Solarwinds vs Nagios Comparison for Network Management and Monitoring

solarwinds-vs-nagios comparison

Marc Wilson

When comparing Solarwinds vs Nagios software packages for Network monitoring and management functionality, it's good to really dive deep into their inner intricacies to find out which basic and advanced functions each of them has to offer.

A side-by-side comparison of the two software packages helps us understand their strengths and weaknesses and will help you make the right decision when looking to implement or buy a new network monitoring/management system for your infrastructure.

We'll go through some of the tops features that we think all monitoring solutions should have and see if both of them have them integrated or not. This will level the playing field for both of them and will help you understand the level of depth, scalability, features and benefits that each has to offer.

Comparison Table of Solarwinds vs Nagios:

Solarwinds NPMNagios XI
Automatic Network Discovery YesYes
IPv4/IPv6 Support YesYes
Network and Topology Mapping Yes
(with Add-on Only)
Network Hop Analysis Yes
Availability Monitoring YesYes
WiFi Network Discovery/Mapping Yes
(Limited with Plugin Only)
Capacity Forecasting/Planning YesYes
Flow Packet Capture/Analysis YesYes
Hardware Fault/Health Monitoring YesYes
Web Accessible Interface YesYes
Configuration Templates/Wizards YesYes
Active Directory/LDAP Integration YesYes
SNMP Support YesYes
Syslog YesYes
Custom Alerts/Triggers YesYes
Agentless Support YesYes
Monitor Cloud Services YesYes
Plugins Available Yes Yes
(Plugins required for many
tasks from above)
IP SLA Reporting Yes Yes
Logical Groups Yes Yes
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Overview and Conclusion

A couple notable things that many admins should take into consideration when comparing the two software packages. Through our research, we noticed one particular trend in terms of ease of configuration and use – Nagios takes a considerable amount of know-how from the command line within a Linux/Unix environment to get going.

If you are not familiar with Linux/Unix platforms, file systems and how it operates, getting up to speed may take a little longer than you may expect.

Solarwinds NPM has the clear advantage if you are working in a Windows environment and are not familiar with Linux/Unix systems administration. It has built-in templates for hundreds of devices and hardware along with intuitive Network Discovery and Mapping features that will map out your Network Topology for you, which requires an add-on for Nagios.

One of the most promising features of Solarwinds' offering is their Network Hop-by-Hop analysis with their NetPath feature. Netpath uses advanced traffic simulation discovers dynamic network paths from a Source to Destination along with all the network hops in between.

This gives you a visual map of each router and switch your packets travel through along with important metrics about each network link and node, including utilization, latency, packet loss, bandwidth and error rates.

You'll be able to spot bottlenecks quickly and efficiently due to their advanced error detection features.

All in all, the debate of Solarwinds vs Nagios is really up to the end-user and their level of expertise with any given operating system and how comfortable they are with managing, configuring and maintaining either a Windows-based software or Linux/Unix based software.

Nagios has been around for years and many swear by it, but one of the downsides is the constant battle with add-ons and plugins that Solarwinds already has Integrated into their software. If you're looking for a solution that will allow you to start monitoring within a couple hours, then Solarwinds NPM is for you. They offer a 30-Day, No-Obligation Trial Period to test on your Network.

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