AppDynamics versus Paessler PRTG Hosted Monitor

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However, choosing the right solution can be a daunting task since there are many factors to consider. In this article, we will discuss two main monitoring solutions – AppDynamics and Paessler PRTG

Infrastructure monitoring allows businesses to pinpoint and resolve problems that occur in the backend. By promptly detecting issues, businesses can minimize an impact that can harm their reputation. Failing to do so can lead to damage to various areas of the business including the bottom line, business image, customer churn, user experience, and more. To prevent these, companies rely on monitoring solutions that are specialized in infrastructur and compare Paessler PRTG Hosted Monitoring to AppDynamic’s solution them in specific areas, such as:

Features, pricing and user interface

What is AppDynamics?

AppDynamics was established in 2008 with the goal of providing application performance management technologies. Since its launch, the company grew to rank 9th on the Forbes Cloud 100 list in 2016. In 2017, AppDynamics was acquired by Cisco which intended to enhance its software business arm. AppDynamics is a full-stack application performance management, or APM, solution provider. The firm is specialized in managing the performance and availability of applications across cloud environments, IT infrastructure, network, security, observability, and data centers.

What is Paessler PRTG?

Before jumping into an in-depth comparison, let’s find out what Paessler PRTG is. Paessler was established in Germany in 1997. Since then, they have offered to monitor solutions for businesses in different industries and all sizes. Now, they have more than 500,000 users worldwide that rely on PRTG and other Paessler products to monitor all types of digital assets such as IT infrastructures, OT, and IoT devices. Their motivation behind those products is to minimize human efforts for monitoring and put efficiency in place for system operation.

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AppDynamics vs Paessler PRTG

This section compares two monitoring platforms from three different perspectives. We will discuss their major features, cost structures, and user interface.

Major features

AppDynamics and Paessler PRTG both have a wide range of features. By researching their major functionalities, we can make an informed decision to choose one of them.

AppDynamics

AppDynamics has several main areas that it provides for monitoring: APM, infrastructure, and network.

Application Performance Monitoring

AppDynamics’ APM solution provides a monitoring coverage that includes on-premise, cloud, and hybrid environments. Although your infrastructures exist in different places, the APM solution gives you a consolidated view of application services and infrastructure. It has what’s called Cognition Engine that uses machine learning to automatically detect anomalies, which helps to reduce mean time to repair (MTTR). Your teams can track the performance of your applications alongside your KPIs such as conversion and revenue. This can be useful not only for IT teams but also for business functions.

Infrastructure Monitoring

The infrastructure monitoring of AppDynamics enables automatic data collection and correlation of cloud-native services to application code, user experience results, and impact on your business outcomes. You can integrate Amazon CloudWatch and other AWS services. You can also combine public and private cloud environments such as Microsoft Azure. You can define automatic actions to avoid mid-performance risks and deliver the needed functionality around infrastructure, application, dashboards, roles, and profiles. 

Network Monitoring

AppDynamics has the ThousandEyes Intelligence and AppDynamics Dash Studio for network monitoring. Combined with these, users can create network and internet performance metrics. Plus, you can correlate application performance with the networks, APIs, and cloud-based services to separate application issues from underlying network problems. Dash Studio can visualize end users, applications, internet, and hybrid-cloud backend performance metrics in one place.

Paessler PRTG

Now let’s discover the major features of Paessler PRTG. It has three main categories when it comes to main monitoring products: PRTG Network Monitor, PRTG Enterprise Monitor, and PRTG Hosted Monitor.

PRTG Hosted Monitor

PRTG Hosted Monitor eases the pain of setting up monitoring environments on-premise by a company itself. With the out-of-the-box solution, you can easily launch monitoring clusters to start tracking your systems and forget about maintaining the monitoring infrastructure. Although it is managed by PRTG, the solution provides flexibility to users and customizes HTML pages to suit your needs.

PRTG Network Monitor

PRTG Network Monitor aims at providing enhanced monitoring capacities to closely track network infrastructures. Its network monitoring component allows users to access more than 10 built-in technologies including email, push, play alarm audio files, or triggering HTTP requests that can trigger events and interact with other applications. PRTG Network Monitor also has on-premise support that can send SMS text messages and run EXE files. PRTG Network Monitor can interact through the powerful web interface that was built by Single Page Application technology. For an additional layer of safety, PRTG Network Monitor comes with a failover cluster solution that automatically performs the transition to a backup cluster.

PRTG Enterprise Monitor

Companies need to choose different monitoring tactics considering the size of their infrastructures to monitor. When there are hundreds or even thousands of monitoring points, building and managing monitoring platforms become a daunting task. PRTG Enterprise Monitor was designed to provide a single-point monitoring solution for large-scale digital assets. The coverage of the enterprise monitor feature is extensive covering devices, applications, networks, services, and more. Also, it provides industry-specific protocols to monitor medical devices, IoT traffic, shop floors, and more. Like AppDynamics, PRTG Enterprise Monitor offers SLA and service monitoring.

Pricing structures

Next, let’s compare their pricing structures.

AppDynamics

AppDynamics’s pricing plans have four types.

  • Infrastructure Monitoring Edition: $6 per month per CPU core
  • Premium Edition: $60 per month per CPU core
  • Enterprise Edition: $90 per month per CPU core

The higher the edition, the more features you can access.

Paessler PRTG

Paessler has five pricing plans.

  • Hosted 500: $149 per month that covers 500 aspects of your devices in your network, which is equivalent to about 50 devices.
  • Hosted 1000: $279 per month that covers 1,000 aspects of your devices in your network, which is equivalent to about 100 devices.
  • Hosted 2500: $599 per month that covers 2,500 aspects of your devices in your network, which is equivalent to about 250 devices.
  • Hosted 5000: $999 per month that covers 5,000 aspects of your devices in your network, which is equivalent to about 500 devices.
  • Hosted 10000: $1,499 per month that covers 10,000 aspects of your devices in your network, which is equivalent to about 1,000 devices.

Although the basic billing cycle is monthly, you can select a yearly subscription. You can try a monthly plan and switch to a yearly plan later.

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User interface designs

When it comes to monitoring, having an intuitive and user-friendly interface is important since users have to digest many metrics and take swift actions. Let’s check the strengths of the interfaces of AppDynamics and Paessler PRTG

AppDynamics

AppDynamics utilizes multiple technologies for its dashboard solution. Dash Studio allows users to observe their full-stack applications by visualizing data flows throughout  environments. ThousandEyes Internet and Cloud Intelligence is a solution by Cisco. With ThousandEyes, you can isolate application issues from underlying network disruptions with a view of the entire application chain. AppDynamics has typeahead features for its dashboard so that you can quickly explore data to build optimized dashboards. You can also define simplified queries to make diverse users understand data.

AppDynamics Ad Financial Dashboard example
AppDynamics Ad Financial Dashboard example (Source: AppDynamics website)

You can access customizable data widgets, visual settings, labels, application performance comparison, time range settings, and more. The components you build for the dashboard can be reused and shared across different users without giving them edit permission.

Paessler PRTG

In Paessler PRTG, you can build intuitive and interactive dashboards, or maps in Passler’s terms. You can access more than 300 different widgets and can simply drag and drop them to quickly build your first map. It has a built-in map editor to enable customized visualizations. Using HTML syntax, you can deeply customize your maps as you want with various visual elements including icons, data tables, graphs, geographical maps, sunbursts, custom images, and more.

IT infrastructure monitoring PRTG
IT infrastructure monitoring by PRTG (Souce: Paessler blog)

When you create a dashboard, you can generate a unique URL that you can share internally or externally. With an internal URL, you can securely share critical insights across different teams. By creating a public URL, you can embed a dashboard in other web pages using iFrame.

Conclusion

Paessler PRTG and AppDynamics have similarities in that both provide powerful monitoring for applications, infrastructures, and networks. Their monitoring solutions have extensive monitoring features and user-friendly interfaces with flexible pricing models. You can check their websites to learn further about use cases and study which one fits your needs. Since they both offer a free trial, it can be a good idea to experience their products first.

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