Introducing NGINX Instance Manager – A Tool to Track, Configure, and Monitor NGINX Open Source and NGINX Plus Instances at Scale

Karthik Krishnaswamy Thumbnail
Karthik Krishnaswamy
Published March 16, 2021

NGINX is the popular web server that powers more than 400 million websites. But it’s more than a web server – as a software‑based all-in-one load balancer, web server, API gateway, and reverse proxy designed for cloud‑native architectures, NGINX is really a Swiss Army Knife™ that accelerates your IT infrastructure and application modernization efforts. This wide‑ranging, versatile functionality can, however, lead to many NGINX instances spread across the organization, sometimes with NGINX Open Source and NGINX Plus managed by different groups. How do you track all the instances? How do you ensure they have up-to-date configuration and security settings? That’s where NGINX’s latest solution comes in – NGINX Instance Manager.

NGINX Instance Manager simplifies NGINX asset management, configuration, and visibility. It is ideal for DevOps users who are NGINX experts and have a lot of experience with NGINX configurations. Let’s look at how NGINX Instance Manager can be beneficial for your organization.

NGINX Inventory Management

The first requirement for effective IT asset management – and security – is an accurate inventory of IT assets. With NGINX Instance Manager, you can quickly discover both NGINX Open Source and NGINX Plus instances. Some customers tell us it can be a challenge to keep track of all their NGINX Open Source instances – they suspect there are several thousand across the organization, but they don’t really know. With NGINX Instance Manager, there’s no need to stress about NGINX sprawl!

'Inventory Scan' tab in NGINX Instance Manager

Ensure Compliance with Corporate Security Policies

Enterprises have strict security policies that prohibit running software or infrastructure impacted by Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVEs). NGINX Instance Manager identifies NGINX instances that are running software versions impacted by CVEs. With this visibility, you can then upgrade the instances to a version with fixes for the CVEs.

'Inventory' tab in NGINX Instance Manager

Effortless NGINX Configuration Management

If you’re like many of our customers, some of your configurations have a good bit of rust on them. The Analyzer in NGINX Instance Manager scans your configurations automatically and makes change recommendations based on best practices gleaned from issues that our customer success team has encountered in customer production environments.

You can then use the built‑in Monaco Editor (native Visual Studio Code format) to implement the recommendations, as well as other changes you decide are necessary. With the Analyzer and Monaco Editor, NGINX Instance Manager makes it very easy to clean up old configurations.

Editor GUI in NGINX Instance Manager

Seamless NGINX Monitoring with Your Preferred Tool

Once you get visibility into NGINX instances, you need to monitor them to ensure high performance and robust security. With NGINX Instance Manager, you can forward operational metrics such as 4xx errors to your preferred monitoring solution such as Grafana or Prometheus. You can use the solution’s native alerting mechanisms to get notified about NGINX issues.

Grafana display of metrics exported by NGINX Instance Manager

Automate NGINX Configuration and Maintenance

NGINX Instance Manager provides simple RESTful APIs that allow DevOps teams to automate all the features discussed above: instance discovery, configuration, and ongoing monitoring. You can easily integrate these tasks into your CI/CD workflows to boost DevOps productivity.

API for NGINX Instance Manager

Want to give NGINX Instance Manager a try? Download a 30-day free trial or contact us to discuss your use cases.

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