Big Brother is a combination of monitoring methods. Unlike SNMP where information is just collected and devices polled, Big Brother is designed in such a way that each local system broadcasts its own information to a central location. Simultaneously, Big Brother also polls all networked systems from a central location. This creates a highly efficient and redundant method for proactive network monitoring.
GKrellM is a GTK-based stacked monitor program that charts SMP CPUs, disks, load, active net interfaces, and internet connections. There are also builtin monitors for memory and swap, file systems with mount/umount feature, mailbox checking including POP3 and IMAP, clock/calendar, laptop battery, sensors (temperatures, voltages, and fans), and uptime. It has LEDs for the net monitors and an on/off button and online timer for PPP. There is a GUI popup for configuration, plugin extensions can be installed, and many themes are available. It also features a client/server monitoring capability.
ngrep strives to provide most of GNU grep's common features, applying them to the network layer. ngrep is a pcap-aware tool that will allow you to specify extended regular or hexadecimal expressions to match against data payloads of packets. It currently recognizes IPv4/6, TCP, UDP, ICMPv4/6, IGMP and Raw across Ethernet, PPP, SLIP, FDDI, Token Ring, and null interfaces, and understands BPF filter logic in the same fashion as more common packet sniffing tools, such as tcpdump and snoop.
ntopmg is a network probe that shows network usage in a way similar to what top does for processes. It acts as a Web server, creating an HTML dump of the network status. It sports a flow collector, an HTTP-based client interface for creating ntop-centric monitoring applications, and RRD for persistently storing traffic statistics. Its C++ core can be scripted in Lua, for changing the appearance and extending functionality.
Snort is a network intrusion detection and prevention system. It is the most widely deployed technology of its kind in the world. It performs detection using a variety of methods including rules-based detection, anomaly detection, and heuristic analysis of network traffic. Its rules language is open source and available to the public as well.
SysOrb is a client/server package that can monitor servers remotely (such as Web servers), or monitor devices on servers (such as disks, memory, load, etc.). It will alert the administrators via e-mail or pager if a server is entering a critical condition, and has its own database backend, allowing for massive collection of system statistics.