SMTPing is what we call a "simple" multiple target ping utility. It was made to be used as a help for monitoring a LAN or WAN where the nodes are accessible from a computer where SMTPing is installed. From there, this machine could be your "eagle eye" to keep a close look on what's going on with your communications infrastructure.
How does it work?
On SMTPing you define groups of items, where items are either LAN switches, gateways, servers, PCs or other kind of devices attached to your network. Then, depending on your configuration, the dashboard itself or a scheduled cron job pings every node in the list and stores the response times in a database. Then you can watch the responses over time by item or by group of items in on-screen charts.
What are the system requirements?
OS: Windows XP with Service Pack 3 or better. CPU: Intel Atom with Hyper Threading or Dual Core. Core 2 Duo, Athlon X4 or better is recommended. RAM: At least 512k, but depending on the amount of nodes you decide to monitor, 1GB or more is recommended. Hard disk: about 300 MiB, but the more nodes you monitor, the more disk space is needed to keep historic data. About 4 GiB are recommended for the first 6 months of historical data.
Why the download packages are so big? Most network tools are about 10% of that size!
First of all, SMTPing is made on PHP... so it requires a web server, and the WASP distro also includes a modern web browser to guarantee the quality of the User Interface.
Now, SMTPing is not as simple as its name claims. It is not made for just pinging, but for keeping historic data and build stats around it. On the other hand, from its conception, SMTPing was made with one thing in mind: letting other people in the LAN see the whole activity, so when they point the finger at you, you just give them the IP address and port of the monitoring host and they go and see by themselves.
If you want to know more about the reasons why SMTPing was built this way, pay a visit to this forum thread.
Can it be used on an old computer?
Yes, but don't expect too much of it if you plan to run the dashboard on the same machine. Use and old machine to keep it as server, opening the dashboard from another machine.
I saw that SMTPing relies on several other software... Why?
When conceived, SMTPing was used on a dedicated physical server. Then the idea to make it run over a Windows desktop came over, so we decided to build a WASP foundation under it. WASP stands for: Windows, Apache (HTTP server), Sqlite (database engine), PHP (scripting language). We can't distribute SMTPing with WAMP (with MySQL instead Sqlite) because we can't afford paying thousands of dollars on a MySQL Commercial License. Yet, if you already have MySQL, you can use it as repo for SMTPing data (~_~).
PyCron is used for running SMTPing maintenance bots, and the control of all these packages was made using Aestan Tray menu. There are also a lot of packages used on SMTPing's Dashboard, and all of them are mentioned in the "about" dialog.
All these packages are needed by SMTPing due to its roots: PHP.
I saw a version of Chromium is included in the WASP distro. Why? Can it be udpated?
Chromium is included to ensure the quality of the Dahsboard themes, which will see all messed up in IE8 or lower. This included browser is not ment to be used as a general pourpose browser in the target system.
Now, it is not simple to get it updated, specially because it is a special build made by someone else. Even with that, as soon as we see a prominent update, we'll include it on SMTPing's setup package.
Why it is made with PHP?
At LSW we have years of experience using PHP, and we don't only use it for building web pages. We also use it as a base for automated jobs (maintenance robots) and many other things.
SMTPing was originally made to be running on a dedicated LAMP server (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP). It was faster for us to make a PHP based monitoring tool that relied on AJAX calls for storing data and embellish it with CSS/jQuery that going over the desktop development. Plus, Sqlite is faster than SQL Express, and the charts and historic reports where the most important parts of the app.
In the end, it was faster and better for us to make a fully functional desktop application with PHP and a WAMP server than can be ported to other platforms (Linux or Mac) than dealing with a desktop development platform (.net for instance).
Can it be installed on a dedicated Linux server or Virtual Machine?
Yes! in fact, we plan to release a setup package for a custom LAMP setup. If you can't wait, feel free to contact us and we'll tell you how to do it.
Is SMTPing shareware, trialware or what?
SMTPing is shareware, but it isn't limited to a certain time to try it before you buy it. Instead of that, we've decided to let you work with a basic set of functions... just enough to do the job on a small network.
What do I get if I purchase a license?
Here are the differences between the free and the full versions of SMTPing:
Maximum groups that can be defined
Monitor services by TCP port
Maximum nodes per group
Only when defining groups
From the dashboard
Maximum Statistics Groups (line quality failure ranges)
4 (interrmitence, short/medium/long falls)
4 + Your own
Maximum Calculation Ranges (per-node comparison chart stuff)
6 (this/last hour, this/last day, this/last week)
6 + your own
Routing table editor
Show activity chart per node
Show group comparison chart
Show group statistics
Group report builder (charts, images, CSV)
Custom themes on request
Administrative roles by IP
Only from console
Group stats parameters set
Calculation ranges set
Extensions for the WASP distro
(PhpDock distro can't handle them for the time being)
Item filterer, Sound Alerter included.
Mail Alerter downloadable