Top 20 Best Open Source Monitoring Tools for Servers, Networks & Apps

List of the Best Open Source Monitoring Tools and software For Servers, Networks & Applications.  Monitoring makes it easier for businesses to run functions smoothly and identify bugs or issues causing difficulties. Many tools are available online that can help maintain efficiency and monitor Server, network, application, devices, and infrastructure. You can avoid catastrophic situations and help discover issues faster with these open source monitoring tools. Get a look at them and compare their pros and cons before determining which open source tool and service is suitable for your need.

Best Open Source Monitoring Tools For Servers, Networks & Applications

1. Zabbix

open source monitoring tools

Zabbix is a professionally developed open source monitoring platform for businesses in various fields. With its easy to use interface, you can monitor millions of metrics in real time generated from network devices or virtual machines. The centralized system helps maintain a record of all your data, analyzes and visualizes the metrics and stats. In case of an issue or a concern, the tool alerts or sends a notification to the user.

Zabbix is a great tool for monitoring networks, applications, servers, and services. It comprises autodiscovery functionality and other features that enable advanced problem detection, automated metric collections, and distributed monitoring. The platform is beneficial for all business sizes from various fields like education, healthcare, government, marketing, banking, and other industries.

Pros of Zabbix

  • Supports Auto discovery functionality
  • Zabbix allows quick set up and configuration
  • The platform comprises infrastructure management capabilities
  • Supports proactive notifications
  • Zabbix has an easy to use Graphic User Interface (GUI) that supports vivid visualization
  • Zabbix has a centralized system to store data

Cons of Zabbix

  • A running agent is required for constant monitoring of servers and workstations

2. Observium

observium monitoring tool

Observium is one of the best network management platform and monitoring tools for corporations, non profit organizations, government agencies, and internet service providers. Observium is an auto discovering monitoring tool that gathers information related to protocol/services. It is a low maintenance solution that is compatible with operating systems and platforms, like Windows, Linux, HP, NetApp, Cisco, FreeBSD, and more. The simple user interface helps collect network metrics and generate visual representations of crucial information to simplify the management of networks. Observium also supports features like traffic accounting that track and bill bandwidth usage.

Pros of Observium

  • It is compatible with multiple devices, platforms, and operating systems.
  • The platform helps gather port measurements and store information in a database.
  • It is beneficial in monitoring and billing bandwidth usage.
  • The tool deploys the SNMP protocol for data collection.
  • Observium supports the autodiscovery feature.

Cons of Observium

  • You require an automated script or separate setup for each component (Apache, MySQL, etc.) to install the tool.
  • Setting alerts is a complicated process.

3. Cacti

Another open source network monitoring tool that collects data on various networks/devices via network polling and in built data gathering features. Cacti built on RRD Tool’s data classification and plotting system can create custom scripts, support SNMP polling, Device discovery, and more. Cacti, robust, open source monitoring, and management tool gathers information and organizes it in a hierarchical structure.

Pros of Cacti

  • Cacti is a great monitoring tool that helps detect errors and measure availability, load, and drive capacity.
  • Supports alert feature.
  • The custom data collection methods make it much easier to organize data with Cacti.
  • It enables the automatic creation of graphs and discovering devices.

Cons of Cacti

  • It is not easy to perform the configuration process with Cacti. Also, it must stay up to date at all times.
  • It is difficult to install Plugin Architecture versions.

4. Nagios Core 

Nagios is free, open source software that helps reduce downtime and improve network performance. Most companies and organizations prefer Nagios monitoring for its user friendly and robust monitoring solutions. It has become much easier to monitor essential IT infrastructure components that perform daily operations of various systems, applications, and services. It is highly customizable and comprises features and a web interface that makes it easy to manage and simplify configurations. You can also access wizards and interactive dashboards for capacity planning. Nagios XI also supports various plugins and add ons.

Pros of Nagios

  • Nagios is free, open source software.
  • You can easily extend the available services by adding custom scripts to the open configuration.
  • Nagios system can monitor multiple devices but require SNMP protocol.
  • The software comprises various tools for alert and notification.
  • Supports free to download plugins and add ons.
  • Supports IT Infrastructure and Server Performance Monitoring.

Cons of Nagios

  • Add Your Heading Text HereMissing most features from the free version of Nagios.
  • Features like wizards or interactive dashboards are only available in the paid version.
  • Most configurations are difficult to configure.
  • It comprises a confusing interface and fails to track network throughput.
  • The management process is not good with Nagios. It can only help monitor the networks.

5. Icinga 2 

Icinga is a popular network monitoring application that checks network resource availability, notifies outages, and creates insightful performance data for reporting. Initially created as a fork of the Nagios in 2009, the tool has become popular over the years. It enables users to monitor large and complex problems across multiple platforms. Icinga is highly scalable, easy to configure, and can integrate within your system. It comprises many features and supports Infrastructure Monitoring and Cloud Monitoring.

Pros of Icinga

  • Highly scalable and easy to configure.
  • Supports alert dependencies.
  • The tool provides valuable insights.
  • Easy to integrate within your system.
  • Automate tasks.
  • Supports Infrastructure Monitoring and Cloud Monitoring.
  • Helps create analysis reports.
  • Icinga makes it easy to collect and share data with existing DevOps tools.

Cons of Icinga

  • Documentation is hard to understand.

6. Prometheus

Prometheus is an open source monitoring and alerting application was created in 2012. Further, the network monitoring tool helps create graphs, tables, alerts and is best suitable for a cloud based, containerized world. It uses time series data features to collect metrics about Kubernetes clusters. Prometheus also depends on third party plugins in case it fails to gather perfectly tailored data. Prometheus supports various platforms like Linux, Mac OS X, FreeBSD.

Pros of Prometheus

  • It follows a dimensional data model.
  • The tool helps create ad hoc graphs, tables, and alerts.
  • For data visualization, the tool uses an in built expression browser and third party plugins.
  • It comprises an efficient storage system.
  • Supports independent server nodes.
  • It is compatible with Linux, Mac OS X, FreeBSD.

Cons of Prometheus

  • When intend to use the full features of this tool, the installation process can get complicated.
  • It provides only commercial support through third party tools.

7. Riemann

Riemann is a monitoring tool that features low latency. The tool is best suitable for distributed systems and helps gather metrics from them. It uses powerful stream processing language to track and manage millions of even per second.

Pros of Riemann

  • Supports low latency, transient shared state for systems.
  • The tool is best suitable for highly distributed scalable systems.

8. Sensu

Sensu is an open source infrastructure and application monitoring solution compatible with all operating systems, including Windows, Linux, etc. It allows you to track services, applications, and servers. Further, the trusted monitoring solution helps report on business KPIs. It follows a pipeline model and can offer a maximum of 100 nodes in the free version. You no longer require a separate workflow to monitor servers and applications with Sensu.

Pros of Sensu

  • It has strong community support.
  • It is compatible with all leading operating systems, such as Windows, Linux, etc.
  • You do not require a separate workflow for monitoring.
  • Sensu allows monitoring services, applications, servers.
  • Reports business KPIs.
  • The tool embraces auto scaling features.
  • The tool is designed for monitoring configuration.
  • You can reuse existing plugins with Sensu.
  • Reduce OpEx.
  • Supports IoT & Remote Site Monitoring.
  • No need to open firewall ports for centralized polling.
  • Supports Unlimited Scalability.

Cons of Sensu

  • Dependencies can be configured but might face some issues on the dashboard.
  • It is difficult to use a graph of the metrics throughout the day/week.
  • Updates are backward incompatible.

9. LibreNMS

LibreNMS is a powerful, flexible, open source network monitoring system that uses multiple network protocols like SNMP to track devices on the network. The tool is highly compatible with various network hardware and operating systems. It facilitates horizontal scaling, supports Automatic discovery functionality, alerting system, and more features. LibreNMS also supports iOS and Android Apps for core functionality. One can easily manage, graph, and retrieve data via LibreNMS API access.

Pros of LibreNMS

  • It uses multiple network protocols to track devices on the network.
  • It has a customizable dashboard and a mobile friendly Web UI.
  • Supports Automatic discovery functionality.
  • LibreNMS comprises a flexible alerting system.
  • To manage, graph, and retrieve data, you have API access.
  • You can easily create bandwidth bills for ports on the network via LibreNMS.
  • It provides Automatic Updates to keep you informed on bug fixes.
  • Supports Distributed Polling.
  • It is compatible with iOS and Android Apps for core functionality.

Cons of LibreNMS

  • Easy to accumulate data without adapting to stiff technologies.
  • Supports service oriented monitoring, which helps reduce downtime.

10. Pandora FMS

Pandora FMS is open source software that monitors server, network, application, IoT devices, and business activities. It helps businesses to track the complete IT substructure with its top notch features. The tool is highly compatible with Unix and Windows servers. Pandora FMS can also monitor other aspects of a device via agents, such as overheating, device temperature, logfile, network bandwidth usage, etc. It is an all in one network monitoring tool.

Pros of Pandora FMS

  • It is compatible with Unix and Windows servers.
  • An easy to use and configured monitoring tool.
  • It has a virtual interface and supports system overloading.
  • Supports SNMP protocol
  • Supports ICMP polling
  • Supports network latency monitoring
  • To measure device temperature and overheating, agents are assigned.
  • Supports server monitoring, network monitoring, application monitoring, IoT monitoring, and business activity monitoring (BAM)
  • Enterprise solution is available at a reasonable price.
  • A reliable network monitoring solution that also tracks network’s bandwidth usage.
  • Easy to accumulate data without adapting to stiff technologies.
  • Supports service oriented monitoring which helps reduce downtime.

Cons of Pandora FMS

  • Linux version faces a complex installation process.

11. Checkmk

Checkmk is a top notch fast, effective, and popular IT monitoring system that discovers errors across the entire IT infrastructure and resolves most of the complex errors. It provides better insights with the help of in built plugins that aid in monitoring applications, servers, and networks. It supports state based monitoring and event based monitoring. The monitoring system also comprises flexible and real time dashboards that aid in data visualization.

Pros of Checkmk

  • Supports Distributed Monitoring
  • It provides fast and effective monitoring for small to big infrastructure.
  • It comprises numerous plugins.
  • It provides better insights and a quick view of IT infrastructure.
  • Quick error recovery.
  • It has flexible and real time dashboards that aid in data visualization.
  • Supports SLA reporting
  • An easy to deploy monitoring solution.
  • Supports Auto discovery functionality.

Cons of Checkmk

  • Intuitive menu structure
  • Bad Historical data browsing features

12. AppNeta PathTest

AppNeta PathTest network volume testing

AppNeta PathTest is a network volume testing tool that provides the most accurate results to aid businesses in understanding network capabilities. It is a free tool that fills data packets in the network and runs tests at any time. Further, it helps in monitoring and analyzing network traffic.

Pros of AppNeta PathTest

  • A powerful, intuitive, and highly useful testing tool to monitor and analyze network traffic.
  • You can run a test at any time with the AppNeta PathTest.

Cons of AppNeta PathTest

  • Logistics and support are getting frustrating.
  • Users can set a maximum of 10 seconds as a test duration.

13. Shinken

Shinken is a simple open source monitoring framework that has its own web server. You need to set a few basic parameters to configure the tool. The tool focuses only on critical business impacts and provides faster monitoring of servers and applications. Licensed under Affero General Public License, Shinken is a free tool compatible with all operating systems where Python runs.

Pros of Shinken

  • It is a highly scalable and flexible monitoring tool.
  • It has a user friendly integrated interface that helps in data visualization.
  • It provides robust security management of streams.
  • Supports auto configuration.
  • Detects problems and send alerts and notification for the same.
  • Shinken provides easier load balancing.
  • Supports all operating systems where Python runs.

Cons of Shinken

  • For configuration, you need to set a few basic parameters.

14. Netdata

Netdata is free, open source software that can help troubleshoot slowdowns, provide visual insights, and real time monitoring performance for systems and applications. The tool is compatible with various operating systems, such as FreeBSD, macOS, Linux, and more. No matter whether you run web servers, databases, or applications via dashboards, the tool guarantees unparalleled insights and real time data. You can also integrate the tool with previous monitoring toolchains like Grafana, OpenTSDB, etc. It is quick and compatible with all servers, containers, and IoT devices.

Pros of Netdata

  • Monitors the health of your entire IT infrastructure via any device, server, or application.
  • You can access per second performance metrics in real time.
  • Supports alarm notifications.
  • Delivers faster and easier troubleshooting.
  • It is compatible with most of the operating systems.

Cons of Netdata

  • You can access only limited history from the tool.
  • It has a read only dashboard.
  • Monitoring multiple servers simultaneously can be a problem.

15. Munin

Munin is an easy to install monitoring tool that is highly scalable and flexible. You can easily access it through a web interface. Munin is an open source tool that comprises 500+ plugins for monitoring and represents data in a graph. The tool allows monitoring computers, networks, SANs, applications and provides real time alerts.

Pros of Munin

  • Munin is an easy to install network monitoring tool.
  • It identifies errors faster and provides real time alerts.
  • Munin is a highly scalable and flexible tool.
  • You can access 500+ plugins for monitoring.
  • It is one of the best performance monitoring tools for computers, networks, SANs, applications.

16. NetXMS

NetXMS is an open source network and infrastructure monitoring tool that supports Windows and UNIX systems. It is scalable and easy to integrate with other third party products. All communications are encrypted and provide proper reports, notifications, and graphs for all layers of IT infrastructure. The tool comprises various features and supports SNMPv3, distributed monitoring, and horizontal scaling.

Pros of NetXMS

  • The NetXMS software is a highly safe and secure monitoring tool.
  • It is a scalable network and infrastructure monitoring tool.
  • It is easy to integrate the tool with other third party products.
  • It is compatible with Windows and UNIX systems.
  • Supports industry standard encryption.
  • Supports SNMPv3
  • Supports distributed monitoring and horizontal scaling

17. Ntopng

ntopng is a network probe that provides web based traffic analysis. It allows monitoring network usage, tracking flow collection, supports IPv4 and IPv6. The network monitoring tool is highly compatible with platforms like Linux, FreeBSD, Windows x64, macOS. Also, it is available in four versions, including open source community, Professional, Enterprise M, and Enterprise L. The only community version is available for free, whereas the other three versions are paid.

Pros of Ntopng

  • The responsive web interface provides a good graphical representation of traffic flows.
  • It provides real time data about network traffic.
  • All commercial ntopng tools for research and education are available for free.
  • You can easily capture, process, and transmit traffic at any packet size with the ntopng tool.
  • It has a “crontab” embedded that performs tasks.
  • Supports no external service dependency.
  • It is great at generating long term reports for network metrics.
  • IPv4 and IPv6 support.
  • It is compatible with Linux, FreeBSD, Windows x64, macOS.

Cons of Ntopng

  • It is hard to store data to disk as it cannot cope with a large number of hosts.

18. OpenNMS

OpenNMS is another free, open source network monitoring tool written in Java. It comprises powerful features and capabilities that make monitoring IP network services simpler. The tool has also helped many administrators to analyze network traffic and discover faults faster. OpenNMS event driven architecture allows you to track node status on a unified interface, access notifications and alerts on the dashboard, filter monitoring data, and more.

Pros of OpenNMS

  • It is a reliable and highly flexible network monitoring tool.
  • The tool can manage small, medium, and large networks easily.
  • Integration with alert systems is simple.
  • They have strong community support.
  • Supports provisioning services.
  • Supports mail transportation and screen monitoring.

Cons of OpenNMS

  • With multiple connected devices, the platform may lag in reporting alerts.
  • OpenNMS user interface isn’t very intuitive and needs improvement.
  • There are not enough resources available for the tool’s development and maintenance.

19. Ganglia

Ganglia is a scalable monitoring tool best for cluster based data centers and systems. It uses various technologies, including portable data transport, XML for data representation, XDR for compact. Also, it uses the RRD tool to store and visualize data.

Pros of Ganglia

  • Ganglia makes it easier for users to check status and monitor system performance.
  • With Ganglia, users can simply customize monitored items.
  • You are no longer required to manually add configuration as it is easy to deploy tools.
  • The tool allows the use of data structures and algorithms for low per node overheads and high concurrency.
  • Ganglia is a scalable monitoring tool best cluster based system.

Cons of Ganglia

  • Does not support any messaging notification system.
  • It is difficult to update if an error occurs as it has no alarm system.

20. Monit

Monit is a free, open source management and monitoring tool for Unix and Linux platforms. M/Monit is licensed software that addresses system status via command line or web server, provides quick error recovery, and monitors your server. It has a user interface that provides monitoring and management capabilities for all Monit enabled hosts and works on mobile devices as well.

Pros of Monit

  • It is a free management and monitoring tool with a well designed user interface.
  • The open source tool is highly compatible with platforms, like Unix and Linux.
  • It allows monitoring files, directories, and filesystems on localhost.
  • The tool provides quick error recovery.
  • It is the best tool to monitor servers.
  • The interface also works great on mobile devices.
  • It supports testing programs or scripts.
  • You do not require any plugin or special library to run the software.
  • It is easy to monitor the server and check the status of all monitored services via its in built interface.

Cons of Monit

  • The license is only applicable if you are willing to distribute Monit to third parties.

Best Open Source Monitoring Tools For Servers, Networks & Applications

Monitoring servers, applications, devices on the network helps discover errors faster and track their performance. This also helps in quick recovery. Choosing a suitable open source monitoring solution is not an easy task. You need to consider various factors, like facility, compatibility, budget, and more. Have a look at some of the above listed best open source Monitoring Tools and compare based on their pros and cons.

Avatar for Hitesh Jethva
Hitesh Jethva

I am a fan of open source technology and have more than 10 years of experience working with Linux and Open Source technologies. I am one of the Linux technical writers for Cloud Infrastructure Services.

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