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For the purpose of a startup, I have a loan for one physical dedicated server with several virtual machines inside it

For now there is mainly 2 VM on this server:

VM "tools", using ubuntu server 10.04 LTS

  • A source code repository using mercurial and hgserve A bunch of
  • JAVA app for Atlasian for bug tracking, wiki...
  • PostgreSQL as the Database for the tools
  • Apache HTTPD as HTTPS front end.

VM "asterisk", using ubuntu server 10.04 LTS

  • with an asterisk server, functionnal, but more for testing as of now than anything.

But in the future we will have a "production" VM with ou JAVA application :

  • Apache HTTPD frontend
  • PostgreSQL database
  • Tomcat webapp (maybe cluterised)

What I'am interrested into is a software that can monitor availability of services, KVM VM, applications and database so I can react in case of problem.

I have also another use case where I'd like to monitor the performance of the application (request, CPU, memory...) and gather usage statistics.

We have basically no money, and want a free tool, at least at first.

What would be easy and simple tool for the job ? I have heard of Nagios and Hyperic but I don't know them. So I don't know if they are suited for our needs.


The need is not only for server monitoring but also as a way to investigate actual application perfornance, responsiveness and if possible isolate bottlenecks.

From the links (not the same question as it seem more generic but quite informative) and the actual responses, Nagios + Munin should be a good fit. Problem is Nagios seems a little complex (I don't know for Munin). Will the Nagios/Munin combo will be able to gather detailled statistics and historical data for a java application (request/seconds, request latency, both with statistics by URL, hour, day, week... ?)

Are there other (better ?) alternatives ?

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marked as duplicate by Magellan, mdpc, TheCleaner, Falcon Momot, voretaq7 Sep 4 '13 at 19:28

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

Shopping Questions are considered Off-Topic here on ServerFault. Please see the Help section or Here for more info. If you are interested in having a way to ask these types of questions head over to the IT Shopping Questions Beta and post your question as a possible question for the beta and follow the proposal. – TheCleaner Sep 4 '13 at 18:29
up vote 4 down vote accepted

Nagios. I was scared of the text configuration for a long time and tried all the other popular or remotely popular solutions out there, but was never satisfied. Once I eventually tried nagios and actually went through the configuration - I loved it, and actually find it much easier to configure and customize than gui tools like Zenoss.

While I have not done this yet, you could combine this with Monit to automatically try to recover from problems, and with Munin to collect historical data.


Documentation for setting up Nagios and for Munin. It's Ubuntu specific, but I actually followed this to configure Nagios on Red Hat.

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I understand Nagios can monitor servers and report failures. But, will Nagios alone will be able to keep historical data like requests/seconds or average response time of SQL queries? Does this will work with Munin added to the mix? – Nicolas Bousquet May 11 '11 at 18:40
After reading the other stack link from nedm, +1 For Munin that seems to be the reference for historical data. Nagios... seems to be a little complex... – Nicolas Bousquet May 11 '11 at 18:53
I thought Nagios looked complex too, but it's really simple once you get the gist of it. Here is the documentation I followed for setting it up: It's for Ubuntu, but I set it up Red Hat, the configuration is the same, although if I did it again I would just use Ubuntu. – James May 11 '11 at 20:29
Also, take a look at Icinga, and configuration is a breeze with Nconf :-) – Bart De Vos May 11 '11 at 21:03

This is a frequently asked question -- Looooooooots of options out there.

We like ZenOSS.

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From the ZenOSS link, it seem to be not free, and start at 25000$... Not really in the free, or even cheap category... – Nicolas Bousquet May 11 '11 at 18:33
+1 for the link to the question... Even through most tools except munin seems for monitoring only and not for statistics, performance optimisation etc. – Nicolas Bousquet May 11 '11 at 18:51
No, no, that's beyond our budget too! We use ZenOSS core, which is free. It's missing some features present in the enterprise version, but there are lots of community-created ZenPacks available to provide functionality for different OSes and apps. – nedm May 11 '11 at 18:53
Ok, I'll check ZenOSS core ! – Nicolas Bousquet May 11 '11 at 19:00

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