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Four Ways Of Convincing Your Boss To Get Rid Of Nagios

Chain of command is a reality that goes hand in hand with the corporate world, regardless of the industry type or size. So when it comes to making important decisions on vital applications such as a marketing automation system or monitoring solution, stakeholders are going to span across departments with management having the final say. No matter how passionate or vocal you are about getting rid of a malfunctioning, incapable tool (such as Nagios for sysadmins), it is ultimately up to the IT director or CIO to either get by with what's already in place or act upon the need for a greater solution.

However, there may be initial challenges in convincing your manager to switch from a free tool such as Nagios to a more costly investment. It is your job to clearly explain the reasons why getting rid of Nagios will pay dividends in the long run. If you are having trouble swaying the higher-ups in your organization, here are some pain points to touch upon during your conversations and if you clearly articulate the details of each factor, Nagios will turn from a daily headache to a thing of the past! 

The chance of downtime increases 

How many monitoring solutions do you use right now? It’s not surprising to see IT departments with five, six, seven or more to monitor their IT infrastructure. That means seven different dashboards, seven sets of data, seven different alert strategies, seven different reports, etc., all across the organization. Collecting data from across your IT infrastructure over a multitude of different monitoring solutions can create confusion, data loss, and even discrepancies of what is actually working in your environment. Therefore, working within multiple instances of Nagios can lead to an increased chance in downtime because the more time dedicated toward checking different monitoring instances means less attention dedicated toward maintaining service uptime. According to the Ponemon Institute, an average cost of just one minute of downtime is $7,900, which means nearly $480,000 per hour. With downtime having such a fatal impact upon the lifeblood of the business, ensuring that managers are fully aware of this correlation (as well as the numbers backing it up) is the first step in putting the idea in their head that using Nagios is playing with fire. 

Explain how Nagios deters from rapid growth 

From the largest corporations in the world to small-medium businesses, every organization is working toward growth and profit. With technology advancements becoming increasingly important to the business, IT departments must be able to do more to ensure maximum availability of critical business applications and do so with great efficiency in order to keep pace with their particular industry. Unfortunately, trying to do more with Nagios has created challenges for many IT teams. Organizations find themselves having to implement multiple instances of Nagios to cover different groups of infrastructure, causing inefficiency and making problem identification much more difficult. These scalability issues will have a direct impact on the ability to expand your IT infrastructure and ultimately, the growth of the company. With this in mind, the key question to ask your manager is this: "Why use a monitoring system that doesn’t scale to cover the growing state of our IT environment". This statement will surely resonate as a central factor in the decision to ditch Nagios because in competitive industries/markets, 'good' isn't good enough. 

Too much reliance on limited expertise 

Nagios requires substantial work to set up, use plugins, and configure – all of which needs to be done by an experienced sysadmin with extensive Nagios knowledge. If they are out sick for a day, it’s painful; if they leave the company, it is devastating. To say the least, it requires a certain amount of expertise when working with Nagios. On top of that, the rarity of this expertise is compounded by the custom nature of the system. There are some extremely smart and talented people on your team whose time might be taken up by formulating ways to overcome Nagios’s limitations. If all the knowledge regarding your monitoring system lies within one single person who happens to be your lone Nagios expert, you leave yourself in an extremely dangerous situation. By switching from Nagios to a different monitoring solution with an easier learning curve, you allow a wealth of knowledge to be spread out amongst the entire department and that is something any IT executive will appreciate. 

Lack of security 

According to IBM’s 2015 Cost of Data Breach Study, the average cost of a single data breach in the United States is $6.5 million. More than half of these breaches come from negligent employees, mismanagement of passwords, and system glitches. Some of these stem from simple security flaws in the system, including things like clear text passwords which are prevalent in Nagios. To compound this problem, commonly using multiple instances most likely means that departments rely heavily on single login credentials that everybody in the department shares!  This can create a security nightmare and that is the last thing any CIO wants to deal with!

With multiple instances, lack of access governance, and clear text passwords, getting an open look into any potential Nagios system becomes frighteningly easy. Although on the surface, a monitoring system might not be the number one place as an entry point into an IT infrastructure; more and more hackers are targeting them. Since security is such a hot topic in the tech news headlines, CIOs will be all ears if you clearly articulate how using Nagios is essentially a self-inflicted security threat. 



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by Opsview Team,
Opsview is passionately focused on monitoring that enables DevOps teams to deliver smarter business services, faster.

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