Zabbix is one of the top tools available today for network monitoring and management.
However, it comes with its own shortcomings as well and we’re going to go over some of the top alternatives to Zabbix below, but first lets see some areas we can improve on.
Some of the possible shortcomings are:
- Requires quite a bit if tuning to adapt to your environment. But once done, it can be a great tool.
- The reporting tool could have been better, especially the reporting export feature.
- Uses a lot more resources when compared to other similar monitoring tools.
- Database has to be tuned well, otherwise it could large and unwieldy quickly.
- SNMP monitoring is a drag on the resources, as a lot of connections are made and used for this task.
- There is a steep learning curve associated with it.
If you think any of these shortcomings will impact you in a big way, you can consider alternative tools that are equally good, if not better.
Here’s the Top Zabbix Alternatives
As mentioned before, Zabbix is a great and comprehensive tool for network monitoring, but it is good to know the alternatives too, so you can make informed choices.
SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor (NPM) is a popular tool that comes from SolarWinds, a company known for its top-class monitoring tools.
Key Features: The features of SolarWinds NPM are exhaustive, and here’s a look at some of the important ones.
- Quickly detects, diagnoses and resolve network issues.
- It is integrated with NetPath to give you detailed analysis along critical paths.
- You can view performance, traffic and configuration details of all devices and applications located on-premises or in the cloud.
- Its customizable and intelligent alerts make it possible to respond to conditions, events, topology and device dependencies.
- You can drag and drop network performance metrics on a common timeline to quickly identify the root cause of a problem.
- Automatically discovers and maps devices, performance metrics and link utilization.
- Uses peak and average usage to automatically calculate exhaustion dates for different devices. This information helps with capacity planning.
- Helps to easily identify dead zones and improves the overall wireless coverage.
- Identifies if changes in end-user experience are caused by devices or network.
- Calculates baseline thresholds from historical network performance data.
- Monitors they key metrics of hardware devices such as temperature and power supply, and sends alerts in case of any changes.
- Schedules and generates custom reports.
- Comes with more than 100 report templates to create reports that are ideal for any department or purpose.
- Creates interactive charts for your network and devices.
- User interface is simple and intuitive.
- Completely scalable to handle your growth
- Works well with Network Insight for Cisco Nexus, Cisco ASA and F5 BIG-IP to provide more visibility into network switches, firewalls and load balancers.
- Reduces unnecessary alerts, as you can determine what events should be alerted.
You need the following system requirements to install and run SolarWinds NPM.
- CPU – Dual processor, 3.0 GHz
- Memory: 3 GB
- Hard drive: 20 GB
- Operating system: Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2.
- Database: SQL Server 2008, 2008 SP1, 2008 SP2, 2008 SP3, 2008 SP4, SQL Server 2008 R2, 2008 R2 SP1, 2008 R2, SP3, SQL Server 2012, 2012 SP1, 2012 SP2, 2012 SP3, SQL Server 2012, 2014 SP1 and SQL Server 2016.
- .NET Framework: Version 4.5
Price: 30 Day Free Trial Download!
This is a comprehensive tool that monitors all aspects of your IT infrastructure including your devices, systems, traffic and applications.
Key Features: The features of PRTG Network Monitor by Paessler are:
- Offers flexible alerting through ten different built-in technologies such as email, push, play alarm audio files, triggering HTTP requests and more.
- You can schedule alerts and can even decide what events needed to be alerted to avoid alarm floods.
- Gives the option to write your own custom notifications using PRTG API.
- The web interface is based on AJAX and comes with advanced features.
- Its responsive design adjusts well to your device.
- The Enterprise Console is a native Windows application for PRTG on-premises installations.
- Apps are available for both iOS and Android operating systems.
- All user interfaces are SSL secured and they can be used simultaneously.
- Comes with fail-over tolerant monitoring to avoid down-time. One failover is included in every PRTG license.
- This automatic fail-over ensures that another node is connected when the primary system is down.
- You have the option to create your own dashboard with PRTG’s map designer. On this designer, you can integrate all the network devices and objects using the map designer’s 300+ map objects.
- Custom HTML can also be used to customize dashboards.
- Supports distributed monitoring, which means, you can monitor networks of the same organization that is spread across different locations.
- Provides in-depth reporting, so you can get information about pretty much anything in your network.
- Allows to export reports to HTML, CSV and XML formats for better processing.
- Reports can be scheduled based on your preferences.
- Supports many languages such as English, German, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Dutch, Japanese and Simplified Chinese.
- Auto discovers devices and maps them to your network topology.
Price: PRTG offers a tiered pricing, where the cost depends on the number of sensors you want to use.
- First 100 sensors – free
- 500 sensors – $1,600
- $1,000 sensors – $2,850
- 2500 sensors – $5,950
- 5000 sensors – $10,500
- Unlimited sensors on a single core installation – $14,500
- Unlimited sensors on five core installations – $60,000
- You can start with a 30-day free trial.
3. ManageEngine OpManager
OpManager from ManageEngine is a powerful and user-friendly network monitoring software that gives complete control over your network.
Key Features: The features of OpManager are as follows.
- Supports WAN, interfaces, bandwidth and router monitoring for performance and availability.
- Monitors VoIP call quality and troubleshoots poor VoIP calls across the entire WAN infrastructure.
- Automatically maps L1/L2 networks to identify network outages and any kind of performance degradation.
- Monitors WAN link availability, latency and performance across Cisco IP SLA technology.
- Monitors physical and virtual servers across different operating systems such as Windows, Linux, Unix, Solaris and more.
- Uses more than 70 VMware monitors for agentless monitoring of VMware virtualized servers.
- Uses WMI to monitor Microsoft Hyper -V hosts.
- Manages hosts, VMs and storage repositories of Citrix XenServer.
- Monitors and manages processes that run on discovered devices.
- Uses SNMP, WMI and CLI to monitor system resources and to gather data from the same.
- Performs first and second level troubleshooting tasks.
- Comes with a trap processing engine that is capable of handling more than 300 SNMP traps per second.
- Offers centralized eventlog monitoring to handle critical security logs across all Windows servers and workstations.
- Syslog monitor reads incoming syslogs and associates alerts to these syslogs.
- Comes with more than 100+ customizable reporting templates to analyze performance, usage, availability and more.
- Provides in-depth analysis on the capacity, performance and configuration of RAID devices.
- Monitors tape libraries to detect faults.
- Helps with capacity planning.
- Automatically discovers fabric switches in any SAN environment and generates alarms in case of any change in the status.
- Creates an exact replica of your 3D environment
- Offers many add-ons for network traffic analysis, network configuration manager, firewall log management and more.
- Scales up to 10,000 devices or 100.000 interfaces.
- Provides in-depth visibility into all your organization’s assets.
- Offers a unified network monitoring console for distributed infrastructure.
- Automatically discovers devices in your network.
- Installation is easy
Price: OpManager offers two editions, namely, Essential and Enterprise. Here is a look at the difference between them.
|Devices||Ideal for 1000 devices||Ideal for 10,000 devices|
|Distributed network monitoring||No||Yes|
|Automatic L2 network map||Yes||Yes|
|Plug-Ins||APM Plug-In||APM Plug-In|
|Cost||Starts at $715 for 25 devices||Starts at $19,975 for 500 devices|
4. Nagios XI
Nagios XI is a popular tool that’s ideal for monitoring mission-critical infrastructure and its components including applications, services, operating systems and more.
Key Features: Some of the salient features of Nagios are:
- Offers efficient and scalable monitoring.
- Web interface provides a highly customizable overview of network devices and hosts.
- Using advanced graphs, administrators can view network incidents and resolve them at the earliest.
- Detailed information on the usage levels of different devices help with capacity planning.
- You can set up monitoring for any device with just a few clicks using the many configuration wizards.
- Auto discovers devices and adds them to the network map.
- Configurations can be saved or even archived, so you can reuse them at any time.
- Offers multiple APIs for easy integration with in-house and third-party applications.
- Community developed add-ons also help to extend the functionality of Nagios XI
- Multi-user access to web interface makes it easy for different stakeholders to view the status.
- Easy to use and the interface is intuitive as well.
- Reporting templates to suit all departments and purposes.
Nagios XI needs the following requirements to work.
- Hard drive – 20 GB
- Memory – 2 GB
- CPU – Dual core, 2.4 GHz
- Operating system – CentOS or Redhat Enterprise Linux versions 6 or 7
- Databases – MySQL, MariaDB and postgreSQL
Price: There are two editions – standard and enterprise. While the standard edition costs $1,995, the enterprise edition costs $3,495.
Let’s briefly look at the features available in both the editions.
- Easy configuration wizards
- GUI configuration
- Advanced reporting
- Enhanced visualizations
- Custom user dashboards
- Custom user views
- Executive summary report
- Custom actions
- Dashboard deployment
- Notification escalations.
The Enterprise edition includes all the features in standard edition, plus the following.
- Scheduled reports
- Capacity planning reports
- Web-based server console access
- Bulk modification tools
- Audit logging
- Notification deployment
- SLA reports
- Scheduled pages
- Automated host decommissioning
Download: You can download a free trial at https://www.nagios.com/downloads/nagios-xi/
Key Features: The features of Icings are:
- Using its multithreaded design, Icinga can run thousands of checks each second.
- It is fast and does not put much strain on the CPU.
- Ideal for large and complex environments, as it combines high availability clusters with a distributed setup.
- Allows dynamic configurations
- You can apply different sets of rules to hosts and services to create a continuous monitoring environment.
- RESTful API helps to update your configurations on the fly.
- Supports Graphite and InfluxDB natively.
- The metadata information from Icinga provides better insight into the current and historical state.
- Alert notifications are sent through email, text message and mobile app.
- The web interface is fast and responds well to requests
- Many modules and add-ons extend the capability of Icinga 2
- Authentication backends allow to identify users from multiple sources.
- You can create custom views by grouping multiple panels into a single dashboard.
- History feature gives you access to all past data.
- Fine-grained permission control ensures that only authorized users can access
- Integrates well with Puppet, Ansible, Chef, Vagrant, elastic, InfluxDB. Graphite, Graylog, Grafana, Terraform, Foreman, OpsGenie and more.
Price: 100% Free
Download: Download it from https://www.icinga.com/download/
OpenNMS is a highly integrated open source platform designed to build network monitoring solutions.
Key Features: The features of OpenNMS include the following.
- Identifies latency issues and reports them right away.
- Tracks the availability of different devices, measures the response time, and detects node and interface outages, so you can stay on top of the performance of your devices.
- Uses an event-driven architecture to send alarms and notifications.
- Allows you to define critical paths to ensure that alarms are sent out only for the critical components.
- Comes with a flexible dashboard.
- Auto discovers devices and adds them to the topology map.
- Easy integration with many third-party tools
- In-depth analysis of root cause and impact
- Provisioning of resources and capacity planning.
Price: OpenNMS comes in two editions – Meridian and Horizon. Though both are built from the same source code, the release cycle and support options are different.
Let’s look at the differences between these two editions.
|Environment||Enterprises and businesses looking for stable platforms with long term support||Monitoring of new technologies and IT ecosystems such as Docker, SDN/NFV, and virtual systems|
|License||AGPLv3 or proprietary license||AGPLv3|
|Release cycle||12 months||3 to 4 months|
|Features||Features chosen for level of stability, usefulness and quality of integration with existing code||Exploration of new technologies to test value to drive rapid advances in management technology|
|Maintenance||Access to update server for latest bug fixes and performance enhancements||Driven by the community|
|Configuration||Preconfigured events, notices, data collection, workflows and reports||User and community configured and maintained|
Download: You can download the free version from https://www.opennms.org/en/install
In short, Zabbix is a great tool for monitoring your network, but it comes with its own shortcomings that makes it not-so-ideal in certain environments and situations. It is good to know some alternative choices, so you can plan better if you looking to migrate away from Zabbix to a new platform.
We hope the above information will help you to make the right decisions that would augur well for your organization – Finding a Zabbix Alternative can be a daunting task, but we hope that one of the choices above works out well for you –
We recommend you download several of the software packages above and properly configure and deploy them in your network to get a feeling of their Pro’s and Con’s – As not all of these products support each individuals’ infrastructure as it should.
SolarWinds NPM & PRTG Network Monitor are the favorites due to their Massive Feature Sets and Support communities that are built around. They both have 30 Day Trials that allow you to download, install and configure them in your networks before making a commitment! Download below to get started with either one of them!