What is Nagios?

Nagios is an open-source monitoring system for computer systems. It was designed to run on the Linux OS and can monitor devices running Linux, Windows, and Unix operating systems (OSes).

Network monitoring software tends to examine the health and activity of internal systems via the network by sending an indication referred to as ping, to varied system ports. The system uses a large range of check intervals which may be explained as the time between two consecutive pings. This could vary from every single minute to every four hours.

What is Prometheus?

Prometheus is a renowned and open-source system monitoring toolkit originally built at SoundCloud. Since 2012 when it was first developed, many companies and organizations have adopted Prometheus, and therefore the project features a very active developer and user community. It is now mostly a standalone open-source project and is maintained independently of any company.

Nagios vs Prometheus

  • Protocols / Plugins: NRPE, NRDP, NSClient++ (mainly used to monitor Windows machines), NCPA. Nagios executes scripts on a remote server and then plugins send metrics data to the centralized Nagios server. In the case of Prometheus, the pull method uses here to fetch data, which means the server approaches open ports on its agents rather than agents connecting to it. It uses exporters to tug metrics data from remote servers.
  • Abilities: The primary focus of Nagios is more on application network traffic and security, while Prometheus mainly focuses on the applicative aspects of the application and its infrastructure. Prometheus is developed to collect data from applications that push metrics to their API endpoints (or exporters). Whereas, Nagios is developed in such a way that it uses agents that are installed on both the network elements and therefore the components that it monitors; they collect data using pull methodology.
  • Visualizations: Nagios is known to come pre-equipped with an advanced set of dashboards that fit the requirements of monitoring networks and infrastructure components. Prometheus also provides graphs and dashboards that don’t meet today’s DevOps needs. As a result, to display metrics collected by Prometheus, users resort to other visualization tools.
  • Alerts: Nagios is known to use a variety of media channels for alerts, including email, SMS, and audio alerts. Because its integration with the OS is swift, Nagios even knows to come up with a WinPopup message with the alert details. Prometheus offers Alertmanager, a straightforward service that permits users to line thresholds and push alerts when breaches occur.
  • License: Nagios uses GPL 2.0 and NagiosPL license whereas Prometheus uses Apache 2.0 license.

As per the comparison, both the renowned tools have their capabilities and features. It depends on your infrastructure's need and the architecture, evaluate the tool, decide which tool will fulfill the goal, and then adopt it for monitoring and analyzing purposes.

One of the main reasons why Nagios is preferred is its ability to scale out of the box. Additionally, Nagios is extremely simple to maintain and is highly customizable, making it a flexible fit for a wide range of application and network infrastructures.

We at Tetra provide implementation and customization services on Nagios. With a team having high expertise in Nagios, we are the right partner for Nagios deployment for your organization.