Nagios is one of the big names in network monitoring, and a very industrial package it is too, however given the time I had to do this article and the amount of ‘real’ time it takes to setup and configure Nagios (if you don’t know Linux, and don’t have a spare couple of weeks to understand the basics of how Nagios works then you’re in trouble) I was sure there had to be a better way. And I found one in Centreon.
The Centreon hosts monitoring screen.
Centreon is a monitoring system that uses Nagios at its core and with easy to follow setup instructions I had a fully working and ready to roll Nagios install in 30 minutes from the CentOS download iso which contains all of the files you need from the off, it was that easy I didn’t even have to download a working virtual machine! Once installed the initial configuration instructions were illustrated, simple and to the point, which came as a bit of a relief given some of the software I have been looking at during the course of writing this article.
Monitoring the office NAS box.
Centreon also wins points in its layout and execution with none of the raw text file editing that Nagios thrives on just to get some simple tasks done. All tasks are carried out in the web GUI, and backend scripting takes care of the tasks that Nagios would have you doing in a Linux shell session; this is clearly evident when adding a new host for instance where once you have filled out the relevant details and clicked ‘save’, you find yourself then visiting the ‘Nagios’ tab to tick some boxes to import the data to Nagios and restart the relevant services automatically.
Manually creating a network host.
That said, it’s still not perfect, although far easier to manage than a raw Nagios install, and getting certain features to work or report correctly (such as SNMP traps) still require much head scratching and digging through documentation. Also of note with Centreon is the lack of a network map feature, although you can purchase commercial plugins for this. If you want Nagios, but do not have the required skills or time to set it up then I can highly recommend Centreon as the way to go.
- Easy to setup
- Easier than native Nagios to manage and configure
- Well written documentation
- Nagios that does not take two weeks to get up and running!
- You still have to do a ‘little’ Linux shell stuff
- Features that would be standard on some packages have to be purchased as commercial add-ons
Operating System: Linux (CentOS included as part of the ISO download)
Download from: www.centreon.com