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Nagios Core OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

Nagios Core is the #16 ranked solution in our list of Infrastructure Monitoring tools. It is most often compared to Zabbix: Nagios Core vs Zabbix

What is Nagios Core?

This is IT infrastructure monitoring's industry-standard, open-source core. Free without professional support services.

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Nagios Core Customers
Airbnb, Cisco, PayPal, FanDuel
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Pricing Advice

What users are saying about Nagios Core pricing:
  • "We are using the open-source, unpaid version."

Nagios Core Reviews

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Nishith Vyas
Sr. System Administrator at Guj Info Petro Limited
Real User
Top 5
Well priced, lightweight and reliable

Pros and Cons

  • "Other products are good but from the configuration point of view Nagios is really very lightweight. The price is really good in my opinion. Another important thing is that my Nagios engine still works with Dual core 8GB ram for the last 10 years."
  • "Bandwidth monitoring is the pain point for me because Nagios Core does not monitor bandwidth effectively like Cacti does."

What is our primary use case?

The overall objective to use Nagios Core is "organization doesn't want to pay high monitoring cost" & still wanted to monitor entire data center infra. So, deployed Nagios Core to monitor typical server resource utilization parameters such as CPU, Memory & Disk Utilization.

Later, we configured PNP4Nagios which provides graphical level representation & to see when the WARNING & CRITICAL Level crosses. PNP4Nagios became very useful to get all historical (mostly past 1 year) records when asked.

How has it helped my organization?

Primarily, our focus was to monitor basic things such as CPU, Memory & Storage/Disk Utilization. Later, we understood that integrating multiple products & deploying additional services under monitoring will surely increase our productivity. So, we moved ahead to integrate PNP4Nagios, NagVis, Nagios BPI, Nagios Read Only Dashboard to increase our productivity  &  to judge the incident before it happens.

Now, our Nagios Core is a complete product & we're happy to be a part of it.

What is most valuable?

We found Nagios Core a great product. Started working with Nagios Core when RHEL 5 was there & since then it is still in functioning mode and various types of hosts and services have been configured such as the IBM AIX, Linux, Microsoft Windows, Cisco Routers & Switches & certain gateway level firewalls. (Fortigate, Juniper netscreen, Checkpoint, Radware) 

As my knowledge gains, I've stated deploying additional plug-ins to increase our productivity like monitoring DATA CENTER Temperature using Cisco 3560/3560 Chassis Temperature. This was really helpful especially when your DATA CENTER doesn't have a dedicated temperature sensor mechanism. Nagios Exchange is a great source of plug-ins.

To date, total 127 Hots & 729 Services are being monitored under Nagios on an old Intel Dual Core, 4 GB RAM Desktop Computer.!!! Our future plan is to have a HA (High Availability) Setup for Nagios Core. To achieve this, we'll be using Apache Heartbeat (HA Proxy) for 2 individual Linux nodes with Common NFS Storage for Apache nodes. For backup mechanism, we would us "rsync" between NFS Node & Cloud Node over a secure "site to site' VPN connection.

Only the disadvantage of Nagios Core is it's shell based interface. Like Nagios XI, Core doesn't have an intuitive dashboard to configure everything (Hosts & Services) in GUI. Certain open source tool GUI configuration tools are also available but never used it as their -ve reviews.

We monitor both kind of checks. Active & Passive. However, Active checks mostly works well in my architecture. Also, I do provide Nagios Core training/support as per the end client need. Also, I've prepared custom Nagios Core documents for those who wants to learn & deploy. 

The biggest difference in Nagios Core & XI is, everything comes pre-built with Nagios XI, while for Nagios Core, all add-ons needs to be configured individually. So, Nagios Core requires hard coded system administrator, who understands advanced Linux commands, Editing of files, Directory permissions, Nagios Log Generation etc.

What needs improvement?

Recommendation: 1

Provide a user friendly GUI to configure various hosts/services using a graphical frontend.

Recommendation: 2

To monitor bandwidth utilization statistics (Just like Cacti) under Nagios Core. I completely understood that Nagios is actually an incident management system, not a bandwidth monitoring tool. So, I tried a lot to integrate Cacti into Nagios but the results are not satisfactorily.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Nagios Core for 10 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The most stable one.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I am the only one using it. I have deployed the same product in other companies, also. With Nagios, I have integrated the SMS gateway, as well as email services, email relay, and PNP for Nagios in a graphical representation. Everything is configured within the Nagios system. 

I'm trying to deploy more and more tools as per my organization's expectations and my expertise like Nagios BPI, the Business Process Intelligence tool.

How are customer service and technical support?

Nagios Core, which is an open source product has a very limited scalability features. Large Nagios solutions have bigger problems as Nagios core doesn't provide much scalability until you design a de-centralized architecture.

Basically, Nagios uses a group of remote servers & services that are configured to perform various kinds of checks. This design makes Nagios difficult to scale, as large fleets quickly reach the limit of vertical scaling, and Nagios does not easily scale horizontally.

For me, I've configured a total of 7 different Nagios Core Servers to monitor hundreds of nodes. Using this methodology, I can be able to cover different groups of infrastructure & all those Nagios Core Servers transmit real time data on an independent Nagios dashboard tool named MNTOS (Multi Nagios Tactical Dashboard System).

Here, I just need to monitor MNTOS Dashboard which shows all statistics & can jump on that Nagios Server directly if MNTOS shows any kind of WARNING/CRITICAL Alerts.

In summary, you need to put too much efforts to scale Nagios Core to justify organization's actual requirements.


 

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Previously, I tried to use Zabbix, however I was much more confident with Nagios being a Linux System Administrator. Working on a shell prompt is my hobby & that's the main reason I choose & continue nagios core.

I'm not using any other products and I am not even considering any further products.

How was the initial setup?

Setup is straight-forward & well documented.

What about the implementation team?

I'm the only person who manages Nagios Core & relevant services. Once deployed, I provided raining to some Linux engineers so that they can manage it during my unavailability.  So, everything in in-house. Also, we've a roll back option to restore the last configuration if something goes wrong. In most cases, junior linux engineers make a mistake in nagios host/service configuration files. So, prior to make any changes, they need to make a backup copy under the same directory level.

What was our ROI?

Saved million of rupees just because of Nagios Core. Else, a Tier-III Data Center requires a  paid tool for end-to-end monitoring. Even, my organization endorse Nagios Core Community & put reviews.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

In my opinion, the price is very competitive compared to other products. Just compare it with "SolarWinds, Check MK" etc.. 

Other products are good but from the configuration point of view Nagios is really very god & easy to understand. For me, Nagios isn't pricy if you compare the features & services offered. It can easily run on a basic desktop level hardware to monitor 100s of hosts & services.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Nope. I just googled it & found Nagios Core on the top based on the reviews, use cases & manageability. 

What other advice do I have?

My advice to anyone considering using Nagios Core is, from the data center point of view you should try & deploy Nagios Core especially when you need an end to end, full functional monitoring system, but organizations doesn't want to spend too much in 24x7 monitoring system. 

Nagios is really very good from that point of view. If you are paying, Nagios XI is good. If you don't pay, Nagios core is also good. But Nagios Core needs more expertise. You need to put too much effort into configuring different kinds of services. Installation is straight-forward. 

I don't have any advice other than that Nagios Core is a starting point for everyone to learn data center monitoring systems. I bought Nagios XI just because certain organizations wants to manage it at their own. Else, I would strongly recommend Nagios Core only.

One a scale of one to ten, I would give Nagios Core a 10 out of 10.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Hybrid Cloud
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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JE
Network Engineer at a retailer with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
Efficient and easy to manage with good stability

Pros and Cons

  • "The solution is quite efficient."
  • "It would be nice if the company offered a sales or contract manager that was dedicated to our company so that we would have some sort of link to Nagios, and if we had issues or questions, we'd be able to contact them directly."

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the solution for monitoring ops for computers and our server. We're considering adding other device monitoring as well and at points of sale.

What is most valuable?

The solution is quite efficient.

The system's alerts are quite good.

The solution is very complete and mostly easy to manage.

What needs improvement?

The latest version is a bit more difficult. There have been some changes that have not really improved the solution.

We have a new manager coming in, and they will watch and see over the course of the year if the solution needs any specific improvements. We're still in the process of testing the solution.

The implementation and deployment might need to be slightly improved.

It would be nice if the company offered a sales or contract manager that was dedicated to our company so that we would have some sort of link to Nagios, and if we had issues or questions, we'd be able to contact them directly.

It would be good if the solution had some sort of alarm system to alert managers to any issues. We get good alerts, they just need to get to the right person more efficiently.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've used the solution over the last 10 months or so. It's been almost a year. We initiated the product in 2020.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability of the solution is quite good. We haven't had any issues per se. It's been reliable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We haven't had any issues with scalability. If a company needs to expand it, it should be able to.

We have about 100 hosts and about 10 servers at this point and maybe 19 at the point of sale.

How are customer service and technical support?

We don't really have technical support from the solution. We rely instead on learning the solution and focusing on documentation if we need assistance. There's also a community online that's quite helpful.

Their documentation is very complete and they have pretty good policies in place.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We did previously use a different solution. We still use it. It continues to monitor our network. We have a new CTO that is looking to make changes. We're evaluating more economical options.

How was the initial setup?

The installation is initially a little bit complex.

The process took several months. Originally, we were using Linux systems.

What about the implementation team?

We didn't have installers or another company assist us. We handled the implementation ourselves.

What other advice do I have?

We're just customers and end-users. We don't have a business relationship with Nagios.

We're using the latest version of the solution.

We're still in the early days in terms of usage. We're still feeling the solution out and testing it for its acceptability within the greater framework of our organization's requirements. We're looking to test it at the point of sale to see how successfully it operates.

Overall, I would recommend the solution to other organizations.

I would rate the solution eight out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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MJ
Network Operations Center Manager at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Top 5
Open-source, good reporting and online documentation, but the GUI needs improvements

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable features are the reports and the way it generates the report in a graphical manner."
  • "The scalability needs improvement, it's not scalable at this time."

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features are the reports and the way it generates the report in a graphical manner. The creating availability, the ratios, the uptime, downtime, and the outages.

What needs improvement?

Most of the issues have been covered through Nagios XI, but they could select some of the small features that are in the paid version and include them as part of Nagios Core.

Especially the graphical user interface in terms of configuration when you add in hosts, you have to use CAC and CLI to add hosts. You could use the GUI to add hosts instead.

The scalability needs improvement, it's not scalable at this time.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been working with Nagios Core for a couple of years.

We are using the latest version.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Nagios Core is a stable solution.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This solution is not scalable at all. If you want to add an AI, or if you wanted to monitor different types of metrics, you won't get the most out of it.

It's not scalable, which is important these days when you want to see more data and how your network is performing.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have not contacted technical support. Most of the online documentation is helpful.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is pretty straightforward.

I can't say how long it took to deploy as we had several deployments at the same time, but it was not a problem at all. We didn't have any issues.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

We are using the open-source, unpaid version.

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend it for small network deployments or if you have other open source applications or other metrics like utilization, CPU. So if you're running alongside other open source applications and in the small space, it works. But anything beyond that is not recommended.

I would rate Nagios Core a six out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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