Use this Nagios monitoring tutorial for proactive IT monitoring

Learn how to install and run Nagios to monitor your organization’s IT assets. Follow these steps so you’re prepared to catch problems before they get out of hand.

IT administrators today must be proactive — rather than reactive — through aggressive and continuous monitoring of IT infrastructure. It’s their job to catch potential issues early, and save businesses from costly extended outages, data loss — or both.

Nagios, an IT system monitoring tool, enables admins to catch issues before they become full-blown catastrophes. Learn more about the monitoring tool and how to get started with this tutorial, which covers installation and configuration of the following:

All prerequisite software needed by Nagios Core on a Debian-based Linux server;
Nagios Core on a Debian-based Linux server and the Nagios server;
Nagios Remote Plugin Executor (NRPE) on a separate Debian-based Linux server, the Nagios host and the Nagios server; and
Nagios Plugins on the Nagios host as well as the Nagios server.
We’ll run tests for each stage in the process to ensure the example installations and configurations succeeded. By the end, we’ll have a Nagios server that’s able to monitor a reporting Nagios host.

A brief overview of Nagios
Nagios, released in 2002, is the standard foundation for all present-day infrastructure monitoring systems. While initially designed to run strictly under Linux, Nagios now runs under Unix variants such as FreeBSD, Solaris, Apple OS X and IBM Power.

Nagios comes in two flavors: Nagios Core and Nagios XI. Nagios Core — the open source version — is ideal for small- to mid-sized businesses and startups. Nagios XI — the paid proprietary version — offers additional features such as graphs, capacity planning and detailed reports. It’s a good choice for larger organizations and businesses with strict reporting and auditing requirements, such as financial institutions and companies that deal with HIPAA data.

Nagios handles core metrics such as disk space, network activity, memory and other basic services on servers, as well as specific services and applications such as Secure Socket Shell (SSH), Apache, SMTP, CRM and disaster recovery devices.

IT admins new to Nagios are often unsure which IT components, services and network devices they should monitor in their infrastructure. To prevent feeling overwhelmed, start with mission-critical IT components. With Nagios, IT admins can easily add, modify and remove components.

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