For a network monitoring tool, choosing the best product that you can easily adapt to meet all your needs is essential. Of course, each tool has distinctive advantages and weaknesses, so different tools may be suitable for different environments. Below, we will help you choose between two popular network monitoring tools, OpenNMS vs Nagios.
Continue reading below to find out more about:
– What OpenNMS and Nagios do best,
– The distinctive features and capabilities,
– The pros and cons of each tool, and
– Which one that is the most recommended network monitoring tool.
OpenNMS is a completely open-source network monitoring tool that has no licensing requirements. This is why it is preferred by many people. The free software allows you to save some considerable money. The OpenNMS group’s business model is to offer free software while providing paid services for consulting, training, and support. See also: Solarwinds vs Nagios.
OpenNMS is written in Java. This is why it may be a little slower and heavier to run compared to some other tools, especially on an older machine. However, it comes with powerful features and capabilities. For example, it has automatic discovery features so that you won’t need to draw the network yourself. It also has extensive data collection capabilities right out of the box. You can download OpenNMS for free here.
Pros of OpenNMS
The first advantage of OpenNMS vs Nagios is that it is a flexible high-capacity network monitoring tool. It can handle small, medium, or even very large networks. The performance is quite reliable. It can easily perform in similar levels as other products that require licenses.
OpenNMS is easy to integrate with alert systems. You can pair it with some alert systems to receive notifications via SMS or email. Whenever you need some help, OpenNMS has a detailed wiki and an active community, both of which can be very handy and useful.
Cons of OpenNMS
The first disadvantage of OpenNMS is the steep learning curve. It is quite difficult to learn. It also requires a hands-on configuration style that is based on scripts and XMLs. Such manual configuration may lead to an idiosyncratic installation that is difficult to understand.
Secondly, OpenNMS is focused on network monitoring. It does not have complete monitoring services such as server monitoring, application monitoring, business processes, and user experience monitoring. Finally, the reports aren’t generated in real-time and look very basic.
Nagios has been around for multiple years, and it is possibly one of the most renowned free tools in the market. Nagios works around a ‘core’. The Nagios Core is the most important part of the tool, and you can build plugins around the core to monitor specific elements. Nagios is written in C, so it is quite lightweight and easier to run on older machines.
Nagios is very popular due to several reasons. First, it is quite easy to customize. You can add plugins as needed to widen the functionality. Second, it was the first tool that covered the previously unexpandable characteristics of network monitoring. Third, its initial market penetration was really great, so some people just continue using it.
Pros of Nagios
Nagios is easy to deploy. The basic configuration is relatively easy and straightforward. As mentioned above, Nagios is highly customizable by building plugins around the core. You can easily customize it to your needs. With sufficient knowledge, Nagios can be a very powerful tool.
Despite the simple impression, Nagios is actually quite powerful and scalable. The initial setup may become more difficult in a larger environment, but Nagios can still perform well in such case.
Cons of Nagios
The GUI of Nagios is not very user-friendly. It also has a steep learning curve. You need to make manual modifications to set up the tool properly. Note that a Nagios installation may look more like a “puzzle” rather than a standard complete product.
Nagios also has very simple reports. When it comes to SNMP, Nagios’s capabilities are very limited. Nagios does not have many feature for polling and trap management.
OpenNMS vs Nagios
|- Focused on network monitoring||- Wider monitoring capabilities|
|- Comes with advanced capabilities like network discovery and data collection||- Requires customization by installing the necessary plugins|
|- No real-time reports||- Can deliver real-time reports|
|- Written in Java||- Written in C|
|- Relatively slower to run on old hardware||- Faster to run on old hardware|
If you prefer a flexible high-capacity network monitoring tool with advanced capabilities that are ready out of the box, OpenNMS is the way to go. However, if you prefer a highly customizable tool, Nagios makes a better choice with the plugins.