Prometheus vs. Nagios

Prometheus vs. Nagios

Table of Contents

  1. What is Prometheus?
  2. What is Nagios?
  3. When to use Hosted Prometheus by MetricFire?
  4. When to use Nagios?
  5. Pricing comparison
  6. Key takeaways

What is Prometheus?




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 you can define metrics by names and/or tags that 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 you can store data for up to 2 years. The Prometheus query language (PromQL) can then explore metrics and draw simple graphs. 


Get our free trial and start using Prometheus in minutes. You can see if Prometheus is the right fit for you. If you have any questions, you can always book a demo and talk to us directly.



Important to know: There are some limitations to hosted Prometheus. The solution? Try our Hosted Graphite solution to help monitor Kubernetes and all the other systems and applications you need. With the Hosted Graphite solution, you get:

  • Three times the redundancy storage than the old, file-based default Graphite storage. That means improved data protection and seamless scaling.
  • Automated control of Hosted Graphite resources through MetricFire's APIs
  • Viewing and organizing of important metrics through stored data using helpful tags


You also get team accounts, dashboard permissions, integrations, a built-in agent, and tons of other benefits. Learn more here.


Try MetricFire now!

Interested to see how MetricFire can help you with the process and help you get new organizational insight? Now's the time! Try a free trial or book a demo.


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 third-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 get saved and reused, and infrastructure management. You'll need different products 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 through 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 focusing on server, network, and application monitoring. 


Get to know our Hosted Prometheus better and check out how MetricFire can fit into your monitoring environment! Get a free trial and start using Prometheus now. Feel free to book a demo if you have questions about what Prometheus can do for you.

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