Monitoring Your IT Services Beyond Nagios

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Over the last couple of months I have been talking to more and more customers about how to monitor their IT services properly and one thing pops up quite often: Do they need anything beyond Nagios® Core (aka Nagios)? If yes, what should they do beyond it?

The Basics

Nagios is free and so gets away with quite a lot but using it to manage complex systems can be a real challenge. It can also be unforgiving on anyone less than expert in configuring the system with mistakes being punished by a complete stop in monitoring activity. Opsview’s configuration UI means you don’t need to be a Nagios expert to get your monitoring up and running. All the software processes are kept ‘under the hood’ and presented via an intuitive interface so you can see the information that makes a difference to your business without getting caught up with software.


Unlike Nagios where data may be gathered from a number of systems and presented in different ways, Opsview’s drag-and-drop dashboards display all your monitoring information in one place. Devices and applications can be easily grouped by business services and their status displayed using simple ‘traffic lights’. Gauges and performance graphs a help you spot issues before they start impacting users.

Opsview also gives administrators the ability to create and share dashboards with users based on their role within an organization. When a user logs in who has been assigned dashboard they will be able to view the information provided in the dashboard, but won’t be able to make any changes. Typical applications include assigning dashboards to specific members of an IT team such as Windows or Linux administrators, or to CEO and business managers so they can see overall performance of the organisations’ systems. MSPs can also use this feature to share SLA information with clients.

Opsview’s dashboards make monitoring and maintaining large, complex systems less time consuming and more efficient with a scalable architecture to cover all your systems and locations.


Opsview’s auto-discovery capability is unparalleled in speed and accuracy. Whether on-premise, virtualized or in the cloud servers, network devices and applications are found and imported into Opsview in seconds saving you from the headaches normally associated with managing devices in Nagios.

Distributed monitoring

Building and managing a complex distributed monitoring environment with Nagios is no mean feat. With Opsview you get distributed monitoring that’s easy to setup and simple to maintain. You can monitor your devices and applications from a central location and grow the system without growing the monitoring complexity.

Slave server clustering

Opsview can automatically load-balance across multiple slaves and reallocate monitoring duties if a slave server fails, giving you high availability and scalability without additional overhead.

Agentless Windows Monitoring

A major advantage of Opsview over Nagios is that it offers both agent-based and agentless options to monitor Windows Server via WMI. Customers can go with the approach they prefer including a hybrid deployment in which agents are run on some Windows systems, and agentless monitoring is used for other systems.


Opsview’s keyword function gives you a flexible way of grouping hosts and services. You can tag devices, business processes and applications giving you a convenient way of seeing the status of the groups, e.g. critical IT systems, network circuits or business users and customers.

Master server clustering

Management of Opsview is performed on a single master server, however master servers can be clustered giving you the high availability and redundancy needed for mission critical monitoring.

Separate database server

Opsview can be run on a separate database server so you can move intensive reporting activity to a dedicated machine and fine-tune the server for better performance.

Host attributes

A feature you won’t find in Nagios, host attributes help simplify configurations by allowing you to create multiple services based on a set of pre-defined attributes. You can assign one or many attributes to a host and set service checks to use the attributes for a host to then create multiple services for monitoring.

Distributed alerting

Slave servers monitored by Opsview can handle their own notifications, allowing autonomy if communication is lost between master and slave servers. Alerts can be sent by the Master server or slave server by email / SMS so you’re always in touch with the health of your system, no matter the location or your systems.

Network Mapping

network maps

Network Mapping in Opsview enables powerful visualization of complex data; helping you understand the parent/child relationships between devices and their status in real-time. Network Map Dashlets can be easily created by dragging into your Opsview dashboard.

SNMP trap processing

Nagios has no native support for SNMP trap processing. Opsview’s SNMP engine accepts incoming traps, analyses the data and decides how to handle them. In-built SNMP discovery allows SNMP objects to be detected and monitored easily and rules can be configured through the management UI.

Cloning capability

Chances are when you’re configuring or adding devices and services to your network many of them will be quite similar. To save time you can simply choose to clone an existing device or service monitored with Opsview and add it to the network.

SLA reporting

If you have to produce regular reports for your management or customers, Opsview will save you hours by generating the service level, availability and performance reports you need when you need them. The reports can be sent out automatically on email in PDF, HTML, Excel, ODT or XML to your chosen distribution list.

Service desk integration

When you integrate your service desk with Opsview you get a powerful tool for automating incident reporting. Tickets can be created in your system based on alerts generated by Opsview, saving time and freeing up resources. Out of-the-box support is included for, Bestpractical’s Request Tracker and Atlassian JIRA.

Notification profiles

With Nagios you can be inundated with monitoring information, not all of it useful. In Opsview you can set-up notification profiles so the right people get the right information at the right time. Only want to know about email server status during business hours? No problem. Need SMS alerts about your webstore? It’s covered. Notification profiles can also combined with Opsview’s service desk module to automatically assign support tasks to engineers, helping streamline incident management.

APIs for Automation

Opsview includes automated APIs for configuration, monitoring and notification which makes system set-up pain-free and scaling simple. The APIs also make integrating with other IT Management tools easy.

Mobile Apps

Opsview monitoring apps are available for both iPhone and Android and will keep you in constant contact with the health of your IT infrastructure. Push notifications on the iPhone mean you’ll be alerted to performance issues even when the Opsview app isn’t running. Opsview Mobile is available free to all users of Opsview software.

Professional Support

Free to use software such as Nagios Core is fine for use in test environments, however when it comes to critical business environments, supported software is vital. With Opsview Pro and Opsview Enterprise, customers are able to rely on support by the team that build and develop Opsview as well as highly trained support engineers.

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