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Switching from commercial network management products to Nagios

I enjoyed your article on Nagios. What commercial products would Nagios replace, and would I lose any features if I chose Nagios? How hard would it be to switch?

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Nagios can be used in place of commercial network management tools like HP's OpenView, CA's Unicenter, as well as products from other vendors like IQ Software. I don't know that you'd be giving up any particular features. While the commercial products are delivered with many features, with Nagios you can draw on the community to find add-ins for particular features. This is, of course, not really an option with the commercial products.

Switching would be a pretty significant effort. Implementing one of the commercial network monitoring products is a lot of work (which is one of the things they're typically criticized for). Implementing Nagios is also a fair amount of work. Replacing a commercial product once you've got it up and running is quite a bit of work; for that reason, most Nagios implementations are greenfield situations. In terms of tips, one advantage of having a commercial product in and working is that it will give you detailed stats of what machines, apps, etc., you're monitoring, which would give you a significant leg up in terms of migration planning.

This was first published in May 2005

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