Given the complexity of modern operating systems, it can be challenging to monitor and manage a single computer, let alone a network full of them. That's why network managers need software to help – such as WhatsUp Professional.

Ipswitch's product monitors devices and services on your network and notifies you of problems. New to this version is a relational database for large networks, improved mapping capabilities and an overhauled interface. This has made it easier to navigate, but it still presents a daunting challenge to the novice.

As you would expect, WhatsUp offers email and pager admin alarms for when a problem crops up. It also provides useful security functions – you can scan for active network services such as FTP, which helps you to detect unauthorised services, spyware and worms.

Actions can be set centrally via a global policy, which is a timesaver if you have a lot of devices to manage. The product also offers secure remote access via SSL (secure sockets layer) encryption.

WhatsUp hoovers up boatloads of data from your network devices, but by itself this isn't very useful. What saves you from drowning in a sea of numbers is its top-notch reporting and analysis. This version includes enhanced statistical and performance measurement and an increased number of standard reports, such as bandwidth monitoring.

Ipswitch WhatsUp Professional 2006: Specs

  • 550MHz Pentium processor
  • Windows 2000/2003 Server/XP SP1 or later
  • 256MB RAM (512MB recommended), 265MB hard disk space (up to 2GB additional for MSDE Database)
  • Internet Explorer 5.01 or later
  • Windows Scripting Host 5.6
  • CD-ROM drive
  • 550MHz Pentium processor
  • Windows 2000/2003 Server/XP SP1 or later
  • 256MB RAM (512MB recommended), 265MB hard disk space (up to 2GB additional for MSDE Database)
  • Internet Explorer 5.01 or later
  • Windows Scripting Host 5.6
  • CD-ROM drive

OUR VERDICT

This is a comprehensive management tool that we'd recommend for smaller networks. And with prices not much over a tenner per seat, it's not that dear, either.

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