Nagios - Open Source Network Monitoring
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Updated March 15, 2019

Nagios - Open Source Network Monitoring

Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction with Nagios

Nagios is being used to monitor and report on the utilization of some of our network hardware. It's primary use is restricted to our IT department, with a couple of additional users. We use it to monitor switch status, and mated with MRTG Nagios gives us bandwidth detail on a per port basis.
  • Up/Down Alerting.
  • Monitoring of supported applications (SQL, Exchange, etc).
  • Upon an alert, Nagios' ability to fire off scripts allows us to either fix problems automatically or gather data about an issue as soon as it happens.
  • Support for third party applications and hardware relies heavily on open source community driven plugins. Deploying new platforms to Nagios can be a bit of a job because of this, often plugins are unpolished, undocumented or outright broken. You have to be willing to spend some time tweaking to make this worth while.
  • The Nagios UI is not the best. Even with the new update, it's still quite evident that it's an updated version of an old system. While it's hard to re-arrange a tool like this, there comes a time when a UI overhaul is just what you have to do.
  • Nagios was quite obviously built to focus on alerting and event management. Attempting to use it also as a data collection tool can be frustrating and require a lot of plugins.
  • I know when I've got an outage before the phone rings. We often have dispatched techs and are working to resolve our issues long before our customers notice.
  • Nagios allows us to plan for future bottlenecks, there is very little reason to ever be surprised by a utilization issue.
  • Nagios has cost us heavily in man hours to get running and comfortable. However cost on back of man hours is better than live environment outages any day.
We selected Nagios because of the size of its community. We've used some of the others in the field over the past few years, Nagios had the best features out of the box coupled with it's following made it an easy selection.
Nagios is primarily an open source technology. It's very well suited for environments that either work on a restricted budget and require a solution that can be customized heavily to fit. I would not recommend it to anyone with a limited time frame, tech skills, or someone looking for a canned monitoring or data collecting solution.

Using Nagios

7 - Network Administrator
Systems Administrator
Phone Administrator
NOC Crew
Tier 1 and 2 support
2 - Our systems admin handles the support of the Nagios platform, and we have an inhouse coder that works to make downloaded plugins fit our needs and when required writes custom code.
  • Up/Down Alerting
  • Resource Management
  • Uptime calculation
  • Resource Utilization predictions
  • By following strings of alerts as a failure happens we can easily identify the location of an outage and in moments get an idea of services effected.
  • We're really hoping to see Nagios catch up to some of our competitors in reporting and data collection.
We're currently looking to combine a bunch of our network montioring solutions into a single platform. Running multiple unique solutions for monitoring, data collection, compliance reporting etc has become a lot to manage.

Evaluating Nagios and Competitors

  • Price
  • Product Features
  • Product Usability
  • Product Reputation
Price is always a concern, however when dealing with network monitoring and alerting, functionality needs to be at the top of the list. Nagios is a stable platform, with fantastic redundancy options. Nagios is at the top of their game.
With all the monitoring systems we evaluated, I don't think I spent enough time focused on importing data and customizing alerts. Instead of loading a couple of machines and doing some simple testing, I would have loaded our whole environment and attempted to use the solution in a real world scenario for a month. There have been a lot of customization related questions that came out after installation that could have been answered in the evaluation period.

Using Nagios

The Nagios UI is in need of a complete overhaul. Nice graphics and trendy fonts are easy on the eyes, but the menu system is dated, the lack of built in graphing support is confusing, and the learning curve for a new user is too steep.
ProsCons
Like to use
Technical support not required
Unnecessarily complex
Difficult to use
Slow to learn
Cumbersome
Lots to learn
  • Monitoring a supported platform is extremely easy to set up.
  • Setting up email alerting works exactly as it should.
  • Finding possible solutions in the community plugins is easy, however sometimes the configuration isn't so well documented.
  • Configuration in Nagios relies heavily on text files.
  • Graphing data is not supported out of the box, it requires additional plugins that can be complex to integrate.