Comparison between different monitoring tools



First of all, there are few key factors that none of the products could beat nagios. Here are they

1.    Nagios is extremely lightweight. It can process hundreds of checks per minute with minimal impact on monitored
hosts. (Host means anything that you monitor).
Whereas most of the products are developed using Java and very heavy on operation. They uses Agents for better
metric data collection which are also in most cases written in Java. They support SNMP based checks as well but
that’s the same info that Nagios can pull.

2.   Web interface of Nagios is pretty simple and HTML based which makes faster access to it and gives a whole
overview/snapshot of current status just in a single HTML page. Navigation to right information is lot simpler
whereas for other products its pretty complex and you’ve to do a lot of “clicks” to get to the right information.

3.    Nagios is highly customizable compared to other products. To get most out of the rest of the products you need to
go for commercial or enterprise versions which is pretty costly and they provide less customization. ( probably
to get their support, I’m not sure though).

4.    None has a “Firefox plugin” like Nagios, which I think an indispensable part of (and I think others who use
Nagios for their infrstructure monitoring)  monitoring. We all can remotely monitors and far from our
infrastructure and we need this little friend very much.

The biggest lackings for nagios is that it doesn’t have any Trap Handler. Other products have but it seems this
featuere is everyone’s key selling feature. Some have it in commercial version and some, like OpenNMS, has this
with very complex configuration process. But we have a basic trap processing integrated with nagios.And I think
with more time investment and development effort we can make it better for processing all the traps.

In general, I haven’t found any product that we evaluated highly better than Nagios that could lead us to
abandon Nagios and go for that product. And none will work out of the box to monitor  each and everything that
we have. Doesn’t matter what product we choose we’ll have to extend it by writng/developing add-ons/plugins.

I liked SMC most among all the products. Just because it gives lot more insight on SUN boxes. By using SMC we can
get alerts for any kind of hardware failure on SUN boxes, can do a deep monitoring for those. SMC’s agents ( that
run on SUN hosts) are essentally SNMP agents with  extra functionality compared to the SNMP agents that we use
now. Also, if we just buy EventGateway and ScriptRunner module from Halcyon (which wi’ll cost roughly $20k) we
can monitor our other equipments too by SMC. But that’d involve lots of Custom Scipts development for things
that  don’t send Traps.

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