Nagios Core Overview

Nagios Core is the #15 ranked solution in our list of Infrastructure Monitoring tools. It is most often compared to Zabbix: Nagios Core vs Zabbix

What is Nagios Core?

This is IT infrastructure monitoring's industry-standard, open-source core. Free without professional support services.

Nagios Core Buyer's Guide

Download the Nagios Core Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: April 2021

Nagios Core Customers
Airbnb, Cisco, PayPal, FanDuel
Nagios Core Video

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Corporate Infrastructure Manager with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
This is the open source product, so it's a toolkit rather than a complete solution

What is our primary use case?

Monitoring the critical services and network environment for a large multi-site company.  It is also used for troubleshooting issues and capacity planning.

How has it helped my organization?

Nagios allows IT staff and end-users to see the status of critical services on the network. It also can alert and notify selected users if critical services fail, reducing the mean time to recover.

What is most valuable?

Availability of additional plugins like SNMP for instant alerts and PNP4Nagios for graphs make this a powerful solution.

What needs improvement?

This is the open source product, so it's a toolkit rather than a complete solution. See Nagios XI for a more complete version. 

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.
Senior Systems Architect at Rezgateway
Real User
It prevents disasters long before they can take place

What is our primary use case?

We use Nagios to monitor hundreds of CentOS cloud servers (and a few Legacy Windows servers). Nagios is monitoring well over 5000 service endpoints. Some plugins were handwritten in PHP, Perl, Python, Java and Bash.

Pros and Cons

  • "It has made the life of the network operations staff more proactive in managing the resources of the infrastructure. It prevents disasters long before they can take place."
  • "It is a bit slow due to latency."

What other advice do I have?

There are thousands upon thousands of plugins. This is a winning product. Nothing can match the plugins, even I have contributed about six plugins.
Learn what your peers think about Nagios Core. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: April 2021.
501,151 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Strategic Staffing Solutions at a retailer with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Monitors our entire production environment, alerts us to any issues that may occur

What is our primary use case?

It's monitoring all of our production environment and alerting us to any issues that might pop up.

Pros and Cons

  • "Key features include the GUI interface, its notification capabilities, and the real-time reporting."
  • "Making it a little easier to configure and set up from the start would help. There are multiple layers that you have to wade through to be able to set it up, to do it the right way, and to get it to do what you want it to do."

What other advice do I have?

We have the ability right now to see and create reports to tell whether or not we're meeting our SLAs on our production servers, through it. That is something that we wrote and implemented as a plug-in. I would rate this solution a nine out of 10 because it's relatively easy to implement and the cost is great, it's free. My advice would be, save yourself a lot of time - go get it and install it.
Network and System Engineer at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Consultant
The poller is really good, I can easily implement new stuff and it is scalable.

What other advice do I have?

There is a large Nagios community for new sensors, etc.
Sr. System Administrator at Guj Info Petro Ltd
Real User
Top 20
Its code is lightweight and it has easy-to-manage plug-ins.
LAN/Wlan Administrator at a construction company
Vendor
It allows you to write your own plugin if you have no alternatives and you need to have things under control.

What other advice do I have?

Take your time to understand how it works. Then start monitoring a small number of assets in your department and then add some device/server every day. It takes some time to tune all your checks. Once done you'll have almost everything under control. I even managed to adapt some plugins to suit my needs. Nagios is a good choice for network monitoring. It's up to you decide if you need assistance of skilled people or try it by yourself. I was curious about Linux and Nagios was a good reason to start working with it.
Manager - Service Management ( Event & Capacity ) with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
It is stable and fit for purpose. Setup is bit complicated due to the large set of libraries it needs.

What other advice do I have?

This is a fit for purpose product which means that if you have a definite list of requirements and are not willing, or unable, to spend money on big enterprise tools, then Nagios is a tool to go to. Also, any changes to the customization means that you need to have the skill sets internally within the organisation to effectively use it. Otherwise it's a great open source product.
System Administrator at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Consultant
We like the automatic alerting functions. Also, there are a lot of free monitoring modules available.

What other advice do I have?

The free version is good enough for most people, but it is somewhat hard to make it a working solution.
Site Reliability Engineer at a tech company with 10,001+ employees
Vendor
The integrations with other tools has improved our monitoring.

What is most valuable?

Gathering data from various machines easily without worrying about the underlying OS or technology.

How has it helped my organization?

We can get real time statistics of our servers which improves our monitoring. The integration of Nagios with other tools makes our monitoring way better than what we previously had in place.

What needs improvement?

It would be nice if it was hosted in cloud. Also, they need to improve the graphs.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using it for four years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

We have had no issues with the deployment.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There have been no performance issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Graduate Linux System Administrator at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Consultant
It has helped the companies I've worked with to achieve an acceptable level of monitoring. It does not work in a distributed fashion.

What other advice do I have?

Don't use it. If Nagios is what you already have, you can try keep using it. If you're starting from scratch, there are products that scale better and perform better, and they use the same plugin syntax as they were initially Nagios forks.
IT Coordinator at a tech services company
Consultant
I can see trends over time and it gives me perspective of what needs to be improved and we are able to work proactively as opposed to reactively.

What other advice do I have?

It's well worth it to ensure your up time and to catch the bigger issues.
Labs infrastructure & technology team leader at a comms service provider with self employed
Vendor
It alerts us before our customer is even aware of an issue and we can always fix it before they notice it.

What other advice do I have?

Use the Nagios community, and go for the basic product. Design your system configuration before installing the product.
Senior DevOps Engineer at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
MSP
It's able to automatically monitor any new server added to the organization.

Valuable Features:

The Auto Inventory is valuable.

Improvements to My Organization:

Automatic monitoring of any new server added to the organization.

Room for Improvement:

A better UI for graphing would make it better. The present graphs are not very friendly and good to see. 

Use of Solution:

I've been using it for two years.

Deployment Issues:

I needed to add a tweak to make the monitoring work. 

Stability Issues:

There have been no issues with the stability.

Scalability Issues:

We have had no scaling issues.

Initial Setup:

It was a little complex.

Implementation Team:

I implemented it all by myself. 

Cost and Licensing Advice:

Its free. I have not used the Enterprise version. 

Other Solutions Considered:

I evaluated Zabbix, but found Nagios…
Client Engineer at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
Consultant
The first most valuable feature are the notifications that can be customized and even received via WhatsApp.

What other advice do I have?

The product is robust and reliable. The notifications can be customized so that I can even configure it to send the notifications via WhatsApp! Last but not least, the reporting feature is very easy to understand, which is good when presenting to my boss.
IT Administrator at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Consultant
When any part of the system went down, it would inform us right away with alerts. In most cases, we were able to find the problem before the client did.

What other advice do I have?

You should really try Nagios. It will help a lot and I have found that it is the best buddy for system admins.
Vice President - Operations & Client Support at Scicom Infrastructure Services
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
The dashboarding and heads up display is practical and useful. Dashboards and HUDS could use a facelift to be more in line with next generation monitoring tools.

What other advice do I have?

To really maximize the power of Nagios, you need an SME (but true if anything in IT).
Constructor of the computer systems at a security firm with 51-200 employees
Vendor
When compared to earlier versions, it looks like 4.x has lost the statusmap.cgi module.

What other advice do I have?

As a rule, any device upon delivery is obsolete. Pick up the solution for your business, based on your specific needs.
IT Support Technician
Vendor
It works. What more did you want?

What other advice do I have?

Nagios Core is a great solution for monitoring pretty much any size of deployment but you do need to know your way around a Linux system to set it up and run it. The skills you need include knowing the Apache setup on your chosen distro, configuring and compiling GCC tarballs and some idea about configuration syntax. Adding NagiosQL makes it simpler but that also needs some fettling to get it to work reliably. It also helps to be good with Windows administration though chances are that if you are looking at this sort of thing, you may be aware of that. Nagios does not detect systems out of the…
Head of Development at a financial services firm with 501-1,000 employees
Vendor
Zabbix vs Nagios comparison
For years, I was using Nagios for server monitoring, but now I'm in the process of switching to Zabbix. I also use a third, much simpler system to monitor the main monitoring system. Here is a practical comparison of Nagios vs Zabbix: Zabbix Nagios Pros: Zabbix monitors all main protocols (HTTP, FTP, SSH, SMTP, POP3, SMTP, SNMP, MySQL, etc) Alerts in e-mail and/or SMS Very good web interface Native agent available on Windows, OS X, Linux, FreeBSD, etc Multi-step web application monitoring (content, latency, speed) Pros: Nagios monitors all main protocols (HTTP, FTP, SSH, SMTP, POP3, SMTP, SNMP, MySQL, etc) Alerts in e-mail and/or SMS Multiple alert levels: ERROR, WARNING, OK "Flapping" detection Automatic topography display Completely stand-alone,…
Engineer at a manufacturing company with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
Nagios vs. SolarWinds - two completely different playing fields
I have setup a Nagios server from scratch as well as worked with Solarwinds pretty extensively. From my perspective they are on two completely different playing fields. Nagios definitely has its place, it's free... and it works well in a smaller environment. Solarwinds is expensive but it is a lot more robust than Nagios. Solarwinds does require you to install "Modules" in order to have in depth application monitoring, etc... Then again, so does Nagios... but you have to pay an arm and a leg for Solarwinds. So depending on how big your environment is, you'll have to evaluate if the cost is worth it. Nagios, you'll spend your money you save on time to set it up. It takes a lot of time and determination to understand its inner-workings. Solarwinds is a lot more…
Consultant at a tech consulting company with 51-200 employees
Consultant
Everyone ends up using Nagios or a derivative just because everyone else does
Everyone ends up using nagios or a derivative just because... well everyone else does. The size of your org really matters a lot with what you are doing here as Zabbix might fit you right or not at all. Lately I've been setting up nagios with a graphite back end for people. Then taking advantage of writing your own plugins for nagios to send data to both systems. You can throw a lot of data at graphite and make some super pretty graphs if that is what you are after. For example imagine having all the contents of a vmstat/iostat every X seconds... for ALL your servers that can be queried with less than a minute latency. You can do that with nagios+graphite+yourownfixins. ... and then you show Dev how easy it is to log data into carbon/graphite and become a super…
Senior Manager of Network at a tech company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
Popular, cost effective, versatile Open Source NMS tool that requires some amount of exploration and effort by net admi
Popular, cost effective, versatile Open Source NMS tool that requires some amount of exploration and effort by network admin Nagios Overview Nagios is a free Open source network monitoring system. It monitors Router, Switches, Servers, websites etc… for flaps and service interruption and bandwidth monitoring Via SNMP. Different color code can be used for easily identify the link state. Nagios can be used for monitoring small (Few nods network) to very big enterprise network. Nagios is very stable and has an ample of plugins available for added Monitoring capability. Nagios Core is free basic application, plugins are used to extend Core capability. Plugin are either compiled binaries written in languages such as C , C++ or executable script such as Pearl, Shell , PHP python and…
Head of Data Center at a university with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
Nagios is a great network and equipment monitoring system. Installing and configuring it from source is not easy but there are prepackaged bundles that can get you started with Nagios in a jiffy.

What other advice do I have?

Though the core nagios system is still very challenging to install, a lot of bundled installers with very good GUI's for configuring nagios now exists. Instead of doing everything manually from the command line, you can just grab one of these packaged forks and get started with nagios in as little as 10 minutes.
Operations Expert at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Consultant
Large ecosystem of tools, but default interface is clunky and slow.