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Downsides of Nagios Open Source

ebernsen's picture

If you are a Nagios user, both the pros and cons of the software should be no secret to you since it is a longstanding monitoring tool. Nagios may still be a fan-favorite to some in the open source community, but there are several downsides that come with relying on ‘freeware’ monitoring. Open source attributes labeled as benefits can be deceiving, making it important to properly evaluate the needs and requirements of your business before selecting a solution merely based on its popularity. Here are some downsides to Nagios open source monitoring that tend to slip under the radar. 

Hidden costs of Nagios open source monitoring

Many organizations are initially attracted to open source tools because they are free. However, Nagios loses its optimal price tag when considering the cost of deploying and integrating the software as well as other necessities such as ongoing maintenance and support costs. No annual license fees sounds tempting, but it ends up being more expensive to maintain Nagios upkeep rather than working on more strategic projects with greater value. More often than not, the marketing behind Nagios as a ‘cost-saving’ tool doesn’t cover the hidden costs that add up over time, especially when certain features can only be accessed with Nagios’ enterprise suite of offerings. 

Product functionality 

Finding a fully functional open source solution is rare because ease of use is not always the top priority for developers. While Nagios seems like it has numerous benefits, there is more than what meets the eye when it comes to functionality. A Nagios implementation requires time-consuming configuration efforts to get the product to the point where it can return tangible insights, and if you don’t have an expert on staff, the learning curve to understand the intricacies of the solution can be quite steep. Without the proper skill-set in place, the open source nature of Nagios will force you to exert maximum effort to get any value out of the product and have it be compatible with the rest of your environment.   

Security risks

Open source advocates enjoy how software’s such as Nagios can be edited and accessed for free. However, this also means that hackers can access the code and find security vulnerabilities. Multiple instances, lack of access governance and clear text passwords are common issues within Nagios that are causes of concern for IT admins who are ensuring the privacy of their infrastructure. While open source software’s do create communities of like-minded people, it only takes a few to ruin it for everybody, so be sure that you take action to prevent any threats that will compromise the security of your organization. 

Minimal support

As with most open source solutions, one of the worst downsides is regarding support. Nagios does have a large community of users who share their personal experience using the product, but that can’t replace a 24/7 offering of customer support specifically trained to solve your issues. Rather than spending hours, or even days, working to resolve a high priority problem, investing in a monitoring solution that ensures the success of its customers returns a desirable ROI over time. 

Downsides of Nagios Open Source

Rather than suffer from the downsides of open source, learn how Opsview lets you take what you have in Nagios and makes it better by being a powerful alternative for your IT monitoring organization.