Home > Store

Nagios: Building Enterprise-Grade Monitoring Infrastructures for Systems and Networks, 2nd Edition

Register your product to gain access to bonus material or receive a coupon.

Nagios: Building Enterprise-Grade Monitoring Infrastructures for Systems and Networks, 2nd Edition

eBook (Watermarked)

  • Your Price: $24.47
  • List Price: $30.59
  • About Watermarked eBooks
  • This PDF will be accessible from your Account page after purchase and requires PDF reading software, such as Acrobat® Reader®.

    The eBook requires no passwords or activation to read. We customize your eBook by discreetly watermarking it with your name, making it uniquely yours.

    Watermarked eBook FAQ


  • Copyright 2013
  • Dimensions: 7" x 9-1/8"
  • Pages: 304
  • Edition: 2nd
  • eBook (Watermarked)
  • ISBN-10: 0-13-313572-1
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-13-313572-5

The Fully Updated Guide to Enterprise Network Monitoring with Today’s Nagios Platform and Tools

This is the definitive guide to building cost-effective, enterprise-strength monitoring infrastructures with the latest commercial and open source versions of Nagios. World-renowned monitoring expert David Josephsen covers the entire monitoring software stack, treating Nagios as a specification language and foundation for building well designed monitoring systems that can scale to serve any organization.

Drawing on his unsurpassed experience, Josephsen demonstrates best practices throughout and also reveals common mistakes, their consequences, and how to avoid them. He provides all the technical depth you need to configure and run Nagios successfully, including a practical and thorough discussion of writing your own custom modules with the C-based Nagios Event-Broker API.

Extensively updated throughout, this edition adds an entirely new chapter on scaling Nagios for large, complex networks that rely heavily on virtualization and cloud services. Josephsen thoroughly introduces Nagios XI, the advanced new commercial version of Nagios and shows how to improve productivity with the latest third-party tools and plug-ins.

Coverage includes:

  • Learn how Nagios works, in depth
  • Master focused, efficient techniques for configuring and deploying the latest versions of Nagios
  • Solve real-world problems in monitoring Windows and UNIX systems, networking hardware, and environmental sensors
  • Systematically scale and optimize Nagios for the largest enterprise environments
  • Enhance your monitoring system with new tools including Check-MK, Op5 Merlin, and SFlow
  • Integrate visualization via Ganglia, Graphite, and RRDTool
  • Simplify and streamline all facets of system monitoring with Nagios XI
  • Build powerful custom Nagios Event Broker (NEB) modules, step-by-step
  • Learn about easy-to-understand code listings, fully updated for today’s platforms

No matter how complex your systems monitoring challenges are, this book will help you achieve the results you want—right from the start.

Sample Content

Table of Contents

Foreword by the Nagios Creator, Ethan Galstad    xiii

Introduction    1

Do It Right the First Time    1

Why Nagios?    2

What’s in This Book?    4

Who Should Read This Book?    7

End Notes    7

CHAPTER 1  Best Practices    9

A Procedural Approach to Systems Monitoring    9

Processing and Overhead    12

Remote Versus Local Processing    12

Bandwidth Considerations    13

Network Location and Dependencies    14

Security    16

Silence Is Golden    19

Watching Ports Versus Watching Applications    20

Who’s Watching the Watchers?    21

End Notes    22

CHAPTER 2  Theory of Operations    23

The Host and Service Paradigm    24

Starting from Scratch    24

Hosts and Services    26

Interdependence    26

The Downside of Hosts and Services    27

Plug-ins    28

Exit Codes    28

Remote Execution    31

Scheduling    34

Check Interval and States    34

Distributing the Load    36

Reapers and Parallel Execution    38

Notification    39

Global Gotchas    39

Notification Options    40

Templates    41

Time Periods    41

Scheduled Downtime, Acknowledgments, and Escalations    42

I/O Interfaces Summarized    43

The Web Interface    43

Monitoring    45

Reporting    46

The External Command File    48

Performance Data    48

The Event Broker    49

End Notes    50

CHAPTER 3  Installing Nagios    51

OS Support and the FHS    51

Installation Steps and Prerequisites    53

Installing Nagios    54

Confi gure    54

Make    55

Make Install    56

Installing the Plug-ins    57

Installing NRPE    59

End Notes    60

CHAPTER 4  Confi guring Nagios    61

Objects and Defi nitions    62

nagios.cfg    64

The CGI Confi g    67

Templates    68

Timeperiods    70

Commands    71

Contacts    73

Contactgroup    74

Hosts    75

Services    77

Hostgroups    79

Servicegroups    79

Escalations    80

Dependencies    81

Extended Information    83

Apache Confi guration    83

GO!    85

End Notes    85

CHAPTER 5  Bootstrapping the Nagios Confi g Files    87

Scripting Templates    87

Autodiscovery    91

Check_MK    91

Nagios XI    92

Autodiscovery Is Dead: Long Live Autodiscovery    92

NagiosQL    92

CHAPTER 6  Watching: Monitoring Through the Nagios Plug-ins    95

Local Queries    95

Pings    96

Port Queries    98

Querying Multiple Ports    100

(More) Complex Service Checks    102

E2E Monitoring with WebInject and Cucumber-Nagios    104

Watching Windows    111

The Windows Scripting Environment    111

COM and OLE    113

WMI    113

To WSH or Not to WSH    118

To VB or Not to VB    119

The Future of Windows Scripting    119

Getting Down to Business    121

NRPE    122

Check_NT    123

NSCP    124

Watching UNIX    125

NRPE    125

CPU    126

Memory    129

Disk    130

Check_MK    131

Watching “Other Stuff”    135

SNMP    135

Working with SNMP    137

Environmental Sensors    142

Standalone Sensors    143

LMSensors    144

IPMI    145

End Notes    146

CHAPTER 7  Scaling Nagios    149

Tuning, Optimization, and Some Building Blocks    149

NRDP/NSCA    150

NDOUtils    150

Distributed Passive Checks with Secondary

Nagios Daemons    150

Event Broker Modules: DNX, Merlin, and Mod Gearman    153

DNX    154

Mod Gearman    156

Op5 Merlin    157

Distributed Dashboards: Fusion, MNTOS, and MK-Multisite    159

CHAPTER 8  Visualization    167

Nagios Performance Data    168

RRDTool: The Foundation    168

Enter RRDTool    170

RRD Data Types    171

Heartbeat and Step    172

Min and Max    174

Round Robin Archives    174

RRDTool Create Syntax    175

RRDTool Graph Mode    180

RPN    182

Data Visualization Strategies: A Tale of Three Networks    185

Suitcorp: Nagios, NagiosGraph, and Drraw    185

singularity.gov: Nagios and Ganglia    192

Massive Ginormic: Nagios, Logsurfer, Graphite, and Life After RRDTool    200

DIY Dashboards    209

Know What You’re Doing    210

RRDTool Fetch Mode    212

The GD Graphics Library    214

NagVis    215

GraphViz    217

Sparklines    218

Force Directed Graphs with jsvis    220

End Notes    221

CHAPTER 9  Nagios XI    223

What Is It?    223

How Does It Work?    224

What’s in It for Me?    226

One Slick Interface    226

Integrated Time Series Data    227

Modularized Components    228

Enhanced Reporting and Advanced Visualization    228

Integrated Plug-ins and Confi guration Wizards    230

Operational Improvements    234

How Do I Get My Hands on It?    235

CHAPTER 10  The Nagios Event Broker Interface    237

Function References and Callbacks in C    237

The NEB Architecture    239

Implementing a Filesystem Interface Using NEB    242

DNX, a Real-World Example    255

Wrap Up    258

End Notes    259

Index    261


Submit Errata

More Information

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020