What are the advantages of using a paid (vs open source) IT Infrastructure Monitoring solution?

There are many open source IT Infrastructure Monitoring solutions on the market. However, large companies often invest in a paid solution. What do paid monitoring solutions offer that make them a better choice than open source?

77 Answers

author avatar
Top 20Real User

When you’re considering infrastructure monitoring, you certainly have plenty of options to choose from. From free to expensive, from targeted to comprehensive, today’s monitoring software presents a confusing assortment of features and claims.

How do you make sense of it all and choose a solution that meets your needs and is within your budget? The question “Can you afford it?” might quickly become “Can you afford not to have it?,” especially when you consider the cost of poor performance and downtime.

We look at ways to frame the problem and decide what’s right for you. We start by looking at cloud infrastructure monitoring tools and why they need to be specifically designed to handle new cloud-based applications. Then we’ll consider how to measure the value of a monitoring tool and what it’s worth to your organization.  

Read the complete analysis in this eBook

Infrastructure Monitoring Software: Can You Afford It? How to choose a monitoring tool that meets your needs — and your budget


Richard Treadway

author avatar
Top 5LeaderboardReal User

The main reason large companies invest in paid solutions is the advanced and timely support  provided when using paid solutions. And of course those who sell the solutions need to do a good support job to continue selling their products.

Using open source solutions means having very skilled  personnel to do most if not all of the work on getting things working and continue running which can be more expensive than paying for support by opting a paid solution. For example a monitoring solution for a large enterprise may require experts or separate teams to handle database administration, network and systems administration, web applications, systems security etc. but most of the work will be done by the vendor or suppling partner when it comes to paid solutions.

Also paid solutions seem to be more secure and when issues or bugs arise, the supplier/vendor is responsible to quickly get things on track. 

Paid solutions can easily provide customer requested features as part of support, that means less work on the end user for features request.

And since paid solutions are often sold to many similar customers, many large companies feel more assured by the large  portfolio of existing customers hence less risk in their opinions.

author avatar
Top 10Real User

George Spiers a certified Citrix CTP and technology evangelist has a nice write up talking about how without enough experts to manage the infrastructure you do have to rely on technology to help:


In relying on software, I think the key difference commercial products can bring is the embedded intelligence and automation that can discover your overall infrastructure along with the what and how to monitor automatically. With open-source, you often have to decide what you want to monitor and what thresholds to set and even create scripts to manage the alert process. With 3rd party tools, it is all there and a core reason for needing help is you don't have enough experts already. 

Just make sure if you are paying for a product, it is doing a lot of the setup, configuration, and management for you! 

author avatar
Top 5LeaderboardReal User

The so called free NMS is not free in case you want support. All organizations where critical businesses processes have dependency on reliable IT Network and therefore, reliable monitoring, have to go for an NMS tool which is preferred by organisations whose business processes are IT critical. It is simple, anything free is not guaranteed to work under all circumstances. Financial viability of NMS too vendor is essential to have a reliable tool which helps them continue to invest in future developments in line with emerging network technolofy landscape.   

author avatar
Top 5LeaderboardVendor

Generally apart from IT companies, I feel its difficult to manage an open source tool since it requires a lot of manual effort. IT Managers / Network Admins / Server Admins would rather use a commercial tool to spend less time on it from a daily operations / maintenance perspective. The major challenges of Open Source Tools include: 

1. Lack of professional support increases tool deployment cycle

2. Better Security and quick fixes to any security issues found in any commercial tool

2. Need for expensive resources to manage open source tool (must have scripting knowledge on programming languages like Perl / Python / Java etc.)

3. Steep learning curve leads to user dissatisfaction in Open Source tools

4. Limited API support for 3rd party integrations in Open Source tools

5. Better roadmap visibility both from product & company perspective for any commercial tool as compared to a similar open source tool

6. Personalized solution / tailor-made solution is a possibility with commercial tools (although it may involve additional costs)

author avatar
Top 20Real User

Most of modern open source Infrastructure monitoring tools can suffice the needs of any organisation, but the reason to organisations opt for a commercial product is of timely support and upgrades from the vendor.

Having said that, with Open Source software companies can go for Enterprise support from any certified partner. In this way the company saves massive CAPEX on software licensing.

author avatar
Top 5Real User


It's to have the service of technical support and the guarantee of security and integrity of the applications.

Also to have quick training for the technicians.

Thank you for your interest,

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