your toolbox to make your computers, network and wallet very happy.

PSTools is a suite of useful command-line Windows tools that IT professionals consider essential to survival in a Windows-infested network. It provides automation tools that have no rival. There is no greater free toolset for Windows available anywhere. Microsoft provides this suite free of charge. If it's not part of your Windows diagnostic and automation arsenal, stop reading and download it now. Be sure to come back and finish the list. You can multitask, can't you?)

2. SharEnum

ShareEnum is an obscure but very useful tool. ShareEnum shows you all file shares on your network. Even better, it shows you their associated security information. This very small (94K) tool might become one of the most valuable and useful security tools that you possess. It is another free tool from Microsoft.

3. Nagios

Nagios is an enterprise infrastructure monitoring suite. It's free, mature and commercially supported. It has grown from a niche software project to a major force in contemporary network management. It's used by such high-profile companies as Citrix, ADP, Domino's Pizza, Wells Fargo, Ericsson and the U.S. Army.

4. Wireshark

If you run a network of any size or topology, Wireshark is a must-have application. It is a network packet capture and analysis program that assists you with your ongoing quest for a trouble-free network. Wireshark won't prevent network problems, but it does allow you to analyze those problems in real time and possibly avoid failure.

5. Apache

The Apache project isn't just a web server. The project, officially known as the Apache Software Foundation (ASF), consists of almost 100 different projects under the Apache umbrella. Yes, the famous and wildly popular HTTP server, Apache, is the project's namesake and mainstay, but it isn't the only nymph in the forest.

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