DevOps has become an integral part of enterprise culture today. With each passing year, DevOps is maturing further and expanding its impact on the world. DevOps has changed how we build and deploy applications and how teams function, breaking down the silos between teams, especially the development and operation teams. DevOps uses many tools and platforms to improve efficiency, lower failure rates, improve recovery time, ensure continuous delivery of online or software-based services, and so much more.
One of the most important tools used in DevOps is Nagios. It is also a tool that we cover in our online DevOps training. In this blog, we will talk about what is Nagios, what it does, how it is useful, and how it fits into the DevOps ecosystem.
What is Nagios?
According to Nagios.com, “Nagios is a powerful monitoring system that enables organizations to identify and resolve IT infrastructure problems before they affect critical business processes.”
Nagios is the industry standard in IT infrastructure monitoring. It has been designed with scalability and flexibility at its core. It plays a critical role in ensuring that outages won’t adversely affect an organization’s business processes. It provides an enterprise with a clear picture of its mission-critical IT infrastructure. It enables enterprises to detect and repair problems as well as mitigate future issues before they hit customers and end-users.
Nagios was originally called NetSaint and it was first released in 1999. Developed by Ethan Galstad and then refined by multiple contributors & developers as an open-source project, Nagios has become an immensely popular and mostly the first choice for users when it comes to IT infrastructure monitoring. Nagios Enterprise is the company that was built around the Nagios core technology and it now offers a range of products besides the core Nagios platform, including XI, Log Server, Network Analyzer, and Fusion.
What can you do using Nagios?
Using Nagios, users can:
- Plan and make provisions for infrastructure upgrades before the outdated systems cause major (or minor) breakdowns and failures
- Respond to issues that are in the offing and maybe about to hit
- Automatically fix detected problems
- Coordinate the responses of the technical teams
- Ensure compliance with enterprise SLAs
- Ensure that any outages or unforeseen events have as minimal as possible impact on the enterprise’s bottom line and operations
- Monitor all the enterprise infrastructure and business processes
Nagios is a powerful monitoring system that enables organizations to identify and resolve IT infrastructure problems before affecting critical business processes.
Like some of the most popular and useful platforms & tools in the DevOps ecosystem, Nagios is open-source. It was originally designed to run on the Linux operating system but now functions on Linux, Windows, as well as Unix operating systems.
One of the most important things Nagios does is that it runs periodic checks on critical parameters of application, network, and server resources. Nagios will monitor important parameters and functions like memory usage, disk usage, microprocessor load, number of processes running simultaneously at any given time, log files that are running, etc. It will also monitor important services, including common network protocols such as SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol), POP 3 (Post Office Protocol 3), HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol), etc. Nagios will initiate active checks regularly. The passive checks would be done by the external applications which are connected to Nagios.
What is the Nagios Structure?
A Nagios user can choose to work in the command-line interface (CLI) or a web-based graphical user interface (GUI). On the Nagios dashboard, one will find all the important information about the critical parameters of the range of assets in the enterprise that Nagios is monitoring. These parameters and thresholds can be defined by the users and alerts can be configured for sending out when any of the parameters or thresholds reach a critical level. Nagios also offers an authorization system using which the system administrator can restrict access to users.
One major advantage of Nagios is that it can run both agent-based and agentless configurations. When using agent-based configuration, independent agents are installed on any hardware or software systems for collecting data which would then be transmitted & reported to the management server. Popular Nagios agents include NRDP (Nagios Remote Data Processor), NCPA (Nagios Cross Platform Agent), and NSClient++. Remote scripts and plug-ins can be run with the NRPE (Nagios Remote Plugin Executor) to enable remote monitoring of system loads, memory usage, and disk usage. When using agentless monitoring configurations, existing protocols are used to emulate agents. Either approach can be used based on requirements to monitor file system usage, OS metrics, service, process states, etc.
What are the different Nagios products?
There are multiple Nagios products offered by the Nagios Enterprise. The different Nagios products include:
- Nagios Care
- Nagios Fusion
- Nagios Network Analyzer
- Nagios Log Server
- Nagios XI
Nagios Core is the main Nagios product. This key product makes Nagios the industry standard in IT infrastructure monitoring software. It is a highly awarded and recognized product. Its performance and flexibility are highly regarded. Nagios core is also a core component in some other Nagios products.
Nagios Fusion is the tool used for visualizing the operational status and ensuring a quicker issue resolution throughout the IT infrastructure in the organization. Using Nagios Fusion, an enterprise can quickly identify and resolve issues across the infrastructure before critical processes get affected & consequently break down. Using Nagios Fusion, one can get deep insights into the health of the enterprise network via the centralized views offered by the tool of the complete monitoring infrastructure, thus, helping achieve quicker problem identification, vent correlation, and resolution.
Nagios Network Analyzer
The Nagios Network Analyzer is the commercial-grade network flow data analysis solution from the Nagios Enterprise. This tool helps enterprises get a complete picture of their complete network traffic. Using the Nagios Network Analyzer one can be proactive in identifying potential issues and abnormal behavior, allowing one to respond to outages before they occur or at least even before they become critical. It also helps one identify security threats before they adversely impact important business processes and operations. The tool provides information about the enterprise’s network traffic and bandwidth for the whole IT infrastructure in the organization, thus enabling all stakeholders to ensure that everything keeps running smoothly.
Nagios Log Server
The Nagios Log Server is the enterprise-grade tool from the Nagios Enterprise. It is a tool that helps organizations with log monitoring, management, and analysis. Using the Nagios Log Server, users can view, query, and analyze logs from the machine-generated log data. The Nagios Log Server is designed to help users collect, store, and analyze log data based on the customized specifications of the enterprise. The tool gives users in-depth insights into the data present in the enterprise’s network infrastructure all in one centralized location. Using the Nagios Log Server, a user can also easily search & analyze log data from one centralized location. This, in turn, enables quicker problem resolution and event correlation throughout the whole network infrastructure.
The Nagios XI is one of the most powerful and sought-after IT infrastructure monitoring and IT monitoring software in the market today. Nagios XI goes a few steps ahead of the conventional IT monitoring capabilities, empowering organizations with extended insights into their IT infrastructure helping identify problems and incidents before they happen & adversely impact critical business processes & operations. Nagios XI is designed to offer power and ease of use to users while giving them unbeatable usability, flexibility, & customizability.
What are the top alternatives for Nagios?
Some of the best Nagios alternatives include:
- Microsoft System Center Operations Manager (Microsoft SCOM)
What is Nagios used for in DevOps?
In DevOps, Nagios is used for the continuous monitoring of enterprise systems, applications, services, business processes, thresholds, infrastructure, etc. Whenever any incident or problem is suspected or a process/threshold crosses a customized, defined limit, Nagios will send out alerts to defined users in the DevOps ecosystem, empowering the users to initiate the remediation process immediately and fix the issue before it adversely impacts the business processes and operations, especially the critical ones.
Thus, we see that Nagios is a very important tool in the DevOps ecosystem, and every current as well as aspiring DevOps professional must know this tool thoroughly. Thankfully, Nagios is one of the tools Cognixia covers in its live instructor-led online DevOps training.
Learn DevOps with Cognixia
Enroll in Cognixia’s DevOps Training to strengthen your career. Take a step to boost your career opportunities and prospects. Get into our DevOps certification course that is hands-on, collaborative, and instructor-led. Cognixia is here to provide you with a great online learning experience, to assist you in expanding your knowledge through entertaining training sessions, and to add considerable value to your skillset in today’s competitive market. Individuals and the corporate workforce can both benefit from Cognixia’s online courses.
Regardless of your familiarity with IT technology and procedures, the DevOps Plus course gives a complete look at the discipline, covering all critical ideas, approaches, and tools. It covers the fundamentals of virtualization, its advantages, and the different virtualization tools that play a vital part in both learnings & implementing the DevOps culture, starting with a core introduction to DevOps. You’ll also discover the DevOps tools like Vagrant, Containerization, VCS, and Docker and Configuration Management using Chef, Puppet, SaltStack, and Ansible.
This DevOps course covers intermediate to advanced aspects. Get certified in DevOps and become acquainted with concepts such as the open-source monitoring tool Nagios, including its plugins, and its usage as a graphical user interface. The Advanced DevOps fundamentals and Docker container clustering leveraging Docker Swarm & Kubernetes in the CI/CD Pipeline Automation are thoroughly discussed.
Our online DevOps training covers the following concepts –
- Introduction to DevOps
- GIT: Version Control
- Docker – Containers
- Puppet for configuration management
- Nagios: Monitoring
- Jenkins – Continuous Integration
- Docker Container Clustering using Docker Swarm
- Docker Container Clustering using Kubernetes
- Advanced DevOps (CI/CD Pipeline Automation)
Prerequisites for DevOps
This course requires just a basic grasp of programming & software development. These requirements are helpful but not compulsory because this all-inclusive training is aimed at newcomers and experienced professionals.