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Nagios XI OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

Nagios XI is the #6 ranked solution in our list of top Server Monitoring tools. It is most often compared to Zabbix: Nagios XI vs Zabbix

What is Nagios XI?

Nagios XI provides monitoring of all mission-critical infrastructure components including applications, services, operating systems, network protocols, systems metrics, and network infrastructure. Hundreds of third-party addons provide for monitoring of virtually all in-house and external applications, services, and systems.

Nagios XI Buyer's Guide

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

Nagios XI Customers

Nagios has over one million users globally, including AOL, DHL, McAfee, MCI, MTV, Yahoo!, Universal, Toshiba, Sony, Siemens, and JPMorgan Chase.

Nagios XI Video

Archived Nagios XI Reviews (more than two years old)

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AM
R&D Support & Monitoring, IT Production at a tech vendor with 51-200 employees
Real User
Enables us to monitor servers but the visibility needs improvement

Pros and Cons

  • "The features I've found the most useful are the plug-ins, the fact that you can connect almost everything to it. That's very useful."
  • "There's room for improvement in the visibility, and in the ability to extract information. Stuff like this should be more simple."

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use this solution to monitor servers and services.

What is most valuable?

The features I've found the most useful are the plug-ins, the fact that you can connect almost everything to it. That's very useful.

What needs improvement?

There's room for improvement in the visibility, and in the ability to extract information. Stuff like this should be more simple. Going over the data and the information is complicated at the moment. The management of the commands is also a little complicated.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for about half a year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's stable.

How are customer service and technical support?

I haven't had any experience with technical support.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward.

What other advice do I have?

In regards to the interface, obviously it can always get even better but at the moment it's functional. It's a good tool. It's very easy to use, very straightforward, and I would recommend it. I would rate this solution a seven out of 10. I like it but of course, it could be better. The product detail should look better, and again, being able to find information on the search is not good enough. I think to change that would improve it very much.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
KL
Head of IT, Projects and Organization at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Collects large amounts of data to monitor our network, switches, and firewall

Pros and Cons

  • "An excellent solution that is easy and intuitive to implement."
  • "They need more documentation for the plugins."

What is our primary use case?

We use the solution in order to collect large amounts of data to monitor our network, switches, and firewall.

How has it helped my organization?

It provides an easy and powerful solution to network monitoring so I can pay attention to other concerns.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the setup wizard. The wizard just asks you for simple details and automatically starts collecting logs. It will give you some hints to configure your login on remote devices.

What needs improvement?

For enterprise users, the product would be better if it came with dedicated plugins. It has an online store for plugins and additional features, but most of the plugins we have are mostly open source. These open source plugins do not have a lot of documentation. We have to try to figure out how to use them on our own. They have good documentation for their own products and because of that, we have details to easily use their product as they have a guide. There is no documentation on the plugin site. They need more documentation for the plugins.

Besides that, there's nothing more that I would add as the product covers my current needs. Maybe I would like a lower price. That is maybe a problem they could fix.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using the product for two years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have absolutely no problem with the stability of the solution. I have no problem with the system or the setup. I want to do more to master the system and harness its capability, but that is my limitation.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is very good but is very expensive. It is becoming more and more expensive just like the upgrade. The incredibly high prices are a very bad move on their part. I know everything is got to go up but this seems too much at a time. They also have some requirements for the support licensing that is very complicated. You have to have a password and you pay for a limited number of calls. For the price they are selling it, It should be okay to call them anytime.

How was the initial setup?

The setup was very straightforward. We did not have to create a complicated strategy. We just installed the server and add the devices that were most urgent for me to monitor. I just added the devices and it was as simple as that.

What about the implementation team?

We implemented it on our own in a very short period of time.

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

The license and support are very expensive. You pay separately for each and the licensing is a little complicated. With a company like Cisco which may be expensive, the support is included. This product costs more than even Cisco. The support is not as easy to contact.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

It is hard not to consider other solutions now because of the advice of other CIOs and their experience with open source products that save them a lot of money. It may not always save time because they can be more difficult to use. That can be a trade-off.

What other advice do I have?

The price of the licensing is very high, even for a big company. There are good open source products in the market that we could use for free and other companies I know are using them because of the price. Mostly because of the price of the product and the cost of tech support, I would rate this an eight out of ten. The product itself is very good.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Learn what your peers think about Nagios XI. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: October 2021.
541,708 professionals have used our research since 2012.
SR
Network Engineer at a tech services company
Real User
Provides for better network visibility and identification of connection problems

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable feature is its support for different types of devices, where it can use all of the equipment that you need."
  • "I would like to see more customization in the network map because it is a bit tricky to use it."

What is our primary use case?

We use this solution for the monitoring of network devices in multiple areas. I use this solution on a daily basis, and the first thing that I do when I go into the workplace each morning is to check on all of the equipment.

How has it helped my organization?

This solution has improved our ability to determine the source of a connection failure in our network. Prior to using Nagios XI, we did not know whether the drop in service was a result of our system, or whether it was the fault of our service provider. Now, we are able to monitor the service provider's router and make that determination.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is its support for different types of devices, where it can use all of the equipment that you need. You can find and change your speed in the network topology, and if something goes down then it will be noticed immediately.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see more customization in the network map because it is a bit tricky to use it.

First, when you click on one of the devices on the map, it shows you information about the equipment. Sometimes, there is information that I do not want to show. I would instead like to choose what is shown.

Next, I would like to have the ability to show only a subset of equipment on the network map. When you view it, all of the equipment that you have is there, every time. Sometimes, I would like to choose just a group of devices to view.

For how long have I used the solution?

Four months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This is a stable solution. On a scale of one to ten, I would rate the stability a nine.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is perfect. I can add as much equipment as I like.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have not needed to contact technical support. Everything installed easily and it works fine.

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

We did not use another solution prior to this one.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is very straightforward.

The deployment took approximately one hour. The difficult part is configuring the equipment, such as setting up the IP addresses. Because I have more than fifty devices, it took me some time. The task is simple, albeit repetitive.

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

The licensing fees for this solution are approximately $3,000 USD per year.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

When I was researching solutions I read about Nagios XI, and it was rated as one of the best solutions. I tried it and I liked it, which is why it was selected.

What other advice do I have?

I would rate this solution an eight out of ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
DP
NOC Manager/Network Administrator at a tech vendor with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 5
Has a single screen that provides a summary for hundreds of servers, but the user interface needs improvement

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable feature is the dashboard, where I can have a single screen that provides a summary for hundreds of servers."
  • "I would like a much easier GUI so that I can delete events and logs, which will free up a lot of space."

What is our primary use case?

This solution is being used to monitor hundreds of servers at startup. It checks disk usage, services, memory usage, and more.  

How has it helped my organization?

It has improved the task of network monitoring.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the dashboard, where I can have a single screen that provides a summary for hundreds of servers. I get red and green indicators that help me to quickly check for and rectify problems.

What needs improvement?

When you monitor a lot of things it creates a lot of events and logs. I would like a much easier GUI so that I can delete events and logs, which will free up a lot of space. I would also like a better GUI for dashboard viewing.

A better interface would allow this solution to be used as a single point of monitoring.

When the database is in need of repair, perhaps due to corruption caused by an improper shutdown, then it should happen automatically, rather than having to run a command.

For how long have I used the solution?

Between seven and eight years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability of this solution is quite good.

If the machine crashes and it goes down, without properly shutting down the virtual machine, then I get an error that requires the database to be repaired.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

There are four or five people that browse the dashboard.

How are customer service and technical support?

I dealt with technical support for a few months, but because I do not have a support contract I have not used it in several years. A support contract can be purchased separately.

If problems arise then you are able to fix things on your own. If you can't, then just leave it.

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

I am also using KS-Soft Advanced HostMonitor, but only for monitoring the up or down status of the machines. It has a much better icon view of the dashboard. When our customer wants to look at their data center and see the status of all branches and all servers, it shows a much better, color-coded graphical form. I am in the process of purchasing additional licenses for HostMonitor so that I can have multiple dashboards running from a single machine.

I did not switch solutions, but I am always open to products that offer a better user interface.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup for this solution is quite easy. I am running it on a VM platform.

The deployment happens over time as the environment changes, but the initial deployment took one or two days. For the server to monitor, you just have to set the SNMP and add it onto the Nagios platform. As more servers are added, you add them to the platform.

What about the implementation team?

We took care of the implementation in-house. One person is sufficient for deployment and maintenance.

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

This solution is very expensive, at approximately $5,000 USD when I purchased it, which is why I haven't upgraded my version in several years.

What other advice do I have?

I am using the original version of the software that I purchased because I do not have a support contract. This means that I have not received support or updates in several years.

While this solution works, I think that it can be improved in terms of maintenance, support, and price.

I would rate this solution a six out of ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Hattab Mahdi
IT Project Manager at unpa
Real User
Top 10
Monitors all of the necessary statuses for our servers and provides email notification for errors

Pros and Cons

  • "This is a very good solution and it is simple to use, for any company."
  • "I would like to see support for notification via SMS."

What is our primary use case?

We use this solution for monitoring the status of our hard drives, as well as bandwidth utilization. Essentially, we monitor all of the necessary statuses for our servers.

What is most valuable?

This solution is very good for monitoring infrastructure. It is simply to use, and you can receive notifications by email.

What needs improvement?

This solution would be improved with the inclusion of additional services. Monitoring streaming services is an example of something that is not currently supported, so in order to handle this, I would have to write a script. Scripts like this should be included in the next version of the solution.

I would like to see support for notification via SMS. 

For how long have I used the solution?

Eight years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is very stable, although sometimes we have had problems with the database in cases where we had a large number of roles and services. There have been cases of database corruption that had to be repaired.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is very good, and I have no problem with it. The configuration is such that you can add hosts or monitoring services very easily.

We have four security administrators who use this system.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have not needed to contact technical support. There are webinars and other information available that I have made use of. If you have a problem then you can copy and paste the error into a search engine and find the solution easily.

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

I have used other solutions from vendors such as McAfee, but Nagios XI is the best solution when compared with others.

How was the initial setup?

I feel that the initial setup is difficult for a beginner. You must be skilled at using the Linux operating system to install and start up the solution.

What about the implementation team?

I performed the installation myself, learning about it from a webinar that was available online.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I am in the process of testing a large number of solutions, and this is the best one.

What other advice do I have?

This is a very good solution and it is simple to use, for any company. It is also very stable and you can monitor a large number of services with no problem. You can also create many users and have them receive notification by email. It's very good.

I would rate this solution a ten out of ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
MN
IT CIO at Kimfay
Real User
Our pre-production testing and evaluation has gone well, but the installation is hectic

What is our primary use case?

We are planning to use this solution for network server monitoring. We have had training for deployment on our end, but it is not yet in production use.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the monitoring of processes.

What needs improvement?

I think that the process of installing this solution can be improved because it is quite hectic. The interface could be more user-friendly.

For how long have I used the solution?

We are still in pre-production.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I think that stability is quite good. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We are still in the pre-production stage and have only two IT administrators using the solution. There will be six users once it…

What is our primary use case?

We are planning to use this solution for network server monitoring. We have had training for deployment on our end, but it is not yet in production use.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the monitoring of processes.

What needs improvement?

I think that the process of installing this solution can be improved because it is quite hectic.

The interface could be more user-friendly.

For how long have I used the solution?

We are still in pre-production.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I think that stability is quite good. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We are still in the pre-production stage and have only two IT administrators using the solution. There will be six users once it moves to production.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have not been in contact with technical support.

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

We are currently using Zabbix.

How was the initial setup?

The installation of this solution is a bit complex, and it requires that you are running it fully.

One of the issues that we experienced was getting the source to a computer where we could deploy it. That took some time.

What about the implementation team?

We are handling the implementation in-house. There are two of us who took care of the pre-production deployment and will continue with the implementation.

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

We are using the free version of this solution.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We are testing out this solution in addition to Zabbix.

What other advice do I have?

We will soon be moving this solution into production. However, it is a bit complex and difficult for a first-time user.

I would rate this solution a seven out of ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Analyst at Cablevisión Fibertel
Real User
Highly-efficient server performance monitoring engine

What is our primary use case?

For monitoring HFC network from the headend to end-of-line, mainly power supplies (transponders).

How has it helped my organization?

Integrating events and performance data between multi-vendor network elements and management systems.

What is most valuable?

All of them, but mainly:  Highly-efficient server performance monitoring engine Configuration wizards Infrastructure management Configuration snapshot.

What needs improvement?

Developing a tool for KPIs and KQIs WebUI should be improved (visual aspect) and should incorporate non-relational databases.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

What is our primary use case?

For monitoring HFC network from the headend to end-of-line, mainly power supplies (transponders).

How has it helped my organization?

Integrating events and performance data between multi-vendor network elements and management systems.

What is most valuable?

All of them, but mainly: 

  • Highly-efficient server performance monitoring engine
  • Configuration wizards
  • Infrastructure management
  • Configuration snapshot.

What needs improvement?

  • Developing a tool for KPIs and KQIs
  • WebUI should be improved (visual aspect) and should incorporate non-relational databases.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Dario Leon
Director - Consultor Senior Unix/Linux - Freelance at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
Real User
Top 20
The product allows me to monitor a phone with address IP on a desk to very big servers of any company

Pros and Cons

  • "I can monitor a phone on a desk to very big servers of any company."
  • "I can monitor a software made in-house to software of bigger companies."

    What is our primary use case?

    Actors: Administrators of datacenter and relationship: DataCenter, other actors, all the equipments on datacenters, servers, and applications.

    How has it helped my organization?

    With Nagios, I can monitor a phone on a desk to very big servers of any company. Also, I can monitor a software made in-house to software of bigger companies.

    What is most valuable?

    The community, Nagios XI is made on Nagios Core base, and the community makes plugins on almost any language of programming. Nagios is not owned by any brand.

    The second feature is Nagios is very friendly, if you can customize the tool to the specific environment.

    What needs improvement?

    If you want the best security: Log Server is better. If you need in-depth networking, I recommend Network Analyzer. If you want any other implementation of Nagios, the best is Nagios Fusion.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    More than five years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    No.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    You should be careful when you monitor many hardwares with many softwares, the performance of one license could be compromised. You need to manage more than one license if you have an infrastructure which is very large.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    10 out of 10.

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

    Yes, I have used other solutions. I switched to Nagios, because Nagios is not linked with any brand that's independent. This is good because you can monitor any brand of switches, routers, servers, central phones, etc.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial configuration is very easy. The complex is customizing the solution.

    What about the implementation team?

    We are an expert consultant, who implements for customers.

    What was our ROI?

    It's complicated answer this question, but the ROI depends on Datacenter

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

    It is good to contact experts for advice about what is the best solution for your specific infrastructure and enterprise.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    I evaluated Zenoss, Zabbix, SolarWinds, and other solutions.

    What other advice do I have?

    You will need an expert consultant for the best implementation.

    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We have a partnership with Nagios.
    ITCS user
    Distributed Systems Architect at a manufacturing company with 10,001+ employees
    Real User
    The BPI allows defining peripherals to map business criticality for efficient monitoring

    Pros and Cons

    • "BPI: It allows defining peripherals to map business criticality for efficient monitoring, as required."
    • "The product uses the backend as Perl and could be modified to a more lightweight solution like what's being offered by other vendors."

    What is most valuable?

    BPI: It allows defining peripherals to map business criticality for efficient monitoring, as required.

    How has it helped my organization?

    Allows for monitoring of all the different portfolios in an infrastructure, as well as the application/databases.

    What needs improvement?

    The product uses the backend as Perl and could be modified to a more lightweight solution like what's being offered by other vendors.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    Three to four years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    If you are monitoring network devices, often it's not scaled for large corporations. Definitely, a minus in that area.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Not an issue, but more of adding additional nodes to handle a large number of devices.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    It's based on a forum. It allows us to get help from support as well as from other clients who may have knowledge.

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

    Cost was a big factor, but also compatibility of various legacy OSs which still can be managed by Nagios far better than anyone else as an open source.

    How was the initial setup?

    Defining the requirements are always a given until you get a hang of the product, and we were no exception.

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

    Definitely if some of the complexity and shortcomings are addressed, it has great potential for being a market leader. The open source version could be better incorporated with the general convention similar to Fedora going into Red Hat.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    HPE Operations Manager.

    What other advice do I have?

    Plan ahead based on your infrastructure and application as it would apply to all segments.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    Angelo Stefano Porro
    System and Network Administrator at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
    Real User
    It helped me to draw the network and check for system failures

    What is most valuable?

    Network monitoring and topology: Network monitoring and topology are important for my job rules, because I'm a system and network administrator. I need to have information in real-time about the topology of the network and monitoring of the switches, routers, and servers.

    How has it helped my organization?

    Nagios XI helped me to draw the network and check for system failures.

    What needs improvement?

    The Configuration Wizard needs improvement, because not all vendors are present.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    About 1 year.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    No.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    No.

    What is most valuable?

    Network monitoring and topology: Network monitoring and topology are important for my job rules, because I'm a system and network administrator. I need to have information in real-time about the topology of the network and monitoring of the switches, routers, and servers.

    How has it helped my organization?

    Nagios XI helped me to draw the network and check for system failures.

    What needs improvement?

    The Configuration Wizard needs improvement, because not all vendors are present.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    About 1 year.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    No.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    No.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    Mitch Gann
    DevOps Analyst at a retailer with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Real User
    We can maintain 24/7 monitoring, but scalability could be improved.

    Pros and Cons

    • "The ability to set up templates and groups of checks, as well as customize the checks themselves."
    • "Improve the documentation, examples, and best practices, therefore users can understand how to do things."

    What is most valuable?

    • The integration with the alerting software 
    • Automated maintenance windows 
    • The ability to set up templates and groups of checks, as well as customize the checks themselves.

    How has it helped my organization?

    We receive alerts for services and servers experiencing problems throughout the day and night, so we can maintain 24/7 monitoring.

    What needs improvement?

    Improve the documentation, examples, and best practices, therefore users can understand how to do things. Luckily, I had someone teach me the ropes, but to newcomers without someone to train them, it would be very difficult to learn.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    Around two years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Generally, it is very stable platform. Occasionally, we have to restart the monitoring engine, but it is very easy to do.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Adding new servers and passive checks (which require setting up agents and NRDS) on servers are a little difficult to do properly when employees don't understand the process. Since documentation is lacking, it's a matter of trial and error before things work properly. So yes, scalability could be improved.

    What about the implementation team?

    We did not purchase support, therefore building the entire platform in-house. This has probably led to us not using best practices.

    What other advice do I have?

    It's generally good, but lacks documentation.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user738369
    Principal Engineer at a tech vendor with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Vendor
    Saves us a lot of money and allows us to monitor anything we want

    Pros and Cons

    • "Since this is an open source technology, if we are capable of writing the plugins in any scripting language, this product allows us to monitor anything we want."
    • "Nagios XI can improve its GUI for users with a new look."

    What is most valuable?

    Since this is an open source technology, if we are capable of writing the plugins in any scripting language, this product allows us to monitor anything we want.

    How has it helped my organization?

    Since my organization has many companies in the form of customers for handling their infrastructure and application, we used to use the paid tool before. However, the open source technology is the best thing for an organization in today's world. When it comes to monitoring Nagios, it is the first choice in open source tools. We started using the Nagios XI for monitoring and it also has a feature for handling events, which we can use to integrate for creating tickets with any ticketing tool using its API.

    What needs improvement?

    Nagios XI can improve its GUI for users with a new look. Otherwise, we could develop it on our own. This is the reason I think most users don't prefer it, but technically it is a very strong tool.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    Four years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    No. Its new releases come from time to time. Also, if you don't have much expertise, you can opt for its support, but it's a paid service.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    An eight out of 10, because technical support always has room for improvement.

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

    Yes, we used a paid monitoring tool and used to pay a lot of money. Nagios saves a lot of money for the company.

    How was the initial setup?

    Nagios is straightforward and simple. It has very good documentation as well as a very active forum, too.

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

    If you can build a Nagios with add-ons, you can use Nagios without any pricing and licensing. Also Nagios XI does not charge much as compared to other monitoring tools. It is best in terms of pricing, too. I would suggest that if you have expertise, you should go for Nagios and build a Nagios XI type monitoring system without any license or pricing.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    Nope, but I know the other monitoring tools which are paid as well as the open source. I like Nagios in comparison to them.

    What other advice do I have?

    Enjoy Nagios. No need of advice. This is very good product. Just use it and experience it.

    Nagios is the best monitoring tool that I have ever worked on. You will never like it if you compare it with other paid tools based on the graphical interface or any other features. Nagios is the best open source tool. We can create a plugin by ourselves and actually monitor whatever we want.

    Nagios XI is a Nagios, which is flavored with some features and we have to pay for it. If we use Nagios, we can build ourselves the Nagios XI feature on our own using the add-ons.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    ITCS user
    System Administrator at a hospitality company
    Vendor
    Unlimited Insight Into Multiple Infrastructures And You Can Customize It With Basic Scripting Skills

    Pros and Cons

    • "You want to monitor a specific metric that nobody else has? You can do it even with the most basic of scripting skills, and you can always share it with the vast community of Nagios Exchange."
    • "The PNP4Nagios plugin not working easily with XI is an issue for me, because some open source monitoring plugins do not work out of the box. But in the end, you learn to live with it."

    What is most valuable?

    The main characteristic I adore is the open source character of it. You want to monitor a specific metric that nobody else has? You can do it even with the most basic of scripting skills, and you can always share it with the vast community of Nagios Exchange.

    How has it helped my organization?

    Like any monitoring tool, it gave me insight into multiple infrastructures I've been a part of, without any limitation (due to the open-source character that I referred to above).

    What needs improvement?

    It's more what I personally don't like, rather than what areas need improvement. For example, the PNP4Nagios plugin not working easily with XI is an issue for me, because some open source monitoring plugins do not work out of the box. But in the end, you learn to live with it.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've been using Nagios since about 2005. I've seen the development path through the open-source version (and some other forks of it like Icinga and OMD) but for the last four years I've been entirely using the XI branch.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    On older versions I had some minor issues. Currently, to be honest, it is as stable as I could hope for a monitoring tool.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Up to now, the infrastructures I've been a part of were not so large, up to 200 hosts and 1300 services. Even for XI which uses MySQL on the back end, a host with 8GB RAM and four vCPUs is adequate.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    With the open source forks, the community is vast and so is the knowledge around the product. Because of this, even though I have a valid commercial support bundle, I have never had the need to use it.

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

    No, I started with Nagios. I've used other apps also like Microsoft SCOM (which is not very good), Zabbix (which is very decent), Tivoli (which is also not very good), HP OpenView (which is vast and requires almost a duplicate infrastructure to run to its full extent), Icinga (a very good clone), Centreon (haven't used it much but it seems solid enough), but I've always ended up using Nagios.

    How was the initial setup?

    For the latest versions, for me, it is pretty straightforward.

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

    For the cost of the commercial product and support, and taking into account the open source characteristics of it, I believe it is difficult to a better value. Yes, it needs some time to configure and address its issues, but seriously, which monitoring solution does not?

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    Before going to Nagios XI (commercial, meaning with support), because of the relationship my company had with Microsoft, I evaluated also SCOM. As with Nagios, I went through the whole installation and configuration process. Because of my previous knowledge, I directly compared it with Nagios, and the latter won, hands down.

    What other advice do I have?

    Be prepared to put some time into it and research it appropriately. If there is an option for consulting services through the support channel, don't be afraid to use it.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user718452
    Technology Innovator and Entrepreneur at a tech services company
    Consultant
    The Administrative GUI Provides Improved Configuration

    Pros and Cons

    • "Though I downplayed the administrative NCC GUI, this is by far the strongest aspect of the Nagios XI product."
    • "The product could be optimized to improve the administrative user experience via the Nagios Core Configuration (NCC) GUI module."

    What is most valuable?

    Though I downplayed the administrative NCC GUI, this is by far the strongest aspect of the Nagios XI product. In my early days of exposure to Nagios, I was using the Nagios Core product which was configured by manually editing system configuration files and then performing a system configuration verification step. This was a very cumbersome method of configuration of the respective Nagios functions. It was like the old days of software compilers where one would troubleshoot a code set by trial and error, solving source-code issues one error at a time. This was an exacting approach for Nagios system configuration, but very slow.

    How has it helped my organization?

    Nagios XI allows my customer to monitor literally thousands of network and computing endpoints (both hardware and software) in real time, including custom derived SNMP polling and traps. One can even write custom scripts that are embedded as part of the Nagios monitoring footprint.

    What needs improvement?

    The product could be optimized to improve the administrative user experience via the Nagios Core Configuration (NCC) GUI module.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been immersed in this solution for the past eight months.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The NCC does have issues where it locks up or an admin cannot be sure if the system configuration was exact. I end up saving the system configuration from the Nagios XI native MySQL DB storage paradigm to the old Nagios Core flat file paradigm to confirm proper configuration of the Nagios system.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    The new Nagios XI product has been designed from the ground up to support a highly scaleable paradigm.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    In general, tech support is available as needed but it is not inexpensive. Response times are generally within 24 hours, but there are times when this is not the case.

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

    I originally used the Nagios Core solution (first one out of the gate many years ago) which had no GUI for system configuration. One had to manually edit system configuration files to customize the Nagios system for specific functional needs.

    How was the initial setup?

    Configuring the Nagios engine is not a trivial task. Functional components build on top of each other as one defines the system configuration. One has to define the atomic components and then build moiré complex functions on top of those atomic components. This is cumbersome, but it also gives a system designer much flexibility in customizing their own solution.

    Considering I come from the software engineering world, it reminds me of the power of the original C software compiler, where respective language easily enabled one to flip individual bits in a data stream. Today’s software compilers are much more simple and one can build high-level projects much quicker, but they do not provide easy access to low-level “bit-flipping” tricks. This is my opinion of the older Nagios Core product versus the newer Nagios XI product.

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

    I recommend that my customer start at the low end of the cost spectrum to determine if a Nagios solution is a good fit for their organization. That customer can then grow into the higher-priced scale as they learn how to utilize the features for Nagios XI.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    I am familiar with other pricey pay-for network monitoring solutions. The Nagios Core solution is an open source and free product and allows customers to get their feet wet without doling out tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of dollars for a product they may not like. The pay-for solutions provide ample customer support, but if one is willing to pull up a chair and learn the Nagios solution from the ground up, it is well worth the time, versus extensive dollars, investment. And Nagios is highly customizable by the end-user.

    What other advice do I have?

    As I stated above, I would recommend getting one of the Nagios “for Dummies” configuration books (Nagios: Building Enterprise-Grade Monitoring Infrastructures for Systems and Networks (second edition)) and start with the free/open-source Nagios Core product. Once one gains a basic understanding of said solution they can then graduate up to the Nagios XI Enterprise product for a fraction of the cost of other pay-for network monitoring solutions. By taking this approach one learns the basic building blocks of the Nagios paradigm before being immersed in the Nagios XI Enterprise world. Like I stated previously, the time investment up front is well worth the dollar savings in the end.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    HD
    Nagios Technical Expert at a tech vendor with 51-200 employees
    Real User
    The High Availability Feature Keeps Things Very Stable

    Pros and Cons

    • "The Script Module in Nagios is really easy to use and is really cost efficient."
    • "The reporting part should be made simpler. While we can obtain all the reports we need, we always have to create work-arounds to get them."

    What is most valuable?

    The High Availablity feature is the most important. I have not seen Nagios crash during the last three years. The Script Module in Nagios is really easy to use and is really cost efficient.

    How has it helped my organization?

    This solution provides 24/7 monitoring of the IT infrastructure and provides real-time monitoring for the devices, with alerts.

    What needs improvement?

    The reporting part should be made simpler. While we can obtain all the reports we need, we always have to create work-arounds to get them.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have used it for the last three years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The only issue faced is that after 20K services Nagios starts acting weird, due to the amount of checking it does and the amount of data stored in the database.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    No, there is no issue with scalability.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    As I am working from Asia, and Nagios is based in America, we face the issue of time zones. But overall, trouble shooting and support from the Nagios technical team is superb.

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

    I have worked on various tools in past like Spiceworks, Idera, and ManageEngine. We switched to Nagios for lower cost and good performance.

    How was the initial setup?

    The setup is really easy and can be done by any non-technical person as well. Nagios also provides an OVF for ESXi and VMware, which has everything set up; makes life easy.

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

    The pricing is really cost efficient. The licensing is perpetual and can be renewed very easily.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We evaluated ManageEngine, Solar Winds, Idera and Check_MK.

    What other advice do I have?

    The over all performance of the product is superb. Just keep in mind during implementation to keep the hardware strong, according to the environment you are monitoring and based on the check Nagios is going to perform.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    Hattab Mahdi
    IT Project Manager at unpa
    Real User
    Top 10
    Provides SMS and e-mail alerts.

    What is most valuable?

    Alerting with SMS and e-mail Monitoring services on hardware status

    How has it helped my organization?

    It improves the time to resolve incidents and administration of the system.

    What needs improvement?

    Improve the time to resolve incidents. Improve the KPIs for availability.

    What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

    I have been using it since 2010.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    There are stability issues if you have a large number of hosts and services.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    There are scalability issues if you have a large number of hosts and services.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Customer Service: Customer service is good. Technical Support:…

    What is most valuable?

    • Alerting with SMS and e-mail
    • Monitoring services on hardware status

    How has it helped my organization?

    It improves the time to resolve incidents and administration of the system.

    What needs improvement?

    Improve the time to resolve incidents.

    Improve the KPIs for availability.

    What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

    I have been using it since 2010.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    There are stability issues if you have a large number of hosts and services.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    There are scalability issues if you have a large number of hosts and services.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Customer Service:

    Customer service is good.

    Technical Support:

    Technical support is the best.

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

    We did not previously use a different solution.

    How was the initial setup?

    Initial setup is complex.

    What about the implementation team?

    I'm an expert for this solution.

    What was our ROI?

    The ROI is very good.

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

    I'm using the open source version.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    Before choosing this product, I did not evaluate other options.

    What other advice do I have?

    It's the best solution for enterprise PME.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    ITCS user
    Engineer at a tech vendor with 51-200 employees
    Real User
    Only Monitoring Tool You will Need
    Why is OMD a Better Choice than Zabbix or Zenoss I spend about 3 weeks vetting through 20+ open source monitoring solutions and at the end of the process, the choices had boiled down to few major ones - OMD (best combination of open source plug-ins put together for Nagios), Zabbix, and Zenoss. The main components of OMD are Check_MK, PNP4Nagios, Nagvis, and of course Nagios. Among these projects, Check_MK is the core of OMD that makes Nagios easy to configure, easy to scale, and mashed together all the other popular Nagios plug-ins into one unified user interface. Thus the following comparisons are done using Check_MK as the keyword, but I will also cover how other plug-ins makes OMD project stand out from the competitions. Trend Check_MK vs Zabbix vs Zenoss Core Trend…

    Why is OMD a Better Choice than Zabbix or Zenoss

    I spend about 3 weeks vetting through 20+ open source monitoring solutions and at the end of the process, the choices had boiled down to few major ones - OMD (best combination of open source plug-ins put together for Nagios), Zabbix, and Zenoss.

    The main components of OMD are Check_MK, PNP4Nagios, Nagvis, and of course Nagios. Among these projects, Check_MK is the core of OMD that makes Nagios easy to configure, easy to scale, and mashed together all the other popular Nagios plug-ins into one unified user interface. Thus the following comparisons are done using Check_MK as the keyword, but I will also cover how other plug-ins makes OMD project stand out from the competitions.

    Trend

    Check_MK vs Zabbix vs Zenoss Core Trend

    enter image description here
    A quick Google Trend search will tell you that Check_MK is up and rising. Together with the Nagios’s community size, you can certainly find custom monitoring plug-ins created by community members and save yourself time from reinventing the wheel.

    Project Health

    Before you pick any open source tool for enterprise projects, you want to make sure that their code is not stale and the community is vibrant for the years to come. Active community and frequent code updates ensure your questions get answered and fast bug fixes. Free service from Ohloh will give you an overview of those aspects on open source projects. The following comparison charts are created from Ohloh.

    Number of Code Commits Made by Each Project

    enter image description here
    Check_MK is a clear winner in this chart. It tells you that Check_MK is constantly making more improvement than the other 2 projects.

    Number of Contributor of Each Project

    enter image description here
    In this chart, Check_MK’s contributor is increasing and will soon surpass Zabbix. And don’t forget it is standing on giant’s shoulder, the largest monitoring community - Nagios.

    User Reviews

    Don’t just listen to me. Here is one of the blog post that talks about why moving away from Zabbix to Check_MK.

    Moving From Zabbix to Check_MK

    Architecture Design Advantage

    OMD

    What is OMD:
    OMD is a combination of best practices on how Nagios should be setup and integrated. It has incorporated all of the most popular 3rd party Nagios plug-ins in single easy to maintain, easy to install, and easy to upgrade package. Once you have your Linux server running, installing and have your OMD monitoring suite running only takes about 10 minutes with one command.

    Administrators can really save time on not having to compile Nagios, or other plug-ins, trying to integrate and mess with configurations between plug-ins and Nagios. It really is a no-brainer to setup and start with.

    Why use OMD instead of other flavors of Nagios combos, e.g. ?
    Founded July, 2010 by a group of well known Nagios community members and Nagios addon developers
    e.g. NagVis, Check_MK, PNP4Nagios, and others

    Check_MK

    What is Check_MK

    Check_MK is an extension to the Nagios monitoring system that allows creating rule-based configuration using Python and offloading work from the Nagios core to make it scale better, allowing more systems to be monitored from a single Nagios server.

    enter image description here
    There are 2 significant modules that Check_MK uses to improve Nagios performance. One is called Livestatus and the other is called Livecheck.

    Livestatus

    Before Livestatus ☹
    • Monitoring results are stores to a single file status.dat. It becomes a bottleneck on CPU and IO for larger installation.
    • status file status is not realtime, default is to update every 10 seconds.
    • NDOUtils utilize databases for monitoring results (MySQL or PostgreSQL), but still have some severe shortcomings.
    • NDOUtils has complex setup.
    • NDOUtils needs a databases to be administered, a rapidly growing one.
    • NDOUtils eats up significant portion of your CPU resources just to keep the database up to date.
    • Some similar projects that still uses NDOUtils:
    • Regular housekeeping of the database can hang your Nagios for minutes or even an hour once a day.
    After Livestatus ☺
    • Livestatus also uses Nagios Event Broker API like NDO, but it does not actively write out data. Instead, it opens a socket by which data can be retrieved on demand.
    • Livestatus imposes no measurable burden on CPU at all.
    • Livestatus produces zero disk IO when querying status data.
    • No configuration is needed. No database is needed. No administration is necessary.
    • Livestatus scales well to large installation even beyond 50,000 services.
    • Livestatus give you access to Nagios-specific data that is not available to any other methods.

    Livecheck

    Before Nagios 4.0, Even a perfectly tuned system rarely manages to execute more then a few thousand checks per minute.
    What make things worse: while your system is getting larger, the maximum check rate is even getting worse. The more hosts and services your system manages, the less checks per second it will be able to perform. Why?
    Existing Problems of Nagios (before Nagios 4.0) ☹
    • Each new check creates a new fork
    • The new process prepare everything needed to execute the check plug-in, then fork the second time when ready
    • Forking is costly even for highly optimized Linux kernel
    • The forking of Nagios core (before v.4.0) does not scale on multiple CPUs (single thread process).
    • you can well run into a situation where your powerful 16-CPU server is limited to 100 Checks per second while most of its CPU cores are idle most of the time.
    How does Livecheck solve those bottlenecks ☺
    • It uses a number of helper processes. The core communicate with each helper through a Unix socket (that does not appear in file system).
    • Only a small helper program is forked instead of the complete Nagios monitoring core.
    • The helper forks distribute over all available CPUs instead of single CPU.
    • The total process VM size of Livecheck is about 100KB only!
    • Inline implementation of check_icmp (PING tests). To give you an idea of how much improvement this has done, here is a benchmark example using dual core 2800 MHz CPU:
      • Before inline check_icmp: 300 ICMP checks per second.
      • After inline check_icmp: 2600 ICMP checks per second. The checks generated an ICMP traffic of 45Mb/s.

    Nagios Monitoring Core working with the best plug-ins (Check_MK, NagVis, PNP4Nagios and etc)

    enter image description here

    Multisite - An Advance Web Interface for Nagios

    Multisite is part of the Check_MK project as a better web UI alternative for Nagios.

    A new and innovative GUI for viewing Nagios status information and controlling your monitoring system. It is based on MK Livestatus and aims at replacing the Nagios web GUI (also known as “the CGIs”). Multisite supports distributed monitoring in a very efficient way.

    Zero Configuration Files with WATO

    This is one of the most brilliant solutions from Check_MK project to tackle the notorious Nagios configuration disaster. Although Nagios is a flexible and powerful monitoring system, having to mess with its multi-level and confusing configuration files scares many people away. Now, there are many web interface plug-ins that try to take a stab at the issue, but WATO is by far the best that simplify the complexity of Nagios configuration while staying very flexible and more flexible by sitting on top of Check_MK.

    WATO is a web based administration tool for Check_MK. It allows you to manage your hosts and services to be monitored and perfectly supports Check_MK’s mechanism of inventory to autodetect services to be checked on a host. WATO allows to move a substantial part of the daily workload from the monitoring administrator to his colleagues.

    Monitoring Agent for both Linux and MS Windows

    enter image description here

    Responsive UI for Mobile Client

    Powerful Search Function

    Visual Meters with Perf-O-Meter

    enter image description here

    NOC with Dashboards (Thanks to PNP4Nagios & Nagvis)

    PNP4Nagios

    Nagvis

    NagVis is a visualization addon for the well known network managment system Nagios. NagVis can be used to visualize Nagios Data, e.g. to display IT processes like a mail system or a network infrastructure.

    Sample Navigation in Nagvis

    Automation and Web Services for Automated Provisioning

    Automation is build into Multisite. You can make web service request against Multisite to automate adding new host, enabling new service checks, or embed any of the host/service check web pages into any other websites.

    This feature makes it very easy to integrate with Puppet or Chef for automatically adding new servers(hosts) and services to the monitoring system.

    24/7 NOC with Flexible Notification

    With Check_MK abstracting the original Nagio’s notification scheme, it has become possible to send notifications of any hosts or services to any number of people at any time.

    You can even create custom script to send the notification in some creative ways like having the notification be ☎called via a VoIP server to your cell phone and read you the alert message or have the alert be sent to your ✐instant messenger.

    Custom Icons

    http://mathias-kettner.de/checkmk_devel_multisite_icons.html

    Management and Maintenance

    Distributed Monitoring

    Distributed WATO allows you to manage several monitoring sites through a logically centralized WATO.
    • 1200 Check_MK installations
      • Centralized status of all 1200 stores per minute
      • Using NagVis to show all 1200 stores’ status on the map using the Geomap function
      • All stores’ overall status is aggregated through the use of the Business Intelligence function

    enter image description here

    Backup of Changes

    • Automatic Check_MK configuration backup on every change you make
    • Easy restoration with the Thunder icon
      enter image description here

    Upgrade OMD

    Business Intelligence

    Available from version 1.2.3

    Predictive Monitoring

    • Smart threshold that detects anomaly from daily operation
    • Set warning level based on prediction
      enter image description here

    Available from version 1.2.3

    Monitor Cronjobs

    Before

    <code>5 0 * * * root /usr/local/bin/backup >/dev/null</code>

    After

    <code>5 0 * * * root mk-job nightly-backup /usr/local/bin/backup >/dev/null</code>

    Available from version 1.2.3

    Dive in to the OMD World

    I will be sharing how I install OMD, optimized web interface (Multisite), utilized passive checks, implemented 24/7 on call plan, and integrated with automated business processes. I will add link here once they become available.

    1. How to Setup OMD in 1 Hour
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    ITCS user
    Senior Systems / DevOps Engineer with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Vendor
    It's easy to customize through scripts. The user interface needs to be improved.

    Valuable Features:

    In my experience with Nagios, I've found that the most valuable features are the scalability and extensibility through using scripts. It's easy to customize, and Nagios makes it easy to use languages you're already familiar with such as Bash/Python

    Improvements to My Organization:

    It's helped us improve as we now have the ability to customize the solution. By doing this through scripting, we are now able to monitor every layer of our stack from infrastructure to applications.

    Room for Improvement:

    I feel that the maturity and user interface needs to be improved. I think this is handled through its integration with OpsView.

    Deployment Issues:

    We have had no issues with the deployment.

    Stability Issues:

    There have been no performance issues.

    Scalability Issues:

    It's been able to scale for our needs.

    Initial Setup:

    If you plan ahead of time and thoroughly test the final solution you want to implement, it should be straightforward.

    Other Advice:

    Plan ahead and take your time through staging the installation and take your time testing your customized scripts before doing the production installation.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    ITCS user
    Storage System Integration R&D Engineer with 501-1,000 employees
    Vendor
    Overall, it's a powerful system. Business services monitoring is still really basic.

    Valuable Features:

    It's simple and has easily understandable monitoring concepts that have been largely adopted by the community.

    Improvements to My Organization:

    Starting from proprietary monitoring systems, it becomes possible to customize the monitoring system to our specific needs thanks to custom developments and community contributions.

    Room for Improvement:

    Business services monitoring is still really basic. With the growth of IT environments, IT monitoring needs to be attached to the services organizations provide to customers. Also, it needs external automation tools may be helpful and there's no web API before Nagios 4.

    Deployment Issues:

    We have had no issues with the deployment.

    Stability Issues:

    There have been no performance issues.

    Scalability Issues:

    Configuration may be heavy in large scale environments.

    Other Advice:

    First learn concepts, and think how the solution could be suitable for your specific needs. Overall, it's a powerful system.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    ITCS user
    Senior Manager of Engineering at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
    Consultant
    The Reactor helped improved our script automation and self-response.

    Valuable Features:

    It has a lot of flexibility for customization and a wide range of metrics. Also, it is opensource and has a big community.

    Improvements to My Organization:

    The Reactor helped improved our script automation and self-response. XI has provided us with top flexibility for heterogeneous systems monitoring.

    Room for Improvement:

    Nagios needs to improve their incident manager. Currently, it isn't good for ITIL in my opinion. The Reactor is good to go, but XI needs to improve its reporting functionality.

    Use of Solution:

    We use bothe Nagios XI and Nagios Reactor.

    Deployment Issues:

    We have had no issues with the deployment.

    Stability Issues:

    There have been no performance issues.

    Scalability Issues:

    It's been able to scale for our needs.

    Other Advice:

    I would advise that you create a lab with Nagios Core and test what you really need. Although it's exciting to use all the products, only a few are really important in your IT structure. When you are confident with scripting and MIBS integration, you can consider expanding it to your Enterprise systems with Nagios XI and some other modules. I would discourage you from using the ticketing system to start with and choose something more dedicated.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user123504
    Co-Founder / Executive Director / Chief Technical Officer at a tech company with 501-1,000 employees
    Vendor
    We chose it because it was a flexible tool that happens to be open source and has the capability to provide a holistic view of all the systems configured on the network.

    What is most valuable?

    • Monitoring Engine gives an in-depth dashboard of all the systems configured for monitoring
    • Capacity Planning shows the capacity trends of all the systems which enables you to plan appropriately for your needs
    • It has a good reporting tool and alert system

    How has it helped my organization?

    It improved our in-house support services as it helped changed them from being reactive to being proactive as notifications were sent about any device that was about to reach the set threshold.

    What needs improvement?

    It would be nice if the initial setup did not require as much tweaking and configuration and could just work out of the box.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've been using it for over a year.

    What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

    Initially, we encountered problems during the setup as some errors were noted due to a few pre-requisites not being fulfilled and having some configuration files to edit, and plugins to add.

    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?

    It's been able to scale for our needs.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    The initial setup was a little bit straightforward but cumbersome as there was more work in tweaking to make it work and creating configuration files for each devices that needs to be monitored.

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

    Nagios XI was chosen because it was a flexible tool that happens to be open source and has the capability to provide a holistic view of all the systems configured on the network. It also comes with a good Web Interface/Dashboard to update the system as needed.

    How was the initial setup?

    Our implementation was carried out by an in-house team.

    What other advice do I have?

    Nagios XI is an outstanding network Monitoring tool, which can be tweaked to suit any environment and it is a good solution for business looking for remarkable features at zero cost.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    ITCS user
    Systems Engineer at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
    Consultant
    It has somewhat helped improved the workflow and technical processes with regards to response times. A better multi-tenant environment would be ideal.

    What is most valuable?

    It has a wide variety of plugins in existence, but when there's no plugin available it is quite simple to integrate one's own programs and scripts.

    How has it helped my organization?

    It has somewhat helped improved the workflow and technical processes with regards to response times, and identify the frequent point of failures so as to architect alternative solutions. Plus all the stuff about SLA is an area that for me that is hard to quantify, but there's a team of accountant types who are dedicated to pulling numbers out of their hats.

    What needs improvement?

    It would be nice to have a better, or alternative, dashboard, à la Thruk, to see business process groupings, rather than just host and services. Tis might give a better visual representation of how the company is performing, and the availability of mission critical services etc.

    A better multi-tenant environment would be ideal where certain users have limited visibility instead of just limited functionality.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've been using it for about six or seven years. We currently have v3.4.1 in production and are currently developing and testing v4.1.1 prior to implementation. Currently, we use various plug-ins including NRPE, NSCA, NagiosQL 3.2.0, PNP4Nagios 0.6.24, NSclient++ 0.3.9, and nagios-plugins 2.1.1.

    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?

    We're still experiencing stability issues with regards to collecting performance graphs.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    It's been able to scale for our needs.

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

    We migrated away from being Windows centric. Their prodcut, although quite powerful, it was Windows centric and as our fleet of Linux servers increased an alternative was needed to suport multiple operating systems.

    How was the initial setup?

    The installation and configuration was straightforward and not complex, but rather time consuming as there was no easy method to centrally deploy plugins or agents to hundreds of remote clients. The only complexity that we encountered was in the network configurations for our firewalls and routing.

    What about the implementation team?

    All work is done in-house, and over the years it seems easier to Google for a solution to a given problem, but often enough a problem will crop up where no-one has yet found a solution. You need to learn to take notes and document everything that you. This may seem time consuming, but it will certainly save a lot more time and work in the future.

    What other advice do I have?

    It gets the job done, but there's a lot of room for improvement. Make sure that you clearly identify which are the mission critical services and which aren't so as to avoid cluttering the dashboard and overwhelming IT staff with too much information.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    ITCS user
    Solutions Architect at Blue Telecom Consulting
    Consultant
    Some kind of templating system for dashboards is needed. The Dashboards are easy to customize.

    Valuable Features

    It has a web front end and the Dashboards are really easy to customize.

    Improvements to My Organization

    We've been abel to integrate a human accesible interface for system monitoring our customers systems.

    Room for Improvement

    Backup mechanisms and some kind of templating system for dashboards are needed.

    Use of Solution

    I've been using it for two years.

    Deployment Issues

    We have had no issues with the deployment.

    Stability Issues

    We found certain stability issues that were solved by fine tuning some system parameters with support help.

    Scalability Issues

    It's been able to scale for our needs.

    Customer Service and Technical Support

    They have very accurate and fast support.

    Initial Setup

    The initial setup looked quite straightforward, however, later on we found some performance issues that required the fine tuning of system parameters. Those changes were not very well documented, but technical support helped us resolve the issues perfectly.

    The implementation of officially supported features was quite easy. We were also required to extend the system with a couple of ad-hoc functionalities and development of these pieces of code was not easy due to the lack of in depth documentation.

    Implementation Team

    We performed the implementation in-house.

    Other Solutions Considered

    As they have their own official support, we decided to choose this product over the others we looked at.

    Other Advice

    Official support is a must have for working with this tool. If you want to cook it at home and face support on your own there are better alternatives with larger communities.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    ITCS user
    Manager of Infrastructure at a university with 10,001+ employees
    Vendor
    It's helped us to improve our incident management, problem management, and capacity management.

    What is most valuable?

    It's ability to monitor a good range of services out of the box and it's extensibility with the use of plug-ins, with an active user community sharing community contributed plug-ins to cover monitoring for a very wide range of services and components.

    How has it helped my organization?

    It's helped us to improve our incident management, problem management, and capacity management.

    What needs improvement?

    The web interface is perfectly fit for purpose but isn't up there with the best modern admin panels. There is scope for improvement to make it more dynamic and responsive.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've been using it for three years.

    What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

    Nagios XI ships as a virtual appliance and is easily deployed.

    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?

    Clear instructions are provided on how to expand the disk capacity of the appliance and the solution can be scaled to allow several distributed Nagios monitoring instances to work together.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Customer Service:

    Customer service is excellent.

    Technical Support:

    I haven't needed any technical support.

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

    We previously used the free version of Nagios and decided that the commercially packaged version Nagios XI was well worth the cost and reduced the admin overhead significantly.

    How was the initial setup?

    Initial setup is straightforward and allows monitored hosts to be added one-by-one using a wizard or added in bulk using the bulk add tool.

    What about the implementation team?

    An in-house implementation was done. I would advise that you need to understand the overall basic architecture of Nagios before implementing it.

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

    In my view this product is very good value for money when compared with other commercially provided monitoring solutions.

    What other advice do I have?

    Implementation is best done by people with a good general Linux/open source skill set. If you have these kinds of people then implementing Nagios should be fairly straightforward. If you have a bunch of Window admins who've never touched a Linux system, then implementation could be a challenge.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    ITCS user
    Consultant at a tech consulting company with 51-200 employees
    Consultant
    It helps you get the best optimization in a non-local datacenters, or remote servers on subnetworks.

    Valuable Features:

    Nagios enables you to choose to have either a single server structure or multi server net. This helps you get the best optimization in a non-local datacenters, or remote servers on subnetworks.

    Improvements to My Organization:

    I once worked on a project for a consortium in a mixed setting with Windows and Linux machines. We have integrated Nagios servers in each of the 120 head offices with different specifications. It is used for the monitoring of more than 1300 servers and 16000 clients with different sub-networks and many different applications in a closed environment. The servers of their head offices were configured to propagate the data to the primary Nagios server of the main control center, and to this mirror in the operative center and to the mirror it in the disaster recovery center.

    Room for Improvement:

    They need to develop a better integration with a common ticketing system will be great. Once I built a complete integration with OTRS:ITSM and Nagios using the Samba LDAP database as the registry for user and machines in the software. It was a complex setup, but functional and could probably work in an Active Directory environment as well, but a fully-functional bidirectional bridge engine will be great. Nagios Enterprise has Nagios Incident Manager software but sometimes you need to work on preexisting systems with strong customizations.

    Deployment Issues:

    We have had no issues with the deployment.

    Stability Issues:

    There have been no performance issues.

    Scalability Issues:

    It's been able to scale for our needs.

    Other Advice:

    Nagios is the best software of its kind if you have time for configure any host and network, and you can do quite everything with a bit of scripting. It is well documented, scalable and modular, as well as being good for a small business and for an enterprise environment. Take your time to study the product and test the agents first; be very careful on the traffic generated by agents and server-to-server communication.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    ITCS user
    Manager - Cybersecurity Technology, Cybersecurity Technology Services at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
    Real User
    I can track systems behavior and network failures.

    What is most valuable?

    Simplicity of configuration. I can set up configuration of 100 devices with about 10 services in one to two days.

    How has it helped my organization?

    I can track systems behavior and network failures.

    What needs improvement?

    It's in need of more standard plug-ins.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've used it for around 12 years

    What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

    We had no deployment issues.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The product is quite stable, and we've had no issues.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    There's been no issues with scaling it for our needs.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Customer Service: I'm not using any customer service.…

    What is most valuable?

    Simplicity of configuration. I can set up configuration of 100 devices with about 10 services in one to two days.

    How has it helped my organization?

    I can track systems behavior and network failures.

    What needs improvement?

    It's in need of more standard plug-ins.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've used it for around 12 years

    What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

    We had no deployment issues.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The product is quite stable, and we've had no issues.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    There's been no issues with scaling it for our needs.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Customer Service:

    I'm not using any customer service.

    Technical Support:

    I'm not in need of any technical support.

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

    I started with this product.

    How was the initial setup?

    It's very straightforward initial configuration if you start with your distro packages.

    What about the implementation team?

    It's very easy, and you only need to familiarize yourself with its file structure. Sometimes you need to write your own plugin, so sometimes it is better to have it implemented by a vendor.

    What other advice do I have?

    It's very simple, and is very valuable to us. If you need to monitoring your environment just do it

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user168444
    Manager Infrastructure at a manufacturing company with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Real User
    Our infrastructure is now under monitoring proactively and we don't have to wait for complaints from the customers/internal operation team.

    Valuable Features

    • Real Time Alerts
    • Network Map

    Improvements to My Organization

    Our infrastructure is now under monitoring proactively and we don't have to wait for complaints from the customers/internal operation team to inform regarding any issue with the service.

    Room for Improvement

    3D datacenter view of the infrastructure to have more specific control of the environment and concept of 360 solution to monitoring is now emerging.

    Use of Solution

    We've been using it for over a year.

    Deployment Issues

    There were no issues during the deployment.

    Stability Issues

    We have had no stability issues.

    Scalability Issues

    We've not scaled it as of now.

    Customer Service and Technical Support

    As it's an opensource project, there is good contribution to, and good support, from blogs and FAQs.

    Initial Setup

    It's a simple setup for a normal Linux users.

    Implementation Team

    In-house. Its simple deployment but complexity comes once you have to import more plugins. Do check the required infrastructure support before deploying and check alerting mechanism.

    Pricing, Setup Cost and Licensing

    The community edition is free, and for an enterprise deployment its costing is good compared to other solutions.

    Other Solutions Considered

    I have tested Zenoss, ManageEngine solutions - Op Manager and Application Manager. We chose Nagios over Zenoss mainly because of its lightweight interface compared to Zenoss and the ManageEngine free edition has limited nodes.

    Other Advice

    First you need to do a complete analysis of the nodes and your requirements before implementing Nagios for monitoring.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user137748
    Software Test Engineer at a comms service provider with 501-1,000 employees
    Vendor
    The monitoring and notification when an issue arises are the most valuable features.

    Valuable Features

    The monitoring and notification when an issue arises.

    Improvements to My Organization

    It was essential we had to have live monitoring as we were trial-ing a real-time communications application on a live site.

    Room for Improvement

    While the UI is functional, I have always thought there was room for improvement here. It is at times assumptive for the not so technical, rather than informative.

    Use of Solution

    I've been using it for 12 to 18 months. Presently I work as a software test engineer and my employer has been using Nagios for approximately ten years now. I first used Nagios in January 2014. I was in a small startup company based in the TSSG called Kodacall, it was based around WebRTC. I implemented in order that we could monitor our network as we had…

    Valuable Features

    The monitoring and notification when an issue arises.

    Improvements to My Organization

    It was essential we had to have live monitoring as we were trial-ing a real-time communications application on a live site.

    Room for Improvement

    While the UI is functional, I have always thought there was room for improvement here. It is at times assumptive for the not so technical, rather than informative.

    Use of Solution

    I've been using it for 12 to 18 months. Presently I work as a software test engineer and my employer has been using Nagios for approximately ten years now. I first used Nagios in January 2014. I was in a small startup company based in the TSSG called Kodacall, it was based around WebRTC. I implemented in order that we could monitor our network as we had some clients who very kindly were letting us test our product on their live site. I really found Nagios a perfect fit for us and a good product to work with. As the saying goes “It does exactly as it says on the tin”. I hope what I have given might be of some small help.

    Deployment Issues

    It was deployed as a stand alone tool and is also integrated with Docker.

    Stability Issues

    It was deployed as a stand alone tool and is also integrated with Docker.

    Scalability Issues

    It was deployed as a stand alone tool and is also integrated with Docker.

    Customer Service and Technical Support

    I didn’t require any service as the documentation is good and most questions are answered on any number of forums.

    Initial Setup

    Setup ran pretty smooth. It's not overly difficult but it does require patience and some experience would make it easier. Like everything it is easier the second time around.

    Implementation Team

    We implemented it in-house.

    Other Solutions Considered

    Although we did look at other tools, we felt Nagios was a good fit for us.

    Other Advice

    I would have no hesitation in recommending it.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    ITCS user
    Network Engineer at TLCWEB S.R.L.
    Consultant
    I've implemented a monitoring system Nagios-based to alert me when something bad happens.

    Valuable Features

    I think that the most important feature of Nagios is that you can write your own plugin, so you are able to create your monitoring system based on what you need.

    For example, I'm using a backup system that writes in a file when it's done. If this file is empty it means that the backup fails: well i've written a Nagios plugin to check this so i can be sure if a backup is ok or not.

    Improvements to My Organization

    We're managing servers and services that needs constantly monitoring so I've implemented a monitoring system Nagios-based to alert me when something bad happens. For example, if a server goes down this system sends me a notification When a service becomes critical, it notifies me so i can check. This improve our time to handle problems and can make us proactive to customers.

    Room for Improvement

    I think that the community needs to concentrate development to get a standard GUI (Adagios is a side project) and gives the user a better notification system. For my system, I've developed the notifications because it basically just sends you an email.

    Use of Solution

    I tested Nagios at university for seven years, and have been using it intensively for three years.

    Deployment Issues

    It has no particular needs or configuration to works well. Actually i'm using it in a virtual environment with a Debian-based OS.

    Stability Issues

    There have been no issues with the stability.

    Scalability Issues

    We have had no issues scaling it.

    Customer Service and Technical Support

    Customer Service:

    I haven't had to use it.

    Technical Support:

    I haven't had any need to use it.

    Initial Setup

    Nagios setup is very simple. You can find some problem during plugin configuration or host configuration if you don't use a GUI like Adagios. If you use both it's easy to setup and configure your host and services.

    Implementation Team

    I implemented it in-house.

    ROI

    The ROI is absolutely linked to time. You can save a lot of time using Nagios monitoring because otherwise you need to check all of your services or system one by one.

    Other Solutions Considered

    There are several alternative to Nagios like Icinga (which is a 2.0 Nagios son), Observium, and LibreNMS. If you need only an SNMP monitoring system or you need real time graph Observium is your choice but Nagios is a complete solution.

    Other Advice

    The only advice is to be patient and creative because you can control everything you can need with Nagios.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    ITCS user
    Web Operations Engineer at a renewables & environment company with 501-1,000 employees
    Vendor
    It's nice that you can rudimentary monitoring primarily for Linux systems right out of the box.​​​ Scaling Nagios to cover multiple regions or data-centers is challenging.

    What is most valuable?

    The product for which Nagios was used to monitor was:

    • Brightmail back-end 7/24 Operation
    • Brightmail heuristics engine and development infrastructure

    The ability to write your own plugins is the most valuable feature, but also it's nice that you can rudimentary monitoring primarily for Linux systems right out of the box.

    How has it helped my organization?

    We spend less time verifying that everything is up and running as Nagios does that for us leaving us time to do the other things. When something does break Nagios directed you quickly to the cause. With Nagios enabled, disruptions were less frequent and attended to more quickly.

    What needs improvement?

    Scaling Nagios to cover multiple regions or data-centers is challenging. It requires another tool which I never incorporated. Due to this gap I used a dedicated Nagios servers within each specific operation.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've used Nagios since 2000. Before that it was called BigBrother and NetSaint which I hadn't used.

    What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

    Implementation on Windows was painful. Also the use of NRPE can be problematic as its generally not inherent is OSes.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    We have had no issues with the stability.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    There have been no issues scaling it.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    I didn't use customer service and technical support for Nagios. Everything I did I learned online through the extended community.

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

    Prior to using Nagios for monitoring we had grown our own monitoring solution which latter became the company NOCpulse and was picked up by RedHat. Previous to that I used various other homegrown monitoring methods.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup is straightforward, but you need to have a good grasp of the underlying files structure. All the pieces are there but without this understanding where to put things is not entirely intuitive.

    What about the implementation team?

    I always installed Nagios by myself. I never used a team. Advice I would have is you need management buy in. More than a few times I would implement this solution but without managements support it got little traction upfront. Meanwhile management pursued pricey solutions which were cumbersome and had long implementation cycles.

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

    I can implement Nagios is a day for a medium sized (500 units) operation. Since the cost is zero and it can use a fairly cheap server to run on the ROI is nearly immediate.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    Currently I use New Relic and Munin to track and maintain the operation I run. New Relic however isn't designed to alert like Nagios and they have told me as such.

    What other advice do I have?

    Find a site where Nagios working and look at their implementation. Understand the file structure, dependencies and implementation. Start with the basics and add as needed. Identify what needs to be monitored and why.

    Also, Nagios does not do trending/graphing well. I used the Nagios version of MRTG and it was pretty awful. I incorporated Cacti which partners well with Nagios. Without both tools you don't have a good understanding of how your operation is functioning.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    ITCS user
    Consultant Ingénieur de production informatique at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
    Consultant
    Correct and scalable Dashboards for management. There are no APIs for managing hosts/services are present.

    What is most valuable?

    We must separate the 2 parts of this product :

    Monitoring Core (Nagios Core) -

    Possibilities to manage Nagios Core and Nagios Client configurations by Service Manager like Ansible, Puppet etc. For big environment's, it's the simplest way for industrialisation

    Interface (Nagios XI) -
    • Correct and scalable Dashboards for management
    • Easy way to view you entire production ( more complete than Nagios Core interface)

    How has it helped my organization?

    My customer choose this product because he previously worked with Nagios Core 3 and didn't know other tools. His principal argument for him is that the Dashboards correctly present their work.

    What needs improvement?

    The important separation between Interface and Core to maintain historical plugins and methods generate complexity that makes Nagios unusable for repeat work. You must choose a way to manage your configuration, by interface or by files in Core, and never change your rules. If you choose files, you lose the dashboard advantage instead of importing them manually, and, for the moment, there are no APIs for managing hosts/services are present. If you choose Interface, you must configure hosts/services manually, and again there are no APIs for managing hosts/services are present.

    Nagios Core has a big advantage in that has been lost in Nagios XI. Another way you could manage is by having three different databases

    1. Postgres for Nagios XI's hosts/services définitions
    2. MySQL with ndo2db for metrology
    3. Rrd for the Nagios Core

    This is not easy to maintain and High Availability becomes complex. The simplest way is by VMware HA modifications preconfigured by Nagios.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've been using it for the last six months.

    What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

    It's very easy to install it and manage it with Nagios XI's interface.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    There have been no issues with the stability.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    I only have 50 hosts and haven't needed to scale beyond that.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Nagios responds quickly when you need them, and the community is really big.

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

    I previously used HP SiteScope, Nagios Core 3, Xymon and Zabbix. I didn't choose Nagios, my customer choose it and I implemented it. My prefered tools is Zabbix for the moment.

    How was the initial setup?

    It's very easy for the basics features, but, like others tools, when you need plugins, it becomes more complex.

    What about the implementation team?

    We did it in-house.

    What was our ROI?

    No ROI was requested by my customer, only visibility by their management and using their knowledge on Core 3.

    What other advice do I have?

    Your architecture must be conceived prior to implementation as each error must become complex to change.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user2652
    Project Manager at a non-tech company with 10,001+ employees
    Vendor
    Top 20Popular
    Open Source Network Monitoring Tool

    Valuable Features:

    Nagios is an open source monitoring tool for monitoring network services. Installation is quite easy and the interface is user-friendly and configurable. We can monitor disk space, CPU utilization, memory usage, host availability, NFS availability and a lot of other things. Due to its extensive features, it is widely used in IT markets.


    Improvements to My Organization:

    We used to get the system hung. After monitoring implementation, we keep on getting alerts for CPU, memory and other things. So, we take care of servers now before it goes to hung state.

    Room for Improvement:

    Nagios provides most of the features by default, however to add more services to it, it requires additional plugins which require little effort on administrative end. So far, clustering and failover of Nagios is not available-- development is still working on it.Highly recommended tool for monitoring services.!!

    Use of Solution:

    I have been using Nagios for 4 years now and still using it.

    Deployment Issues:

    There were no issues faced during deployment. It was pretty handy and most of its docs are generally available over the internet.

    Other Advice:

    Alternatives Vendors: Zabbix, Opennms, Zenoos, Cacti !!

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    ITCS user
    NOC Engineer at a financial services firm with 501-1,000 employees
    Vendor
    It provides basic and complex monitoring of our environment as well as application-level monitoring, but notes can only be managed through the database.

    What is most valuable?

    There are a lot of plugins available and you can also write your own.

    How has it helped my organization?

    The product allows comprehensive monitoring of your environment. From basic monitoring of your servers health, to more complex tasks like AD, database, and, to some extent, application-level monitoring. Another great feature is that the event handlers allow you to automate repetitive tasks in your environment.

    What needs improvement?

    There's no convenient way to manage notes as the only way is to manage them through the database.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've used it for three years.

    What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

    No issues encountered.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    No issues encountered.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    No issues encountered.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Customer Service:

    I've worked on several occasions with Nagios customer service and technical support, always received very professional and prompt responses.

    Technical Support:

    I've worked on several occasions with Nagios customer service and technical support, always received very professional and prompt responses.

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

    No previous solution used.

    How was the initial setup?

    It's very straightforward and and it has good documentation.

    What about the implementation team?

    We implemented it in-house.

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

    Nagios Core is a free-ware which has almost the same functionality as NagiosXI. It's a bit less convenient to use, since it doesn't have UI for the configuration.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    No other options were evaluated.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user68025
    IT Administrator at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
    Consultant
    What is Nagios: An Introduction to enterprise level server monitoring
    Any internet based service company like for example web hosting, DNS hosting, Email-hosting, Cloud architectures, and even CDN networks have server's ranging from several hundreds to thousands. There might be different roles that are played by different servers that are geographically isolated from each other. As a whole these geographically separated servers might be providing a combined service to the end customer. A particular issue or problem on any of the server should not affect the customer service, and must be found and fixed before the outage happens. Let's take two examples which will explain the need for a 24 x 7 monitoring of these servers. Suppose that you get a call from your technical support team saying that several customers are complaining about…

    Any internet based service company like for example web hosting, DNS hosting, Email-hosting, Cloud architectures, and even CDN networks have server's ranging from several hundreds to thousands. There might be different roles that are played by different servers that are geographically isolated from each other. As a whole these geographically separated servers might be providing a combined service to the end customer. A particular issue or problem on any of the server should not affect the customer service, and must be found and fixed before the outage happens.

    Let's take two examples which will explain the need for a 24 x 7 monitoring of these servers. Suppose that you get a call from your technical support team saying that several customers are complaining about their websites being inaccessible. Such complaints without any other details are very difficult to troubleshoot, if you do not have a 24 x 7 server monitoring in place. During crisis, you cant waste time by checking the basic below mentioned things.

    • Server Disk Space
    • Swap and memory utilization
    • Processes and its status
    • Load on the server
    • RAID array status
    • File system mount status
    • Web server status

    Because its quite normal to miss some or the other, by manually looking for basic issues on the server. What if the issue that was causing the problem was simply due to a RAID drive failure, due to which one of the disks were inaccessible( which contains the document root for some websites hosted ).

    Such problems can be monitored for and can be warned before a complete failure occurs. Another funny example would be to find that a customer facing service was not working as desired for hours, simply due to a lag in time from a Network Time Server.

    It is not at all feasible for a system administrator to look each and every log, and service settings, and other configurations round the clock. There needs to have some automated tool to continuously keep on monitoring these required services and settings on the server, and inform the concerned people in case of an issue. A good server and infrastructure monitoring tool must have the following characteristics.

    • Must have a web interface which clearly outlines the issues that a particular host/server has.
    • Must inform different concerned people in case of an issue.
    • Must send pagers, mails, and text messages to the developers and system administrators concerned with a particular service failure.
    • The tool must have the capability to take actions such as restarting a service, based on the current status.

    What is Nagios

    Although there are many proprietary monitoring tools out there to select from depending upon the requirement, no proprietary tool can provide the peer review, source code modification, and version iterations that an open source tool provides.

    Nagios is an open source network monitoring tool that provides all those capabilities we discussed above in one package. Nagios monitors the servers and network devices(in fact i must say any network device which is accessible with an IP address can be monitored using Nagios) and alerts you when a particular service that's being monitored goes wrong, and also will alert you when the service comes back to normal required state. Nagios is capable of doing the following things.

    • Monitoring of different services on a server, such as SMTP, HTTP, POP, IMAP, PROXY, and the list goes on. In fact you can make nagios to monitor anything on the server(You just need to make a custom script according to your requirement)
    • 24 x 7 monitoring of server resources like CPU, Memory, Swap, Load
    • A nice web interface which indicates the status of the services by three methods OK, Warning, Critical
    • Maintaining a different set of contact groups(which will contain email addresses of different concerned people), based on the service

    In this tutorial, we will be having a look at the major components of Nagios, which helps nagios to complete its task of maintaining a good monitoring infrastructure.

    Let's begin this tutorial by understanding how a nagios server checks the status of a remote service on a remote server, and accurately report the output to you. In the world of nagios you will too often hear a term called plugins, which are readily available binary or small script based program, that checks the status of your required service or program.

    Nagios checks the status of a remote service or program in multiple ways. Let's understand them one by one.

    (1) Directly monitor services through network

    In this first method the nagios server will execute a plugin on the nagios server itself, which will basically try to connect to a network service on the target server. Lets understand this through the following diagram.

    In the above shown diagram, we have tried to depict how nagios process execute an example check(which is also sometimes called plugin), on the nagios server itself, which will connect to the http port 80 on the target server, and will record the response time.

    Nagios server will execute the check at regular interval(as configured), to check the availability of the service. In the above shown example, the plugin is placed inside the nagios server, and no changes are done at the client side. You cant monitor all properties of a client that counts, through this method. This method can be used only to monitor, services that are available publicly. The main reason behind this is that, you need to login inside the client server, in order to monitor stuff like memory usage, process status, cpu load, and other stuff.

    Hence this kind of plugins are very limited in its capability, but you can surely achieve a considerable amount of good 24x7 monitoring using this method, for publicly available services like SMTP, HTTP, DNS, FTP, PORT availability check, Remote MySQL & MSSQL etc.

    (2) Nagios monitoring through SSH and NRPE

    As mentioned in the previous method, without getting a login to the remote machine, the level of monitoring you can achieve is very limited, and also you cannot monitor all the services using that method.

    You can achieve a 24 x 7 monitoring of the things that cannot be monitored directly through network with the help of two different methods, they are as mentioned below.

    • Check the status of a remote service by executing a plugin, that will be placed on the remote client, by loging inside the client with the help of SSH.

    Related: Working of SSH explained

    • NRPE (Nagios Remote Plugin Executor), is a daemon that's installed as a stand alone or an inetd daemon that waits for requests from the nagios server on port 5666, to execute commands that are defined in its configuration file.

    Let's frst undersand monitoring a remote host using SSH method. In this method, a user is made on all the client machines, which allows ssh login from the nagios server with the help of a predifined ssh key and execute a requred plugin to monior a required service.

    This method of executing remote plugins on remote client with the help of SSH is a secure way to monitor. As a normal user logs in the remote client, the nagios server will be able to run any command that the normal user will be able to run(when i say run, i mean execute).

    the plugins that reside in the remote client are sometimes called as local plugins as they are local to the remote host. to run local plugins on remote host,nagios uses a ready made command called check_by_ssh(we will be discussing the complete command usage of this plugin in a dedicated post of its own).

    of cource you will not be sitting and entering passwords each and every time the check is executed by the nagios daemon. Login and execution of the remote plugin on the remote server using ssh must be seamless and also must be password less login. For this, you need to set up public key authentication of the user, which will be loging inside the remote server for executing the plugins.

    Now let's see the another method of executing remote plugins.

    Another method that is commonly used to achieve the successful execution of a remote plugin is NRPE. NRPE stands for Nagios Remote Plugin Executor. NRPE is a package that will be installed on all the remote hosts, that needs to be monitored. Mostly NRPE is installed as Xinetd service on the remote host, and by default it listens on the tcp port 5666.

    Suppose the nrpe daemon receives a query from the nagios server, to execute a command on the local server, nrpe daemon looks inside the nrpe configuration files, for a command with the same name what nagios asked to run. Unlike ssh method, nrpe cannot run any command that the nagios server asks to run. Commands first need to be defined inside the nrpe configuration file. And only those commands can be run from the nagios server. Deploying ssh based nagios checks are much easier compared to nrpe method, because in nrpe method, you need to first install nrpe package on all the client servers that requires to be monitored.

    Above diagram depicts the nrpe method of executing remote checks on a remote client with nagios. Nagios server has a check_nrpe plugin (which is very similar to the plugin check_by_ssh used in ssh method), which connects to the remote client on the port 5666, and executes the command, which is given as an argument to check_nrpe plugin(the command given as argument to check_nrpe plugin on the nagios server must also be defined in nrpe configuration files on the client, where the command will be executed.)

    Nrpe method of monitoring remote host, by executing plugins on the remote machine is limited to the commands defined inside the nrpe configuration files on the client. Which means the command which you require to run on the remote machine, must be predefined in the nrpe configuration files on the client.

    But check_by_ssh can be used to run any command, with executable permission to the user used to login to the remote machine.

    Let's go ahead and understand the remaining two methods that can be used to monitor a remote host in nagios monitoring.

    (3) Monitoring remote host with the help of SNMP in nagios

    SNMP can be used to fetch the current value of different properties of a network device or any SNMP aware device. if you have SNMP daemon installed on your remote host, which needs to be monitored, then you can monitor hard drive, load, etc with the help of SNMP daemon.

    Advantage behind using SNMP to monitor is because it is supported by a wide variety of devices like network switches, routers, UPS devices etc.

    We will be doing a couple of posts on SNMP, for getting a better overview of the protocol and its usage. We will also be doing a dedicated post for monitoring devices with nagios and SNMP.

    Above case of monitoring with snmp places the plugin inside the nagios server itself, which will be a generic snmp plugin that will be used to monitor all snmap related services, with different arguments given to it.

    (4) Nagios Passive monitoring or NSCA (Nagios Service Check Acceptor)

    Until now we have seen around 4 different methods, used to monitor a remote server using nagios. All of them worked by either a plugin placed on the nagios server or a plugin placed on the client, or by simple monitoring or publicly available service. In all the above mentioned method, the plugin execution or say command execution was initiated by the nagios server.

    Let's now see a method, in which the client will execute a required plugin at a regular interval, and report the output of the execution to the nagios server. This is achieved with the help of a daemon called NSCA.

    NSCA stands for Nagios Service Check Acceptor. This is installed as a daemon on the nagios server itself, and it will wait for the command result from the client.

    This kind of nagios monitoring is called as passive monitoring, because nagios server is not the one that initates the checks on the client, but the client will execute the plugins specified, at regular interval with the help of a cron and report the output to the nsca daemon on the nagios server.

    While reporting the output, the client will also send details like the service name, hostname, the output of the command executed to the nsca daemon, so that the nagios server can report the output exactly in the same way active checks are executed(active checks are those checks in which the command execution is initiated by the nagios server. Examples are check by ssh, nrpe etc.)

    There are couple of things that needs to be understood, from the above shown diagram. NSCA is a daemon on the nagios server that waits for the command result from the client.

    Send_nsca is a program that can be used to send a command result to the nagios server. The hostname, the service name, and other related details will be included in the command result send using send_nsca to the nagios server.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user67761
    IT Administrator at a media company with 10,001+ employees
    Real User
    Nagios for IT Infrastructure Monitoring
    I managed a web design and hosting company several years ago. When we began to experience the first of many growth spurts, we were adding servers to our infrastructure at a rate of one to three servers per quarter. Knowing the details about what was happening on all of those servers, as well as the applications and infrastructure in general, quickly became my primary concern and responsibility. I consulted with the Datacenter staff and other hosting professionals regarding server monitoring, and the application most recommended was Nagios. But along with the recommendation, came the warnings that Nagios might be a pain in the ass to setup and maintain. Back then, when Nagios was in its infancy, the warnings were quite appropriate! But the flexibility that it…

    I managed a web design and hosting company several years ago. When we began to experience the first of many growth spurts, we were adding servers to our infrastructure at a rate of one to three servers per quarter. Knowing the details about what was happening on all of those servers, as well as the applications and infrastructure in general, quickly became my primary concern and responsibility.

    I consulted with the Datacenter staff and other hosting professionals regarding server monitoring, and the application most recommended was Nagios. But along with the recommendation, came the warnings that Nagios might be a pain in the ass to setup and maintain. Back then, when Nagios was in its infancy, the warnings were quite appropriate! But the flexibility that it offered and the intelligence that it returned made editing the countless configuration files well worth it! Today there are many books and videos that explain Nagios' installation and configuration in detail, and self-paced training is available by subscription for only $200 per year.

    Nagios streamlines the overall monitoring of Ping, Power and Pipe, while paying specific attention to areas like: CPU, Memory, Disks, SNMP Service, Network Switches, Routers, Firewalls, Services, DNS, DHCP, Active Directory, Exchange Services, HTTP Status, FTP Status, OpenManage Status, Total Running Processes, Programs running on servers and other host resources and application states.

    The system can be extended with customized host and service checks. It includes e-mail, pager, and other notification features, and a web interface streamlines access to network status, problem history, and log information.

    Nagios is a Linux platform product. Nagios Enterprise also provides clients with open source Nagios development, customization, integration, and optimization services. Originally created under the name NetSaint, the Nagios application was written and is currently maintained by Ethan Galstad, along with a group of developers actively maintaining both official and unofficial plugins.

    Nagios Key Strengths

    • Nagios is a popular open source network monitoring software application. It watches hosts and services, alerting users when things go wrong and again when they get better.
    • Nagios is the industry standard in enterprise-class monitoring for good reason. It allows you to gain insight into your network and infrastructure and fix problems before customers know they even exist. It’s stable, scalable, supported, and extensible.
    • In many data center environments, Nagios has become the de facto standard for companies in need of an open source, fault-tolerant solution to monitor single points of failure, service-level agreement (SLA) shortcomings, servers, redundant communication connections or environmental factors.
    • Nagios has been downloaded more than 660,000 times since 2001. More than any other application, the Nagios open source components are in use by more than 50 open source customers—and the number is rapidly growing. A powerful and flexible monitoring tool, Nagios has nearly limitless configuration options, making installation and configuration a dynamic, robust proposition for systems administrators.
    • Nagios Enterprise offers professional support services for Nagios. Working in combination with its partners, Nagios can provide you and your organization with access to a variety of support options for Nagios, including Installation support, Incident-based support, 24×7 support contracts, and Customized support plans.

    Software Highlights

    • Supports Comprehensive Network Monitoring for Windows, Linux/Unix, routers, switches, firewalls, printers, services, and applications.
    • Gives you Immediate awareness and insight, letting you receive immediate notifications of problems via email, pager and cell phone.
    • Provides problem remediation that lets you acknowledge problems through web interface and automatically restart failed applications.
    • Supports proactive planning, letting you schedule downtime for anticipated host, service, and network upgrades.
    • Offers robust reporting options, including SLA availability reports, alert and notification history reports, and trending analysis.
    • Offers multi-tenant/multi-user capabilities, multiple users can access the web interface.
    • Provides smooth, easy integration with your existing applications.
    • Delivers a stable, reliable, and respected platform.

    We live in a “plug & play” world where people expect instant results. Nagios is not a “plug & play” application. Every Data Center is different. We have volumes of “Best Practices” to guide us in the design and management of our facilities. The shear diversity of devices and applications that make up our ever changing Infrastructure requires an application with a great deal of flexibility if it is to succeed at monitoring and reporting on the status of everything in our environments.

    “Those who fail to plan, plan to fail” Nagios is not difficult to install. It is not difficult to configure. It is not difficult to maintain. The key to deploying a successful Nagios installation is planning. Deploying Nagios is not a one person task, but a project requiring the involvement of one or more departments within your organization.

    You need to have a thorough understanding of your Infrastructure:

    • What hardware do you need to monitor?
    • Can the hardware be classified into specific groups?
    • Can the services being provided by the hardware be classified into specific groups?
    • How many locations do you need to monitor? Nagios can be configured to provide distributed monitoring.
    • Which people are to be assigned the responsibility of addressing issues belonging to each specific hardware group?
    • Which people are to be assigned the responsibility of addressing issues belonging to each specific service group?
    • Do you have up-to-date contact information, including e-mail, mobile phone and home phone numbers?
    • What will be the notification hierarchy? Who will get notified first, who will get notified next?
    • Will you need to integrate with your trouble ticket and request handling system? Nagios integrates well with OTRS, RT, OSTicket, iTop, Service-Now.com and Atlassian JIRA.
    • Are you considering using SNMP to query the status of your devices? If so, you need to investigate which MIBs will be required for each piece of hardware, and whether or not they will return the information that you are seeking.

    Deploying an Enterprise Monitoring System is a complex project. Your choice to use Nagios, or Nagios-based applications, versus applications like Zenoss, Zabbix, OpenNMS, Cacti, Ganglia or Munin should be based on how well each is able to meet all of your requirements, rather than how easy it is to deploy.

    Other considerations should be:

    • How easy is it to get support?
    • How active and up-to-date are the on-line communities?
    • How much information and training resources are available?
    • How easy is it to move from the Open Source to the Commercial version?
    • Will it deliver the data in all of the forms and formats that are required?
    • Will it integrate with your existing applications like Splunk, Jira, OTRS, Puppet, OpsGenie or Active Directory?
    • How extensible is the application? How easily does it adapt to change?

    Clearly, there is a lot of consideration and planning involved before reaching a decision regarding your best choice for Enterprise Monitoring. Choosing such a critical component for your Infrastructure shouldn't be easy, like Senate confirmation hearings shouldn't be easy. We all want the right man for the job, and we'll ask thousands of questions and leave no stone unturned in our investigations. Nagios is not easy. In most cases however, it is the best tool-set for the job.

    Nagios is a great application as it stands for Enterprise Monitoring, and there are several companies that have built their own applications using Nagios at the core. Their products add to an already extensive feature set, while maintaining compatibility with existing Nagios plug-ins. One such company is Opsview. Headquartered in the United Kingdom, with offices in the USA and India, their flagship product smooths out the complexities of deploying Nagios. Opsview is used globally by many enterprise customers including blue chip organizations such as Comcast, BT Plusnet, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Siemens, Allianz, US Army, Irish Revenue and Yale University to name just a few.

    All things considered. You should give Nagios and Opsview your full attention. Other companies are, and perhaps one or more of them are amongst your competition, and they couldn't possibly be any smarter than you. Could they?

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user67689
    CEO at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
    Consultant
    It does exactly what we need: Alert us when something is wrong
    We use Nagios because it does exactly what we need: Alert us when something is wrong and (with PNP) show some trend to figure out when or maybe how the problem started. The graphical output is for sure not state of the art, but we are not artists but rather techs ;) As a hosting business we have quite a homogenous infrastructure and use mostly snmp for fetching data in our own scripts. Once the basic setup for Nagios is done it is quite easy to automatically script new hosts when you add new machines or delete the old ones. However your choice might be different if you have to monitor IT of various customers with totally different infrastructure. And finally there are apps for android, iPhone, etc so with just one look at your phone you see if everything is well.

    We use Nagios because it does exactly what we need: Alert us when something is wrong and (with PNP) show some trend to figure out when or maybe how the problem started. The graphical output is for sure not state of the art, but we are not artists but rather techs ;) As a hosting business we have quite a homogenous infrastructure and use mostly snmp for fetching data in our own scripts. Once the basic setup for Nagios is done it is quite easy to automatically script new hosts when you add new machines or delete the old ones. However your choice might be different if you have to monitor IT of various customers with totally different infrastructure.
    And finally there are apps for android, iPhone, etc so with just one look at your phone you see if everything is well.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user12228
    Systems Administrator at a cloud provider with 501-1,000 employees
    Vendor
    I've used both Nagios and SolarWinds- different enviorments have different preferences
    I've used both Nagios and SolarWinds, although I haven't messed with nagios as much as solarwinds. Solarwinds had some nice features for monitoring and I learned a lot about it in the short time that I actually worked with it. Nagios just seems to work and when a server is down, I investigate. Solarwinds seemed to have more issues but that could have been because it was running on a server 2003 box and possibly old hardware where as the company I'm working at now runs nagios on a linux box with some decent hardware. Again, I haven't delved deep into Nagios and it's possible that what I'm looking at is just a webpage front end to nagios that not everybody uses but it's still pretty nice regardless. Not sure if different environments have different prefferences but the…

    I've used both Nagios and SolarWinds, although I haven't messed with nagios as much as solarwinds. Solarwinds had some nice features for monitoring and I learned a lot about it in the short time that I actually worked with it. Nagios just seems to work and when a server is down, I investigate. Solarwinds seemed to have more issues but that could have been because it was running on a server 2003 box and possibly old hardware where as the company I'm working at now runs nagios on a linux box with some decent hardware. Again, I haven't delved deep into Nagios and it's possible that what I'm looking at is just a webpage front end to nagios that not everybody uses but it's still pretty nice regardless.

    Not sure if different environments have different prefferences but the company I was working at that used solarwinds was an ISP. The company that uses nagios is a web hosting company. I've also seen a linux admin at a previous job use nagios so it may be that nagios is more popular among linux if not servers altogether.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user3870
    Senior Manager of Engineering with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Vendor
    The best monitoring system for any small/medium size network

    Valuable Features:

    Nagios can be installed on a server with very low specifications, our main server has 512 MB RAM and 1 processor.As the open source version does not provide a configuration interface, for those who need easy administration of Hosts and services - it can be integrated into other web applications such as NagiosQL (Personal favourite) with a database back-end to store configuration in the case of failure.There are many plugins we use on our desktops such as Nagstatus and Nagstatmon which provide us with real time monitoring results instead of sending out E-Mail alerts, Instant messages etc.We currently monitor all our servers using SNMP just to avoid installing apps like NSClient to keep monitoring simple and clean.

    Room for Improvement:

    The Installation can get very difficult depending on what Linux flavour you are using. The open source version does not provide a configuration web interface. Some scripting knowledge is required in order to make changes to configuration files. Nagios is my favourite open source monitoring system. I just love it! It took me a while to properly configure Nagios to monitor our internal systems. Once we realised its potential we decided to setup remote polling on client systems, to have a central location for monitoring. (Using Centreon)As it is open source we were able to customise everything, from check commands, modifying the web interfaces, integrating into CMDBs such as iTop. When comparing Nagios to other monitoring systems it stands out by far.

    Other Advice:

    If you are new to Nagios I recommend that you watch videos/read documentation before you start to mess around with the code. One little mistake can stop Nagios from monitoring your systems, so make sure that you always backup your configuration!
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.