The presence of an embedded monitoring solution in the IT infrastructure of the organization ensures important activities such as the health status of the systems, resources, availability of services, applications, and VMs are monitored in real-time, and any issue is resolved fast. In other words, a software monitoring system keeps each of the organization’s IT elements under surveillance, ensuring they run smoothly without disruptions. And when an issue arises, the monitoring solution will detect it, search for its root cause and report it.
Whether on cloud or on-prem, modern monitoring tools provide the much-needed granular observation and tracking of service failures before they have escalated. Additionally, monitoring tools provide businesses with crucial visibility over their entire stack of connected systems and applications. That plays a major role in the organization’s growth and stability.
There is a wide variety of monitoring tools available on the market. However, in the following lines, we’ll focus on the ten most used ones, outlining their pros and cons.
Prometheus is an open-source alert and monitoring software. The system provides valuable solutions to organizations that need to keep a close eye on the performance of their applications, services, and connected machines. Prometheus helps its users have a better understanding of the behavior patterns of the apps. The system operates on three levels:
The first level – centers around pulling metrics from the integrated apps and storing them in a way that would further help the system read them and later, present them to its users. The built-in client libraries help with further understanding of the accumulated metrics.
The second Level – At this level, Prometheus stores the array of data accumulated across the users’ applications in its database. This happens at pre-defined intervals, during which Prometheus crawls the connected apps and gathers the desired metrics. Those metrics enter the system’s database for further analysis. As a result, teams have the chance to build and eventually take a deep look into their system’s behavior patterns.
The third level – gives its users the chance to query the system about their app’s performance in detail.
Prometheus’ main features:
- Unidimensional data model with time series data identified by metric name and key/value pairs
- Fully autonomous single server nodes
- An intermediary gateway that supports pushing time series
- Easy service discovery or static configuration
Takeaway: Prometheus focuses on the systems’ reliability. Its main strength lies in its ability to detect outages and provide timely analysis for their resolution. The system does not depend on either network storage or remote services. This allows it to become a go-to solution in those critical situations when elements of the IT infrastructure are down and provides assistance to put it back.
Splunk Enterprise is an advanced analytics platform. The tool allows its users to index and further analyze accumulated machine data and use it to provide vital business insights. Once embedded in the IT infrastructure of an organization, Splunk easily derives information about microservices, applications, log files, remote sensors, networks, and even IoT devices. The system’s compatibility with a variety of connectors allows its business to use the accumulated data for a variety of use case scenarios.
Splunk Enterprise easily handles anything from security and network monitoring to systems’ uptime observation. Additionally, the tool helps IT teams analyze the accumulated data, and use it for comprehensive report creation and data visualization. The advanced machine learning model the system utilizes delivers a more comprehensive overview of the processes the system performs.
Splunk Enterprise’s main features:
- Advanced indexing – this allows the storing and compressing of the collected data; this feature also helps with the accelerated search
- Search – provides valuable insights from the aggregated data such as future trends predictions, metrics calculation, data patterns identification, and others.
- Alerts – can be configured to be sent to email, RSS feed, and more
- Dashboards – show search results and data from real-time searches that run in the background
- Pivots – Pivot Editor allows mapping attributes defined by the data model objects into tables or charts without the need of writing the searches in SPL to accumulate them
- Reports – searches and pivots can be saved as reports and later used for analysis
- Smart Assistance
Takeaway: Splunk Enterprise comes with highly advanced machine learning and AiOps capabilities, as well as the ability to share data through URL links.
Zabbix is yet another modern monitoring solution that can be found integrated with the backbone of most of the current organizations’ IT ecosystems. It’s an open source, and its main usage concentrates around the monitoring of servers, various IT components, VMs, services, and even cloud services. As a result, Zabbix aims to track, analyze and resolve any issue that may lead to performance slowdown and data silos. The prominent level of communication encryption used by the system ensures an important level of data security. The platform allows its users to continuously monitor networks, bandwidth usage, device temperatures, and issues in a matter of minutes.
Zabbix collects the accumulated data from the rest of the integrated into the organization’s IT infrastructure’s applications and uses it to track issues in network and services in real-time, analyze the data and extract valuable metrics.
Zabbix main features:
- Enhanced metrics collection and business monitoring
- Problems detection
- Advanced alerting capabilities
- Detailed data visualization
Takeaway: Zabbix is an open-source solution that takes 5 minutes to be deployed on either cloud or on-premises environments. The tool offers a high level of security for its users’ data.
Nagios is another open-source solution used for monitoring systems. At its essence, the platform makes regular checkups at pre-defined intervals on various applications, resources, and networks. It also gathers important data on monitor and disc usage, microprocessors’ workload, processors’ condition, and logs. Nagios handles with ease the tracking of issues (network or server related) and their analysis.
Additionally, Nagios can be used to automatically remediate problems, even when they are on the brink of escalation. The tool’s database provides high levels of security, stability, and efficiency. Any server crash and glitches are instantly detected and reported. They can later be used to enrich the existing systems’ topology and fight data discrepancy.
Nagios main features:
- Comprehensive Monitoring
- Visibility & Awareness
- Problem remediation, planning, and reporting
- Multi-Tenant Capabilities
- Extendable Architecture
Takeaway: Nagios’ advanced API allows the tool to provide its users with enhanced server, network, and app monitoring solutions. The system can catch problems arising before they have occurred.
Datadog is a monitoring and analysis software solution. It gives a comprehensive insight into the cloud and on-premises networks, databases, and connected servers. The tool presents its users with detailed information on the application’s performance and health status. Simple and easy to use, Datadog quickly integrates with a large variety of systems (over 250), thanks to its API.
The system allows the configuration of customizable dashboards. Those dashboards display various graphs, comprised of real-time accumulated data. An important feature of Datadog is that it can be tweaked to send notifications for any given metric via email or Slack.
Among its capabilities is the gathering and analyses of latency, error, and long – elements, crucial for the high-performance rates of any successful organization.
Datadog main features:
- Datadog’s users benefit from its enhanced team collaboration tools
- Detailed graphs and alerts
- A list of easily customizable dashboards
- Easy-to-use search functionality
Takeaway: Datadog offers full API access along with the capability for the user to mute alerts.
SolarWinds Network Performance Monitoring is a popular Server and Application Monitoring tool that aims to streamline the entire line of IT processes in an organization. At its core, SolarWinds concentrates on delivering a full overview of the IT performance, connected servers, possible network latency losses, and even server response time. SolarWinds NPM successfully tracks outages, which can later diagnose and resolve before they have turned into a serious problem. The platform also helps IT users get a clearer picture of their device’s status and performance, as well as the mapping devices. It is often used to perform an important evaluation of the embedded applications – be it on a cloud, hybrid environment, or on-prem.
SolarWinds attracts users with its advanced capabilities to speed up troubleshooting, sort out traffic bottlenecks, and track various network issues.
SolarWinds main features:
- Highly advanced network troubleshooting for on-premises, hybrid, and cloud services
- Network fault monitoring and comprehensive performance management
- High availability, with real-time and historical statistics from SNMP-, API-, or WMI-enabled devices
- Automated network device discovery
- Baseline threshold calculation
Takeaway: SolarWinds NPM provides enterprise users with intelligent alerts for important data like correlation events and combinations of connected device states. It easily integrates with other systems – a quality which makes it highly preferred by large companies.
Starting its journey as a fork of Nagios, Icinga managed to secure a place among the most sought-after monitoring tools available on the market. It is an open-source monitoring solution that lacks the sometimes difficult and hard-to-understand configuration procedures typical for some of the most widely used similar solutions. The tool enables the tracking of the performance status of an integrated cloud service, network or data center.
Icinga provides a high level of security to its users and their data thanks to its rule-based configurations. It has elastic search and comprehensive dashboard capabilities, as well as the ability to perform multiple checks on selected systems, apps, and servers.
Icinga’s main features:
- Elastic search capabilities
- Rule-based configurations
- Generis TTS and text notifications
- Icinga director
Takeaway: The open-source Icinga is an out-of-the-box monitoring platform. With its customizable and easy-to-handle framework, the tool provides a detailed view of the monitored servers and devices.
Powered by an advanced AI, Dynatrace has comprehensive monitoring qualities. It is a cloud solution hosted on AWS. On its integration into the IT infrastructure, it instantly tracks, collects, and reports issues. The platform detects any real customer or connected device interactions, as well as virtual ones.
Dynatrace collects performance and behavioral data analyzes them and presents the most valuable insight derived from them. The IT teams use this in-depth information to build a scalable strategy for sustainability and availability. The system observes applications and allows the creation of active actions.
Dynatrace main features:
- Dynatrace encompasses container, cloud, and infrastructure management functionalities
- AI-powered analytics and enhanced vMotion events detection
- Full-stack performance management and discovery options
Takeaway: Dynatrace is a comprehensive all-in-one monitoring platform. The system’s easy-to-deploy agents automatically detect the IT infrastructure and the presence of any issues in it.
New Relic is another systems observability tool. Its main objective is to enable the tracking of IT services performance in real-time. A sophisticated AMP solution, New Relic speeds up the process of issues discovery which in its turn enhances the overall productivity of the IT infrastructure.
New Relic significantly minimizes downtimes by giving a detailed insight into the data and statistics responsible for the overall application performance. Any discrepancies and bottlenecks are tracked to their source and remediated.
New Relic main features:
- Open telemetry
- Serverless and model performance monitoring
- Advanced AiOps
- Comprehensive dashboards
Takeaway: New Relic is an all-in-one AMP solution suitable for companies of various sizes. The platform encompasses 16 tools in one, which elevates the monitoring processes to new levels. Easy to deploy and navigate, New Relic gives users a detailed view of the condition and processes that run in the background of their IT infrastructure.
AppDynamics actively serves as an AMP solution for operations and management of the applications in the enterprise cloud IT environment. It helps IT teams better understand the accumulated data and based on it, to calibrate the systems to fit the needs and requirements of the business.
A multi-layer tool, AppDynamics offers its users some crucial benefits such as application performance monitoring and CPU usage rates. When it comes to minimizing downtimes, user-experience disruptions, and systems memory issues, both CPU rates and performance monitoring play a vital part.
AppDynamics main features:
- AppDynamics Controller and UI – this is the repository and analytics engine; it contains the collected performance data
- Application performance management console
- Server usage monitoring and capacity forecasting
- Predictive capabilities and threshold alerts
Takeaway: A comprehensive AMP solution, AppDynamics enables the user to instantly detect those SQL statements or stored procedures that are responsible for the overconsumption of the systems resources. This allows them to analyze it and act timely to resolve this issue.
When using more than one monitoring tools
Often, companies need more than one monitoring platform to gain a granular view of all the processes that run in their IT environment. As a result, monitoring teams struggle with the data transfer between those systems, especially when they are not connected. This acts as a prerequisite to vital data gaps and performance slowdown. With an integration platform in place to connect the monitoring solution with the rest of the tools in the tech stack, the transfer of information happens fast.
A no-code integration solution like ZigiOps can help with that. Easy to configure and deploy, ZigiOps can instantly connect a large variety of monitoring solutions with ITSM, Cloud, or CRM systems.
Monitoring tools are important for companies. They ensure that all processes and operations, applications, networks, and servers are kept under surveillance. This way any potential issues are tracked, analyzed, and solved before escalated. Keeping a close eye on the IT environment helps save valuable money and resources.