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Pandora FMS Alternatives and Competitors

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Matthew Camilleri
NMS Team Leader at KORE Telematics Inc.
Real User
Top 20
Easy to use and deploy with helpful technical support

Pros and Cons

  • "The solution is pretty stable."
  • "The pricing has recently risen. I know they've changed what is covered under the license, however, it doesn't change the way we use it and adds nothing to our experience, and yet we now have to pay more."

What is our primary use case?

The company used to use ManageEngine, however, it was not delivering what we were really trying to produce. The benefit of Nagios is, as we are an MVNO company, an MVME company actually, we actually had to deliver monitoring based on in-house solutions. We needed to write code over our own monitoring solution. Nagios has provided us a little bit of that help as, in our proof of concept, it proved to be useful due to the fact that it's easier also for the network operations center to understand the type of monitors that are being raised. I recall we had a number of POCs at the time, and Nagios seemed to be the perfect candidate and therefore we kept using it.

What is most valuable?

It's easy to use. You provide what you want and you can monitor what you really want. 

As long as you develop your own codes, it is fine. 

The initial setup is straightforward. 

The solution is pretty stable.

Technical support is helpful. 

What needs improvement?

The pricing has recently risen. I know they've changed what is covered under the license, however, it doesn't change the way we use it and adds nothing to our experience, and yet we now have to pay more.

An optional delivery from their end in order to greatly produce some sort of a HA, high availability solution, would be ideal. At present, if I have a solution and Nagios is instanced in a particular data center and another Nagios solution in another data center, when you buy the license, you can eventually have different types of licenses. One will be a stand-by and the other will be a disaster recovery solution. What's missing from the Nagios side is the idea of having some sort of synchronization between the two instances. 

If I have a stand-by solution and I need ticketing as an active solution, I need to do many things manually. For example, I need to manually do ticketing on the backup and restore it on the other. It would be a good idea for some sort of mechanism, like a sort of clustering, which can help a lot for people out there who need something in an active-standby solution. I'm not sure this will be available out there even on other solutions, like Zabbix, for example, That said, I don't think they're really digging into this kind of scenario.

When you start deploying thousands of monitors, especially in a big company, for example, you have to take care, as that you cannot keep on pushing into one solution. It can become inefficient. They say it's specifically that when you skip an X amount of monitors, Nagios starts behaving differently. 

I really don't like the idea of the certification provided by them. As a company and as a team lead, I have other people who were interested in doing some certifications, coming from the management. However, they did not provide any sort of training, which gives you the independence to do an exam. It's like they just provide a simple document for you to read and then just to apply in the exam, just to be Nagios certified. On top of that, that kind of document is very old. I asked them if they had anything up-to-date. They told me that's what they have even though it's clear it's very old quality for the current engine that Nagios is currently built on. There were quite a number of upgrades - at least five. At the same time, Zabbix certification offers you training beforehand and then you can opt for either a certification or an exam.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used the solution since about 2018. It's been about three or four years at this point.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

For the most part, the solution is stable. There were some cases with stability, especially, for example, unexpected issues that you are not aware of at first. All of a sudden you notice that just as an example, the graphs are not actually graphing, all of a sudden. That said, it's very, very, very minimal. We don't experience big issues with Nagios. And yet, it is why we introduced the idea of having a geo-redundancy solution, so that we can also, if something happens, immediately switch and then concentrate to work efficiently on the one having issues.

How are customer service and technical support?

We use the support forum. In fact, it's part of the license. Even if you're just a member of the forum, you can still receive quick responses. We use it a lot and we ask questions. I can say that I'm happy with the way they eventually reply to you as they at least help, in any case. We had situations where we used support while we debugged everything ourselves. Through the years, and in 2008, we started merging all of our stuff onto the Nagios platform. Truthfully, in the last three to four years, I haven't seen that many massive issues. The platform is quite stable. Therefore, we don't use support too much.

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

We previously used ManageEngine.

I'm also familiar with Zabbix, for example, as it's quite the same concept. The difference is that maybe Nagios was a little bit easier for deployments.

We did a POC with DataDog as well and have begun to work with BigPanda.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is not overly complex. It's pretty straightforward. 

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

There is the Nagios Core, which is free. Then, of course, you have the Nagios XI, which is paid.

I found that lately when we went to renew the license, the difference was a little bit higher. It was around a higher percentage different than last year. That made us a little bit concerned. For a point in time, I was just checking to see if there is something that might go head to head with Nagios and maybe be a little bit cheaper. While browsing and checking out a few, I met also with the Pandora MS and looked at it as a less expensive option.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I've been looking at this solution in comparison to Pandora.

What other advice do I have?

We are a customer of Nagios, actually. We provide the monitoring solution within the company.

It's a virtualized solution, however, it's not really on a cloud as we typically have our own data centers. We applied it on a Hypervisor platform. It's a virtualized solution. Then, of course, we opt for the redundancy part by having different data centers. 

It's the same setup as Zabbix as well. Typically, you have a number of data centers globally, and then you concentrate it, for example, in our case, to various data centers and we usually do redundancy for. Therefore, we have the active solution and the standby solution, just in case there is a disaster.

If you are a mid-sied company with an eye on expansion, this solution is very good. I'd recommend it to others. it's easy to use and to deploy.

I'd rate the solution at an eight out of ten.

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