Updated April 6, 2023
What is Nagios?
Nagios is available as open-source software, and it is used to monitor computer systems. It can be executed on a Linux operating system to screen the devices which are executed on Windows, Unix, and Linux operating systems. It executes a continuous check on the crucial application, server resources, network, and tasks. The memory usage of monitor and disk, the load of the microprocessor, number of processors, and logs currently running. It can also check other services like Post office protocols 3, Simple Mail Transfer Protocol, HTTP protocols, and other available standard network protocols. The active and important checks are triggered by Nagios, whereas the other secondary checks are triggered by external applications linked to the monitoring tool. The usage, importance, and structure of Nagios are briefly explained in this article.
Uses of Nagios
The significant uses of Nagios are,
- It identifies all kinds of server and network issues and helps the user analyse the issues’ root cause. So the user can come up with a permanent solution to frequent problems.
- It screens the entire business process and end-to-end infrastructure and enables the user to troubleshoot the server’s performance issues. It also helps the user to plan his infrastructure and update it accordingly as the outdated applications cause some chaos. Nagios uses a single pass to monitor the complete infrastructure.
- The server’s maintenance and security can be standardized and managed by Nagios and fix the problems automatically, even in critical situations. If there are any fluctuations in the system, it triggers an alert to prevent panic circumstances. Hence it is comparatively secure, manageable, and scalable.
- Nagios has a reliable database and an efficient log tracking system with informative web interfaces. If the process is executed properly at the scheduled time, it doesn’t ensure the host’s active condition.
- Nagios helps the user to find the server crashes and network glitches. It periodically tracks the performance issues of the server. These issues can be automatically fixed and found at the time of monitoring. Nagios uses all the topology to define dependencies.
- The architecture of the product is simple by coding new plugins with the preferred language. It enables the user to read the configuration from the active directory that used to describe how to explain and configure the individual files.
- Nagios is used for periodic monitoring network services like SMTP, HTTP, NNTP, ICMP, FTP, POP, SNMP, etc. Nagios, by using the parent host, it can define the hierarchy of the network host.
Architecture of Nagios
Nagios is based on client-server architecture. It is a network where the Nagios server is executed on a host, and the plugins are enabled on all every remote host that should be periodically monitored. The scheduler is an important component and server portion of Nagios. It transmits a signal to run the plugins at a remote location. A plugin receives the status of the remote host. Then the information is sent to the process scheduler from the plugin. The process scheduler persistently updates the GUI, and then the notification is sent to admins.
The user can choose the job in the command line interface or choose the graphical user interface based on the web. The dashboard of Nagios offers a summary of important parameters monitored on assets. Depending on the defined threshold and parameters, it transmits alerts once the priority level is attained. The notification can be transmitted in varied methods that include text message and email. The authorization management enables the admin to configure limited access. It executes on both agentless and agent dependent configurations. The independent agents can be implemented in any software and hardware system to gather the information that can be reported again to the management system. Agentless monitoring utilizes the existing protocols to rival an agent, which can monitor the usage of file systems, metrics of OS, process, and service status. The Nagios agents such as NRDP, NCPA can be executed with remote scripts, and NRPE is executed by using plugins. NRPE is used to monitor system performance, load, memory, usage. It comprises check_nrpe, which is saved on local monitoring systems, and NRDP, which is executed on remote machines. It uses a plug-in to organize data from the NRPE agent before it reaches to the management server for further process. The communication of Window agents can be made with NRPE to monitor the window servers.
Nagios uses plug-ins, extensions, and stand-on to define the target where all the important parameters on targets to monitor. The plug-ins work on command line arguments which are used to interact the commands with Nagios core. The plug-ins are segregated into lists that involve software, hardware, OS, security, cloud, network connections, and log files. The Nagios plugins can exchange the data on environmental parameters like temperature, barometric pressure, and humidity.
Importance of Nagios
Some of the importance of Nagios is given below:
- Nagios can describe the event handler that executes at the time of host events or services to take a resolution for proactive problems. It is also used to support redundancy in monitoring hosts.
- It can also be monitored in hardware tools like a probe for alarm, a temperature that can send collected information through the network by configured written plugins. The remote monitoring can be established through Nagios remote plugin executor via SSL and SSH encrypted channels. The automated rotation of log files and parallel execution of service checks can be made using Nagios.
- Nagios performs the process on the database backend, data graphing and implements redundancy in monitoring the host. The web interface to view the current status of the network, problem history, notification manager, files, logs, etc
- Nagios has other services like Nagios Remote Plugin Executor abbreviated as NRPE, Nagios Remote Data processor (NRDP), Nagios Cross-Platform Agent, and for windows client machine it uses NSClient+.+.
It can also be implemented in healthcare monitoring systems which comprise of all kinds of equipment like network and server nodes, single console application monitoring, transaction-level impulse with application monitoring, messaging components with middleware monitoring components, customizable dashboards and reports, UPS backup system, biometric systems, control system on temperature and humidity, NVR and CCTV systems.
This is a guide to What is Nagios?. Here we also discuss the uses and importance of nagios along with architecture. You may also have a look at the following articles to learn more –