Nagios Core has millions of loyal users — and for good reasons. It’s a powerful open-source IT infrastructure monitoring and alerting tool with no licensing fee. However, the tool is highly technical, which could make scaling it difficult for growing organizations.

We developed Nagios XI to help organizations efficiently manage and scale their IT infrastructure monitoring and alerting.  Nagios Core users like it so much that some are hesitant to upgrade from Nagios Core to Nagios XI. We’ve noticed this hesitation has bred numerous misconceptions about upgrading from Nagios Core to Nagios XI. We’re here to settle these common misconceptions of upgrading to Nagios XI from Nagios Core.

Misconception 1:    Nagios Core works well for us; there’s no need to upgrade to Nagios XI

Systems administrators who implement Nagios Core invest many hours into configuring the tool to work for their organization. They know the tool inside and out. Once Nagios Core is in place and working well for the organization, they don’t want to mess with it. They don’t see why the upgrade would be in the best interest of the organization (and for themselves professionally).

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The danger with this thinking is that it fails to recognize the amount of time and technical skill that the ongoing management of Nagios Core requires. Nagios Core requires systems administrators to have a deep understanding of the tool. The technical nature of the product makes it very difficult to hire less expensive, non-technical resources to manage it. Nagios XI is for non-technical users, too. When implemented, systems administrators can delegate simple tasks to non-technical users and focus on higher-value tasks that require their technical expertise and help them develop professionally.

Plus, if the systems administrator leaves the organization, the configuration of Nagios Core will come with a steep, technical learning curve for whoever takes over the management of it.

Misconception 2:    I’ll lose my monitoring configurations if I upgrade from Nagios Core to Nagios XI

Some Nagios Core users think they’ll lose the monitoring configurations they’ve worked so hard to create if they upgrade to Nagios XI. This isn’t true. Nagios has a full migration process which enables organizations leveraging Core 3.2+ to migrate their configurations into Nagios XI.

Looking for more info on making the upgrade? Here’s how to do it in four easy steps.

Although Nagios XI incorporates advanced features like a config database which supports useful functions such as config snapshots and rollbacks, it is built on the Nagios Core engine and ultimately runs checks using the same flat text configs. This makes migrating your existing Core configs to Nagios XI possible.  We make this migration as simple as possible with detailed documentation and support in your initial year with Nagios XI. Nagios support techs have in-depth technical knowledge and will help make the upgrade seamless for your organization.

You don’t have to lose or delete your configurations when upgrading from Nagios Core to Nagios XI.

Misconception 3: We have customized needs; Nagios XI won’t work for us

Nagios Core is flexible and enables customization. Systems administrators fear they’ll lose the ability to customize if they upgrade to Nagios XI.  The good news is that Nagios XI is highly extensible. Systems administrators can write extensions, giving them the freedom to customize and create as needed. With Nagios XI, you still have the power to monitor your unique environment and craft components to meet your specific requirements, including the ability to continue leveraging the over 4,000 community plugins on the Nagios Exchange and custom plugins your team may have written.

If you’re still worried about losing the customization you need, we offer a free 60-day trial. Use this trial to test the functionality of Nagios XI and reach out to Nagios support at any time with questions.

Misconception 4: Nagios XI is too expensive

Indeed, Nagios Core doesn’t have a licensing fee like Nagios XI. However, as systems administrators know best, the cost of a solution isn’t calculated simply by looking at the licensing fee. Systems administrators are some of the most expensive internal resources at organizations. Any time they spend managing a product is an expense.

The highly technical nature of Nagios Core requires a systems administrator’s time. It requires users to understand the Linux command line code and the syntax of Core object definitions, which makes it very difficult to train non-technical users to manage day-to-day tasks. Even though Nagios XI has a licensing fee, Nagios Core is expensive when you consider the expense of a systems administrator managing it.

Nagios XI is easy-to-use for non-technical users. For example, it has 70+ monitoring wizards for point-and-click set up of the most commonly monitored devices. Within minutes, non-technical Nagios XI users can monitor a new device. Systems administrators can delegate routine tasks to these users so they can spend time on things that require their technical expertise and elevate their role in the organization.

Did you know that the initial purchase of Nagios XI includes first year of access to Nagios customer support? Here’s what that includes.

Misconception 5: Nagios XI is just a fancy interface

Nagios Core is a powerful IT infrastructure monitoring engine. Nagios XI sits atop it and makes infrastructure monitoring more straightforward and accessible. When you upgrade to Nagios XI, you retain the power of Nagios Core and also get a clean, intuitive configuration and reporting interface. Another common misconception of upgrading to Nagios XI is sometimes users think the only thing they get by upgrading is a fancy interface. The benefit of Nagios XI goes beyond its pretty looks. With Nagios XI, you also get:

  • The Core Config Manager advanced configuration GUI
  • A robust REST API that enables both fetching system and status data as well as programmatic configuration
  • Advanced reporting for executive-level consumption
  • Bulk modification and host cloning that reduces the time required to manage the solution

Yes, Nagios XI has an intuitive user interface. It also has features and functionality not available in Nagios Core that enhance the caliber of your organization’s IT infrastructure monitoring and alerting.

Making the upgrade from Nagios Core to Nagios XI

Upgrading from a tool you’ve invested significant time and energy into can be intimidating. Nagios makes the upgrade from Nagios Core to Nagios XI seamless with its hands-on support and resources. Once you’ve made the upgrade, you can take your organization to the next level of IT infrastructure monitoring and alerting.


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To test the difference between the two solutions, download our 60-day free trial of Nagios XI. Reach out to Nagios support at any time with questions.