Nagios, one of the most popular tools for network monitoring, comes with its own share of problems as well. One of the most prominent problem is that it is difficult to setup and maintain as all configurations should be done only through config files. This can be cumbersome and time-consuming.
Also, many IT administrators prefer to work with a Windows-style GUI instead of Linux and Unix commands, and this is a spot of bother in Nagios. Other problems include its Auto-discovery of applications and services, complicated management and more.
Due to these aspects, it is good to know your alternative options, especially if you’re IT admin team prefers it.
Here’s the Top Nagios Alternatives in 2018:
- Solarwinds NPM (Network performance Monitor)
- PRTG Network Monitor by Paessler
- ManageEngine OpManager
Though Nagios is one network monitoring tool, there are many others tools that could give Nagios a run for its money. In this guide, we will look at some of the alternatives for Nagios.
1. SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor
SolarWinds Network performance Monitor is a powerful tool for network monitoring, as it helps to quickly detect, diagnose and fix any network-related problems and outages.
The important features of SolarWinds Network performance Monitor is listed below.
- Comes with Advanced Fault monitoring to quickly identify problems, understand their root cause and fix them at the earliest.
- It can monitor the performance and availability of devices that are on-premises, in the cloud or in a hybrid environment.
- You can drag and drop different performance metrics on a timeline, to identify the root cause at the earliest.
- It can provide intelligence-based alerts, as it takes into account several parameters such as topology, dependencies and performance.
- Automatically discovers and maps devices in the network topology.
- Allows you to customize thresholds, according to peak and bandwidth usage.
- It monitors the performance and availability of F5 BIG-IP family of products.
- It can monitor performance points for clients, wireless controllers and autonomous access points.
- It can be installed and deployed within just an hour. The setup and use are well-documented and is fairly intuitive as well.
- You can automate capacity planning with this tool.
- Comes with web-based performance charts, views and dashboards, so you can stay on top of your network’s performance from anywhere.
- Helps you identify if changes in end-user experience is caused by the network or application.
- Calculates baseline thresholds from historical performance data.
- It monitors many key metrics of hardware components such as temperature, fan speed and power supply.
- Comes with more than 100 templates for reporting.
- You can create interactive charts and graphs to get a better understanding of your devices’ performance.
You need the following system requirements to install SolarWinds Network Performance Manager.
- .NET Framework: Version 4.5
- Operating system: Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2.
- Hard drive: 20GB free disk space
- Memory: 3GB
- CPU: Dual processor, 3.0 GHz
- Datebases Supported:
- SQL Server 2008, 2008 SP1, 2008 SP2, 2008 SP3 and 2008 SP4
- SQL Server 2008, R2 SP1 and R2 SP2
- SQL Server 2012, 2012 SP1, 2012 SP2 and 2012 SP3
- SQL Server 2012, 2014 SP1
- SQL Server 2016
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2. PRTG Network Monitor by Paessler
PRTG Network Monitor by Paessler is a powerful solution that analyzes your entire infrastructure to give you a comprehensive idea of the weak points and the performance of devices in your network.
Some of the salient features of PRTG Network Monitor are as follows.
- Provides aggregated statistics of many parameters such as status, availability, CPU load and bandwidth to get a quick overview of the status of your network.
- Packet sniffing examines every single packet of data passing through your network to understand the possible problems that is increasing your bandwidth.
- Supports NetFlow, sFlow and jFlow
- Monitoring is done by sensors, that are arranged in a tree-like hierarchy to make navigation easy.
- It sends alarms and unusual alerts, based on the threshold values you have set. Red signifies alarms, yellow markings are warnings and orange is used to depict when there is an unusual reading from any device.
- It scans your network and auto-discovers sensors and devices. It even maps all of it for you.
- Comes with many templates for reports. A unique template is the “Top 10 Lists”, where it lists devices that fall into different categories such as best and worst performance, fastest and slowest performance, highest and lowest bandwidth use, highest and lowest CPU load and more.
- Reports are comprehensive and can be used to analyze historic results over a specific day, month or year.
- Reports can be run on-demand or they can be scheduled, and a report can be created for one or more sensors. This way, you have complete control over what you want to see and when you want it.
- Allows you to do a long-term comparison of the performance of your applications using remote probes.
- Its “maps” feature allows you to create web pages with monitoring information, in a customizable layout. This feature opens up countless possibilities to stay on top of your network.
- It can be scaled for networks of any size. Whether you want to use 100 or 10,000 sensors, this tool will work for you.
- Comes with 10 built-in technologies for sending alerts and they include email, push, play alarm audio files, trigger HTTP requests and more.
- Comes with a full-featured AJAX based web interface.
- Also, offers a Windows native Enterprise Console to see the performance of different devices.
- Has apps for both Android and iOS
- All user interfaces are SSL-based, and local and remote access can be done simultaneously.
- Allows failover tolerant monitoring, which means, one single failover is included in every PRTG license. Also, failover handling happens automatically and doesn’t require your intervention.
- It can monitor many network spread across different locations, provided they are all a part of your organization.
- Remote probes can be used to distribute monitoring loads.
- You can export your data in many file formats such as PDF, XML, HTML and CSV.
- Supports many languages such as English, German, Spanish, French, Dutch, Russian, Japanese and Simplified Chinese.
The system requirements depend on the number of sensors installed.
Number of sensors
|Up to 1,000 sensors||2 CPU cores||3 GB RAM||250 GB||Less than 30|
|1,000 to 2,500 sensors||3 CPU Cores||5 GB RAM||500 GB||Less than 30|
|2500 to 5000 sensors||5 CPU Cores||8 GB RAM||1 TB||Less than 20|
|5000 to 10,000 sensors||8 CPU Cores||16 GB RAM||2 TB||Less than 10|
The cost depends on the number of sensors you want to use. Here is a breakup of the cost, based on sensors.
- 100 sensors – free
- 500 sensors – $1,600
- 1000 sensors – $2,850
- 2500 sensors – $5,950
- 5000 sensors – $10,500
Besides these plans, PRTG also offers two plans called XL1 Unlimited and XL5 Unlimited. In XL1 Unlimited, you can install any number of sensors on one core installation while in XL5 Unlimited, you can install any number of sensors on five core installations.
3. ManageEngine OpManager
ManageEngine OpManager is a powerful and user-friendly network monitoring software that efficiently monitors even the most complex of networks.
The features of OpManager are:
- Monitors routers, WAN links, interfaces, bandwidth and more.
- Monitors VoIP call quality throughout the WAN infrastructure. It can even troubleshoot low quality VoIP problems.
- Visualizes and resolves WAN or router problems.
- Maps the entire network to identify outages and performance issues.
- Always monitors WAN availability, latency and performance using Cisco IP SLA technology
- Monitors both physical and virtual servers running different operating systems like Windows, Linux, Unix, Solaris, VMware and more.
- Uses 70 different VMware monitors to monitor VMware devices.
- Uses WMI credentials to monitor Microsoft Hyper-V hosts.
- Monitors and manages the storage repositories of Citrix XenServer.
- Monitors processes that run on SNMP/WMI and CLI.
- Uses different protocols such as SNMP, WMI and CLI to monitor resources and gather performance data.
- Helps to automate first-level troubleshooting steps.
- Comes with a rule-based trap processing engine that can handle more than 300 SNMP traps per second.
- Centralizes event log monitoring to monitor all critical security logs.
- Makes it easy for you to analyze systems trends and performance with its customized reports and templates.
- Gives deep insights into the performance and configuration of RAID devices.
- Monitors tap libraries to detect fault conditions and generate alarms.
- Analyzes historic as well as current usage trends.
- Automatically discovers fabric switches in your SAN environment.
- Scales to accommodate up to 10,000 devices and ensure high availability of the same.
- There is robust communication between the central and probe servers deployed in remote sites.
- You can get the log data generated by firewalls to get crucial information related to the security of your network.
- You can schedule configuration backups whenever required.
- Helps with switch port and IP address management.
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Zabbix is an enterprise-class monitoring system that is designed for monitoring different devices on a network.
Some important features of Zabbix are:
- Collects metrics from any device, system or applications.
- A native Zabbix agent, created using C language, runs on Unix, Linux and Windows to collect information such as CPU, memory and CPU interface.
- It can collect data from devices with SNMP agent versions v1, v2 or v3 as well as printers, NAS and UPS. In fact, it can collect data from any device that can be monitored through SNMP agents.
- Zabbix also supports IPMI agents to get important information from hardware.
- You can also create custom agent checks.
- Custom scripts written in any language such as Perl, Python and Ruby help to extend the functionality of this tool.
- Offers predictive functions that analyze incoming data to predict problems, so you can get to them proactively.
- You can retrieve and manage historical and configuration data.
- It also provides flexible and intelligent threshold definition options to minimize false positives and to focus on the main issues.
- A trigger expression can be created with data obtained from different devices.
- Offers historical data analysis
- Takes into account the dependencies before sending out an alert.
- You can integrate Zabbix with third party software.
- Sends notifications through many channels. You can even configure the channel for each kind of notification. For example, you can program the system to send you alerts through SMS if the criticality level is severe and through email, if its moderate.
- Comes with a native web interface that makes it easy to access information from anywhere/
- You can create any report with this tool.
- This web interface is the single point for configuration and for viewing all reports.
- It supports Unicode / UTF-8 for a local flavor.
- Works well on most modern browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer, Konqueror and Opera.
- You can do a global search at any time.
- The interface comes with a host of themes, so you can customize it to match your preferences.
- There is strong encryption between all Zabbix components.
- Uses multiple authentication methods such as LDAP and Active Directory.
- Code is open for security audits.
- Installation is easy and can be done within minutes.
- Configuration templates help to monitor thousands of devices on your network.
- The Zabbix community has built hundreds of templates as well.
- You can also build custom templates too.
- Scans your network periodically to discover new devices and updates the topology map accordingly.
- Automatically starts monitoring new equipment, once they are discovered.
- Monitors behind firewall DMZ.
- Allows you to run scripts remotely on monitored hosts.
- Collects data even when there are network issues.
- Zabbix management can be done through APIs.
- You can create new applications to work in Zabbix.
Zabbix works well on the following platforms.
|Mac OS X||Yes||Yes||Yes|
It is open source and free to use.
You can download Zabbix from https://www.zabbix.com/download
Icinga is an open source network monitoring application that was originally created as a fork of the Nagios monitoring system. It was started to correct the shortcomings of the Nagios monitor and to add new features. It takes its name from a Zulu word that means examines, browses or looks for.
- Scales up to thousands of nodes in a quick and reliable way.
- Its reporting module comes with an improved SLA, database connectors for PostgreSQL and distributed systems to ensure redundant monitoring.
- Monitors network services, host services and server components.
- Does parallel service checks
- Comes with a simple plug-in design, so you can easily develop your own service checks.
- You can define network host hierarchy, so there is a distinction between hosts that are way down and unreachable.
- Allows you to run define handlers for proactive resolution of problems.
- Alerts can escalated to other users or to other communication channels.
- There are many channels through which notifications can be sent.
- Comes with two optional web interfaces – Icinga Classic UI and Icinga Web.
- The reporting module is based on the open source Jasper Reports.
- There are many reporting templates including those for capacity planning.
- It has a multithreaded design, so thousands of checks can be run simultaneously.
- It’s distributed setup makes Icinga ideal for large and complex environments.
- Rules can be applied to hosts and services to create a continuous monitoring environment.
- RESTful API makes it easy to update your configurations or show the details you want, on-the-fly.
- Supports Graphite and InfluxDB natively.
- You can get better insight about the performance of your devices with Icinga’s metadata.
It is open source and free to use.
You can download Icinga from https://www.icinga.com/download/
OpenNMS is an open-source enterprise grade network monitoring tool developed by the users and community of OpenNMS.
The features of OpenNMS include,
- It is based on an event-driven architecture that allows flexible workflow integration.
- It normalizes device and vendor specific messages and protocol specific performance metrics, so everyone can understand.
- The data can be accessed through RESTful API.
- Sends notifications through multiple channels such as emails, Slack, MatterMost, Jabber and even sends microblog notifications like Twitter.
- You can run external scripts to customize the notifications.
- Allows you to integrate with existing ticketing tools or with your own ticketing system.
- Alarms can be forwarded to applications too, so they can be integrated into your management workflow.
- Comes with a synthetic polling framework to test anything from IP stack to applications.
- It can test generic TCP connection, status and resources from management agents, measurements from open protocol and management agents, SNMP traps and syslog messages.
- Database schema is controlled with Liquibase, so updates and maintenance are a breeze.
OpenNMS comes in two editions – Meridian and Horizon. Horizon is FREE, but Meridian comes with a yearly subscription.
Here are the differences between the two editions.
|Environment:||Ideal for businesses looking for stable environment with good support||Ideal for monitoring new technologies and IT ecosystems like virtual machines and Docker.|
|Development model:||Open source||Open source|
|License:||AGPLv3 or proprietary license||AGPLv3|
|Release cycle:||Once every 12 months||3 to 4 months|
|Support:||Multiple options available||Community supported mailing lists and wiki|
|Maintenance:||Access to update server for latest releases or bug fixes||Community driven|
|Configuration:||Supports preconfigured events, workflows, reports, data collection and notices.||Configured and maintained by users and community.|
|Cost:||Yearly subscription for every management server||Free|
|Features:||Comes with features that support stability, usefulness and quality of integration with existing code.||Mainly explores new technologies to drive advances in management technologies.|
Contact the support team for the cost of Meridian.
To conclude, there are many good alternatives for Nagios, and we hope the above options help you to make the right choices. We suggest you download one of the aforementioned software suites from above and give it a test in your environment.
Each of the software packages above have a different strength, weakness and price-point as well. Check out their features above and give several of them a try, you’ll quickly know which one will serve you best – From our Experience, Solarwinds has a great Nagios Script Import feature that allows you to import scripts and eventually migrate them over. Give them a try if you want a fast solution.