Prometheus vs. Nagios

April 9, 2019

Table of Contents:

  • What is Prometheus?
  • What is Nagios?
  • When to use Hosted Prometheus by MetricFire? 
  • When to use Nagios?
  • Pricing comparison
  • Key takeaways? 


What is Prometheus?


Source: https;//prometheus.io/assets/architecture.png


Prometheus is an open-source monitoring system built around a time series database, able to receive data and store it, in addition to supporting queries, graphs, and in-built alerting. Connecting to target endpoints to request metrics via HTTP, Prometheus provides a multi-dimensional data model wherein metrics can be defined by names and/or tags which identify them as part of a unique time series. Open-source Prometheus metrics have a default retention of 15 days, though with Hosted Prometheus by MetricFire data can be stored for up to 2 years. The Prometheus query language (PromQL) can then be used to explore metrics and draw simple graphs. 


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, snap shot 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 Hosted Prometheus by MetricFire?


Use Hosted Prometheus when you …

  • need a time-series database monitoring solution.
  • need long-term storage for Prometheus metrics.
  • need to use tags/labels for metrics.
  • need to run alerts across different data sources.
  • want to use and query both Prometheus and Graphite though Grafana all as a part of the same service.


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

  • Prometheus is open source, and free.
  • Business-ready Prometheus as a Service by MetricFire, including Hosted Prometheus, Hosted Graphite AND Grafana, starts at 99 USD a month.
  • Nagios Enterprise starts at 3495 USD per month. 


Key takeaways


  • Prometheus can provide a dimensional data model where metrics are identified by a metric name and tags with built-in storage, graphing and alerting.
  • Prometheus 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 Hosted Prometheus better, and check out how MetricFire can fit into your monitoring environment!


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