Zabbix Review

Nagios vs. Zabbix vs. PRTG vs. Spiceworks vs. Solarwinds Network Performance Monitor


I have researched a quite a few network monitoring tools which can be used for various monitoring purposes of not only the servers, but the intermediate routers as well. There are majorly three types of these softwares. Ones which are completely open-source, you can do almost anything you want using these, but they require quite some expertise before you can use them. Then there are the ones that are not open source, the enterprise softwares and cost you some money, but on the other hand, they are extremely easy to set-up and learn. You can have them up and running in a matter of minutes. And then there are those which are completely cloud based. They can be free of cost or charge some money depending on the software. The good thing about these is that you don’t have to install any extra software, and it can be managed completely online but then again these have limited features and you cannot exploit them to the full extent as you can do with the open-source and to some extent the enterprise software, so I won’t suggest you to use these, because these are generally not the complete solutions and require other support software to achieve the same. Below I have listed the outstanding pros and cons of the various Network analyzers that you can look into.

Nagios

Pros:

  • Nagios offers an extensive set of collector plug-ins that allows users to gather performance and availability data from a broad range of operating systems, including  Windows and Netware
  • Nagios has a web interface that helps users check network health from anywhere
  • Creates reports on trends, availability, alerts, notifications — via the web interface
  • Monitors network redundancies and failure rates

Cons:

  • Web GUI is not good
  • Steep learning curve is required for managing config files to run devices and tests

Zabbix

Pros:

  • Zabbix is fully configurable from its web front end and so it is easier to use Zabbix
    than the popular Nagios — whose configuration requires several text files
  • Further, Zabbix combines both monitoring and trending functionality, while Nagios
    focuses exclusively on monitoring
  • The Web monitoring function of Zabbix allows users to monitor the availability and
    performance of web-based services over time. Moreover, this functionality allows
    Zabbix to log into a web application periodically and run through a series of typical
    steps being performed by a customer
  • It’s open-source and has a well-designed Web GUI and overall concept
  • Zabbix offers good alerts, dedicated agents and an active user community

Cons:

  • Zabbix is not suitable for large networks with 1,000+ nodes, due to PHP performance
    and Web GUI limitations
  • A lack of real-time tests, as well as complicated templates and alerting rules

Solarwinds

Pros:

  • SolarWinds’s ConnectNow Topology Mapping allows users’ environment to be mapped
    in real time automatically. This provides graphical visibility into users’ networks,
    requiring no additional work or tools
  • SolarWinds’s Integrated Wireless Poller monitors wireless devices for security and other issues and reduces the difficulty in managing these items, allowing more widespread use of wireless technologies
  • Excellent UI design
  • Customizable, automated network mapping
  • Great community support provided by Thwack
  • Mobile access
  • Native VMware support

Cons:

  • Unable to configure alerts from the web-console
  • Clumsy “Group Dependency” configuration
  • Reporting module needs better ad-hoc reports
  • No native support for Microsoft Hyper-V.  Features SNMP only

PRTG Network Monitor

Paessler has completely redesigned its Web interface to make it simpler to use. In addition, the company has added support for a mini-HTML interface for mobile devices, including iPhones, BlackBerrys, Androids and Windows Mobile devices. What’s more, with the iPhone app — available through the iTunes App Store — IT managers can not only receive alerts about network status, they can also take action.

Pros:

  • Google Maps integrated with the Web interface, allowing monitoring software to display
    geographical maps
  • Functions of advanced maps for creating custom network views
  • Real-time availability of up to a year of actual historic data, not aggregated data
  • Integrated native Linux monitoring functions
  • Monitoring of virtual environments, including VMware, HyperV, Xen and Amazon Cloud Watch
  • Installation of reliable alarm system enabling alerts via e-mail, SMS, instant
    messenger, pager message, HTTP request, syslog, etc.
  • A variety of new sensors and remote probes to monitor distributed systems, including
    xFlow sensors for monitoring via NetFlow or sFlow.
  • Very easy setup, 
  • broad  range of sensors,
  • self-contained design

**I did not find any cons!

Spiceworks

Spiceworks is a network management and monitoring, Help Desk, PC inventory and software reporting solution for handling IT in small and medium-sized businesses.

Pros

● Fast installation
● Main dashboard completely configurable
● Easy to use monitoring console
● Active user community, with forums, ratings and reviews, how-tos and whitepapers
● Free
● Easy to install and configure for Windows environments
● “All in one” solution for Inventory, Monitoring, and Help Desk
● Great starting point for IT management

Cons

● On larger networks, performance can be slow
● Limited scalability
● Does not facilitate managing control of monitored devices
● Some initial device configuration is required to be recognized by Spiceworks
● VMWare and Unix systems not discovered nearly as easily as Windows
● Does not provide the same depth of monitoring and control as enterprise-level
   products

Software Faster Config Process Good web interface Compatible to leading OS Better Graphics and Navigation Cost Effective Free? Mobile Access Integrated Maps
Nagios No Yes Yes No Yes Yes No No
Zabbix Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No
Solarwinds Orion Network Performance Monitor No Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes

Yes

Paessler NetworkMonitor Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No Yes
Spiceworks Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No

Inputs

If you want to try out an open-source software, which is absolutely free, you should opt for Zabbix. You can also try out the PRTG Network monitor as it is free for up to 30 sensors. Considering the fact that currently we do not have a lot of servers, you can opt for the PRTG monitor as it is much simpler than Zabbix with almost all the same features and actually much better GUI. Like Zabbix it also has excellent community support and once you feel that you need to add more sensors you can opt to pay for those using the PRTG Network monitor or go for Zabbix. The problem with softwares like Zabbix and Nagios is that they require a very steep learning curve and unless you devote a person for that purpose it would be really time (that implies money) consuming. So basically its just the same. I would suggest to give the PRTG Network Monitoring System a try.

Important links

PRTG Network Monitor download link : http://www.paessler.com/prtg/download
Zabbix Download link : http://www.zabbix.com/download.php

PRTG System Requirements : http://www.paessler.com/prtg/detailedrequirements
Zabbix Systems Requirements : http://www.zabbix.com/requirements.php

PRTG Support : http://www.paessler.com/support/manuals
Zabbix Support : http://www.zabbix.com/documentation.php

PRTG Community and Blog : http://www.paessler.com/blog
Zabbix Community and Blog : http://www.zabbix.com/community.php

Extended Feature Comparison of the Network Analyzer tools

Name IP SLA Reports Logical
Groupings
Trending Trend Prediction Auto-Discovery Agentless SNMP SysLog Plug-Ins
Zabbix Yes Yes Yes No Yes Supported Yes Yes Yes
Solarwinds Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Supported Yes Yes Yes
PRTG Network Monitor Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Supported Yes Yes Yes
Nagios via Pliug-in Yes Yes No via Pliug-in Supported via Pliug-in via Pliug-in Yes
Name Triggers/ Alerts WebApp Distributed Monitoring Inventory Platform Data Storage Method License Maps
Zabbix Yes Full Control Yes Yes C, PHP Oracle, MySQL, PostgreSQL, IBM DB2, SQLite GPL Yes
Solarwinds Yes Full Control Yes Yes .NET SQL Commercial Yes
PRTG Network Monitor Yes Full Control Yes Yes Unknown Proprietary Freeware and Commercial Yes
Nagios Yes Yes Yes via Pliug-in C, PHP Flat file,SQL GPL Yes

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
10 visitors found this review helpful
19 Comments
User at a tech services companyReal User

PRTG Core has no Linux version...

24 June 15
Ivan KravchenkoReal User

Hi! It's a really great comparation of those monitoring tools. But let me to disagree with "no cons" statement about PRTG. Yes, it's very easy to install and nice to use, but the first cons is a price. It's unreasonably too high, imho.

24 June 15
SHANTHAMURTHY HANUMANTHARAYAPPAReal UserTOP 5

Anuj Sethi has revealed the experts and frauds of open/close/cloud network monitoring tools up-to-the-minute detailed manner. It is unbelievable.

24 June 15
Ivan KravchenkoReal User

Very informative review :)

24 June 15
IT Developer at a tech services company with 51-200 employeesReal UserPOPULAR

I appreciate the feedback. Yes , Indeed PRTG has no linux version (I missed that :) ) , and as far as the price is concerned, I found it to be reasonable taking into account the features its offering along with the ease of use. But then again, not everyone would think that way. There might be more negatives for the PRTG, I just could not find them.

24 June 15
Thomas TimmermannVendor

This review gives information from a real user perspective about tools I mostly knew from marketing or press so far.

24 June 15
Sachin GopalReal User

We opted for Nagios because of the community support and still had issues with switch monitoring. I'm not sure how good Zabbix is when it comes to Switch monitoring.

24 June 15
UserUser

Good overall review. I haven't used PRTG, but have used Zabbix and know deployments that have at least 10s of thousands of nodes which means this is a false statement "Zabbix is not suitable for large networks with 1,000+ nodes"

Other than that, saying PRTG has no Cons makes me really wonder about the authors intentions because that's another obvious invalid statement.

30 June 15
IT Developer at a tech services company with 51-200 employeesReal UserPOPULAR

Hello, I appreciate all the comment on the review, I just want to clear things up again, me saying that "I did not find any cons " for prtg does not mean that it might not have any cons. There might be cons that I overlooked and thats why I said that "I did not find cons " not that there are no cons

30 June 15
Orlee GillisConsultant

Anuj, how has your experience with any or all of these softwares changed or progressed since you wrote the review in June 2015?

06 October 16
Renato OliveiraConsultant

Hi! I have worked with some monitoring tools in the market, such as;

Zabix
CA UIM
Tivoli
Nagios
Zenoss
SCOM

None of these tools monitors everything 100%, will very much depend on the need of the business. In other words, the best tool for monitoring is one that best meets the business of our customers.

The tool that has the potential to monitor more technology solutions is the System Center Operations Manager. However, it is like i said the tool has to be suitable for business, I am not saying that the SCOM is the best, but serves very well.

I am taking some customers who have replaced, tools such as Zabix, CA UIM and Tivoli to put SCOM.

There are several reasons that these customers has preferred SCOM; support, usability of monitoring, reporting, SLA, monitoring the Windows environment and Unix very easy, dashboards, very easy to customize.

But it has assisted in the monitoring of core applications business of customers and this is what the customer need. It is enough!

10 October 16
Orlee GillisConsultant

Are there any company-types who SCOM is specifically NOT relevant to?

01 November 16
NOC - Gerência de Rede at a comms service provider with 51-200 employeesReal User

PTG muito caro, zabbix faz todo o processo, ainda mais com a interação do grafana...

28 November 16
Joshua BiggleyReal UserTOP 5POPULAR

Your review of SolarWinds products is very dated @Anuj. Of your cons, only two of them still apply -- Clumsy 'Group Dependency' configuration and Reporting module needs better ad-hoc reports.

As of NPM 11 on Orion 2016 you can configure alerts for most modules in the web console including NPM, SAM, NTA, SRM, VMAN, NCM, etc.

And the NPM module, specific to network monitoring, has supported SNMP (v1, v2c, v3) and WMI for as long as I can remember. If you purchase the Server & Application Monitoring module you can opt to deploy agents for both Linux and Windows servers as of SAM 6.3.

Hyper-V support has been there for a while as well, both in the IVIM component in NPM as well as in Virtualization Manager (VMAN). Granted VMAN is fairly VMware focused, but that is always in flux.

** Full Disclosure: I am a Canada's only SolarWinds Thwack MVP. In my day job, I am the primary SME for one of the largest single instance environments of SolarWinds in the world. I know a fair bit about SolarWinds, but I am far from knowing everything!

20 December 16
Joseph Marfo GyimahUser

I have been using nagios for the past 6 years and so far so good

20 February 17
UserUser

Anyone know of any tool for monitoring UPS?????

31 March 17
Joshua BiggleyReal UserTOP 5POPULAR

I recommend SolarWinds as building custom pollers is relatively easy but really any platform that lets you specify the specific OIDs for the data points that you want would be fine.

31 March 17
Hattab MahdiReal User

I am an expert for Nagios and centreon, I master the implementation of all types of architectures Monitoring with :
SNMP
NRPE
MRTG
NSclient
SSH
And I'm developer for nagios plugins
i'have more than 10 years experience with Nagios

31 March 17
User at a tech services company with 10,001+ employeesConsultant

Meanwhile Zabbix offers trend prediction as well:
https://www.zabbix.com/documentation/3.4/manual/config/triggers/prediction

13 April 17
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