free network monitoring/management tools

hello to all,

i would appreciate your your knowledge and experiences regarding freely
available tools for network monitoring and management (all cisco now, some
other stuff later). i would prefer free tools as i have no budget :slight_smile:

i am looking for the following (it will be running on either freebsd or

AAA - i have been trying to find a tacacs+ daemon/program that doesn't
require me to also learn *sql to set up the backend database (if this is
the only choice, then i can learn it)

config monitoring/management - rancid or rtrmon are the two that i have
found. any preferences on one over the other in terms of ease of use,
ability to modify/improve, efficiency, etc?

network/syslog monitoring - some of the likely candidates i have found are
nagios or netsaint, jffnms, nmis, opennms, or maybe snip (formerly nocol)
- i need something that is fairly easy to setup and use, and it doesn't
have to do a whole lot (just some basic notifications for now). decent
documentation is also necessary, and a pretty map would be nice for my
noc, but this isn't a prereq.

my scripting/programming skills are rudimentary, so it would be ideal if
it was at least partially plug-and-play (i know i know, sorry). i would
appreciate any input (i am still reading through the archives for useful
tidbits), and i, of course, will gladly summarize for the list.

thanks in advance


"Walk with me through the Universe,
And along the way see how all of us are Connected.
Feast the eyes of your Soul,
On the Love that abounds.
In all places at once, seemingly endless,
Like your own existence."
     - Stephen Hawking -