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Nagios vs Shinken: What are the differences?


Nagios and Shinken are both popular open-source network monitoring tools. While they serve a similar purpose, they have several key differences that sets them apart. Below, we will explore these differences in detail.

  1. Scalability: Nagios is known for its limited scalability, as it operates on a single server. On the other hand, Shinken is designed to be highly scalable and can distribute the monitoring workload across multiple servers, allowing for greater flexibility and handling larger environments.

  2. Flexibility: Nagios has a monolithic architecture, making it complex and difficult to modify. In contrast, Shinken is built using a modular architecture, allowing users to easily customize and extend its functionality with various plugins and addons, making it more flexible and adaptable to specific needs.

  3. Fault-tolerance: Nagios lacks built-in fault tolerance features, so if the Nagios server goes down, the entire monitoring service becomes unavailable. Shinken, on the other hand, offers built-in high availability with features like distributed polling and redundancy, ensuring that monitoring services continue even if individual components fail.

  4. Performance: Nagios is known to have performance limitations, particularly when handling a large number of checks. Shinken addresses this issue by distributing the monitoring load across multiple processes and servers, resulting in improved performance and the ability to monitor larger environments more effectively.

  5. Ease of Configuration: Nagios configuration files can be complex and time-consuming to set up, requiring manual editing. Shinken simplifies the configuration process by providing a web-based user interface along with configuration wizards, making it easier to set up and manage monitoring configurations.

  6. Community Support: Nagios has a larger and more established community with extensive documentation, tutorials, and plugins available. Shinken, while growing, has a smaller community and fewer resources compared to Nagios.

In summary, Nagios and Shinken differ in terms of scalability, flexibility, fault-tolerance, performance, ease of configuration, and community support. Shinken offers greater scalability, flexibility, fault-tolerance, and performance, along with an easier configuration process through its modular architecture and web interface. However, Nagios has a larger and more established community with extensive resources available.

Decisions about Nagios and Shinken
Matthias Fleschütz
Teamlead IT at NanoTemper Technologies · | 2 upvotes · 125.8K 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 Shinken
  • 53
    It just works
  • 28
    The standard
  • 12
  • 8
    The Most flexible monitoring system
  • 1
    Huge stack of free checks/plugins to choose from
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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 Shinken?

    Shinken's main goal is to give users a flexible architecture for their monitoring system that is designed to scale to large environments. Shinken is backwards-compatible with the Nagios configuration standard and plugins. It works on any operating system and architecture that supports Python, which includes Windows, GNU/Linux and FreeBSD.

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