Don't write it off ... no, not talking about myself in this instance, after installing a bunch of new Virtual Machines I started looking at current technology for real-time desktop monitoring of remote servers. Now I'm quite happy with Monit and M/Monit for web based monitoring and alerting, but for keeping an eye on new stuff I need something a little more direct.
Couldn't find anything! Came across something called Conky, but realistically this is for monitoring your own machine and anything beyond that is a bit of a bodge. So after much time-wasting, I end up falling back on a technology I've been using off and on since the 90's, and it still looks good!
To make it work, install "gkrellmd" on the target machines and start it as a service, then install "gkrellm" on your own machine and start up an instance for each machine you want to monitor. This shows a chunk of my desktop (the display sits on your desktop background) monitoring a bunch of remote Linux boxes ...
Updates are once per second and this is running over a "tinc" VPN. Yes, I know, the time is completely out on one of the servers - I'm off to fix that now .. :)