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SNMPSoft Syslog Watcher


SNMPSoft has a strong offering when it comes to Syslog and SNMP message handling in the form of their “Syslog Watcher”. First off, their program comes in three tiers – a fully-featured “Free” version, which limits the number of Syslog sources and is restricted to non-commercial personal use, and for what it does it's an excellent choice given the relative lack of restrictions compared to other Syslog options even just for personal use!

One step up, the “Standard License”, allows commercial use and up to ten sources, which frankly will be a bit low for most environments that go beyond a handful of systems and computers, but it definitely can fit the bill and is still quite reasonably priced at only $99.

Finally, the highest tier “Pro License” has no restriction on Syslog sources at all, making it quite a jump from just ten, and only raises the price to $199. It's worth pointing out that both the Standard and Pro have maintenance costs included as well, which won't be a surprise to anyone familiar with the other offerings.

As far as compatibility it works well in all versions from Windows up through the newest 10, and even jives happily with several Windows Server versions, notably 2008 and 2012, both initial and R2 versions.

But enough about the boring pricing and compatibility! Syslog Watcher has a strong range of features and options that make it such a powerful contender when it comes to Syslog and SNMP needs. The interface is nice and simple, with an up-front view of all the configuration options and tasks you would want to quickly perform. The server can be started and stopped, status can be pulled, logs can be managed and retrieved, servers can be required, events can be filtered and searched, imported and exported, reports can be fun, and so forth.

On the downside, this portion of the program is somewhat lacking when it comes to customization – the overall look of it is very plain and can be hard to sort through visually without taking the time to apply filters and perform searches. By no means is it a deal breaker, but it does make it a bit harder to use “at a glance” than some other offerings. None the less, the main window provides a great deal of the information one would want to see, with a handy tabbed setup for easily jumping between different subsections of that data.

As far as a general list of features, Syslog Watcher has a log to brag about. For being a smaller and lower-cost program it can handle upwards of 5000 Syslog messages per second, and runs as a Windows service, making it better for server-less or small-server environments.

Data and archiving is handled automatically, with more critical messages being kept longer to avoid removing important log information in favor of a rush of less important messages, thus helping reduce signal to noise ratio substantially in histories. The program does lack some of the stronger alerting, but can still perform some scripting and triggered programs as well as send email alerts for various events, so it is by no means featureless in that regard. Despite those couple shortcomings it's a strong program for Syslog needs and does what it needs to do well, even if there are some flashier choices out there which provide some better visual cues.

The histories are easily viewed and sorted, with the tabs being extremely intuitive and quick to navigate, jumping between search, histories, real time, source-based, archives, and so forth. There's a lot of good things that can be said about a program with a generous personal license and a huge range of features at a pretty low price, but ultimately it's something you'll have to try out yourself and see just how well it fits your particular needs and environment!

Thankfully, a little testing is easy to do with the personal version without any real risk of cost, and thankfully via the import/export, it's not very hard to ramp up from the personal version into the more appropriate Standard or Pro versions that your environment might demand.

Main Features

These are some of the main features of the SNMPSoft Syslog server software, all of them and more information can be found at their website here: https://www.snmpsoft.com/syslog-watcher/

  • Compatible with the Following Operating Systems: Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10, along with Windows Server variations, including Server 2008 and Server 2012
  • Windows Service setup/Startup feature!
  • Built on a “Multi-threaded high-performance” Architecture that can accomodate for 5000+ messages per/second!
  • IPv4 and IPv6 Support
  • DNS Name Resolution of Sources
  • Email Reports/Alerts triggered by pre-configured list of conditions
  • Collect a max of 1TB Data by Syslog Severity Level
  • (Almost) Real-Time Syslog Analysis
  • Search, Sorting, “QuickFind” and “QuickFilter” features within the interface for fast sorting and finding specific events
  • Export any/all Syslog messages in these support formats: TXT, CSV, XML, TXT and custom formats
  • ODBC Database Syslog Server Export
  • Rule based Exports, along with Manual/Automatic Exporting Feature
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