Since I work at a school district, we don’t have the budget to purchase some convoluted network monitoring solution, even though, I am aware there are a lot of free ones out there. All I needed was something that would be simple, fast, and customizable for us.
Essentially, we have about 35 sites, and we are usually interested in testing one site at a time. I have seen some mass ping utilities, but none of them allow testing one site at a time, it’s either all or nothing, furthermore, some of them take quite a while to get an initial result when you have hundreds of devices. So, I decided to write my own.
This is a very simple utility which has worked for our department for over 2 years now. I wrote it in Kixtart, and all it needs is an ini file, which you can populate with the sites, and hosts that you want.
The result of this is actually on the screen, nothing gets written to any files, but it does give a pretty quick visual indicator as to what is up and what is down.
By default, the ini file is called hosts.ini, and needs to be placed in the root of C:\. If you want it elsewhere, you can change that by going to the settings when you open the utility. In the zip file, I have included a sample hosts.ini , so that you can figure out the format.
I have made a version of this same utility which can run in a scheduled task, and will send email notifications to a select group (Active Directory connected), when any switch or network device goes down or up. (that, is also customizable). I haven’t posted that one, because I haven’t really cleaned it up, and it’s setup specifically for my environment. However, if there is enough interest in that piece of the utility, I can work on making it available.
For now, you can download this utility from this article.