Grafana vs. Nagios

February 23, 2019

Table of Contents:

  • What is Grafana?
  • What is Nagios?
  • When to use Grafana?
  • When to use Nagios?
  • Pricing comparison
  • Key takeaways? 


What is Grafana?



Grafana is a visualization tool that allows you to see and analyze all of your metrics in one unified dashboard. Grafana can pull metrics from any source, such as Graphite and Prometheus, display that data, then enable you to annotate and understand the data directly in the dashboard. Grafana dashboards are designed to allow you to visualize information in a ton of ways, from histograms and heatmaps, to world maps. Grafana also has an alerting feature that can communicate with you through Slack, PagerDuty and more. Dashboards can be shared, downloaded or expanded with hundreds of plugins that make analysis easier. Grafana is open source, and Grafana as a Service is available through MetricFire.  


What is Nagios?



Nagios is a proprietary software for server, network and log monitoring. Nagios can monitor all parts of an infrastructure such as applications, services, operating systems, network protocols, systems metrics, and network infrastructure. Nagios can integrate with hundreds of 3rd party plugins. Nagios also has really powerful server performance, allowing Nagios to process limitless scalability of metrics, with high uptime. Nagios has a web interface and advanced dashboarding for visualization. Nagios also allows users to do capacity planning, snapshot configurations so they can be saved and reused, and infrastructure management. Different products are required if you want to monitor network infrastructure or logs, and a third product called Nagios fusion ties them both together. 

When to use Grafana?


Use Grafana when you …

  • need beautiful, simple, annotated graphs. 
  • have multiple sources of metrics or logs and need to see them in one place.
  • need to share your dashboards across the organization.
  • need to reorganize information based on specific team needs.
  • need an easy to use query builder.
  • need alerting for events.


When to use Nagios?


Use Nagios when you …

  • want to monitor servers.
  • want to monitor networks.
  • want to monitor applications.
  • need Windows or Linux monitoring.
  • need log monitoring.


Pricing comparison

  • Grafana is open source, and free.
  • Business-ready Grafana as a Service by Metricfire, including hosted graphite and prometheus, starts at 99 USD a month.
  • Nagios Enterprise starts at 3495 USD per month. 

Key takeaways

  • Grafana can integrate with a huge range of collectors, agents and storage engines.
  • Grafana is open source, and free.
  • Nagios is a legacy IT infrastructure monitoring tool with a focus on server, network, and application monitoring. 


Get to know our Grafana as a Service better, and check out how MetricFire can fit into your monitoring environment!


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