I recently had the pleasure of installing Monit on one of my personal servers. At OpenSourcery we use more complex tools like Nagios + Munin, but I needed a simpler utility for monitoring services, and Monit also allowed me to easily restart a service that may have died. Thumbs up all around.
And while I was able to install and configure Monit in just a few minutes, I didn’t have an easy way to test different loads on the system. Enter stress, which was equally painless to configure and set up, giving me a number of ways to controllably test load on the server in question.
Once again the power of open source proves itself. Total time invested, less than one hour. I didn’t have to pay for a thing, and everything just worked.