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Centreon OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

Centreon is the #7 ranked solution in our list of top Cloud Monitoring Software. It is most often compared to Zabbix: Centreon vs Zabbix

What is Centreon?
The Centreon solution, based on a free to download Open Source Platform, monitors all critical IT Infrastructure and Applications with real-time dashboards, analytics and insightful alerts that prevent business-impacting downtimes. Since 2005, over 200,000 IT professionals from SMBs and Fortune 500 companies rely on Centreon to guarantee their organization operational performance.
Centreon Buyer's Guide

Download the Centreon Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: October 2021

Centreon Customers
Airbus, Bollore, BT, Canal Plus, Kuehne Nagel, Limagrain, LVMH, Oberthur Technologies, Orange, Darty, Addax Petroleum, Plastic Omnium, Auchan, Valeo, Saint Gobin, Clarins, Hugo Boss, JC Decaux, French Government (Defense, Justice, Environment, Agriculture), OptiComm, Thales, Zeiss.
Centreon Video

Archived Centreon Reviews (more than two years old)

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Disclyn Cyril
Product Manager - IT Project Manager at PROSERVIA
Real User
Stable, open-source workhorse for infrastructure monitoring

Pros and Cons

  • "I can't point to one valuable feature. All of Centreon is good."
  • "There is room for improvement in the area of artificial intelligence. The product gives us a lot of information, but it's only information. We want the product to do more auto-remediation."

What is our primary use case?

We use it for monitoring. We have more than 20 clients and we use Centreon to monitor our clients' infrastructures. We are a service center for infrastructure monitoring.

What is most valuable?

I can't point to one valuable feature. All of Centreon is good.

What needs improvement?

There is room for improvement in the area of artificial intelligence. The product gives us a lot of information, but it's only information. We want the product to do more auto-remediation.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using the solution for ten years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's built for the duration. It's very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is intermediate. It's in some ways it's very scalable and in other ways it is not. But it is only a monitor. It's only used to get the information on the infrastructure. We don't ask for scalability. It's a very good product for the price. It does the job.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have a close relationship with the designer of the solution. Our companies work closely. So when we have a technical difficulty with the product, we call them. They make changes and they patch and fix the product. The support we receive is good. It's very interactive. We have good communication with them. They understand the issue and they solve it very quickly.

In theory, it could take a lot of time to find a solution to an issue, but they find the solution. They have changed the product code because of issues. The solution is quite developed and Centreon as a company is very agile.

How was the initial setup?

The implementation was very easy.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

The competitive products have value, but we have used this one for more than ten years and we are not planning to change it.

What other advice do I have?

My advice would be don't do it by yourself. While it's very easy to implement it, and it's free, contact the company and take advantage of their experience to have a perfectly designed solution. In this area of IT, the more precise you are, the better the solution. In monitoring, if you have too many options it's useless. You have to be very precise when you implement the solution. So, go with Centreon. It's more efficient than doing it by yourself.

It's not fancy, it's not glamorous, but it's a good workhorse. It's very pragmatic and it's very easy to use. It provides global information about the network and the servers. It's not the fanciest product, but it's good.

We are directly in contact with the company. We communicate with them so that we can deploy a solution with them. We share a lot of experiences between our two companies. They meet all our needs and all the features we want them to implement. We have a lot of meetings between us to change the product and to go for innovation inside Centreon. We have everything we need with the product.

I would rate the solution at nine out of ten. Ten is never possible. Products always need improvement because there are new features on the IT market. The evolution of the product can happen with AI. The key to this product is the people inside Centreon. A product is a product. It can be changed. It can evolve. But the relationship with Centreon is the most important factor.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Tim Huerter
Senior Networking Consultant at S&L
Consultant
If a connection is broken or disrupted, the remote server will obtain a view of your environment and server availability

Pros and Cons

  • "It is decentralized, which is better, because you can reduce the load from a single system. Also, you get a better view because it's more independent. Then, for the management, it's nice because they have one central system. With that, they can manage all the other systems, as well. This means they don't have to configure each system by system. They can configure it from one single interface."
  • "We use the remote server functionality on some customer sites, because you can see an independent view and are not dependent on a single connection. If you have branch offices or bigger office outside your headquarters, you can use remote servers because if the connection is broken or disrupted, then remote server will obtain a view of your environment and server availability. This is a good point against using other solutions. Because with other solutions, you don't have this feature. Then, you will be blind if you have this type of a situation."
  • "I would like to see an improvement of the communication with big data systems, because Centreon is a monitoring system. In our point of view, Centreon should be a part of a source for a big data system, not a big data system itself. So, it should be easier to add data from the Centreon system to a big data system. For example, it should be able to teach machine learning."
  • "Centreon supports officially 10,000 services per poller. That is not much for larger customers, because this limit is reached very quickly. We use it with three times the limit without any problems, but Centreon says, "Okay, we are only supporting it with 10,000 services." We are aware that increasing the limit has different impacts because they need to support it. However, for most customers, it would be be very good if they could increase the limit of services."

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case is for our customers and us (S&L). S&L is service provider for our customers. We use Centreon for our own monitoring, but mainly, it is used for our customers. We support our customers to build up monitoring with Centreon, monitor their infrastructure, obtain a view of their environment, and know about problems before they really matter. Because if you have some architecture, then you can react. If you don't react, you will have real problems in the future. To prevent this, you can use Centreon, as one of many examples. 

How has it helped my organization?

If you have different functionalities, like a mail flow or production hall, that you need to take care of, then you can visualize those into a map, and you will be able to see on the map where your real problem is. E.g., you have a big hall with different access points where need to locate the signal of disconnected access points. Then, you can currently see it on the map. It's not that complex, because you can easily take a look at the map and see it where the location is of the faulty device.

It is decentralized, which is better, because you can reduce the load from a single system. Also, you get a better view because it's more independent. Then, for the management, it's nice because they have one central system. With that, they can manage all the other systems, as well. This means they don't have to configure each system by system. They can configure it from one single interface.

What is most valuable?

One good feature is you can see a big picture of your entire infrastructure. If one component is not reachable, this doesn't mean that you have other hosts which are not reachable, and you can see the cause of it. You can see the reason why your servers or program aren't available to the public. Therefore, you can solve the problem and save a lot of time in detecting the problem, so you don't have to search for it. You can see the problem right in the traffic interface. 

Another thing that is very powerful in Centreon is the possibility to use third-party modules. You can integrate different modules into it, so you can use the collective data in different ways for different needs. You can also create some events with it for support tickets, which is great stuff. You can automatically create some support tickets to support your IT department for an efficient way to work.

The data visualization features are great because you can get a view of the past. You can see some concurrent data correlations, because you can see your data usage over the past couple of weeks or months, so you can do capacity planning for the future. E.g., for capacity management, if you have to expand your storage, then you have more possibilities to use third-party modules or you could also buy a commercial one, like Centreon MBI, which is an enterprise feature of Centreon. Using the module, you can create reports automatically. Another benefit could be to use Centreon BAM because there you can design business cases and define KPI to get notified in a special way of escalation (first-, second-, third-level support.)

The great thing about Centreon is that it is also based upon Nagios. However, Centroen also provides the EPP, Enterprise Plugin Pack. The plugins are capable of monitoring nearly all data you want. The only necessary thing to get to your goal is it needs the destination that you want to monitor. This means you will have to have an API or some other way to make a call to the destination, so the destination can respond to it. If this is possible, you can nearly monitor all things with Centreon. This is very nice because you can monitor technical stuff and also normal things, like availability of some services, which are being used by your customers, your colleagues, or yourself, so you may get a view of the functionality behind it.

Centreon is not just a monitoring system, because if you take care of it, you will get great documentation and an overview of your topology without spending additional time to create or achieve that goal.

What needs improvement?

Because the API is available, which is good, Centreon could be more productive if there was better API functionality. Since you can automate some tasks with the API, such as how to add an host or automatically rollout a new host, this is a good area to continuously improve. E.g., the automatic adding of hosts, like LDAP objects or network scans. I think the network scan is a good point, because if you install Centreon as a fresh install, it's pretty easy to make the basic installation. It's very easy because you can download a ready-to-run image from a virtual machine. Or, you can also download a custom operating system on it and can get the system quickly running. However, after you have it running, you need to fill it with objects, which make sense. This is the point where Centreon could improve. They could add different tools to make it easier to add some hosts to your network from your Active Directory, etc.

Another big improvement would be a more powerful API to add host services, etc. At the moment, these things are possible, but not directly. These are things Centreon may need to think outside-the-box about and be creative.

Also, Centreon supports officially 10,000 services per poller. That is not much for larger customers, because this limit is reached very quickly. We use it with three times the limit without any problems, but Centreon says, "Okay, we are only supporting it with 10,000 services." We are aware that increasing the limit has different impacts because they need to support it. However, for most customers, it would be be very good if they could increase the limit of services.

I would also like to see an improvement of the communication with big data systems, because Centreon is a monitoring system. In our point of view, Centreon should be a part of a source for a big data system, not a big data system itself. So, it should be easier to add data from the Centreon system (monitoring results) to a big data system. For example, it should be able to feed another machine learning system. At the moment the interfaces are limited.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using Centreon since either 2007 or 2008.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability of the architecture is very helpful because Centreon provides its own protocol. It is called BBDO, which is a binary protocol from Centreon. It's very stable. Because if you have an outage or disconnect from a remote server to your central system, it doesn't matter. The system will continue to collect all the necessary information. Once the connection is up again or reachable, the collected data from past will be automatically transferred to the central system and be calculated there. So, you don't have a gap or missing information in there. The BBDO also has the benefit that the monitoring system will keep running, even if the central machine isn't running. So, if you have different satellites or remote servers (pollers), this is a nice thing. Because once the central machine becomes available, then it synchronizes itself without any additional administration tasks to do.

Mainly, we using Centreon 2.8.28. However, we are also developing own features for the newest version 19.04. With the newer version, we want to release it for our customers and use it for them in the upcoming weeks.

Monitoring is the main topic for our team. For us, it is full-time maintenance, but this is because we are the customer's contact person. We take care of many customers, so we have to know what we are dealing with and take care of many questions all day long. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Out-of-the-box, Centreon scales without any limits, from a default point of view. You can add different pollers to reduce the loads on another poller. From the outside, you have a web server on the internet, where you can monitor it. 

For the future, it would be great if Centeron redesigned the way of holding the performance data, especially for Monitoring Business Intelligence (MBI). This is an enterprise product of Centreon, and the amount of data stored there is not a small thing. Maybe, they could phase in with another amount each year or use Elasticsearch to reduce the data amount and query time, because the MBI module from Centreon is very nice, but the data storage is huge. This is something that they can take care of to make it a bit better. 

In general, Centreon scales great without any limits. If you have a limitation on a single poller, you just have to set up a new second, third, or fourth poller. Then, you can distribute your monitoring.

In our organization, we have around 100 people using it (out of three companies). We have 50 different customers of a wide range, like automotive and medical, who are all independent, self-standing companies.

How are customer service and technical support?

It is very easy for one single customer to get support with Centreon.

Normally, we don't need technical support from Centreon directly. As a partner, we deal with any sort of problems ourselves daily. It doesn't matter if it is a Level 1 or 2 problem. Level 3 problems can be also solved by our own team, in most cases. Though, in one out of ten cases, we need to contact Centreon directly, and when we do, they are very helpful. 

In a worst case scenario, we need to schedule an appointment with a Webex session (remote session), but that is something that has worked really well in the past. We make an appointment with the customer together, then we can solve the problem very quickly.

Centreon does very well supporting their partners and customers. It doesn't matter if it's technical or another point of support. Their support is very good.

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

Previously, we used Nagios, which is the general base of Centreon. Nagios is a monitoring solution that is open source. It was one of the first monitoring tools available to the public. In the past, Centreon was just a critical interface for creating the configuration of Nagios. This changed in the last couple of years, so Centreon is now a completely self-standing product.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is pretty straightforward, because it's very easy to get it running. However, you have to spend some time with it to get it to life, because if you just set it up, it is empty. Therefore, you have to take care that there are some holes in it, and you need to monitor some things. This is back to my point about a better API for the future as an improvement.

To get a basic view of your environment, it normally takes two to three days. However, if you want to go into detail, it depends how large your environment is: It could be hours or weeks.

What about the implementation team?

We are Centreon partners, so we use our implementation strategy almost daily for our customers and ourselves. If we set it up, we ask the customer, "What are their needs?" We have a best practice, so we install the basic systems made in a network scan, which are pretty easy. If you have a scan, you can use the API to import a host. Then, you can use the monitoring really quickly.

What was our ROI?

If you have an outage in your environment, every minute counts. Every single minute that you can save with Centreon is a good reason to use it. 

We and our customers have saved so much time that we are acting instead of reacting to a situation in a positive way. You can get the investment back within a few weeks. 

If you can imagine having an outage of your infrastructure and 100 people cannot work for any reason against a small outage, which was indicated by your monitoring system and could be avoided, then this is an estimated ROI calculation.

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

The pricing starts at around 5000 euro. However, this depends on: 

  • Your environment
  • The size of your host
  • How many hosts that you have.
  • How many remote pollers that you have.
  • If you want to use the Monitoring Business Intelligence or Centreon MAP functionalities.

You purchase a package. You have a support contract (there is also a platinum support contract) and it is per module. That means you have to pay, e.g., for the MBI module or the BAM module. Or, if you want to save a lot of money, you can pay for IMP, which is the complete package.

The pricing setup costs and licensing weren't very good in the past. The customers generally said the pricing of Centreon was fair and cheap if you compared it with other solutions. However, in the last few years, Centreon changed the license model multiple times, telling us the current model will not be stable. Many of our customers were confused about the many changes with the increasing license costs. Our customers wanted to get the support and contact person of their countries. The business investments of our customers are well planned for the next few years, not just the next two years, but this was the way Centreon thought in the past. Our customers want a stable, attractive base for investing that they can call upon. We were able to figure out a solution with Centreon for every single customer to solve this problem in the past. 

For the future, it would be nice if they have a more stable pricing model. Centreon has told us that they know about the issue, and they will try to adjust it to make it better in the future.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We have taken a look at other solutions, like Zabbix, Nagios, Check MK, and PRTG. For us, Centreon is the best solution, because we have all the benefits from the other solutions. Not all, but most of them. It's a great product to monitor our environment, so we can prevent any outage or misconfiguration on some hosts.

A main feature that sets apart Centreon versus its competitors is the possibility to expand the monitoring. You can set up different satellites to expand your monitoring or get an inside view of a special environment, such as a DMZ zone. Or, if you want to monitor a branch office from another country, so you can monitor it with an inside view of it, not just an outside view. 

We use the remote server functionality on some customer sites, because you can see an independent view and are not dependent on a single connection. If you have branch offices or bigger office outside your headquarters, you can use remote servers because if the connection is broken or disrupted, then the remote server will obtain a view of your environment and server availability. This is a good point against using other solutions. Because with other solutions, you don't have this feature. Then, you will be blind if you have this type of a situation.

What other advice do I have?

Centreon is definitely not a perfect or bug-free solution on the market. On the other hand, which solution is that. They have a great support that you can count on, along with continuous improvement, which is very important for any customer when getting help in a support case.

The most part, Centreon is open source, free, and available to everyone. So, if you phone back you can submit an issue to the GitHub repository or source it directly for help to other users. If you want to set it up, you can do it easily. If you have some problems, you can also take a look at the publicly available documentation from Centreon. No matter which solution you use, you should be aware that every solution needs time to invest for a good, pure result. For Centreon, and also in other monitoring systems, you have to spend time with it because monitoring is a permanent process, which should be improved daily, but you should focus on the important things. 

We use Centreon a lot, but we could use it a bit more in the future, because Centreon is nice in a way that it is not just monitoring. You can also make the documentation of your network topology without any additional work. If you take care of your monitoring, you have automatically created a topology of your network, so now you have documentation of it. This is also a time saver.

I am splitting my rating into two parts. Centreon is an open source, available product. I would rate it with a nine (out of ten). For the license costs, I would give it a seven (out of ten) because that is something they need to improve, so the customer could better plan their investment in the future. This is information that we have received from our customers as feedback. They are really satisfied with the solution, but not 100 percent satisfied with the licensing model, even though this has been improved a little in the past. So, my overall rating is an eight (out of ten).

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor. The reviewer's company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
Learn what your peers think about Centreon. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: October 2021.
542,721 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Jake Lao
Global Operations Center Lead at a logistics company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
We can add devices and set up additional polling servers without downtime in monitoring

Pros and Cons

  • "I find the product's scalability to be one of the most valuable features since it allows us to add unlimited devices for monitoring and to set up additional polling servers without additional license cost or downtime in our monitoring."
  • "The product is available in ISO image format, ready for deployment. Centreon also has a comprehensive guide and documentation that are simple and easy to follow."
  • "The Home view could be improved by adding customization functions that allow users to change the size of the widgets for a more uniform layout."
  • "Centreon technical support is only available during Central European business hours. When it comes to critical business solutions, there should be a 24/7 hotline that customers can rely on."

What is our primary use case?

We use Centreon to centrally monitor our entire global IT infrastructure and to alert us about impending issues.

How has it helped my organization?

Centreon enables us to proactively take action on issues before they even become incidents, which significantly reduces business disruptions resulting from controllable factors.

What is most valuable?

I find the product's scalability to be one of the most valuable features since it allows us to add unlimited devices for monitoring and to set up additional polling servers without additional license cost or downtime in our monitoring.

What needs improvement?

The Home view could be improved by adding customization functions that allow users to change the size of the widgets for a more uniform layout.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No issues with stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No issues with scalability.

How are customer service and technical support?

Centreon technical support is only available during Central European business hours. When it comes to critical business solutions, there should be a 24/7 hotline that customers can rely on.

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

We switched to Centreon from our previous solution because of the flexibility it offered as an open source solution and because it allowed us to have more control over the design of our monitoring environment.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward, as the product is available in ISO image format, ready for deployment. Centreon also has a comprehensive guide and documentation that are simple and easy to follow.

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

Open source solutions can be very cost effective for an organization looking for a product that can be quickly implemented, as there is no initial cost and there are no license renewal fees. However, it is important to take into consideration some of the related costs that may come along as needed, such as training, support, and product enhancements.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We have used SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor and SolarWinds Server and Application Monitor.

What other advice do I have?

Centreon is like a sandbox for monitoring your systems. It allows you to customize and automate different tasks, such as the configuration of hosts for monitoring, and actions taken during an alert.

I recommend some training and deploying a lab environment instance, where administrators can fully understand how each feature integrates with the rest of the system to help avoid early configuration mistakes and achieve an efficient production environment design.

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
LF
CEO & CTO at a tech services company
Real User
Alarms enable our customers to anticipate infrastructure issues

Pros and Cons

  • "The most important feature is that it permits us to receive alarms if there is an incident within the infrastructure. The feature I love the most is the reporting feature, the MBI (Monitoring Business Intelligence) which permits us to send advanced reports to our customers in PDF format or in Doc format. We also deploy Centreon Map which gives our customers intuitive views of their information system."
  • "I would like to see a better UI, one which is more responsive."

What is our primary use case?

We deploy Centreon for our customers' infrastructures. They use Centreon to create alarms to be able to anticipate problems. It works for big companies and institutes. As a Centreon partner, we have different types of customers.

How has it helped my organization?

When we started to work with Centreon, there were about 30 people in our company and now there are 90 people, so our company has been growing and growing with Centreon. One thing that I love is that today, as a Centreon partner, we have a dedicated person who is in charge of our relationship with Centreon.

When looking at the product, for me, the best improvement is Centreon MBI. When I started with Centreon, this feature didn't exist and it's very good.

What is most valuable?

The most important feature is that it permits us to receive alarms if there is an incident within the infrastructure. 

The feature I love the most is the reporting feature, the MBI (Monitoring Business Intelligence) which permits us to send advanced reports to our customers in PDF format or in Doc format.

We also deploy Centreon Map which gives our customers intuitive views of their respective information systems.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see a better UI, one which is more responsive. This would be an improvement. Other than that, at the moment, every one of our customers is satisfied with this product.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is better now. A few years ago, the product was not very stable, but it's much better now, in 2018. It has really improved. We no longer have any performance problems.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We haven't had any issues with scalability.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have support with Centreon, so if we run into an issue, we open a ticket on the platform and they are good. We don't have any problem with them. I am satisfied. They always respond to our emails and our tickets. They are really good.

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

We used Nagios before Centreon. I prefer Centreon because Centreon vs Nagios provides a web interface without having to spend more on a license for it. That is why we migrated from Nagios to Centreon.

How was the initial setup?

When I started with Centreon, the initial setup was very difficult because they didn't package the product. But now, setup is very easy and we are able to deploy Centreon very quickly.

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

As a Centreon partner, the pricing is good. We get a discount. It's a really good product so I would say the pricing is correct.

What other advice do I have?

I rate Centreon at nine out of 10 because I think the user interface can be improved. That's why I don't rate it a 10. But, from my point of view, this is one of the better monitoring products.

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
ITCS user
Solution Architect - Open Technology Solution - Airbus Group BU at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Alerts before something is down have saved us a lot of non-business-hours intervention

Pros and Cons

  • "We are alerted on service impacts and not when something is down. We have saved a lot of time on non-business-hours intervention."
  • "The most important issue is the capability to interconnect with other systems. It already exists for some of them. For example, the Stream Connector is something we use to populate data in another system. This kind of facility for connecting should exist for all products that it makes sense to have connected to a monitoring solution."

What is our primary use case?

We use it for infrastructure monitoring.

How has it helped my organization?

The improvement has been the ability to deploy a log monitoring system on already existing infrastructure. When I took ownership of teams where I replaced the previous monitoring solution with Centreon, the capability to stabilize and quickly fix the infrastructure monitoring - since the previous solution was not very good - helped us.

It also gives us a good overview of our system.

What is most valuable?

The collection part, due to the flexibility and scalability.

What needs improvement?

We have provided feedback to Centreon directly. The most important issue is the capability to interconnect with other systems. It already exists for some of them. For example, the Stream Connector is something we use to populate data in another system. This kind of facility for connecting should exist for all products that it makes sense to have connected to a monitoring solution.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have never had a big issue. Sometimes there is a mistake, the wrong configuration for example. But there has been no outage caused by a bug in the software.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We haven't had any scalability issues with the monitoring solution part. But in terms of data, analysis, we have a very large amount of data, a big database. The MBI, the Monitoring Business Intelligence part is very important for that because we have limited data analysis, graphing, and reporting. With the new solution, we will have success with that. This improvement will enable a lot of functionality and features in terms of Big Data treatment.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have direct contact with a pre-sales engineer. We work directly with him by email or by phone, it's very fast. I don't use the support gateway from Centreon.

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

We had a different monitoring system. Why Centreon? It's very good at agents, in collecting data. Because of some specific integrations we must do, we chose Centreon. Based on demand and our expectations, and the collectors, we made our decision.

We picked Centreon because, after an open-source comparison, and given what we want to do, and our skills and experience as well, it was the best solution for us, the most reliable for our services. We manage the unified collaboration clusters for an organization in Europe. The difficulty is that we have to maintain a complex solution so I don't want to increase the complexity of managing it. The opposite would be the best way, to effectively simplify the management of this kind of cluster. Centreon is made for monitoring but also has extra connectors to enable automation. Globally, that was a very important point for us, to open the door to tomorrow. If we stay with Centreon, we should be able to play with the data, with Centreon and with other systems.

How was the initial setup?

The first setup was eight years ago and it was not very complex. We had an expert in Linux so it was not really a big issue, with ten years' experience in monitoring systems. There were no specific difficulties with it.

What was our ROI?

We have a good monitoring system and a good aggregation layer. That means we are alerted on service impacts and not when something is down. We have saved a lot of time on non-business-hours intervention.

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

I deal with technical parts, not with the costs.

In terms of licensing, the big question will be the ability to be flexible with the scale of design.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We had different solutions. We had Splunk for Big Data monitoring as well as Elasticsearch and Zabbix. These are at the top of the market, along with Centreon.

What other advice do I have?

My advice is to make it simple. When I say that, it's in terms of templating. With Centreon we can create a lot of templates. It is very good to have something very flexible and configurable. But be careful, don't create a lot of templates that will clash with other templates because, in the end, it will be very complex to maintain. Start simple and maintain up-to-date documentation.

We use other reporting solutions to complement it, to create beautiful reports that are specifically requested by our customers. In the future, I expect we will use a diverse range of products to give us the value we need to present to our customers.

I'm a solution architect, so my main job is to provide good solutions to meet demands. When we build a design, we study which solution will make sense for the customer. As an integrator, of course, I need to be sure that any solution, for the price, will make sense for my enterprise as well.

If we compare Centreon to another open-source monitoring system, and we're talking about it as a pure monitoring system, I would rate Centreon between eight and nine out of ten. If we compare it to a Big Data system, it would be closer to seven out of ten, due to the Big Data capacity that we don't have with Centreon. Strictly on monitoring, it gets a good score but with the new technologies, what we see with Big Data and the capabilities for machine-learning and AI, etc., the latter will have a better score because they have the capability to generate a lot of metrics.

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
chamepicart
Global Operations Center Engineer at a logistics company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Flexible solution with straightforward yet very informative data visualization features

Pros and Cons

  • "What I like most about Centreon is that it is very flexible and customizable, based on the user and/or business needs. Centreon is very flexible when it comes to monitoring parameters. We can use scripts found on the internet or scripts created by our infra/apps team. Also, the data visualization features are very simple and straightforward, yet very informative."
  • "Centreon needs to improve the granularity of the data as well as the graphical data. It would also be better to if there was improvement to the filtering/grouping system as well as the creation of views."

What is our primary use case?

We use Centreon for monitoring resources to prevent priority-one and priority-two tickets. It is our primary monitoring tool. All our devices are being monitored using Centreon.

How has it helped my organization?

We have reduced the number of priority-one and priority-two tickets by about ten percent.

What is most valuable?

What I like most about Centreon is that it is very flexible and customizable, based on the user and/or business needs. Centreon is very flexible when it comes to monitoring parameters. We can use scripts found on the internet or scripts created by our infra/apps team.

Also, the data visualization features are very simple and straightforward, yet very informative.

Finally, it is very simple and user-friendly. It is easy to understand and to make your way around it.

What needs improvement?

Centreon needs to improve the granularity of the data as well as the graphical data. It would also be better to if there was improvement to the filtering/grouping system as well as the creation of views.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It would be a lot better if they improved the scalability and granularity of the data.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is great, very helpful and accommodating.

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

We had a previous solution. We switched because we are trying to save some money and, at the same time, looking for a solution that will support our business needs. This solution was suggested by upper management.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was very simple and straightforward, including installation, adding of nodes, creating services, etc.

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

The solution is very effective, despite the low price.

What other advice do I have?

Follow the best practices and the installation process in the documentation. It is very easy to understand.

In terms of the Remote Server functionality, I'm not highly familiar with it yet, but based on what I have read I think it is a great feature and I'm open to any possibility of using it in the future.

We have 300 to 400 users. Some are infrastructure engineers, VPs, application analysts, and people on the upper management team. For deployment and maintenance, we have three to five personnel: our Senior Vice President, Linux/VM engineers, and global operations engineers.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Matan Moser
Project Manager, Cloud Services with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
Gives us a single dashboard displaying the status of all our services in one place

Pros and Cons

  • "What we like about it is that, whereas with Nagios, by design, if you have five or six data centers, you have to open five or six web pages to see what's going on, In Centreon, this is all included in one page, a single site, one dashboard. You don't have to jump from one specific dashboard to the other."
  • "I really like the filtering capabilities of it. You can easily tell what's critical next to what's okay, the state of the services. It's very easy to get the whole picture quickly."
  • "There are improvements that they need to make to their API. When we're using different systems and we want to disable monitoring for a specific server, we still can't do that through the API. That's something that's lacking."

What is our primary use case?

We have our own private data centers that are set around the world. They post our solutions to our customers. We have a NOC that monitors the applications and services of each server. The primary use is of the solution is to trigger incidents and to resolve issues before the customer notices.

How has it helped my organization?

We use Centreon as a base for almost all of our monitoring, and we use it to trigger instances. We work with ServiceNow. We shifted from the open-source, old, unsupported version of Centreon to the new version. We use the built-in plug-in which Centreon has, the monitoring plug-in, the specific component plug-in. We didn't even have to write the check and maintain the check, we were able to use what Centreon had. That's one thing that it improved in our organization.

We have used it from the beginning, so I can't really compare it to anything before. But when we first installed the UI, it allowed us to see the big picture, to understand what's critical and what's not critical, and to build more and more checks, more and more output, and more hosts for it. It's scalable. Centreon allowed us to do it without having to look for another solution.

We have about 10,000 alerts a month coming from Centreon. For us, especially compared to other systems, it gets us the information for a specific alert: What is alerting on the server, what's working or not working. The number of clicks which we need to do to get that information is significantly lower. If you have an alert on server A, in another solution, you have to search for server A, and then search for what's not good and what's good. In Centreon, it takes one or two clicks, one or two transactions, done by the NOC user, to get that information. When you're talking about doing that 10,000 times a month, that's a significant reduction in the amount of work.

It's flexible for infrastructure monitoring. We can write our own checks. It's based on Nagios, and it's fully open-source. We do prefer to use the plug-ins, because then we don't have to maintain them. But we can write anything regarding server level and application help, ourselves. We have the flexibility.

What is most valuable?

When we started using it, our work was based on Nagios completely. What we like about it is that, whereas with Nagios, by design, if you have five or six data centers, you have to open five or six web pages to see what's going on, in Centreon, this is all included in one page, a single site, one dashboard. You don't have to jump from one specific dashboard to the other.

I also really like the filtering capabilities of it. You can easily tell what's critical next to what's okay, the state of the services. It's very easy to get the whole picture quickly.

In terms of the data visualization features, since we're not looking for anything too particular or too complex, it works for us. It's very easy to find exactly what alerts you have. It's very easy to filter by a specific alert. It's very easy to search. It's very easy to configure a specific relation between alerts, to see what's good and what's bad at a given place.

I would compare it to something like Excel, perhaps. Visually, it's very easy to work with. Maybe you can't do things that are too complicated or have some sort of BI, but it has what we're looking for. What we need to understand is: Where is the alert, is there anything else affected, is it clear? And then resolve it as fast as we can. It's a very straightforward, non-complex GUI.

What needs improvement?

There are improvements that they need to make to their API. When we're using different systems and we want to disable monitoring for a specific server, we still can't do that through the API. That's something that's lacking. We have to be creative and think of other ways. 

And now that we're looking into switching to the world of containers, which is a different type of monitoring altogether, I hope that they have some sort of scalable solution for it. In a container world, the container is irrelevant. It could just be destroyed and another one can come up in its place. It's about the history, the log, and the service itself; that's what is valuable. That's something that they have to think about, although we're not there yet ourselves.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is good. The old Centreon, for us, wasn't stable but, again, we're talking about an old system that wasn't supported, that wasn't built on best practices. The current solution is stable for us.

I don't think we have had any availability issues since we installed the new Centreon. The only time we did was when someone was doing work on Centreon on our side. But other than for maintenance, we haven't had any downtime. We have had some slowness, but not a time when the system wasn't available.

It is a very critical system for us, so if there is a problem with Centreon, we do have to deal with it right away, because it's our eyes. I would know if there was some big issue with Centreon.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

In terms of the scalability, so far it looks like it's been doing well. We use the best practices that they send us.

We have a problem because we're growing a lot, server-wise, and we have to accommodate the capacity and rearrange it every time. Sometimes the engines are loaded. But it's something that we have to keep watching because it's installed in our servers, not in a cloud. So we have to make sure that the sizing is what it should be.

Maybe another thing that would be helpful would be a way for Centreon to monitor itself, to tell us when we need to add more engines, or when need to add more CPUs - scale up, scale down - based on the Centreon infrastructure. I'm sure they have this in their best practices, but it would be much better if this was part of an actual alert, so we would know, beforehand, and not have to proactively check it every once in a while.

How are customer service and technical support?

Their support is very good, they're very knowledgeable. We do use them quite often and they're very quick to answer and very quick to take over the desktop and to investigate it themselves. They seem to be very technical.

We wish they had 24/7 support just in case, but we have our own design failover, so the chances that the checks aren't going to work in one way or another are very slim.

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

We used the regular Nagios, two or three of them for each of our data centers. I wasn't there at the time the switch was made to Centreon, but I can guess that it was because Centreon is a unified solution. You can now configure checks and do it on one page. With Nagios, at least the old one, you had to have a different site for each data center, so you had to manage three or four things.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was pretty easy. It's very similar to Nagios. The initial setup of Centreon is not difficult at all.

We cleaned all our infrastructure and built Centreon from scratch, but we already knew what we were doing. For the deployment of an empty environment, it was very quick. It took a few days. The difficulties were on our side, making our specific checks and fitting them into the plug-ins, but that didn't have to do with Centreon. We had to go back and do some re-engineering. For us, it was easy.

In terms of our strategy for restructuring, we had a lot of checks that were irrelevant, servers that were irrelevant, and checks that weren't written correctly. Our strategy was, first of all, to have the minimum number of checks needed; second, to have a naming convention; and third, wherever possible, to use a Centreon plug-in and not write our own. It took us a while because we had a lot to review. We have a lot of different applications with a lot of different checks. It was more of an in-house project of processes and procedures. We took advantage of the new Centreon to clean up everything and do it right.

What about the implementation team?

We have the skills. We had a consultant from Centreon come in - that was part of the contract - for three days, and he showed us some tricks, some best practices, and answered some questions.

Specifically for us, because we knew what we were doing, I don't really think we got a lot of value from the consultant. But I can tell you, if someone has no clue what's going on with Centreon, the consultant would be very helpful.

What was our ROI?

If we're looking at Centreon and how we managed to integrate it with ServiceNow, if we needed to buy another monitoring tool, that would probably be a cost of $20,000 or $30,000 a year. We didn't have to do that. Our escalation rate from our NOC is very low, it's about two percent, so I have to give Centreon some credit.

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

I think Centreon's pricing is fair, especially given the criticality of our system. They were cheaper than the other solutions.  

I understand Centreon is going to North America now. They were smaller when we got it, and the pricing was fair. It took us a while to get in contact with sales, which was a little weird, but once we did and they knew we were serious, the pricing was fair.

The licensing terms were pretty straightforward. I believe it was based on the number of hosts.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

The other solutions we tested give you a unified GUI and a platform, like "Nagios as a Service." They all do basically the same thing.

We also had Opsview, after acquiring a company that used it. We took all their checks and migrated them to Centreon, and then we closed Opsview. It was pretty easy to migrate from it - as long as it's Nagios, it's pretty easy. We had to do fixes here and there, but it was something that took a few dev-man days of work. It was not something that was a complicated project. Doing so, this saved us a lot of money. They were paying more for Opsview vs Centreon for about 10 percent of the service. We had a chance to consolidate to Opsview or Centreon, and it was clear that we should consolidate to Centreon.

What other advice do I have?

Take what you have and challenge it. If you're using another system and you decide to move to Centreon, even if your system is similar, don't put your junk on Centreon or any other tool. Go through your processes, go through the system, see what the system is good at, see what it's not so good at, and try to use plug-ins and best practices. Make sure you do an in-house cleaning first. Don't just dump everything on another system and expect it to work.

We've trained a lot of people on Centreon. It was very easy for everyone. It wasn't something that someone specific had to get used to. When we were looking for different solutions - because we ran out of the support for Centreon - we tested Centreon against a few other solutions, and then we understood the advantage of Centreon, especially the GUI.

We already have a system, ServiceNow that does a lot of the reports and consolidates a lot of the incidents for us. We have to do it in one system and we chose that specific system because a lot of other components are relying on it. But, from our perspective, it gives us exactly what we need. I wouldn't need to over-complicate it.

We have around 70 users who use Centreon in one way or another. Ten to 12 are using it daily, one of their main tasks is to go through it. The rest are on-call, escalation. They would go on Centreon, if they get a specific call, to get more information. In terms of their roles, we have the NOC team that uses it, and then we have the Cloud Operations team, which is the second tier of our infrastructure cloud. They use it when they receive escalated incidents. Part of the DevOps team, two or three, uses it to administrate the system. And some of the managers look at it every once in a while to see if there are things that are alerting in a major incident.

Regarding staff for maintaining the solution, it depends. When you have, say, a new product, and you have new service checks and need to connect it to new host templates, that might take some time, but that's a business requirement. When it comes to just maintaining Centreon itself, it's not too much work. It's one of many tools that our DevOps maintain. I don't think they have too much of a headache with it. There are things here and there but it's not something that is very time-consuming.

In terms of how much of the solution we're using, you can always improve it. It's a matter of the time that you have to put into it. Right now, it's giving us enough. We have tried to learn a few things about it. It's a lot work, and we have had to do other things instead. We are happy with the solution, with where we are at the moment. If we had more time we'd seek to improve it, use new features they have. But we haven't had time to work on it. You have to configure it, you have to maintain it, and write processes. That wasn't at the top of our list. We're using Centreon for what we're using it for, and we're using other tools to complete it.

Overall, I would rate Centreon at nine out of ten. They have excellent support, fair pricing for what you get. It's not some sort of machine that does analytics and discovers the servers and these kinds of things. If you want something, arrange a call, talk about it. When they have a new feature they're very excited about it. It's open-source, they're contributing to that and releasing things.

If you're good at something, just stick with it. Don't make any critical changes. If it's working well, don't try to break it, or be something you're not, and reinvent everything. They haven't changed the UI so much, and that's what's good about it. They didn't try to reinvent it or change something. They took what's good about Nagios and added the things that needed to be added.

There's always room for improvement, they're not perfect, that's why I'm not giving them a ten, but they are good. It wasn't just me who decided that we should go on with Centreon. It was myself and three DevOps, and we all came to the same decision, that we should continue with them. Looking back at it, we'd probably do the same. It's just what we need. I just hope that in the future they'll be able to adapt in the world of containers, more complicated monitoring.

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
NH
CEO at Gestion TI
User
Predetermined templates allow for the configuration of service monitoring. This solution lacks service monitoring in the cloud

What is our primary use case?

Within our technological infrastructure and Communications Management service, it is vital to use this tool to determine the status of each managed element in a simple way.

How has it helped my organization?

It has allowed us to review the status of IT elements and has generated alerts to ensure continuity of service.

What is most valuable?

Predetermined templates, which allow for simple and fast service monitoring configuration. E-mail alert notifications

What needs improvement?

Lacks service monitoring in the cloud. Necessary to improve service monitoring of database services in the free version.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What is our primary use case?

Within our technological infrastructure and Communications Management service, it is vital to use this tool to determine the status of each managed element in a simple way.

How has it helped my organization?

It has allowed us to review the status of IT elements and has generated alerts to ensure continuity of service.

What is most valuable?

  • Predetermined templates, which allow for simple and fast service monitoring configuration.
  • E-mail alert notifications

What needs improvement?

  • Lacks service monitoring in the cloud.
  • Necessary to improve service monitoring of database services in the free version.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
RB
IT Project Owner
Real User
We can monitor a lot of ELP and CLN in real-time for application purposes

Pros and Cons

  • "We have all our tickets inside Centreon in real-time and can monitor a lot of ELP and CLN in real-time for application purposes."
  • "To get it started is a lot of work, since it comes empty. We had to push information into it to make it work."

What is our primary use case?

We monitor all our technical infrastructure and tickets in the ITSM tool. We have all our tickets inside Centreon in real-time and can monitor a lot of ELP and CLN in real-time for application purposes.

How has it helped my organization?

My director receives a report on the infrastructure every month.

What is most valuable?

The monitoring of our infrastructure, but it is very important to have a BI report because we must monetize everything. The monitoring is good, but we must also have a bigger view of the infrastructure. So, the BI report is very important.

What needs improvement?

The map allows you to see the whole infrastructure. While it is a good solution, it could possible to be better, because the put on shield is incredible.

In the future, we must be able to see the map in 3D, like on Google Earth, because infrastructure is on the site this way. Sites have many flaws. The map must be in 3D to show localisation.

We supervise and monitor a lot of ELP in my company. Centreon should develop a trading pack with ELP and ECP.

For how long have I used the solution?

Three to five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is very stable. I have experienced one issue in six months. I do not have an issue with the product.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have not had any issues with scalability.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have an autonomous platform. Therefore, when we have an issue, we receive an expert because the issue is very important.

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

We are a big company and did not have a worldwide monitoring solution before Centreon. All we had were several countries using monitoring tools which were inefficient, e.g., Zabbix in China and Thailand. 

How was the initial setup?

To use Centreon is easy. 

To get it started is a lot of work, since it comes empty. We had to push information into it to make it work.

What about the implementation team?

We had a trained administrator in Centreon (with certification).

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

The pricing is acceptable.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We did not evaluate another solution.

What other advice do I have?

When you buy Centreon, you must understand that it is empty. Do not ask it to do your job. Centreon is a solution, and it is very good and efficient if you put all your infrastructure inside. A lot of enterprises buy Centreon and are surprised that it is empty, or it does not work. 

It does not work, because they have not put anything inside to monitor. Therefore, it is very important to explain the buying and usage of Centreon to future customers. 

You must work to use Centreon. This is very important.

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
Fabien Hochstrasser
Operation Team Engineering with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
We have a single GUI where we can view the status of all our infrastructure

Pros and Cons

  • "We have a single GUI where we can view the status of all our infrastructure."
  • "Sometimes, when the GUI and some of the search fields are being reset, and I return to the page, then I have to set them again. Therefore, some improvement on the UI and the filtering is needed."

What is our primary use case?

Our primary purpose for Centreon is monitoring. We use it to view the status of all our pollers, manage them, and configure them. We manage around 30 Centreon pollers. 

Our team is operating multiple security services (digital signatures, 2FA, secure storage, etc.). We are taking care of everything (hardware, network, hypervisors, VMs, OS, applications, security patches, backup, etc.). Centreon is used to monitor the health of each component and alert us in case of failure. It gives us an overview of our infrastructure health and provides real-time feedback when doing changes.

How has it helped my organization?

It allows us to keep the same standard monitoring configuration on all the systems that we manage (checks, polling interval, thresholds, etc.). It also allow us to see the status of our different platforms on a single page.

What is most valuable?

We have a single GUI where we can view the status of all our infrastructure.

What needs improvement?

Sometimes, when the GUI and some of the search fields are being reset, and I return to the page, then I have to set them again. Therefore, some improvement on the UI and the filtering is needed.

There are a few bugs or annoying things on the GUI. However, the features are all here for what we need.

For how long have I used the solution?

Three to five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It has been stable, so far.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

There are no issues that I know of at the moment.

We did have scalability issues with an older version, but now on the newer version, there are no problems. We even have more pollers than before and everything looks good.

How are customer service and technical support?

They only sell four hour slots for support, so if you have just one question, then you need to pay for four hours. Or, you need to wait until you have enough questions to fill those four hours. They are not flexible in this. 

On the quality of the responses, the last error reported went something like, "We will open any issue on GitHub." However, then my colleague looked at the backlog, and there were hundreds of issues pending. Here there is room for improvement.

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

We did not have a previous solution. Centreon solved one of the biggest issues that we had. We have a lot of pollers for the metering. In the past, we had to log into each of them to see the status, which was really a pain because did not have a central metering before.

How was the initial setup?

We just installed the standard packages, then the rest was done via the GUI. So, it was good.

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

I have no idea how much it costs.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I don't know the other solutions which were evaluated, but I know that there was an evaluation. As the evaluation was done before our team chose to use Centreon, I was not involved. Therefore, I can't speak much about the decision other than we knew that Centreon would be able to do what we needed it to do.

What other advice do I have?

If they have the same issues that we had, which means a lot of pollers spread across the whole infrastructure and no central view to look at the entire status with the need to manage everything together, then it is a good solution. For this use case, I would highly recommend it. 

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
Stephen  Davies
Chief Technology Officer at a comms service provider with 51-200 employees
Real User
Improved our awareness of how well our network is running and of network faults

Pros and Cons

  • "Valuable features include the ability to schedule downtime, intensity or depth of monitoring which it does, different plugin packs, Centreon MAP, Centreon BI."
  • "I went through a few things with them to do with Centreon MAP, to do with active polygons, being able to draw an area and make that active. The functionality was in the older version of Centreon MAP and in the new version, which was a complete rewrite, they dropped it."

What is our primary use case?

Monitoring our telecommunications network.

How has it helped my organization?

It has improved our awareness of how well our network is running and of network faults within our infrastructure.

What is most valuable?

All of it is valuable: 

  • ability to schedule downtime
  • intensity or depth of monitoring which it does
  • different plugin packs
  • Centreon MAP
  • Centreon BI.

What needs improvement?

I went through a few things with them to do with Centreon MAP, to do with active polygons, being able to draw an area and make that active. The functionality was in the older version of Centreon MAP and in the new version, which was a complete rewrite, they dropped it.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's very stable. I have never had any issues with the product.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's absolutely scalable. We're monitoring 1200 hosts from a single server, and you can have multiple pollers. We've just implemented five pollers across our different states in Australia. We're just pushing out the configuration to those pollers.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have only required technical support for Centreon MAP. Generally, because I've used Centreon for a long time, it's fairly intuitive in my opinion. For the infrequent help we have requested, they're good at providing assistance.

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

Since I've been at Opticomm, we've always used Centreon. Prior to that, I've used a number of different management platforms. I'm a Netcool certified engineer so I've used Netcool, I've used HPE OpenView, Network Node Manager. I've used a couple of other platforms. I've obviously used Nagios. The main reason why I switched to Centreon was the graphical interface.

How was the initial setup?

The setup was very simple. It's pretty much all automated.

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

Excellent value.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We looked at:

What other advice do I have?

Clearly understand what you want to be able to monitor. Clearly understand what alarms, what things you actually wish to monitor, before you start implementing. There are so many options for configuration and optimization that you really need to be able to map it out beforehand. Design and put down what you want to achieve. Don't just jump in and start adding things.

It's a great product, it's very flexible. There is a lot of customization you can do with the product. It has numerous add-ons that can enhance the functionality of the product.

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
VM
Global IT Operations Manager
Real User
Provides early alerting of problems within our IT infrastructure

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable feature is the monitoring of servers and networks, because we have a lot of them and need to maintain control."
  • "Release management and quality of testing need improvement, because with each major upgrade we have many issues coming in. Then, it takes several minor upgrades to get rid of them."

What is our primary use case?

The primary use case is for a central monitoring system for all our IT equipment. We can predict problems and react before we have an issue on our infrastructure. We managed to merge all our technical monitoring into a single console, therefore building good availability reporting all around.

How has it helped my organization?

We have early alerting of problems within our IT infrastructure.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the monitoring of servers and networks, because we have a lot of them and need to maintain control.

What needs improvement?

Release management and quality of testing need improvement, because with each major upgrade we have many issues coming in. Then, it takes several minor upgrades to get rid of them.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There have been stability issues. After each major release, it takes several minor releases to get rid of bugs.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No scalability issues.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is working fine. They react quickly and are able to solve issues over a remote connection. For more complex tasks, we use prepaid support days and ask Centreon to come onsite.

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

We did not previously have another solution.

How was the initial setup?

Each major upgrade is complex due to bugs.

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

Centreon is an open source product. Thus, there is no need for licensing.

Buy some support days from Centreon and work together with them.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluate other possibilities from time to time. Mostly, they are overpriced for what they do.

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
Kadri Kalpus
Monitoring expert
Real User
Supports active monitoring, we don't have to use traps; we can see problems before our customers do

Pros and Cons

  • "It supports active monitoring so we don't have to use traps. From time to time traps are not very useful because we never know if they are actually working or not. The reporting part is also valuable as are the event logs. Using them we can check right away if something has had a hiccup."
  • "The downtimes feature is helpful. If the ISP is doing some maintenance on its network, we have the option to put downtime on the devices or the services, so we won't get any false alarms."
  • "Improvements I would like to see include a discovery solution, better reports, and end-to-end monitoring."

What is our primary use case?

We have a lot of customers, we manage their LANs, firewalls, and other devices - mainly network devices - and we also monitor them. If we get an alarm we can see right away what is going on and log in to those devices to check what is going on.

How has it helped my organization?

We can proactively see what is going on in the network, so most of the time we notice problems before our customers do. This is the main reason we are using this kind of solution and monitoring, to be sure that we see the problems before the customers.

What is most valuable?

It supports active monitoring so we don't have to use traps. From time to time traps are not very useful because we never know if they are actually working or not. The reporting part is also valuable as are the event logs. Using them we can check right away if something has had a hiccup.

Also, the downtimes feature where, for example, if the ISP is doing some maintenance on its network, we have the option to put downtime on the devices or the services, so we won't get any false alarms.

What needs improvement?

Improvements I would like to see include 

  • a discovery solution
  • better reports
  • end-to-end monitoring.

The latter is the number one feature that we are looking for. Right now, a lot of other monitoring providers already have a good end-to-end monitoring solution, but unfortunately, Centreon doesn't have it yet. So that is one thing we are very much missing.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's stable. Every product has its pluses and minuses, but it's usually working pretty well. If you configure everything exactly as they tell you in the documentation then it works very well.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We haven't had any issues with scalability.

How are customer service and technical support?

As we are using their Enterprise version, we submit as many tickets as we want. Lately, we have submitted quite a lot of them because we want to make this product even better. We have had some questions and some ideas that we wanted to share with them and test with them. So I have used their support a lot and they are always very helpful.

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

I haven't had any experience with other solutions and I don't even know how our company dealt with these kinds of issues prior to this solution. When I came to this company eight years ago, we took this solution with the first managed customers, so we grew with the solution and with the monitoring.

How was the initial setup?

It quite easy to set up. In the past, usually our admins would do it, but lately I have tried to do it myself, and I would say it's quite easy to put up.

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

It's quite expensive when you use the Enterprise version, but if you compare it to other providers, it's more like a middle-of-the-line product. It's always good to have a price that is lower, but I would say the price is okay because we get very good support and if we have any other issues we can always contact them. There has never been a time when I didn't get help from them, so I would say the price is quite okay.

In terms of licensing, you have to think through if the components that need licensing are really needed. For example, the Map module: If you don't need a map to be shown, I don't see a point in paying for those licenses, if you just use it a couple of times a month or a couple of times a week. Think through what your needs are and whether those needs really require that kind of advanced solution where you need to pay for licenses. You can use the Centreon free version and get the main features. The licensing part is, I would say, only for bigger customers who have the option to pay more and who really need those kinds of modules, fancy reports, etc.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

If I remember it correctly, there weren't any better solutions, at least not eight years ago.

During the last couple of years we have tried other solutions but none of them have had the features that we like.

What other advice do I have?

If you put it up, be sure to use Centreon's documentation because if you don't use it you will run into problems. 

Otherwise, I would recommend it because it's quite easy to set up, it's easy to use, their documentation is quite okay. At first, the documentation was very bad, but in recent years it has gotten better, much better. Set it up, test it and try it and you will see that it is the product that you want to work with.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.