Zabbix is an enterprise-class, open-source distributed monitoring solution designed to monitor and track performance and availability of IT infrastructure including networks, servers, applications, virtual machines (VMs), and cloud services.
Zabbix monitors and provides reports on key performance metrics such as network utilization, CPU load, and disk space consumption; it enables users to collect, analyze, visualize, and get notifications regarding impending issues.
Here is our list of the 10 best Zabbix alternatives:
- SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor (NPM) FREE TRIAL Α powerful network monitoring tool that helps organizations detect, diagnose, and resolve network performance issues.
- Nagios IT infrastructure monitoring and management software that enables organizations to identify and resolve problems before it gets out of hand.
- PRTG Network Monitor Α network monitoring tool from Paessler AG -a German-based company.
- Checkmk Οne of the leading tools for IT infrastructure and application monitoring that uses an agentless and agent-based approach to monitor the health of IT infrastructure.
- ManageEngine OpManager Ιntegrated network management software that provides real-time network monitoring, configuration management, and more.
- Icinga Α popular enterprise-grade open-source tool for IT infrastructure and application monitoring.
- Observium Α powerful auto-discovering network monitoring platform that provides real-time network and infrastructure monitoring.
- NetXMS Αn enterprise grade multi-platform open-source network management and monitoring tool.
- OpenNMS Αn open-source network management and monitoring tool developed and managed by the OpenNMS Group and a community of developers.
- Pandora FMS All-in-one network monitoring tool that uses an agentless and agent-based approach to monitor the health of IT infrastructure.
Nevertheless, Zabbix is not a one-size-fits-all perfect solution for every organization. The fact that it fits perfectly from a feature and functionality standpoint for one organization does not mean it will fit for another. In addition, Zabbix, just like every other software solution, also has its own challenges and imperfections. For example, there have been complaints that:
- It requires a steep learning curve, and a significant amount of time and expertise to set up and maintain it.
- It requires a significant amount of system resources compared to other monitoring tools
- If not tuned properly, the database can grow large very quickly and tuning it can be a lot of work.
The best Zabbix alternatives
If you figured out that Zabbix is not best suited for your environment and you’re considering a suitable alternative, you’ll find lots of them out there from open-source to commercial level. Choosing the right one for your business and budget can be challenging. To help you decide between the countless open-source and commercial IT infrastructure monitoring tools on the market, we’ve put together a list of the ten best Zabbix alternatives. Hopefully, this will guide you in the process of selecting the right one for your environment.
SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor (NPM) is a powerful network monitoring tool that helps organizations detect, diagnose, and resolve network performance issues. The tool is best suited for medium to large-scale enterprises. Some of the key features and capabilities include:
- Multi-vendor network monitoring
- Network Insights for deeper visibility
- Intelligent mapping
- NetPath and PerfStack for easy troubleshooting
- Smarter scalability for large environments
- Advanced alerting
- Critical path visualization
NPM can be deployed in the cloud or on-premises using Windows server 2019, 2016 or 2012 R2. The SolarWinds Orion platform is required in order to deploy NPM either in the cloud or on-premises. The Orion Platform is the core of all SolarWinds IT products, and it allows the NPM to seamlessly work and integrate with other SolarWinds tools and software.
The SolarWinds NPM license is based on a number of items to monitor or according to the largest number of the monitored network elements. Each license tier has a stipulated maximum number of supported nodes (routers, switches, physical and virtual servers), interfaces (VLANs, ports and interfaces), and volumes (any logical disks being monitored) to manage and monitor, as shown on the table below:
|License tier||Maximum number of monitored elements|
|SL100||Up to 100 nodes, 100 interfaces, and 100 volumes (300 elements in total).|
|SL250||Up to 250 nodes, 250 interfaces, and 250 volumes (750 elements in total).|
|SL500||Up to 500 nodes, 500 interfaces, and 500 volumes (1500 elements in total).|
|SL2000||Up to 2000 nodes, 2000 interfaces, and 2000 volumes (6000 elements in total).|
|SLX||Virtually unlimited number of elements|
One potential downside to this tool is that the capabilities that it offers come at the expense of enormous system resource requirements. This means that to get the most of this software, you need a hardware and software server that will be capable of handling all that SolarWinds NPM has to offer. You can check out the 30-day fully functional free trial to confirm its capabilities and make sure it’s the right fit for your organization before purchase.
Nagios is a U.S-based company that delivers IT infrastructure monitoring and management software that enables organizations to identify and resolve problems before it gets out of hand. The product comes in two editions—Nagios Core and Nagios XI.
Nagios Core is an agent-based free and open-source application that monitors critical IT infrastructure components such as network devices, servers, applications, including network protocols and system metrics and resources. Some of the key network protocols and system resources monitored include:
- Network protocols such as SMTP, POP3, HTTP, NNTP, ICMP, SNMP, FTP, SSH, and many more.
- Host resources such as processor load, disk usage, system logs and more, using monitoring agents.
- Hardware conditions such as temperature, alarms, and more
It alerts administrators when those critical components fail and also when they recover after the problem has been resolved. It runs on Linux and Windows operating systems. Some of the key features and capabilities include:
- Comprehensive Monitoring—monitoring of all critical infrastructure components.
- Problem Remediation—remediate failed network components, applications, and services when problems are found.
- Proactive Planning—allows you to proactively plan for upgrades.
- Multi-Tenant Capabilities—supports multi-user access and user-specific views.
- Extendable Architecture—provides integration with third-party applications via APIs and add-ons.
- Awareness—deliver alerts to IT staff via email and SMS.
- Visibility—gain visibility into your entire IT operations.
- Reporting—up-to-date availability and historical reports, among others
Nagios XI on the other hand is an easy-to-use agentless commercial edition that is targeted at large networks and enterprises. It uses Nagios Core as its back-end alongside other technologies including a built-in web configuration GUI, which makes it much easier to manage than Nagios Core. If flexibility and extensibility are what you’re after in a network monitoring tool, then Nagios XI is the way to go. It includes graphs and reports, customizable dashboards, backend API, multi-tenancy, and many other advanced features that make it much easier to use.
3. PRTG Network Monitor
PRTG Network Monitor is a mature and well-known network monitoring tool from Paessler AG, a company based in Germany. There are few tools that provide the blend of maturity and rich capabilities that the PRTG tool provides. It comes in different editions and variants such as:
- PRTG Enterprise Monitor—targeted at large networks with thousands of devices and systems across multiple locations.
- PRTG Hosted Monitor—a cloud-based option that allows you to monitor from the cloud
- PRTG Desktop—allows you to manage multiple PRTG servers.
- PRTG Mobile App—allows you to check your network, devices, and sensors while on the go.
PRTG Network Monitor is agentless—which means you do not need to install any agent on the target devices and application, instead it uses network protocols such as SNMP, WMI, NetFlow, or SSH to carry out its monitoring functions. This way, not only is the burden lower, the monitoring is done quickly and easily. Other key features and capabilities include:
- In-depth reporting—runs or schedules regular reports, and gets the statistics of your specific monitoring data.
- Maps and dashboards—visualizes your network using real-time maps with live status information.
- Flexible alerting—supports SMS, email, push notification, and audio alarm.
- Distributed monitoring—monitors several networks in different locations.
- Cluster failover solution—allows failover tolerant monitoring.
- Multiple user interfaces—desktop, mobile, and web.
To install PRTG, you only need a Windows computer with sufficient computing power. In addition, a cloud-based option known as PRTG Hosted Monitor is also available. The PRTG licensing model is based on sensors (parameters that can be monitored on a device such as CPU load, port status, or network traffic) and includes one year of free support and maintenance. Most devices require between five and ten sensors to be fully monitored.
A free 30-day-trial with full access to all the features is available for download. PRTG is also available as freeware for up to 100 sensors. If you want to monitor more than 100 sensors, you will need to upgrade to a commercial version. If you don’t upgrade, the trial version automatically reverts to the free version after 30 days and you can continue using the free version without any time limit.
If you are looking for a viable alternative to Zabbix, PRTG Network Monitor is a great option to consider. Unlike PRTG which is much easier to set up and customize; the process for installing Zabbix involves lots of steps, which can be cumbersome for most users.
Checkmk is one of the leading tools for IT infrastructure and application monitoring. It uses an agentless and agent-based approach to monitor the health of IT infrastructure such as networks, servers, applications, storage, cloud infrastructure, IoT devices, and even business processes. Checkmk combines the following types of IT infrastructure monitoring:
- Status-based monitoring, which records the health of a device or application.
- Metric-based monitoring enables the recording and analysis of time-series graphs.
- Log-based and event-based monitoring, in which key events can be filtered out and actions can be triggered based on those events.
The Checkmk server can only be deployed on a Linux machine. A basic knowledge of Linux is all you need to get the application up and running. All the software you need is either included in your Linux distribution or in the Checkmk package. It is also possible to run Checkmk as a virtual appliance, a physical appliance, or as a Docker-Container. The agents used by Checkmk to monitor and collect data are supported on Windows and other operating systems. Checkmk is available in various editions. Before you begin installing it, you must first decide which of the editions you want to use. A breakdown of the available editions is as shown on Table 1.0 below.
|Features||Checkmk Raw||Checkmk Enterprise||Checkmk Enterprise||Checkmk Enterprise|
|Edition||Open-source (100% free)||Free Standard Edition||Standard||Managed Services|
|Targeted At||Freelancers and the general public||Small scale users—one instance||Professional users||MSPs managing Multiple clients|
|Scalability||1,000+ hosts||25 hosts||100,000+ hosts||100,000+ hosts|
|Monitoring kernel||Nagios||Checkmk Microcore||Checkmk Microcore||Checkmk Microcore|
|Pricing||Free||Free||From €600 per year||From €1200 per year|
The Free Standard Edition contains all of the features of the Standard Edition, and it’s unlimited for the first 30 days. Both the Free Standard Edition and the Raw Edition can be easily upgraded directly to the Standard Edition.
5. ManageEngine OpManager
ManageEngine OpManager is an integrated network management software that provides real-time network monitoring, configuration management, and more. It monitors network devices, servers, applications, and everything connected to the network; providing visibility and helping you track and resolve outages before they occur. OpManager is supported in Windows and Linux operating systems and servers. Some of the key features and capabilities include:
- Real-time network performance monitoring
- Physical and virtual server monitoring
- Network Performance Reporting
- Customizable dashboards
- Multi-level thresholds
- WAN Link monitoring
- Email and SMS alerting
- Easy to set up
OpManager comes in different editions which are tailored to suit your network and server monitoring requirements as shown on Table 3.0 below:
|Targeted at||Small network||Small to medium networks||Mid to Large networks||MSPs managing multiple clients|
|Monitor Uptp||3 devices||1000 devices||1000 devices||10,000 devices||10,000 devices+|
|Monitor up to|
OpManager license options depend on the number of devices to be monitored. The license is inclusive of all the interfaces, nodes or sensors in the device. A device can have any number of interfaces, elements or sensors. You can download the free version for evaluation or check out the 30-day fully-functional trial to confirm its capabilities and make sure it’s the right fit for your organization before purchase.
Icinga is a popular enterprise-grade open-source tool for IT infrastructure and application monitoring. It checks the availability of your network resources, notifies you of outages, and generates performance data for reporting. Icinga was originally created as a fork of the Nagios Core application in 2009. The goal is to improve upon the groundwork laid by Nagios, including the addition of new features and capabilities.
The application is scalable, extensible, and can monitor large networks that span multiple locations. Icinga is made up of the following core products:
- Icinga 2 (server)—this is the core of the Icinga monitoring application that runs on a Linux machine
- Icinga Web 2—a web interface for users to view monitoring results and send commands to the Icinga Core
- Icinga DB—a synchronisation daemon between Icinga 2 (Redis) and Icinga Web 2 (MySQL)
- Icinga Director—the configuration deployment tool for Icinga 2
Icinga has been successfully deployed in large and complex environments with thousands of hosts and services, in distributed and failover setups. Some of the key features and capabilities include:
- Monitoring of server components such as switches, routers, temperature and humidity sensors, and more
- Simple plug-in design that allows users to easily develop their own service checks
- Monitoring of network protocols such as SMTP, POP3, HTTP, NNTP, ping, and more
- Monitoring of host resources such as CPU load, disk usage, and more
- Notification, visualization and reporting
Observium is a powerful auto-discovering network monitoring platform that provides real-time network and infrastructure monitoring. Observium is designed to run on Linux but can also monitor Windows and also supports other platforms such as Cisco, Juniper, FreeBSD, Citrix Netscaler, NetApp and many more.
It uses SNMP to collect data, which is then presented via a friendly web-based user interface. Since Apache and MySQL are prerequisites for installation of Observium, your server needs to meet the hardware requirements to run them. Some of the key features and capabilities include:
- Support for a wide range of platforms and operating systems
- Ability to poll and store measurements for billing
- Streamline capacity and disaster recovery planning
- Bypass traditional round-robin limitations
- External integration and threshold alerting
- Auto-Discovery and traffic accounting
Observium comes in different editions which are tailored to suit your network and server monitoring requirements as shown on Table 3.0 below:
|Ideal For||Personal/Home labs||SME and ISPs||large Enterprises|
|Number of monitored devices, ports and sensors||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|Traffic accounting system||No||Yes||Yes|
|Priority consideration and support||No||No||Yes|
|Pricing (USD)||Free||280 per year||1,400.00 per year|
Unlike other monitoring tools, Observium is easy to install and set up. If you are looking for a viable alternative to Zabbix, Observium is also a good option to consider. Unlike Zabbix, Observium is much easier to set up and customize even though it shares similar requirements. However, Observium does not run on Windows and has no data export.
NetXMS is an enterprise-grade multi-platform open-source network management and monitoring tool. NetXMS runs natively on both Windows and Linux/Unix-based operating systems and can be used to monitor your entire IT infrastructure including servers and applications.
NetXMS is capable of auto-discovering devices in your network and collects information from them using agents. The collected information is sent back to the NetXMS servers for processing and storage. Network administrators can access collected data using desktop, web or a mobile (Android) management console. Some of the key features and capabilities include:
- Compatibility with Nagios plug-in compatibility (most Nagios plug-ins work out-of-box with NetXMS)
- Monitoring of network devices, servers and applications from one management server
- Data collection either from SNMP-capable platforms or from native NetXMS agent
- Centralized configuration and upgrades and Uses very low system resources
- User-friendly Windows and Unix GUI management console
- Automated network discovery for OSI layers 2 and 3
- The ability to send e-mails and SMS notifications
OpenNMS is an open-source network management and monitoring tool developed and managed by the OpenNMS Group and a community of developers. The product is 100% free with no licensing requirements. It prides itself as the first enterprise-grade network management platform developed under the open-source model. The business model is to offer it free of charge and earn revenue through consulting services provided by the OpenNMS Group.
OpenNMS is designed to be flexible, scalable and distributed, with the ability to manage tens of thousands of devices from a single server. OpenNMS runs natively on both Windows and Linux/Unix-based operating systems as long as Java SDK and PostgreSQL database is supported. The following are the four main functional areas of OpenNMS:
- Discovery and Provisioning—discovers and adds devices to the management system either manually or automatically.
- Service Monitoring—determines if network-based services such as ICMP, HTTP, DNS are available.
- Event Management and Notifications—receives events via SNMP, syslog and other methods and generates email, SMS and other forms of notification.
- Data Collection—collects performance data for a number of network protocols such as SNMP, HTTP, JMX, WMI, and others.
10. Pandora Flexible Monitoring Solution (FMS)
Pandora FMS is an all-in-one network monitoring tool. It uses an agentless and agent-based approach to monitor the health of IT infrastructure such as network, servers, applications, databases, and much more. Pandora FMS supports both on-premise or cloud deployment options.
With Pandora FMS you will be able to supervise and analyze your entire IT infrastructure in a single view. Pandora FMS is supported in almost any operating system. However, Linux seems to be the preferred OS for installation. The product is available in two editions:
- Community edition: A 100% free and open-source version that is targeted at individuals and small businesses.
- Enterprise edition: A fully functional premium version designed for businesses with large networks
Pandora FMS Community edition is available for download. A 30-day free trial of the Enterprise edition with full access to all the features is also available. The easiest way to install Pandora FMS is to use the ISO image, which contains a customized version of CentOS Linux with all the dependencies. Some of its key features and capabilities include:
- Advanced availability reports, SLAs and capacity planning charts, and more
- NetFlow for network capacity management and low-level performance
- Monitoring of Windows and Linux/Unix computers with or without agents
- Automated mapping of the network, allowing user to customize it
- Detection of changes in network device configuration
- Historical graphs for up to three years back
- Auto-discovery of networks at level 2 and 3
- Support for High availability setup