Solving complex problems using powerful code is what system administrators do best. It’s what drew millions of them to Nagios Core, our popular open-source platform with a large base of enthusiastic users.
For many organizations, Nagios Core solves significant challenges (monitoring systems and alerting admins when something goes wrong), but it takes a significant amount of time to configure and manage, especially as the company grows. Nagios Core requires deep expertise in coding to maintain the product and report on infrastructure health.
Nagios XI: A Powerful Time Saver for System Admins
This need for deep expertise is why we created Nagios XI, a user-friendly enterprise network monitoring product. It’s built on top of Nagios Core to not only alert system administrators when something goes wrong but also make network monitoring and reporting accessible to fewer technical users.
This added accessibility, which is not available with the open-source platform, saves organizations a significant amount of time, freeing up the system administrator’s time for other tasks that require their deep technical expertise. Below, we’ve outlined seven ways Nagios XI can save you valuable time.
1. Non-Technical Users Can be Easily Trained to Use Nagios XI
Nagios Core requires users to understand the command line (the matrix or code that runs the product) for configuration, monitoring, and reporting. The command line requires the expertise of a highly technical and often expensive internal resource, most commonly a systems administrator. Nagios XI was built to alleviate the amount of time system administrators need to manage repetitive day-to-day server and networking monitoring tasks and empower less technical users to manage the product.
Nagios XI’s user-friendly interface enables system administrators to train new, non-technical users on Nagios XI quickly. By training new users on Nagios XI, a systems administrator can spend more of their time on tasks that require a high level of technical expertise.
2. Nagios XI Enables Simplified Configuration and Bulk Modification
Nagios XI also saves time by simplifying configuration with its already-included 70+ monitoring wizards. Monitoring wizards, which are easily accessible in Nagios XI, make it easy for non-technical users to monitor new devices, servers, and applications. Wizards walk the user step-by-step through the monitoring configurations without requiring them to understand Nagios XI’s command-line code.
Once the devices are set up for monitoring, you can use templates to indicate things like how frequently checks run on the device, how often it re-checks after it identifies an issue, and which users or groups of users need to be alerted. Wizards, combined with templates, are a powerful way to enable seamless configuration and setup.
One popular wizard, the Bulk Host Cloning and Import Wizard, allows you to take an example of a configured device and copy the configuration to similar devices. For example, imagine you need to monitor 2,000 new Windows workstations. Rather than configuring each workstation separately (like you would have to do in Nagios Core), you can build one configuration, save it, and use it as a template that can be rolled out to the remaining workstations.
Similarly, if you need to make modifications, you can use the Nagios Bulk Modification Tool to make sweeping configuration changes across thousands of hosts or servers. Rather than going to each item to make the change (like you do in Nagios Core), you can automate the modification of many devices all at once in Nagios XI, saving a massive amount of time, especially as the organization’s infrastructure grows.
3. Nagios XI Cuts through the Clutter with Multi-Tenant Views
Nagios XI’s multi-tenant views and user permissions enable you to control which employees can see what within the product. This way, employees only see what’s relevant to the devices or locations they’re monitoring. Rather than sifting through an extensive amount of information to identify what they need for their job, employees can focus on the dates relevant to their roles. Multi-tenant user permissions eliminate the clutter that admins frequently have to cut through, which can save valuable time.
4. Nagios XI Quickly Pinpoints the Information You Need with Sophisticated Reporting
Nagios XI also has robust built-in reports. With Nagios Core, you have to navigate through lines and lines of data to find and correlate information. Nagios XI’s reports start collecting data as soon as you have devices set up. You can easily log in to Nagios XI, run a report for the information you’re looking for, and get the data back in easy-to-digest charts and graphs, helping you quickly pinpoint the information you need.
The reporting functionality also helps with the executive consumption of infrastructure monitoring. Any employee with permissions can view Nagios XI’s clear and easy-to-understand reports from a dashboard.
The enterprise edition of Nagios XI allows you to configure automatic reports on set schedules. For example, if an executive needs a report every Monday to prepare for a weekly leadership meeting, the report can be scheduled to be sent on Mondays at a specific time and in the executive’s preferred format (Excel, PDF, or PNG). Automated reports free up the user’s time, which would otherwise be spent pulling and sending them each week.
5. Nagios XI Enables Quicker Decisions on New Equipment and Hardware
One of Nagios XI’s built-in reports in the enterprise edition is a capacity planning report. This report takes historical performance data through a number of extrapolation methods to predict when devices will hit a certain threshold.
You can estimate when specific devices will reach a certain threshold using this predictive model. For example, the capacity planning report can be used to predict when a server’s hard drive will fill up. By anticipating this, you can reduce the amount of downtime that results from devices malfunctioning when they reach critical levels. The capacity planning report and other reporting features within Nagios XI also help you establish a data-backed case for why new equipment or hardware is needed, potentially reducing the length of the procurement process and the number of times you need to request the required equipment.
6. Nagios XI Grows with Your Organization
Nagios XI’s features (easy-to-use interface, configuration wizards and templates, bulk modification, user permissions, etc.) make it easy to scale the product as your organization grows. It also enables you to add any Simple Network Monitoring Protocol (SNMP)-enabled device for monitoring. As long as your device can return information as an SNMP trap, Nagios XI can monitor it.
This ability to scale saves significant time that would otherwise be spent vetting new products to enable growth or waiting for your monitoring company to build new configurations. Instead of having to do this, you can focus on the needs of your organization while monitoring the latest and greatest technology, all within your Nagios XI solution.
One of the benefits of using a product that started as an open-source platform is that Nagios has a robust community of users that share helpful tools called plug-ins. With Nagios XI, organizations can monitor more than just what’s expected (standard workstations, switches, servers, and websites). Users can also monitor smart devices, printers, and industry-specific products because Nagios’ user community has developed thousands of plug-ins for other device types. (We even have a client monitoring the temperature in beehives!)
Have a device you can’t find in the community? We have plug-in development guidelines to help you.
7. Nagios XI Serves as a Hub for Important Infrastructure Information.
Nagios XI integrates seamlessly with the Nagios Log Server and Network Analyzer. These products monitor activity on your devices and network. Similar to Nagios XI, you can create alerts if something seems out of the ordinary within the logs or network. If something goes awry, an alert can be pushed into Nagios XI, making it the hub you go to when checking the status of your IT infrastructure.
For example, if your Nagios Log Server identifies five password attempts that fail and your threshold for receiving an alert is met, this event can be pushed into Nagios XI. Rather than having to log in to separate tools to check your infrastructure status, Nagios XI can be the one place you go to monitor the things that matter the most.
We developed Nagios XI for the system administrators who brought Nagios Core to their companies but are now looking for a solution that can scale as they grow. With Nagios XI, you get the power of Nagios Core with added functionality that will save your organization valuable time and resources, helping you to be the rock star in your office.