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Why Scalability is Such a Big Concern When Using Nagios
When it comes to monitoring solutions, being able to properly scale is of the utmost importance. There will always be a need to adapt in order to keep pace with the growth of your infrastructure and the business in general. One of the top complaints regarding Nagios is its lack of scalability, an issue that should be a serious concern for IT professionals responsible for overseeing their unique environments. If you feel Nagios is only providing you with basic information on your devices rather than answering more important questions on a larger scale, it’s worth understanding why scalability is the reason for the inadequacy and what you can change in order to take your monitoring to the next level.
The root of the problem
If you are only monitoring a few technologies, the extendibility of Nagios may be sufficient for your environment. Unfortunately, trying to accomplish more with Nagios has created challenges for many IT teams. Larger Nagios users who have issues managing it at scale essentially use the tool for basic system metrics, and most progressive organizations have moved towards using streaming collection engines instead of Nagios. Reporting, configuration, security, and the user interface of Nagios have just not kept up with the new challenges faced in IT today. When trying to monitor more, many 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.
Scaling your monitoring with Nagios inevitably means spinning up multiple disconnected instances. Instead of viewing your IT infrastructure from one master location, you’re spending too much time and energy correlating data from each instance. Every time a new disconnected instance is spun up, there is another thing that has to be checked and managed. With every new instance means more difficulty in maintaining the uptime of your IT infrastructure.
Stuart Hodgson of the University of Northampton explained to us his team’s experience with Nagios, “We looked at Nagios because members of my team were familiar with it. However we quickly realized that it wasn't supportable and wouldn't scale with our environment.”
Why use a monitoring system that doesn’t scale to cover your growing IT infrastructure?
What’s the solution?
If you are an open source user of Nagios, there are limited measures you can take to increase the scalability of the product. As the saying goes, you get what you pay for and a free monitoring tool will simply not be able to handle the volumes of a more flexible, robust system. Keeping Nagios due to the $0 price tag may seem like a cost-efficient approach, but eventually, one realizes maintaining and managing the product is more expensive than implementing a fairly priced solution that helps you overcome the multitude of Nagios shortcomings.
Opsview has a proven and fully supported orchestrator-collector architecture, allowing it to scale to support up to 20,000 devices. Each collector system effectively monitors a section of the IT infrastructure, with all the information coming together in a master view, making it much easier to visualize and monitor your entire IT environment.
Migration is straight forward. Opsview is 100% compatible with all 3,000+ Nagios plugins. On top of that, Opsview provides you with over 100 preconfigured, supported Opspacks, which let you monitor a myriad of technologies straight out of the box. That means whatever technology you might encounter during your growth is not only covered with plugins, but also covered with an Opspack that can be instantly added and monitored within minutes, saving you both time and effort.