Top Monitoring Tools for DevOps Engineers and SREs

March 18, 2020
Share this post:
Top Monitoring Tools for DevOps Engineers and SREs

Monitoring has moved from a simple proactive practice to a necessity on any product launch checklist. It is crucial to pick a tool that meets your observability needs & ensures reliability of your service to your customers.

Table of Contents:

    Over the years, with an increase in adoption of DevOps and SRE practices, Monitoring has moved from a simple proactive practice to a necessity on any product launch checklist. We now use different tools to do various monitoring checks to ensure that all components of a system or service are available and functioning at all times.

    Monitoring is segmented based on the components being monitored - Network monitoring, Server Monitoring and APM. The metrics measured by each type provides different information about your system's health and how all of it ties up with your end-user experience. This depth of data is essential to detect issues and eliminate any possible downtime proactively.

    Types of Monitoring Tools

    • Network monitoring - specializes in monitoring all of the computer network's connected components such as routers, incoming/outgoing network bytes, firewalls, switches among other network data.
    • Server Monitoring/ Infrastructure Monitoring - specializes in monitoring the server components such as CPU, memory usage, disk space among other server data.
    • Application Performance Monitoring - helps detect application level issues, those that are experienced by the end-user. Typical metrics involved with this are response time, requests/sec, transactions/sec among others.

    There are many tools in the industry, both free and enterprise grade that specializes in one monitoring over the other or provides an all-in-one monitoring solution.

    Selecting the right Monitoring tool

    Choosing a monitoring tool can be daunting given the list of options out there. However, there are some key questions that can help you narrow down the type of tool you need.

    • What components do you need to monitor? (Network components, Server components, Application?)
    • What kind of data do you need to collect? (Metrics, Events or both?)
    • What do you need this data for? (To simply observe patterns in the long run? To also alert when there’s something dire?)
    • Do you also need the tool to have visualization capabilities? (Or do you already have Grafana for this?)
    • What kind of support does your company expect/need? (Do you have strict SLAs to uphold?)
    • What budget is allocated for this type of tooling? (Would you have room to accomodate more than one tool for different types of data?)
    • Do you need an on-premise version or a cloud version? ( It should be compatible with your techstack and should be able to handle any future scaling or upgrades)

    Once you select the kind of tool(s) you’ll need, you can further narrow this down by understanding the level of instrumentation required to get the data you need. 

    As was rightly mentioned in the Monitoring 101: Collecting the right data blog post by Datadog:

    “Collecting data is cheap, but not having it when you need it can be expensive, so you should instrument everything, and collect all the useful data you reasonably can.”

    It is crucial to pick the kind of tool that meets your observability needs and helps you ensure that your services and systems are reliable for your customers. 

    So, in no particular order, we’ve listed some of the most popular monitoring tools and some features that stand out. Some of these tools cover a mix of Network Monitoring, Server Monitoring and Application Performance Monitoring functionalities.

    Devops monitoring tools

    Monitoring tools in DevOps can be used to provide feedback on the health of a system. These tools monitor for issues like performance degradation or system instability. Here are some of the most commonly used Devops monitoring tools.

    Prometheus

    Prometheus is an open-source systems monitoring and alerting tool used for event monitoring and alerting. It records real-time metrics in a time series database built using a HTTP pull model, with flexible queries.

    Features:- 

    - Data Visualization
    - Simple Operation
    - Precise Alerting
    - Many Client Libraries
    - Many Integrations
    - Powerful Queries
    - Open-source 

    Solarwinds - Pingdom

    Pingdom is a global performance and availability monitoring solution for your websites, applications and servers.

    Features:- 

    - Uptime Monitoring
    - Page Speed Monitoring
    - Incident Alerting
    - Real-Time Alerts
    - Transaction Monitoring
    - Real User Monitoring

    Zabbix

    Zabbix is a real time monitoring tool of IT components and services. It is an open-source software for networks, servers, virtual machines & cloud services and used by multiple sectors. Zabbix provides data metrics for network utilization, CPU load and disk space consumption of the digital assets.

    Features:- 

    - Network Monitoring 
    - Server Monitoring
    - Cloud Monitoring
    - Application Monitoring
    - Services Monitoring
    - Open-source and Free

    Zoho - Site 24x7

    Site 24x7 is another all-in-one tool that provides Website, Server and Application Performance Monitoring. Site24x7 is a part of the ManageEngine suite of products that help provide monitoring health checks to maintain your system uptime.

    Features:- 

    - Website Performance Monitoring 
    - Server Monitoring
    - Application Monitoring
    - Rest APIs
    - End User Experience Monitoring
    - Automatic Network Discovery
    - Supports a lot of integrations
    - Supports apps built in Java, .NET, AWS, Azure and iOS, android mobile environments
    - Free Version Available

    Nagios XI

    Nagios XI, previously known as just Nagios, is a free and open-source monitoring toolkit that helps with systems, networks and infrastructure monitoring. 

    Features:-

    - Network Monitoring
    - Server Monitoring
    - Data Visualization 
    - Comprehensive Dashboard
    - Easy set-up
    - Free Version Available

    Sensu

    Sensu is an open source infrastructure and application monitoring tool that monitors servers, services, and application health. Sensu Go is the latest version of Sensu.

    Features:-

    - Server Monitoring
    - Application Monitoring
    - Intuitive API and Dashboard
    - Custom Metrics
    - Incident Alerting
    - Free Version Available

    Signal Fx

    SignalFx enables real-time cloud monitoring and observability for infrastructure, microservices, and applications by collecting and analyzing metrics and traces across every component in your cloud environment.

    Features:-

    - Infrastructure Monitoring
    - Application Monitoring
    - Microservices and Container APM
    - Comprehensive Dashboard
    - Incident Alerting
    - APIs 
    - Predictive Analytics
    - 150+ Integrations

    Solarwinds - Server and Application Monitor (SAM)

    Server and Application Monitor (SAM) as the name suggests, does just that. 

    Features:

    - Hardware Monitoring
    - Application Monitoring
    - Multi-vendor Server Monitoring
    - Container APM
    - DNS Monitoring 
    - Active Directory

    ManageEngine - OpManager

    ManageEngine’s OpManager is a Network Monitoring tool that helps monitor network devices such as routers, switches, firewalls, load balancers, wireless LAN controllers, servers, VMs, printers, storage devices, and everything that has an IP and is connected to the network

    Features:

    - Network Monitoring
    - Physical and virtual server monitoring 
    - Customizable Dashboard
    - Incident Alerting
    - Reporting
    - Custom Workflows

    Datadog

    Datadog is a monitoring service for cloud-scale applications, providing monitoring of servers, databases, tools, and services, through a SaaS-based data analytics platform.

    Features:

    - Application Performance Monitoring
    - Server Monitoring 
    - Monitoring consolidation 
    - Visualize and alert on log data
    - Interactive Dashboards
    - Alerting 
    - API

    PRTG Network Monitor

    PRTG Network Monitor is an agentless network monitoring software from Paessler AG. It can monitor and classify system conditions like bandwidth usage or uptime and collect statistics from miscellaneous hosts as switches, routers, servers and other devices and applications.

    Features:

    - All-in-one Network Monitoring
    - Failover tolerant Monitoring
    - Visualization
    - Comprehensive Dashboard
    - Distributed Monitoring
    - Reporting
    - Free Version Available

    New Relic

    New Relic has a suite of monitoring products that together provide an all-in-one monitoring solution. New  Relic APM, New Relic Browser and New Relic Infrastructure can be used individually or together. 

    Features:

    - Network Monitoring
    - Infrastructure Monitoring
    - APM Monitoring
    - Database Monitoring
    - Custom Dashboard
    - Distributed Tracing
    - Capacity Analysis
    - Reporting

    WhatsUp Gold

    WhatsUp Gold provides complete visibility into the status and performance of applications, network devices and servers in the cloud or on-premises.

    Features:

    - Network Monitoring
    - Cloud Monitoring
    - Application Monitoring
    - Visualization
    - Configuration Management
    - Network Mapping
    - REST APIs

    Icinga

    Icinga is an open-source computer system and network monitoring application. It was originally created as a fork of the Nagios system monitoring application

    Features:

    - Network Monitoring
    - Hardware Monitoring
    - Server Monitoring
    - Database functionality and Alerting
    - Reporting
    - Graphing
    - Plugins 
    - REST APIs
    - Open-source

    Although this is not an exhaustive list of both the available tools and the listed features, as stated earlier, it is important to identify the kind of metrics you need to monitor and understand how you can make this data more actionable before choosing a monitoring tool. You can also visit the respective websites to know more about each tool and how it can help you.

    Squadcast is an incident management tool that ingests data from various monitoring sources and support tooling in your techstack to provide actionable alerts, reduce MTTR and eliminate unplanned downtime. Try for free now or schedule a demo to explore SRE best practices in incident management with better collaboration and transparency, increasing the overall reliability of your service.


    squadcast
    Written By:
    March 18, 2020
    March 18, 2020
    Share this post:
    Subscribe to our LinkedIn Newsletter to receive more educational content
    Subscribe now

    Subscribe to our latest updates

    Enter your Email Id
    Thank you! Your submission has been received!
    Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
    FAQ
    More from
    Prakya Vasudevan
    On-call On-boarding Checklist
    On-call On-boarding Checklist
    May 20, 2020
    Best Practices in Incident Management
    Best Practices in Incident Management
    May 7, 2020
    Configure an Intuitive Service Dashboard & Reduce Response Time
    Configure an Intuitive Service Dashboard & Reduce Response Time
    April 30, 2020
    Learn how organizations are using Squadcast
    to maintain and improve upon their Reliability metrics
    Learn how organizations are using Squadcast to maintain and improve upon their Reliability metrics
    mapgears
    "Mapgears simplified their complex On-call Alerting process with Squadcast.
    Squadcast has helped us aggregate alerts coming in from hundreds...
    bibam
    "Bibam found their best PagerDuty alternative in Squadcast.
    By moving to Squadcast from Pagerduty, we have seen a serious reduction in alert fatigue, allowing us to focus...
    tanner
    "Squadcast helped Tanner gain system insights and boost team productivity.
    Squadcast has integrated seamlessly into our DevOps and on-call team's workflows. Thanks to their reliability...
    Alexandre Lessard
    System Analyst
    Martin do Santos
    Platform and Architecture Tech Lead
    Sandro Franchi
    CTO
    Squadcast is a leader in Incident Management on G2 Squadcast is a leader in Incident Management on G2 Users love Squadcast on G2 Best IT Management Products 2022 Squadcast is a leader in IT Service Management (ITSM) Tools on G2 Squadcast is a leader in IT Service Management (ITSM) Tools on G2 Squadcast is a leader in IT Service Management (ITSM) Tools on G2
    Squadcast awarded as "Best Software" in the IT Management category by G2 🎉 Read full report here.
    What our
    customers
    have to say
    mapgears
    "Mapgears simplified their complex On-call Alerting process with Squadcast.
    Squadcast has helped us aggregate alerts coming in from hundreds of services into one single platform. We no longer have hundreds of...
    Alexandre Lessard
    System Analyst
    bibam
    "Bibam found their best PagerDuty alternative in Squadcast.
    By moving to Squadcast from Pagerduty, we have seen a serious reduction in alert fatigue, allowing us to focus...
    Martin do Santos
    Platform and Architecture Tech Lead
    tanner
    "Squadcast helped Tanner gain system insights and boost team productivity.
    Squadcast has integrated seamlessly into our DevOps and on-call team's workflows. Thanks to their reliability metrics we have...
    Sandro Franchi
    CTO
    Revamp your Incident Response.
    Peak Reliability
    Easier, Faster, More Automated with SRE.
    Incident Response Mobility
    Manage incidents on the go with Squadcast mobile app for Android and iOS devices
    google playapple store
    Squadcast - On-call shouldn't suck. Incident response for SRE/DevOps, IT | Product Hunt Embed
    Squadcast is a leader in Incident Management on G2 Squadcast is a leader in Incident Management on G2 Users love Squadcast on G2 Best IT Management Products 2022 Squadcast is a leader in IT Service Management (ITSM) Tools on G2 Squadcast is a leader in IT Service Management (ITSM) Tools on G2 Squadcast is a leader in IT Service Management (ITSM) Tools on G2
    Squadcast - On-call shouldn't suck. Incident response for SRE/DevOps, IT | Product Hunt Embed
    Squadcast is a leader in IT Service Management (ITSM) Tools on G2 Squadcast is a leader in Incident Management on G2 Users love Squadcast on G2
    Best IT Management Products 2022 Squadcast is a leader in IT Service Management (ITSM) Tools on G2 Squadcast is a leader in IT Service Management (ITSM) Tools on G2
    Squadcast is a leader in IT Service Management (ITSM) Tools on G2
    Copyright © Squadcast Inc. 2017-2023