A Guide to Open Source Monitoring Tools  (2023)

This post was most recently updated on November 25th, 2022


There are hundreds of server monitoring solutions available, each with varying degrees of customer service and functionality. In today’s development environment, many engineers prefer open-source monitoring for greater flexibility and customization. We can gain functionality by using open-source server monitoring tools without spending extra money.

What is Monitoring?

Monitoring is the systematic collection, analysis, and use of information to track a program’s progress toward its goals and to guide management choices. Monitoring is often concerned with processes, such as when and where activities take place, who provides them, and how many people or entities they reach.

Monitoring allows firms to operate operations more smoothly and uncover flaws or issues that are creating problems.

Monitoring begins when a programme is launched and continues throughout the duration of the program’s implementation. Monitoring is sometimes known as process, performance, or formative assessment.

Critical areas for monitoring –

1. Real-time Server Monitoring

2. Network performance monitoring

3. Cloud infrastructure monitoring

4. Application monitoring

What Open Source?

One of the primary drivers of DevOps is open source. The demand for flexibility, speed, and cost-effectiveness is driving enterprises to adopt an open-source-first strategy when planning and executing the DevOps lifecycle.

Engineers may now choose from a plethora of open source solutions to assist them with various aspects of monitoring–from databases to user interfaces, instrumentation frameworks, data collectors, and monitoring agents.

Open-source tools enable you to edit code, tailor the tool to the needs of a network, and interact with a community of other developers working on their own adaptations that you may find beneficial. Network monitoring is a crucial element of running any network. The correct network monitoring tools may improve a network’s performance, security, and speed.The most important aspects of a network to monitor are network performance,cloud infrastructure, applications, and real-time server activity

Open-source monitoring tools –

‘A complete guide to open-source monitoring tools.

1. Prometheus:

A Guide to Open Source Monitoring Tools (1)

Prometheus’ key features are its dashboard display of network data and network warnings. Prometheus provides metrics with extremely comprehensive visuals, which you may use to build reports or monitor in real time. You may specify which network concerns Prometheus notifies you about, such as cybercrime, excessive CPU consumption, and high memory usage. You may also sort alerts by severity, kind, and status.

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Pros of Prometheus

• It adheres to a dimensional data model.

• The tool aids in the creation of ad hoc graphs, tables, and alerts.

Cons of Prometheus

• If you wish to use all of the tool’s functionality, the installation process might get difficult. • It exclusively offers commercial assistance via third-party tools.

2. Zabbix:

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Zabbix is an open-source monitoring application that allows you to customise your interface, alarms, remediation, and more. It keeps track of a variety of network properties, including speed, server availability, applications, and databases.

Pros of Zabbix

• Auto discovery feature is supported.

• Zabbix enables for simple installation and configuration, and the platform includes infrastructure management features.

• Allows for proactive alerts.

Cons of Zabbix

• A running agent is required for continuous server and workstation monitoring.

3. Cacti

A Guide to Open Source Monitoring Tools (3)

Cacti is a data-gathering monitoring application that allows you to construct custom scripts for data collection, put that data into various graphs, and display bandwidth statistics. It can automatically locate devices and networks, monitor thousands of devices, and offer rich insight on network metrics.

Pros of Cacti

• Cacti is an excellent monitoring tool for detecting problems and measuring availability, load, and drive capacity.

• Supports the alert function.

Cons of Cacti

• It is difficult to configure Cacti.

• It is difficult to install Plugin Architecture versions.

5. Icinga

A Guide to Open Source Monitoring Tools (4)

Icinga detects network issues such as outages, security, and performance. It also produces stats and sends out notifications. It includes auto-discovery for new devices, tracking tools, cross-platform compatibility, and the ability to monitor both on-site and cloud infrastructure. Icinga also provides templates to allow smaller firms or less experienced network administrators get started monitoring right immediately while learning how to customise the system.

Pros of Icinga

• Highly scalable and simple to set up.

• The tool supports alert dependencies and gives significant information. Cons of Icinga

• The documentation is difficult to comprehend.

6. Pandora FMS

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Pandora FMS is regarded as an all-in-one monitoring software that is best suited for medium and large-sized businesses with at least 100 devices. It provides exceptional flexibility for monitoring IT infrastructure and can solve both current and anticipated operational concerns.

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• A single dashboard.

• Scalability and adaptability.


• Deployment might be time-consuming.

7. Observium

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Observium is a new open-source monitoring application that runs on Linux but can also support a wide range of other device types. It boasts an amazing customer roster that includes market leaders such as Dell, eBay, Paypal, Twitter, and others. You have the option of installing the system manually or via an automated script.


• Aids in the visualisation of dispersed networks;

• Quick and simple to set up.


• Reduced documentation

8. Monitorix

A Guide to Open Source Monitoring Tools (7)

Monitorix is a lightweight monitoring application that might be useful for small organisations with limited network monitoring requirements. It can identify network failures, network

security concerns, and sluggish network performance, as well as provide network statistics graphs. Monitorix may be of interest if you’re looking for simple monitoring.

9. Ganglia

A Guide to Open Source Monitoring Tools (8)

Ganglia is a scalable monitoring tool that is ideally suited for clustered data centres and systems. It makes use of a number of technologies, including portable data transmission, XML for data representation, and XDR for compactness. It also stores and visualises data using the RRD tool.

Pros of Ganglia

• Ganglia makes it easy for users to verify system status and performance. • Ganglia allows users to easily customise monitored objects.

Cons of Ganglia

• No message notification mechanism is supported.

• Because it lacks an alarm system, it is difficult to update if a mistake arises.

10. NetXMS

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NetXMS is a free and open-source network and infrastructure monitoring utility for Windows and UNIX platforms. It’s scalable and simple to integrate with third-party products. All communications are encrypted, and all levels of IT infrastructure get appropriate reports, notifications, and graphs. The application has a number of capabilities and supports SNMPv3, distributed monitoring, and horizontal scaling.

Pros of NetXMS

The NetXMS monitoring software is extremely safe and secure.

It is a network and infrastructure monitoring tool that is scalable.

The tool is simple to combine with other third-party products.

Network tracking software analyses the issues that are occurring with your hardware and software to prevent downtime. Regardless of the size of the firm, the need for Server, community, and infrastructure tracking cannot be overlooked.

Network monitoring tools are necessary for network maintenance since they allow you to maintain track on network-connected devices from a centralised location. These tools notify you to devices that are not operating well so that you may intervene and solve the problem.

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Open-Source Network Monitoring Software Alternative

PRTG is a dependable and robust network monitoring system that provides bespoke reports, a user-friendly interface, and a best-in-class monitoring engine to organisations of all sizes. PRTG is fantastic since it can monitor a complete IT environment, even for the largest of businesses.

PRTG will monitor virtually any network component imaginable, from IoT devices and routers to cloud services and IP packets. PRTG also includes a plethora of built in utilities, such as packet sniffer software, jFlow/sFlow monitoring, firewall and IP monitoring, and even a network discovery and diagnosis tool to automatically detect network devices and optimise troubleshooting.

InfluxDB –

InfluxDB is another open-source database that stores metrics. InfluxDB, developed and maintained by InfluxData, is the fundamental component of a bigger stack called TICK but is widely used on its own, frequently in conjunction with other open-source tools listed below, such as Grafana.

InfluxDB is one of the most popular time-series databases nowadays due to two features: excellent speed and a SQL-like querying language. InfluxDB is relatively simple to set up. Depending on your operating system, you may either utilise a package manager or manually download and install the binaries.

InfluxDB has one major drawback for high availability in large production environments: clustering is only supported in the commercial version.

Which are best?

Whatever sector you operate in, if you rely on a network to do business, you must deploy some type of network monitoring. Network monitoring tools are a vital resource that may help you maintain your systems operational by providing visibility. Monitoring your systems will offer you the best chance of keeping your equipment operational.

Icinga 2 and Zabbix are the finest solutions for offering everything you need to start monitoring your network and keeping it operational. It may appear that both open-source and

closed-source software solutions are equally qualified because they both have advantages and disadvantages. But, in the end, if you had a closed-source option, I’d be hard pushed to promote open-source software. Although open-source network monitoring is often free and promises innovation, it simply cannot compete with the numerous advantages of closed source software.

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