Icinga: The monitoring tool you've been missing
January 30, 2019

Icinga: The monitoring tool you've been missing

Jason Frisvold | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction with Icinga

Icinga is a world-class monitoring system. I've used this product for several companies, monitoring everything from typical server response to verification that specific daemons are up and running. The client/server nature of Icinga allows for monitoring of nearly anything you can write a script for. Installing the client on a server, you can monitor local CPU, memory, processes, etc. without the need for SNMP. Communication between client and server is TLS encrypted, adding security where typically there is none. We have used Icinga across the entire enterprise to monitor network and system devices.
  • Flexible: Monitoring is done via scripts. If you can write a script to return a go/no go response for something you want monitored, then you can monitor it.
  • Client/Server Model: The client/server model allows for secure communications between systems. Additionally, it allows data to continue to be collected in the event of a communication problem, queuing the data for upload when communication is restored.
  • Simple, but powerful, configuration: The configuration language used by Icinga allows additional flexibility without having to directly specify every relation. That is, you can use commands to apply a given configuration to hosts and services based on common properties.
  • Distributed configurations can be somewhat challenging to deploy. However, once set up, a multiple master setup can result in a highly available, resilient monitoring system.
  • Icinga supports a centralized configuration system akin to something like svn or git. Understanding how this works and using it in practice can be something of a challenge for beginners.
  • Free - Icinga is free, open-source software. There are companies that can provide support if needed. But having a full-featured product such as this with no initial capex or continual opex cost is a definite plus.
  • Relatively simple to set up a single instance. This allows one to get up and running quickly and learn the system. As you learn, you can transform the system into a more complex, resilient system.
Icinga was initially a fork of Nagios. Over time, the configuration language was replaced with something more programmatic. This configuration language is one of the big sellers of this product. It allows flexible, quick configuration of large sets of hosts and services with minimal input. Comparing it to other products like WhatsUp Gold, Zenoss, Zabbix, etc., it stands out as incredibly flexible. Adding additional features to Icinga can be as simple as searching for them online. And if they don't yet exist, there is a full API available for custom extensions.
Icinga is a world-class monitoring system. It can be used for most general monitoring situations. It is not a silver bullet, however, and there are instances where domain-specific monitoring systems are necessary. However, the output from those monitoring systems can be funneled into Icinga as a central monitoring and alerting system.