As an IT administrator you have to make sure your servers are up and running at all times, with email being so critical to the business as users communicate via email for almost everything. You want to make sure you search for a good, easy-to-install monitoring solution. The first question you have to ask yourself is what you really need in monitoring software. To begin with you want to check the health of the system and the performance, check the email traffic and see if there are problems.
You do not want a call from the end users alerting you that a problem has occurred. You want to be a step ahead and by having a system that can alert you of a potential problem would be ideal. You can be alerted either via email, SMS or a mobile device. Another aspect is to minimize the downtime of a server. The software should be able to take corrective action if a potential problem arises. The corrective action can be set on certain criteria that you set up before hand, such as restarting a service or do a server reboot.
Next is to check if the software requires you to install an agent. Depending on your bandwidth, installing an agent may not be good. If that is the case, look for software that does not install agents. Also you want to be able to customize some functions – create scripts to check specific executables, event logs, disk size, etc.
Each administrator has different requirements but all can concur that having a monitoring solution in place that proactively alerts and addresses problems is better than having nothing at all. In the end you want to find a solution that works within your needs and budget.