Monitoring of your system and network, be it Linux or windows, is of utmost importance. Monitoring your systems helps you keep track of the health of your systems. You can fix issues, if any, well in time. This ensures that your system works smoothly without any hindrance.
Many organizations function primarily on and some entirely on Linux infrastructure. For these companies, it is convenient to add a tool or functionality since Linux itself is open-source.
The organization’s development teams are capable of customizing the systems to add or change any functionality they need.
For these teams, using open-source software is an added advantage. Modifying the tools as per their need would be convenient. Open-source tools reduce the cost associated with using the tools.
Open source tools also give them an additional level of security. When you buy software, you have to sign the license agreement, which comes with its terms and conditions.
These terms and conditions often include access rights to your infrastructure and data (to some extent). This is true, especially in cases when you are using monitoring tools. With open-source tools, you do not need to give anyone any rights to your system.
Now that being said, let’s take a quick look at some of the best open-source Linux monitoring tools.
Open-Source Linux Monitoring Tools
Developed initially as NetSaint, Nagios is free and open-source monitoring software. It offers monitoring services for network, [SB2] systems, and infrastructure. It also provides the functionality to monitor in-house and custom applications as well as systems and services.
It alerts users about any issues and also when it is resolved. It provides an optional web interface for checking the current network status, problem history, log file, and more.
Nagios Core was initially designed to work on Linux based systems. But now it works For Unix systems as well.
Zabbix is an open-source monitoring software developed by Zabbix LLC. It is developed using PHP and is licensed under GPL.
Components such as servers, networks, virtual machines, and cloud services can be managed using Zabbix. It offers various system metric collection methods.
Some of these methods are multi-platform Zabbix agents, SNMP and IPMI agents, end-user web monitoring, among others.
It provides alerts to the users in case an issue arises. It also provides the functionality to customize alerts based on user roles. These alerts are sent by SMS or email during any suspicious activity.
Zabbix also provides multiple methods of giving an overview of the data collected. These include graphs, network maps, slideshows, and drill-down reports.
Also Read: Top 10 Open Source SIEM Tools
Icinga is an open-source network monitoring system. It was created initially as a sub-branch of the Nagios system.
Icinga is seeking to overcome the shortcomings of the Nagios system as well as add new features. These features include a Web 2.0 like UI, additional database connectors, and a REST API.
It lets administrators integrate various extensions with the system without needing to make any changes to the core.
Cacti is another open-source networking tool. It is a web-based tool designed as the front end for the RRDTool. It is used to get graph data for network bandwidth utilization and CPU usage, disk space, etc.
Cacti comes with built-in SNMP support. It uses a combination of SNMP or UCD or NET, with SNMP for collecting device information.
Cacti provides administrators with the capability to create different levels of users. These users can then be given varying permissions based on their levels.
Sensu helps monitor IT infrastructure, including servers and applications. It also heltracktor system health. It is open-source and comes with third-party integration.
Among its key features is sending alerts and notifications. Its base code is developed in Ruby, but it can use either Redis or RabbitMQ to store data and handle messages, respectively.
It is an easy to use tool for your cloud infrastructure monitoring and is easily integrable with multiple modern DevOps stacks. It can integrate with PagerDuty to send mobile or pager alerts.
Sensu Core was its offering, which reached its end of life on December 31, 2019. Since then, Sensu has launched Sensu Go. So old users can easily migrate to the new offering, and the new users can directly opt for Sensu Go in case they wish to opt for the newer version.
Observium is a network monitoring tool distributed under QPL open-source license. It is a low-maintenance tool that provides auto-discovering capacities.
Observium offers a threshold alerting features. With this, users are allowed to set and configure threshold and failure states for different entities in the system.
It offers a traffic accounting feature that tracks and records the measurements of ports, and the data stored in the tables.
Zenoss is an open-source server, and network management software. It is based on the Zope application server and is developed by Zenoss Inc. It uses open source technologies such as the Zope application server, Python, RRDTool, and MySQL, among others.
Zenoss provides functionalities such as monitoring of network services, network devices, and host resources on most network OS. Zenoss has cloud-based architecture, real-time data streaming, and ML-based data analytics.
Primarily created for Linux or UNIX systems, Monitorix is an open-source system monitoring tool. It is a light-weight tool created to track and monitor as many devices as possible.
It can be used for embedded systems as well, owing to its size and simplicity. Monitorix is developed using Perl language.
Monitorix collects system and network data at regular intervals. This data is presented to the user in the form of graphs on Monitorix’s own web interface. It also keeps track of the disk drive temperature and health.
Monitorix offers several features such as:
- MySQL and Apache statistics of servers
- FTP statistics with Log files
- monitoring system load average
- global kernel usage
Pandora FMS or Pandora Flexible monitoring system is open-source monitoring software. It is a complete software for managing IT infrastructures such as servers, network equipment, and virtual infrastructure.
Pandora FMS allows the monitoring of several system parameters. The software parameters include OS, servers, and applications. The hardware parameters include proxies, firewalls, databases, and routers, among others.
Pandora FMS allows activity monitoring. By integrating business operations in real-time monitoring, it enables the teams to prioritize their tasks according to individual services. The tool allows easy resolution of issues with the help of its remote access gateway.
An independent project now, Prometheus, was initially developed at SoundCloud. It is a free and open-source monitoring and alerting software.
Its architecture consists of a number of modules called exporters. It has a multi-dimensional data model that identifies data with the help of metrics and key-value pairs. It consists of independent single server nodes.
Prometheus consists of multiple components such as the Prometheus server, a push gateway, client libraries, alert manager, etc.
The above is a non-exhausting list of such monitoring tools available to us today. Which tool to choose is up to the organization to decide based on the available resources and requirements.
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