Nagios vs PRTG Network Monitor

Your company needs a network monitoring tool but you are still comparing solutions, especially PRTG Network Monitor vs Nagios? Or you already know Nagios but you are not happy with it and are looking for Nagios alternatives? Then, you are on the right page. We will guide you through some of the main differences.

Comparison 1 : Setup and Configuration

Nagios can be effective in controlling small networks, and yes, the very basic version “Nagios Core” is available for free. But it gets complicated when you need to manage larger environments. In order to set up Nagios correctly, you would need a lot of time and effort before reaching a professional standard, either by changing the code or by using additional hardware to scale the solution. Professional technical support is not included and those who do not want to suffer should get Nagios-XI-Standard right away. In this version, a maximum of 100 hosts and 5 support tickets are included – for 1,995 USD.

PRTG Network Monitor Easy Installation Steps

Nagios Monitoring Setup Steps

With PRTG you won’t waste countless hours reading forums and editing configuration files. After installing PRTG in just a few seconds, the configuration guru will guide you through the set up and configure your tool for essential monitoring. You can also use the auto-discovery tool to automatically create a sophisticated and concise set of sensors for your complete network.

All in

With PRTG, everything you need is contained in one simple installer, no additional downloads are required. Even the database is included – in contrast to almost all other monitoring solutions. If you are using Nagios and you need to add a new device, you may require installing additional and external plugins, which is time consuming and may require special skills.

The pleasure of using it

We would not put it as hard as Jonah Kowall does in his blog article: “Got Nagios? Get rid of it.” And: “the level of usability and sophistication of the product (Nagios) is pretty much zero.” But we, too, think that the Web GUI is not really good and not intuitive at all. PRTG, on the other hand, uses a state of the art AJAX web interface and offers other user interfaces for older browsers and specialized interfaces for mobile devices.

Comparison 2 : Costs

The most common argument you can hear is that Nagios is for free. Sure, as an open source software the basis version can be used for free. But it has a limited feature set, has no professional support, is hard to handle and time consuming. Plus the installation and its handling needs a more than solid Linux-know how. And as soon as you need more functionality or even technical support, cost will incur. And as your network “is a living being” your monitoring will also need constant adaption. With Nagios that means coding.

In contrast, PRTG has a fair licensing program that grows with your needs, from the free 30-days-trial up to the highest license that can support an unlimited number of sensors – including the 30-days-money-back-guarantee. Plus you get high quality support at no extra costs. German IT magazine Funkschau thinks so, too: It finds that in the long run, PRTG is less expensive than the open source software “Nagios Core” as “the costs for the Nagios solution are incurred during operation instead of acquirement.”

Comparison 3 : Support

Most open source monitoring tools does not provide any real support from the developer as the codes are developed and supported by the group of community which develop the product. Whenever you need support on configuration errors, the only channel is through their public forum or mailing list to seek for assistance. Compare to Paessler PRTG, you get the true 24/7 support from the developer whenever you need any assistance.

Comparison 4 : Security

Being open source means the code is public available for anyone for download. Whenever there’s any exploit (especially zero-day), your business may puts into risky as patches usually won’t be release immediately for mitigation. PRTG code is compiled and the code is not available for publicly download for review which would provide another layer of security confidence to your network.

Compare it yourself!

We wanted to know how much you actually save with PRTG as an alternative to Nagios and any other open source network monitoring tools such as Zabbix, Opsview, NetXMS, OpenNMS, Observium..etc. That’s why we set up an example calculation comparing the costs of acquisition and operation of PRTG and Nagios(as example). We assumed a general set-up that can serve as a blueprint for many companies and compared the costs through 12 months.

The basis for our calculation was an IT infrastructure with two virtual servers for high availability, simple storage, corresponding network components including WLAN, and, of course, the established applications for e-mail, database, inventory management, and website/-shop.

PRTG vs Nagios Cost Comparison

The outcome surprised even us! We really calculated very conservatively in favor of the open source solution. But still, even within the first 12 months of implementation, you can save more than 5,000 Euros – or 52 hours of work that such a competent Linux expert could invest better within the company than with implementing and operating software.

If you would like to learn about the details of the calculation or do it for your own IT infrastructure, please feel free to download the Excel-file here.

Now, leave us a comment on what monitoring tools you are using to monitor your network / IT resources and why you have choose it against PRTG.

Why Customers Switch to PRTG Network Monitoring

Don’t take our word for granted. Test it yourself!

You can start monitoring your network today with PRTG. Get your free trial and after a couple of days using it you won’t want to live without it! The free trial version allow you to run Unlimited sensors for 30 days and change to 100 sensors by end of the trial if you did not choose to convert it to commercial – the best part is the 100 sensors is Free for life! But if you need monitor more than 100 sensors for your IT infrastructure, you will need a commercial license (you save 5% discount on it) and have direct access to PRTG support team.

If after testing PRTG you find that Nagios works better for your network requirements, really, no hard feelings.

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