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Five Ways To Monitor Better Than Nagios

ebernsen's picture

There are many Nagios limitations that can hamper the operations of any IT team. However, it can be tiring to read the same areas in which Nagios struggles. What’s more useful is knowing how to implement a strong monitoring strategy which will give you better control over your IT infrastructure. If you are stuck in the trenches with Nagios and searching for ways to be better, here are five ways you can execute a IT monitoring strategy that will increase the bottom line for your business. 

Implement with the intent to take action on metrics

A Nagios implementation can be a grueling process. If you can push through the learning curve and have a Nagios expert on staff who navigates the obstacles, some of the pain is eased. However, not every IT team is as fortunate and when managers expect you to immediately take action on metrics from your newly installed monitoring tool, the pressure is on. Be sure to take a thoughtful and realistic approach to your monitoring strategy. Start off with metrics and alerts focusing only on the high value information that your operations team can leverage, and take it from there. Once you master the basics, it becomes easier to quickly locate must-know data and utilize it to make informed decisions for your IT organization. 

Be strategic with your upgrades 

It can be frustrating when Nagios is behind the curve with their latest offerings, while other solutions are more innovative with their releases. Being late to the party is never fun and executing monitoring effectively is a challenge when product updates aren’t aligned with your organizational efforts. The best way of overcoming this is by being strategic with the timing of your upgrades. You get the most out of your monitoring solution by taking advantage of the latest product versions---which is common practice---and once their schedule is aligned with yours, the caliber of your monitoring automatically increases.  

Set up your environment for proper monitoring management

There are a number of Nagios limitations related to IT management; you have to register hosts before Nagios can recognize them, it doesn’t auto-detect new services, and doesn’t offer any type of event management. IT monitoring and IT management can compromise different areas, but a primary commonality is the fact that these systems should empower sysadmins to be proactive in their goals of keeping mission-critical systems up and running. By having a clearly defined idea of what IT monitoring and IT management means for your organization, you can implement the solution best fit for your needs and rid yourself of Nagios’ limitations. 

Use a solution with more wide-ranging capabilities

It is fairly common to see users pair Nagios with a variety of other monitoring solutions to oversee their IT estate. However, implementing too many tools in your environment can overcomplicate things and make it difficult to gain any type of insight into your systems. Why be bombarded by alerts from five different tools when you can have all your data points easily accessible in one central location? A better means of monitoring is to pick one solution that has the ability to cover everything from physical and virtual servers to applications and wired/wireless networks. Taking this approach results in better visibility regarding the status of your environment. 

Monitoring Better Than Nagios

Capacity planning for growth

We’ve discussed the struggles Nagios has with scalability and in order to monitor with a higher standard in mind, capacity planning for future growth needs to be a top priority. Growing business demands directly impact the need for greater resources such as increased network bandwidth, number of devices and storage space. Flexible monitoring systems allow you to keep track of additions into your environment and ensure it is equipped to handle increased workloads. By taking business growth into account, you can monitor your infrastructure with better foresight and put your company in a better position to see ROI with your monitoring tool of choice. 

Looking for a Nagios alternative? Take out a free trial of Opsview here and learn how Opsview brings Nagios from good to great.