Simple Network Monitor
The download of the 30 day trial was pretty quick and painless, as was the simple installation process. On starting the program, it came up with "You are on day 1 of your 30 day evaluation" and the options of close, buy, and register. I chose close and the program started up.
Clicking on the "Add a Server" icon brought up a very simple form with Hostname, Friendly Name, Location, Server Notes, Alert E-Mail Address(es), and checkboxes for Override E-Mail Addresses, Server Monitoring Enabled, and Create a Ping Monitor. Once I filled in the basic fields, it showed up in my list of servers. From there, I could add a monitor. I selected HTTP Monitor, set the interval and timeout values, clicked "Test" to make sure it was working, and told it "OK".
In a few simple clicks, I already had a ping monitor and an HTTP monitor, complete with graphs of response times.
Because of the server config we run, I figured the website wasn't going to fail any time soon, so I went ahead and added an SMTP monitor to that server. Sure enough, a few minutes later it came up with a failed status. (We run a dedicated mail server, so SMTP isn't open on the web servers).
Right now, my only real complaint is that the response times are low enough here that I don't see a whole lot on the graph when things are running smoothly. I guess what they say is true - no news is good news. :)
The UI is pretty simple, the technology seems sound, and it runs as a windows service. This seems pretty much like an all-around win to me. The pricing seems decent, too. At $49.95, it was already a bargain, but they're also offering a 20% off coupon during the beta (coupon code - V20BETA). The coupon is good until 3/31/2007.