Nagios Core Review

It allows you to write your own plugin if you have no alternatives and you need to have things under control.


What is most valuable?

Alerting and proactive monitoring are invaluable. It also allows you to write your own plugin if you have no alternatives and you need to have things under control.

How has it helped my organization?

It sends alerts to the right people which ensures there is no delay in the correct person or team looking into issues. It's helped to reduce downtime in the production environment to almost zero. Due to this, we now spend less time on network or server administration.

Sometimes we have had downtimes because of stupid problems such as a service suddenly stopping without any reason, or a SQL server datababase or logs growing too big, and too fast, network devices failure etc. With Nagios, this has been reduced.

What needs improvement?

The configuration and reporting modules need to be improved. I'd like to have them include a basic install package, and if you don't like the packages included, have the ability to can replace them with different ones from the Nagios plug-in site.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using it for six years, and we're currently planning to upgrade it.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

We have had no issues with the deployment.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I'm running Nagios with CentOS 5 on one server with no problems. I'm going to update the server because of plugin requirements.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I've not had to scale it.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

This was our first monitoring solution. We were looking for a way to monitor IT structure as some years ago we began deploying a few servers and switches. Over the years, computers have spread everywhere into our offices and factory, so we needed a way to check for systems/network availability 24x7. Nagios Core was a good solution to start with.

How was the initial setup?

I read the manual, set up a test server, and performed some tests. After our initial setup, I then added more servers and any IP device on our network that had SNP support (switches, sensors, printers and so on). It was my first time working with a Unix environment, and it didn't take so much time to set it up.

What about the implementation team?

I did it myself.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

There's no licensing costs, and I feel that monitoring is not essential software for a management board, at least until bad things happen then it becomes invaluable.

What other advice do I have?

Take your time to understand how it works. Then start monitoring a small number of assets in your department and then add some device/server every day. It takes some time to tune all your checks. Once done you'll have almost everything under control. I even managed to adapt some plugins to suit my needs.

Nagios is a good choice for network monitoring. It's up to you decide if you need assistance of skilled people or try it by yourself. I was curious about Linux and Nagios was a good reason to start working with it.

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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