Better than Nagios, but not by much, and only if you have a lot of time and DevOps
May 08, 2020

Better than Nagios, but not by much, and only if you have a lot of time and DevOps

Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 2 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction with Sensu

Sensu was used for infrastructure monitoring by our internal IT team. We had been using Nagios for our monitoring but figured out fairly quickly that, even for a small business like ours, it doesn't really scale, and Nagios isn't really designed for today's age of containerized and cloud-based workloads.
  • Unique concept as a "monitoring router" that can tie services together.
  • Backward-compatible with Nagios environments.
  • More of a DevOps focus than Nagios.
  • Terrible documentation that assumes you're already an expert in everything that Sensu can do.
  • Significantly more work than Nagios to get basic checks on and configured.
  • Web interface is primitive and not even on the same level as Nagios XI.
  • Large price hikes after Sensu Go was released.
  • Standing up the Sensu Go server took very little effort.
  • Setting up and maintaining the build processes and deployment logic for Sensu assets and checks was somewhat exhausting and resulted in lower adoption among non-DevOps IT.
  • The limited web interface resulted in lower adoption among non-DevOps IT.
We initially compared Sensu to Nagios XI. Nagios has languished for years and clearly wouldn't scale well without a lot of effort, while Sensu's architecture was clearly designed to be better at scaling horizontally.
Sensu's customer support was always willing to work with us but never really seemed to learn much from our experiences. I think they get a lot of customers with DevOps IT teams that are willing to put in a lot of elbow grease to get the most of Sensu's architecture.

However, despite explaining my continued disappointment with their documentation and the overall flow of the product, I never got much more than a "sorry" and a notice that their documentation was open source if I wanted to contribute to it.

The problem, of course, is that you can't document what you don't understand. I'm a former technical writer, so I know that better than most.

Do you think Sensu delivers good value for the price?

No

Are you happy with Sensu's feature set?

No

Did Sensu live up to sales and marketing promises?

No

Did implementation of Sensu go as expected?

No

Would you buy Sensu again?

No

Sooner or later, companies are going to figure out that there's more to monitoring than what Nagios can provide. For those that want to dip their toe in the water and still provide backward compatibility with a legacy Nagios environment, Sensu is a good choice.

It's mainly for businesses that want more than Nagios but don't want to take the full plunge with something radically different and metric-based such as Prometheus.

Having moved to metric-based monitoring so far as I'm able, I can say with confidence that it's far better than what Nagios or Sensu provide.

Sensu Feature Ratings

Application monitoring
3
Database monitoring
3
Threshold alerts
6
Application performance management console
1
Collaboration tools
Not Rated
Virtualization monitoring
3
Server availability and performance monitoring
3
Server usage monitoring and capacity forecasting
Not Rated