by Jonah Kowall
Speaking to our clients, and other people at conferences and industry events I attend, Nagios is always top of mind. This is a battle covered many times, many people want to use or reduce the usage of Nagios. The question always comes up, what else is good for free? The answer to this question depends on how much expertise you have in managing infrastructure, and what level of monitoring you’d like to do. Open source monitoring requires the use of configuration management tools (chef, puppet, salt) to scale and control the consistency. This requires some level of expertise.
Most users of Nagios use it for basic health monitoring of servers and applications, and I’ve spoken about other low cost tools which build on the open nature of Nagios and leverage the massive and vibrant community. There are plenty of great open source alternatives out there which work, here are a few options:
Quick and easy:
- PandoraFMS – This project out of Spain is growing in popularity amongst Gartner clients with an easy to implement and configure product. The solution is open source and free, but also has commercial support options if desired. The UI is modern and fresh along with agents or agentless monitoring capabilities.
- Icinga – Most often compared with Nagios the product shares many open source components, but also includes a more advanced web interface, search capabilities, and better enterprise integration for permissioning and authentication. It’s a bit more complex in terms of getting reporting and other capabilities, but this is free software, work is required. The product is shipped as software or via virtual appliance, it’s worth checking out.
- Spiceworks – Windows only product, but this freeware provides good basic functionality in the monitoring space, which should serve the needs of many in monitoring of servers, network devices, and other components. The product can’t scale very high, but for SMBs this is a good option.
- Zabbix – This popular server monitoring product is also free, with commercial support options. The product has more legacy components due to it’s age, but is under active development. This is an improvement over Nagios, but there are better options available.
by Jonah Kowall