A good network monitoring tool can greatly ease your job, whereas a bad one will only give you more issues to deal with. That’s why choosing the right tool is very important for a system administrator or IT department. In this article, we will discuss the comparisons between two popular monitoring tools, Solarwinds vs Nagios.
Below, we will discuss about:
– What are Solarwinds and Nagios,
– The distinctive features of the two monitoring tools,
– The pros and cons of Solarwinds vs Nagios, and
– Which one is the best network monitoring tool for you.
Solarwinds is a tool for network performance monitoring (NPM). It is loved by many people because of its ease of use and powerful features. It is owned by a private company, but Solarwinds does provide free basic tools. The complete software with more advanced capabilities is available in several paid versions. You can choose the suitable version according to how many licenses that you need. See also: Zabbix vs Solarwinds.
On the other hand, Nagios is a free open-source monitoring tool which can monitor networks, systems, and infrastructures. Although the basic software is rather limited, it has many official and unofficial plugins which can expand its capabilities. Nagios was originally designed to run on Linux, but it can also run well on other Unix variants.
Ease of Use
Solarwinds is generally very convenient and easier to use. This is because it comes with automatic network scanning and discovery. It is able to automatically generate a mapping or topology diagram. In addition, it has built-in templates for various devices and hardware units.
On the other hand, Nagios is relatively more difficult to use, especially if you are not familiar with the command line of a Linux/Unix environment. This should be less of an issue if you often work with Linux/Unix platforms. Nagios can perform automatic node discovery and mapping with an add-on, but you have to manually specify the IP ranges and subnet masks.
Both Solarwinds and Nagios support monitoring via SNMP, ICMP, and WMI. Both tools are also capable of application or service monitoring. Solarwinds supports database monitoring for SQL, MySQL, Oracle, and many others, whereas Nagios only supports SQL, MySQL, MongoDB, and PostgreSQL.
Solarwinds is great because it comes with more advanced capabilities for monitoring hardware health. It can track hardware health metrics along with CPU usage, disk usage, memory usage, and network card speed. In addition, it supports QoS and Netflow. However, some additional features may require you to integrate different products from the company, such as the ticketing helpdesk, web server monitoring, active directory monitoring, and hypervisor monitoring.
On the other hand, Nagios does not support some capabilities, such as network card speed monitoring, QoS, and Netflow. But many advanced features are available via integrations. Nagios can track some hardware metrics, web sites, active directory, and VMware hypervisors.
Reporting and Mobile Apps
Solarwinds has a larger repertoire of graphs and reports. It also generates reports more quickly. It has Android and iOS mobile apps. On the other hand, Nagios does have nice reports, graphs, and screen layouts, but there are no mobile apps available.
Solarwinds vs Nagios
|- Has free basic tools, paid complete software||- Free open-source software|
|- Relatively easier to use||- More difficult to use, especially if you aren’t familiar with Linux/Unix commands|
|- Database monitoring for SQL, MySQL, Oracle, and many others||- Supports SQL, MySQL, MongoDB, and PostgreSQL|
|- Ticketing helpdesk and hypervisor monitoring available via integrations with other products of the company||- Add-ons and plugins are available, but only supports VMware hypervisors|
|- Has Android and iOS mobile apps||- No mobile apps|
You may choose Solarwinds if you need the QoS monitoring, Netflow support, or compatibility with many hypervisors. Solarwinds is great if you can benefit from the ease of use, or if you don’t mind spending more money for the advanced features. However, if you don’t need any of those additional features, Nagios is more recommended. Nagios is free, with many add-ons and plugins readily available to expand the capabilities.