The long road out of Nagios – Part 2: Centreon Engine in the Future

Centreon Engine in the Future: Simpler is Better.

In the first part of this article, we saw the history of Centreon Engine, from his inception as a replacement to Nagios, to the mature software it is now. We saw some of the issues it has successfully responded to and its limits in struggling with a growingly old codebase. The future asked for improvements made to Centreon Engine, and more precisely, for a diet.

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The long road out of Nagios – Part 1: A retrospective roadmap of Centreon Engine

Centreon’s Coming of Age

Centreon’s early history is closely tied to Nagios. Indeed, Centreon Web started out as a solution to make Nagios less complex and easier to use while maintaining its powerful flexibility that made it a favorite of the industry.

Centreon has grown up considerably since, and while it has remained true to its root, we found the need to make substantial evolutions to Nagios on our own. This need led to the creation of Centreon Engine, the subject of this article.

Most users will never see this core software. Today Centreon’s software suite, known as CES, is a complete monitoring platform that includes the three big pivotal bricks: Centreon Web, Centreon Engine and Centreon Broker, together with all the tools needed to monitor any kind of IT system. CES has been downloaded and used by thousands already and has already proven its mark. This relative obscurity can generate a lack of interest, but just as the engine in a car is essential to the car, Centreon Engine is essential to Centreon CES.

The best way to understand this is to begin by the grandaddy of Centreon Engine: Nagios.

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Centreon Engine & Centreon Broker – Technical and Performance Benchmarks

From Nagios©/NDO to Centreon Engine/Broker

Since a few years, the core of Nagios© has been maintained by a single developer and as a consequence has been evolving at a slower pace. The Nagios© community had attempted several times to broaden the developer base. Many community members such as Centreon Development team tried to propose improvements and patches, but with little success. Effective community commitment gradually deflated, long standing community supporters decided to fork Nagios© (among them are the people around Icinga for example), so did we!


To improve performance and quality, Centreon Engine and Centreon Broker have been created as a Nagios© alternative.

Thanks to many strategic partners, Merethis has tested Centreon Engine during every development steps. Centreon Engine is now stable and already run in production from small to medium IT networks. However, even if Centreon Engine and Centreon Broker are stable enough to deploy them in production, what about the performances? This study is based on a simple and common use case of production that compare a Nagios© based monitoring system to a Centreon Engine one. This aim of this study is not to reach the top of the Centreon Engine performances but just to compare it with Nagios© in a standard use case and show you the performances it brings. We have added the explanation of the biggest evolution Centreon developers did to make it easier to understand. We have planned to publish full performance benchmarks in the next months. If you want to give us your feedback on this document, the results, or the explanation, feel free to comment this blog post !

Key Comparison Findings

  • Centreon Engine and Centreon Broker start and are ready really faster than Nagios© working with NDO.
  • It gives the control back to the administrator faster and allows to restart with less loose of monitoring data.
  • Centreon Engine requires less CPU, less memory and decreases the number of IO.
  • Checks are done faster with less latency, and much more checks can be done with the same server.
  • Centreon need less powerful monitoring servers thanks to these improvements.
  • They can be run more easily on virtual machines, making the monitoring cloud simpler.


Next steps

More detailled benchmarks are already planned for full performance of Centreon Engine working with Broker. New improvements are already under development within Centreon Engine and Centreon Broker. Some of them for example in the 1.2 Centreon Engine should decrease the CPU activity more than it already does…

Want to know more?

Please, download the benchmarks : Centreon Engine Benchmarks
Stay tuned of the future releases by following us on twitter (@centreon) !
Download Centreon Engine and Centreon Broker