Both Nagios and Zabbix can be setup to monitor systems in multiple locations, but configuration of everything out of the box in this mode is a bit involved. Of the two, Zabbix probably has better distributed support, although with enough work you can get comparable setups with both.
NAGIOS is a popular open source computer system and network monitoring software application. It watches hosts and services, alerting users when things go wrong and again when they get better.
Nagios, originally created under the name NetSaint, was written and is currently maintained by Ethan Galstad, along with a group of developers actively maintaining both official and unofficial plugins. N.A.G.I.O.S. is a recursive acronym: “Nagios Ain’t Gonna Insist On Sainthood”, “Sainthood” being a reference to the original name of the software, which was changed in response to a legal challenge by owners of a similar trademark.
ZABBIX is a network management system application created by Alexei Vladishev. It is designed to monitor and track the status of various network services, servers, and other network hardware.
It uses MySQL, PostgreSQL, SQLite or Oracle to store data. Its backend is written in C and the web frontend is written in PHP. ZABBIX offers several monitoring options. Simple checks can verify the availability and responsiveness of standard services such as SMTP or HTTP without installing any software on the monitored host. A ZABBIX agent can also be installed on UNIX and Windows hosts to monitor statistics such as CPU load, network utilization, disk space, etc. As an alternative to installing an agent on hosts, ZABBIX includes support for monitoring via SNMP, TCP and ICMP checks, IPMI and custom parameters. ZABBIX supports a variety of real-time notification mechanisms, including Jabber.
My view on it: Zabbix is GREAT for data collection and one centralized solution but it is challanged in several places:
– Scheduling up/downtimes – pretty much impossible right now.
– Notifications. In my opinion, notifications should be a completely separate thing from actions.
– soft/hard trigger states – a very important Nagios feature that I would LOOOOOOVE to see in Zabbix.
– In my opinion, separation of triggers by severity is a big mistake: it adds unnecessary complexity and is completely unnatural. Multi-state triggers would have been a far better thing
source google forums