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Can you recommend any alternatives to Nagios, capable of monitoring both Linux and Windows computers and having an extensible architecture? I would like free products, but commercial ones could also be acceptable.

I am interested in monitoring CPU load, memory load, swapping, running processes, running services as I intend to use the software for performance monitoring. I would also like the monitoring plugins to be able to generate events when a certain threshold is exceed for a period of time and to pass data to external application (custom event handler functionality).

I do not know yet the deployment scenario, therefore having a relatively small footprint and being able to run on a regular computer with little performance impact is a plus (monitor just the host).

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Any particular reason you don't want to go with Nagios? –  Sam Nov 12 '09 at 10:36
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There are plenty of alternatives to nagios, but it depends what exactly you're looking for. If you said why nagios wasn't suitable, it would give people more of a hint. –  Philip Reynolds Nov 12 '09 at 10:41
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should be community wiki –  warren Nov 12 '09 at 12:56

17 Answers 17

up vote 5 down vote accepted

My sys admins have settled on Groundwork, which incorporates Nagios and other opensource products while improving the management interface, deployment, and configuration. The pay version is pretty cheap for 100 or fewer devices ($49/year).

We tried Hyperic and Zenoss. Hyperic was pretty good, but once you download it, they will hound you forever trying to sell the paid version - outside of Oracle, no one has ever called me so often about a product. Maybe that has changed now that Spring Source owns them. Zenoss looks good, but can be complicated to get setup to do useful stuff since it required a lot of snmp configuration and we started to run up against the limits of the open source version fairly early in our testing and decided that we couldn't afford the the paid version.

You might also find some other useful alternatives at http://monitoringforge.org

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Hyperic seems to be better for what I need. It also looks like a mature, professional product. –  iulianchira Dec 17 '09 at 13:44

Zabbix works great and his extremely flexible and scalable, you may distribute nodes or proxies among your sites

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+1 Yes, Zabbix is really nice. IMO, the best idea of Zabbix is that it gets data (one value) instead of status (OK, WARNING, CRITICAL). So you can graph any check without configuring graph before... You can also easily create alerts or reports from multiple checks. –  sebthebert Nov 12 '09 at 17:19
    
Yep, any program outputing a resulet can feed Zabbix, Zabbix and Splunk are a great tandem. –  Maxwell Nov 12 '09 at 21:04
    
Since last year we're using Zabbix in our company network and it works just great. The distributed monitoring feature and the possibility to deploy proxies over your networks is amazing. It has not the prettiest user interface but you can get used to it. ;-) –  cwo Jan 25 '12 at 15:41

Maybe also the Nagios Fork Icinga is worth a look.

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I run zenoss at work, but I run munin at home. They are both excellent products.

Zenoss is a full featured NMS and has many useful tools.

Munin is straight graphing and alerting. But very flexible.

If you want log file integration use zenoss. If not, use munin.

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Isn't Munin is very different from Nagios: its a server-side configured type of monitoring rather than client-side configured? –  djangofan May 11 '11 at 18:26

Have you looked at OpenNMS?

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I have switched from Nagios to Zabbix some time ago and though there are some problems with it - still they are easier to overcome and manage than Nagios, especially for people that are not technical nor do they have access to the server. Zabbix has nice web ui to manage hosts, services, alerts, triggers and so on and pretty flexible rule mechanism, autodiscovery, maps and other goodies - give it a try!

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Two that come to mind are

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I used bigbrother a very long time ago, which is proprietary and shell script driven (really helps with unix-like compatibility). An open-source compatible port named hobbit was developed, which was subsequently renamed to xymon, which I then adopted. It is extremely fast, ridiculously easy to setup since it automatically graphs (using rrd), and meets AFAIK all enterprise criteria (reporting, groups, downtime, etc).

The thing that made me stick with it almost all of this time are the little things, like out of the box support for SSL cert expiration, the fact that you can configure it to alert you when something is running (cough like telnet on a solaris 9 install), and what I consider to be most important: context sensitive monitoring like doing more than just checking that port 80 is open, but making sure it's a HTTP 200, etc.

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A Nagios-like alternative that is more modern and scalable would be Shinken.

  • It is Windows and Unix native. So no problem running windows based WMI/powershell/etc.
  • Assigns business priority to events in addition to the state to permit filtering/alerting on business impacting services.
  • It can use all existing Nagios plugins and frontends.
  • 100% python including a Livestatus API. So modern and maintainable.

  • Based on Pyro distributed programming, so no issue running it on one or ten boxes.

  • Has one of the best correlation and dependancies models without resorting to huge $$$ for Monolith/Smarts/etc.
  • Web configuration interface using nconf. Has a configuration API.

Of the open sourced solutions Shinken and Zabbix are the two outstanding ones that are taking off.

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I currently use and love ZenOSS. It's way easier to configure than Nagios and a pleasure to use. It works as expected out of the box, but it requires a solid configuration.

Other interesting options :

  • Cacti with the "Monitor" plugin. Adding a host is a little more complicated than with ZenOSS, but still a good and light solution (and nothing alike the complexity of Nagios).
  • Nagios Centreon (formerly Nagios Oreon) : a PHP frontend to Nagios. I've not tested it personally, but it supposedly hides a bit of the complexity.
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http://www.intellipool.se/

Intellipool is quite good (it's closed and paid) but it's not as pricey as the big boys.

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Well, if you have money, I would go with SCOM2007 From R2 it has integrated cross-platform monitoring. As for Windows it is really end-to-end complex monitoring. Moreoverm it's highly extensible with 3rd-party features and Management Packs. For example, Jalasoft has Xian for network devices monitoring. You can even extend OpsMgr to check for the coffee level if you want :) Disadvantages are really price, complexity and the need to have some training (or much testing and reading). But if your infrastructure is big enough, high-precise monitoring, extensibility and tiering overcome those disadvantages.

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You don't mention the target OS, but if you want to run the monitoring station on a Windows box, have a look at PRTG (freeware or commercial). It will allow you to create custom sensors and custom actions (we call them "notifications").

You mention you need something with a small footprint: Paessler monitors their complete office network (75 devices with more than 1400 sensors) on a DELL Inspiron Mini netbook (details...)

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I've used a number of monitoring systems but keep coming back to mon. It's incredibly easy to configure, easy to maintain and with the sole exception of handling SNMP traps it's monitored and alerted with anything I've thrown at it.

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We have just started using Zenoss and so far i'm very pleased. Easy configuration of what should be monitored and what causes alerts. Only modification I've done is to change the pager altering to send SMS instead.

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We have had customers who have switched from Nagios to SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor because Nagios did not provide support for virtual environments and the customer wanted to monitor both physical and virtual servers & applications with one UI. One customer had done a lot of custom monitoring of applications with Nagios and had no problem moving those scripts to SolarWinds.

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You can take look at Spiceworks It is free and easy to set up.

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SW does not do much of anything that the OP wants: Real-time alerting, CPU/Memory Usage, Swapping, etc. –  Josh Brower Nov 12 '09 at 12:31
    
Maybe that was true when this was posted? It certainly does those things now. (Including SNMP) spiceworks.com/free-network-monitoring-management-software –  Scandalon Aug 27 '10 at 19:48
    
I have a big problem with Spiceworks: even thou they say they won't cell my info to anyone and stuff like, it just looks like a big spyware operation: I understand that they are trying to get paid from advertisers rather than selling a paid version, but I'd rather have a paid one then see all of that crap on my monitoring pages. –  Nick Gorbikoff Oct 26 '11 at 14:39

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