RMON (Remote Network Monitoring) provides standard information that a network administrator can use to monitor, analyze, and troubleshoot a group of distributed local area networks (LANs) and interconnecting T-1/E-1 and T-2/E-3 lines from a central site. RMON specifically defines the information that any network monitoring system will be able to provide. It's specified as part of the Management Information Base (MIB) in Request for Comments 1757 as an extension of the Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP). The latest level is RMON Version 2 (sometimes referred to as "RMON 2" or "RMON2").
RMON can be supported by hardware monitoring devices (known as "probes") or through software or some combination. For example, Cisco's line of LAN switches includes software in each switch that can trap information as traffic flows through and record it in its MIB. A software agent can gather the information for presentation to the network administrator with a graphical user interface. A number of vendors provide products with various kinds of RMON support.
RMON collects nine kinds of information, including packets sent, bytes sent, packets dropped, statistics by host, by conversations between two sets of addresses, and certain kinds of events that have occurred. A network administrator can find out how much bandwidth or traffic each user is imposing on the network and what Web sites are being accessed. Alarms can be set in order to be aware of impending problems.