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Nagios vs New Relic: What are the differences?
What is Nagios? Complete monitoring and alerting for servers, switches, applications, and services. Nagios is a host/service/network monitoring program written in C and released under the GNU General Public License.
What is New Relic? SaaS Application Performance Management for Ruby, PHP, .Net, Java, Python, and Node.js Apps. New Relic is the all-in-one web application performance tool that lets you see performance from the end user experience, through servers, and down to the line of application code.
Nagios belongs to "Monitoring Tools" category of the tech stack, while New Relic can be primarily classified under "Performance Monitoring".
Some of the features offered by Nagios are:
- Monitor your entire IT infrastructure
- Spot problems before they occur
- Know immediately when problems arise
On the other hand, New Relic provides the following key features:
- Performance Data Retention
- Real-User Response Time, Throughput, & Breakdown by Layer
- App Response Time, Throughput, & Breakdown by Component
"It just works" is the primary reason why developers consider Nagios over the competitors, whereas "Easy setup" was stated as the key factor in picking New Relic.
Nagios is an open source tool with 60 GitHub stars and 36 GitHub forks. Here's a link to Nagios's open source repository on GitHub.
According to the StackShare community, New Relic has a broader approval, being mentioned in 3142 company stacks & 576 developers stacks; compared to Nagios, which is listed in 177 company stacks and 40 developer stacks.
We are looking for a centralised monitoring solution for our application deployed on Amazon EKS. We would like to monitor using metrics from Kubernetes, AWS services (NeptuneDB, AWS Elastic Load Balancing (ELB), Amazon EBS, Amazon S3, etc) and application microservice's custom metrics.
We are expected to use around 80 microservices (not replicas). I think a total of 200-250 microservices will be there in the system with 10-12 slave nodes.
We tried Prometheus but it looks like maintenance is a big issue. We need to manage scaling, maintaining the storage, and dealing with multiple exporters and Grafana. I felt this itself needs few dedicated resources (at least 2-3 people) to manage. Not sure if I am thinking in the correct direction. Please confirm.
You mentioned Datadog and Sysdig charges per host. Does it charge per slave node?
Can't say anything to Sysdig. I clearly prefer Datadog as
- they provide plenty of easy to "switch-on" plugins for various technologies (incl. most of AWS)
- easy to code (python) agent plugins / api for own metrics
- brillant dashboarding / alarms with many customization options
- pricing is OK, there are cheaper options for specific use cases but if you want superior dashboarding / alarms I haven't seen a good competitor (despite your own Prometheus / Grafana / Kibana dog food)
IMHO NewRelic is "promising since years" ;) good ideas but bad integration between their products. Their Dashboard query language is really nice but lacks critical functions like multiple data sets or advanced calculations. Needless to say you get all of that with Datadog.
Need help setting up a monitoring / logging / alarm infrastructure? Send me a message!
you are right. Building based on your stack something with open source is heavy lifting. A lot of people I know start with such a set-up, but quickly run into frustration as they need to dedicated their best people to build a monitoring which is doing the job in a professional way.
As you are microservice focussed and are looking for 'low implementation and maintenance effort', you might want to have a look at INSTANA, which was built with modern tool stacks in mind. https://www.instana.com/apm-for-microservices/
We have a public sand-box available if you just want to have a look at the product once and of course also a free-trial: https://www.instana.com/getting-started-with-apm/
Let me know if you need anything on top.
I have hands on production experience both with New Relic and Datadog. I personally prefer Datadog over NewRelic because of the UI, the Documentation and the overall user/developer experience.
NewRelic however, can do basically the same things as Datadog can, and some of the features like alerting have been present in NewRelic for longer than in Datadog. The cool thing about NewRelic is their last-summer-updated pricing: you no longer pay per host but after data you send towards New Relic. This can be a huge cost saver depending on your particular setup
I'd go for Datadog, but given you have lots of containers I would also make a cost calculation. If the price difference is significant and there's a budget constraint NewRelic might be the better choice.
- 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.
I haven't heard much about Datadog until about a year ago. Ironically, the NewRelic sales person who I had a series of trainings with was trash talking about Datadog a lot. That drew my attention to Datadog and I gave it a try at another client project where we needed log handling, dashboards and alerting.
In 2019, Datadog was already offering log management and from that perspective, it was ahead of NewRelic. Other than that, from my perspective, the two tools are offering a very-very similar set of tools. Therefore I wouldn't say there's a significant difference between the two, the decision is likely a matter of taste. The pricing is also very similar.
The reasons why we chose Datadog over NewRelic were:
- The presence of log handling feature (since then, logging is GA at NewRelic as well since falls 2019).
- The setup was easier even though I already had experience with NewRelic, including participation in NewRelic trainings.
- The UI of Datadog is more compact and my experience is smoother.
- The NewRelic UI is very fragmented and New Relic One is just increasing this experience for me.
- The log feature of Datadog is very well designed, I find very useful the tagging logs with services. The log filtering is also very awesome.
Bottom line is that both tools are great and it makes sense to discover both and making the decision based on your use case. In our case, Datadog was the clear winner due to its UI, ease of setup and the awesome logging and alerting features.
I chose Datadog APM because the much better APM insights it provides (flamegraph, percentiles by default).
The drawbacks of this decision are we had to move our production monitoring to TimescaleDB + Telegraf instead of NR Insight
NewRelic is definitely easier when starting out. Agent is only a lib and doesn't require a daemon
Pros of Nagios
- It just works53
- The standard28
- The Most flexible monitoring system8
- Huge stack of free checks/plugins to choose from1
Pros of New Relic
- Easy setup415
- Really powerful344
- Awesome visualization244
- Ease of use194
- Great ui151
- Free tier107
- Great tool for insights80
- Heroku Integration66
- Market leader55
- Peace of mind49
- Push notifications21
- Email notifications20
- Heroku Add-on17
- Error Detection and Alerting16
- Multiple language support13
- SQL Analysis11
- Server Resources Monitoring11
- Transaction Tracing9
- Apdex Scores8
- Azure Add-on8
- Analysis of CPU, Disk, Memory, and Network7
- Performance of External Services6
- Error Analysis6
- Detailed reports6
- Application Response Times6
- Application Availability Monitoring and Alerting6
- JVM Performance Analyzer (Java)5
- Most Time Consuming Transactions5
- Easy to use4
- Browser Transaction Tracing4
- Top Database Operations4
- Pagoda Box integration3
- Custom Dashboards3
- Weekly Performance Email3
- Application Map3
- Background Jobs Transaction Analysis2
- App Speed Index2
- Easy visibility2
- Easy to setup2
- Rails integration1
- Super Expensive1
- Metric Data Resolution1
- Metric Data Retention1
- Team Collaboration Tools1
- Best of the best, what more can you ask for1
- Best monitoring on the market1
- Real User Monitoring Overview1
- Real User Monitoring Analysis and Breakdown1
- Time Comparisons1
- Access to Performance Data API1
- Worst Transactions by User Dissatisfaction1
- Incident Detection and Alerting1
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Cons of Nagios
Cons of New Relic
- Pricing model doesn't suit microservices20
- UI isn't great10
- Visualizations aren't very helpful7
- Hard to understand why things in your app are breaking5
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