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Nagios vs Splunk: What are the differences?


Nagios and Splunk are two widely used monitoring tools in the IT industry. While both tools serve the purpose of monitoring, there are significant differences between the two. In this article, we will explore and highlight the key differences between Nagios and Splunk.

  1. Deployment and Scalability: Nagios is traditionally deployed on-premise and requires a dedicated server for hosting. On the other hand, Splunk can be deployed both on-premise and in the cloud, offering more flexibility in terms of scalability and resource allocation.

  2. Data Analysis and Visualization: Splunk is primarily known for its robust data analysis and visualization capabilities. It has advanced search functionalities, data correlation, and a user-friendly graphical interface, making it easier for users to gain insights from large volumes of data. Nagios, however, focuses more on alerting and event monitoring rather than in-depth data analysis and visualization.

  3. Log Management vs Infrastructure Monitoring: Splunk is widely used as a log management tool, allowing users to collect, analyze, and manage logs from various sources. Nagios, on the other hand, is specifically designed for infrastructure monitoring, focusing on monitoring servers, network devices, and applications, and raising alerts in case of any failures or performance issues.

  4. Customization and Extensibility: Nagios provides a high level of customization through its plugins and configuration files, allowing users to tailor the monitoring to their specific requirements. Splunk, on the other hand, offers a wide range of pre-built apps and integrations, making it easier to extend the functionality and integrate with other tools or systems.

  5. Licensing and Cost: Nagios is an open-source tool that is available for free, making it an attractive choice for organizations with budget constraints. Splunk, on the other hand, offers both free and commercial versions. The commercial versions come with additional features, but they also come at a cost, which may not be suitable for all organizations.

  6. Ease of Use and Learning Curve: Splunk, with its intuitive user interface and powerful search capabilities, tends to have a shorter learning curve compared to Nagios. Nagios, being a more traditional tool, requires more technical expertise and configuration knowledge, which may take some time for users to master.

In Summary, Nagios and Splunk differ in terms of deployment and scalability, data analysis and visualization capabilities, focus on log management and infrastructure monitoring, customization and extensibility options, licensing and cost models, and ease of use and learning curve.

Decisions about Nagios and Splunk
Matthias Fleschütz
Teamlead IT at NanoTemper Technologies · | 2 upvotes · 129.2K views
  • free open source
  • modern interface and architecture
  • large community
  • extendable I knew Nagios for decades but it was really outdated (by its architecture) at some point. That's why Icinga started first as a fork, not with Icinga2 it is completely built from scratch but backward-compatible with Nagios plugins. Now it has reached a state with which I am confident.
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Pros of Nagios
Pros of Splunk
  • 53
    It just works
  • 28
    The standard
  • 12
  • 8
    The Most flexible monitoring system
  • 1
    Huge stack of free checks/plugins to choose from
  • 3
    API for searching logs, running reports
  • 3
    Alert system based on custom query results
  • 2
    Splunk language supports string, date manip, math, etc
  • 2
    Dashboarding on any log contents
  • 2
    Custom log parsing as well as automatic parsing
  • 2
    Query engine supports joining, aggregation, stats, etc
  • 2
    Rich GUI for searching live logs
  • 2
    Ability to style search results into reports
  • 1
    Granular scheduling and time window support
  • 1
    Query any log as key-value pairs

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Cons of Nagios
Cons of Splunk
    Be the first to leave a con
    • 1
      Splunk query language rich so lots to learn

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    - No public GitHub repository available -

    What is Nagios?

    Nagios is a host/service/network monitoring program written in C and released under the GNU General Public License.

    What is Splunk?

    It provides the leading platform for Operational Intelligence. Customers use it to search, monitor, analyze and visualize machine data.

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    Jobs that mention Nagios and Splunk as a desired skillset
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    What are some alternatives to Nagios and Splunk?
    Zabbix is a mature and effortless enterprise-class open source monitoring solution for network monitoring and application monitoring of millions of metrics.
    It monitors availability and performance, gives you simple access to relevant data and raises alerts to keep you in the loop. It was originally created as a fork of the Nagios system monitoring application.
    Developed by network and systems engineers who know what it takes to manage today's dynamic IT environments, SolarWinds has a deep connection to the IT community.
    AppDynamics develops application performance management (APM) solutions that deliver problem resolution for highly distributed applications through transaction flow monitoring and deep diagnostics.
    It can monitor and classify system conditions like bandwidth usage or uptime and collect statistics from miscellaneous hosts as switches, routers, servers and other devices and applications.
    See all alternatives