Why a fork?

In recent years, Nagios’ popularity as an open source monitoring solution saw it evolve into a quasi open source industry standard. Its extensive monitoring capabilities and high adaptability  attracted organisations of all sizes, including Amazon, BMW, Google, T-Mobile, Siemens, and many others. Many of the features that made Nagios so effective were extensions of the actual software written by numerous developers worldwide.

In contrast, the core of this system – the Nagios software itself- was maintained by a single developer in the United States and was hence developed at a slower pace. The Nagios community had previously attempted to clear this bottleneck with suggestions to broaden the developer base. Long awaited improvements such as the regular integration of community patches, the connection to databases or the web interface were hoped to be accelerated. Unfortunately, these attempts came to little success and effective community commitment gradually deflated.

Over a 6 month period prior to the fork, the situation escalated with Nagios Enterprises LLC requesting several long term community projects to state that they were not officially connected to Nagios. In a few cases the companies were requested to change their open source project names or transfer their domains over. This combination of reduced visible software development and disproportionate actions against long time Nagios supporters irritated many active community members.

To overcome these obstacles and to ensure above all, the continuous development of this popular monitoring software, a group of active, long standing Nagios community supporters resolved to fork Nagios and open its development to a broader base. The team of the time consisted of members of the previous Nagios community advisory board, developers of numerous Nagios extensions and people from NETWAYS, the organiser of the Monitoring Conference on Nagios and provider of the MonitoringExchange (formely NagiosExchange) platform. Under the new name ‘Icinga’, fork supporters opened a new project. In the first release of this new software, some enduring bugs were removed and database connections were improved. A new web interface and a standardised API was introduced to simplify the integration of addons. The main addons for performance charts, visualisation or business process monitoring have also been made available in versions adapted for easy integration into Icinga’s subsequent releases.