The key things you need to know when comparing Nagios to other IT monitoring solutions.
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Nagios Alternatives for Your Monitoring Needs
Long-time users of IT monitoring software know that Nagios has been around for over a decade and garnered a large worldwide community of users. Nagios can still serve its purpose, but if you are looking around for Nagios alternatives, there is a strong chance your environment has outgrown the capabilities Nagios offers. Before you stick with Nagios because of its reputation as an industry ‘standard’, it is important to take a detailed look at what you need out of your IT infrastructure. Here is a breakdown of why many sysadmins are considering alternatives to Nagios and the useful capabilities of other IT monitoring solutions which will increase uptime for your business.
Nagios monitoring is complicated to install
Limitation: One of the first qualms that many IT admins have with Nagios is the complexity of its installation. Nagios requires a lot of work to set up and configure, all of which falls on the plate of an experienced sysadmin who has extensive Nagios knowledge. When you compound this with the fact that no two Nagios installations are the same (eliminating any chance of standardized troubleshoots), the Nagios monitoring process becomes a huge undertaking right off the bat.
Solution: There are plenty of Nagios alternatives with a well-documented, easy-to-follow installation process and much more manageable learning curve. Of course, it is natural for an IT monitoring system implementation to involve some training, but the best solutions will make your transition as seamless as possible and eliminate any growing pains. Be sure to take out free trials and take part in demos of Nagios alternatives in order to find a tool that is intuitive. If it has full compatibility with your current Nagios implementation, even better!
Nagios network monitoring offers poor scalability
Limitation: Since Nagios has a relatively static configuration, it is not the most desirable solution for dynamic and growing IT environments. Scaling your monitoring with Nagios inevitably means spinning up multiple disconnected instances. Instead of viewing your IT infrastructure from one master location, you’re spending unnecessary time gathering data from each instance. With every new instance means more difficulty in maintaining the uptime of your IT infrastructure.
Solution: Ensure that any monitoring tool you choose scales as your business grows and keeps up with evolving technologies that will require new integrations/plug-ins. Many solutions claim they excel in scalability, but measuring the range of compatibility is the only way to make sure that your IT infrastructure monitoring is offering features with useful functionality. Having a wide variety of plug-ins, service checks, service groups, variables and host templates at your disposal will be vital in achieving peak scalability.
The ‘cost-saving myth’ of Nagios IT infrastructure monitoring
Limitation: Since it is open-source software, it may seem like Nagios is a cost-saving monitoring option. However, depending on any open-source tool to remain aligned with the long-term future of your business can be a difficult task. No annual license fees may sound nice, but it will ultimately be more expensive to employ a Nagios expert who spends most of his time supporting the system rather than working on more potentially profitable projects. As they say, time is money and the tempting short-term appeal of Nagios can sometimes be too good to be true.
Solution: You get what you pay for and this is certainly true when it comes to selecting a monitoring solution for your IT infrastructure. Whether you are an enterprise or small-medium business, it is worth allocating a sizable portion of your budget to implement a robust monitoring system that will reduce downtime and help your organization operate more efficiently. The Nagios alternative you decide upon will naturally be a great fit for your needs across the board, but don’t decide solely based on a lower price-point. An enterprise class tool will reduce the amount of time spent on maintaining the system, allowing you to focus on critical business components bringing more insight to your IT infrastructure decision-making.
Nagios alternatives offer better enterprise level security
Limitation: The importance of security continues to skyrocket in IT because let’s face it, no one wants to experience the potentially disastrous effects of a data breach. With multiple instances, lack of access governance and clear text passwords being commonly prevalent issues within Nagios, getting an open look into any potential Nagios system can be too easy. This makes security a major flaw of Nagios infrastructure monitoring and doesn’t exactly promote peace-of-mind when you are off the clock.
Solution: Securing your passwords in a set location under encryption decreases the probability of a data breach or hack by 70%. With this in mind, it is vital to make sure that your Nagios alternative has a security feature which uses reliable encryptions and secures all types of communication/data. Proactively using a monitoring system as a security advantage instead of a potential target should be the goal of a great monitoring infrastructure. If a data breach occurs, make sure that it is not the fault of the system which has the job of protecting it.
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