LibreNMS is a network monitoring tool that was spawned from Observium, which is a fairly popular paid tool in the services market. Cost, however, is not the most relevant reason why EdgUno uses LibreNMS.
The fundamental difference is that the latter is free software (as its name indicates) and adheres to the four freedoms that define this type of software: freedom to use, change and distribute versions without changes or with changes. This means that we can have complete control of the tool.
Why is this so important in the case of a monitoring tool used by a company like EdgeUno?
At EdgeUno we use LibreNMS to read and organize network device ports. It automatically labels and groups ports by customer, peering, and transit.
Therefore, this is a tool that collects, groups and manages data through a module that allows adding ports from different routers and different locations in order to produce invoicing, which is something that other tools do not allow.
If EdgeUno used a proprietary tool, with support or with any model in which third parties close and control the source code, it could not guarantee the security of the data that is collected to generate invoicing; much less the privacy and anonymity of your customers’ traffic.
This is because although EdgeUno has physical control of its servers, proprietary software makes the infrastructure vulnerable, taking into consideration that programs that include maintenance tend to include back doors with access to specific fragments of source code reserved for developers.
On the other hand, it should be noted that free tools are not designed to solve specific requirements that a company may have. A free tool does not offer a comprehensive solution. It is undeniable that there are problems that proprietary tools may have already resolved.
For example, in LibreNMS, an installation with distributed pollers cannot be performed on networks like ours, since the nodes must have latencies that are less than 5 ms, which makes it impossible to have a remote node in another geographical location.
However, as we previously indicated when talking about Proxmox, the difficulty becomes an opportunity for the creation and technical strengthening of the teams within the logic of this type of software. So, we solved this case by installing autonomous nodes in each location and using the tool’s API to generate precise integrations.