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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?
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 last published in May 2005

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