In this article, we will explore and compare ten hybrid cloud observability tools that empower businesses with valuable insights into their resources. From real-time monitoring to in-depth business analysis, these tools are designed to enhance visibility, detect anomalies, and optimize overall performance, assisting you in making informed decisions for your cloud infrastructure management needs. FAQ's What are hybrid cloud observability tools? Why should you invest in one? How to choose a hybrid cloud observability tool? How to do this kind of monitoring? Cloud computing has revolutionized our relationship with computing resources. Thanks to ever faster and ubiquitous internet connections, now we have access to virtually unlimited processing power and storage space, any time we want, wherever we are. For companies, IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) and PaaS (Platform as a Service) offerings like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and the Google Cloud Platform (GCP) have allowed the virtualization of most, or even all, of their infrastructure. Before, the expansion of the server resources available to a business meant the need to purchase hardware and physically install it in a data center. Now, additional capacity can be purchased in a microsecond. Dozens of virtualized servers can be "built" to spec with a few commands and start working in a matter of minutes. Applications can be scaled up or down, on-demand, and be automatically distributed to data centers geographically closer to the end users to ensure the best performance. Of course, observing and monitoring the performance of this cloud infrastructure has become a crucial aspect of modern businesses and organizations. As the digital landscape continues to evolve, so do the complexities and demands of managing cloud environments, and integrating them with your traditional infrastructure. To meet these challenges, a diverse range of hybrid cloud observability solutions have emerged, each offering unique capabilities to help ensure the optimal functioning of all your systems. Frequently Asked Questions About Hybrid Cloud Observability What are Hybrid Cloud Observability Tools? Hybrid cloud observability (or cloud monitoring) tools are those designed to monitor the performance and availability of your cloud-based and physical infrastructures at the same time. This gives you a complete view of your assets on only one tool. These can range from simple service availability monitors to more sophisticated tools that can deliver deep insights into the performance of your applications and services, no matter where they are running. Keep in mind that modern cloud platforms are composed of hundreds of services (AWS alone includes more than 200 of them), and there is no single tool that can monitor every single service on every mainstream platform. This article offers general guidance on the most popular, and capable, tools in this segment, but it is up to you to compile a list of requirements and check if they are met before committing to anything. All tools listed here offer free trials that will allow you to check for suitability to your infrastructure. Why Should You Invest in Hybrid Cloud Observability? There are many reasons to invest in hybrid cloud observability. Here are five of them, in no particular order. Performance optimization: continuous monitoring can help you pinpoint issues and identify opportunities for optimization that will improve the performance of your infrastructure, sometimes without the need for costly upgrades. Security: monitoring allows you to spot early signs of uncommon behavior or usage patterns indicative of an intrusion attempt or ongoing attack. This will give you time to react and deploy countermeasures before a data breach occurs. Resource allocation: find out where resources are being underutilized or overutilized, allowing you to redistribute them according to real needs to ensure the most effective usage of your systems. Proactive maintenance: monitoring allows you to detect and fix potential issues before they become critical and result in outages that may affect the performance of your applications or even the profitability of your business. Regulatory compliance: businesses that handle sensitive information, like financial or healthcare data, need to meet strict regulatory standards that specify how this information is stored and handled. Monitoring will allow you to prove compliance with these standards and secure approvals that may be crucial to keep your business running. What to Look for When Choosing Hybrid Cloud Observability Tools? Broadly speaking, there are 5 main features you need to look out for when choosing cloud observability tools. Keep in mind that this may vary according to your specific needs. The capability to monitor many aspects of your cloud and physical infrastructure at once. A centralized display of information from many sensors for better observability. Customizable alerts and automated notifications when alerts are triggered. Native and automated reporting features so that you can keep co-workers and management "in the loop". A free trial period, so you can certify that the tool works as desired within your network infrastructure. How to do Hybrid Cloud Observability? There are many hybrid cloud observability tools, from as many different vendors, which may focus solely on a single aspect of the task or offer this capability as a subset of a broader range of features. We present a few of them below, in no particular order. The 10 Best Hybrid Cloud Observability Tools PRTG Paessler PRTG is the Swiss army knife of the monitoring world. PRTG is based on basic monitoring elements called "sensors". One sensor usually monitors one measured value in your network, e.g. the traffic of a switch port, the CPU load of a server, the free space of a disk drive, and so on. PRTG comes with more than 250 built-in sensors for various tasks, device types, and use cases, so you would be hard-pressed to find something you can't monitor. Plus, you can mix and match sensors, and even deploy custom ones, to create monitoring solutions specific to your needs. This includes sensors to monitor Azure virtual machines, databases, and storage accounts, your Google Cloud filestore, the cost of your AWS subscription, or the performance of your EC2 and RDS instances, just to name a few. Monitoring an AWS EC2 instance with PRTG. The information gathered by PRTG is shown on a centralized dashboard with all the relevant metrics. You can set alerts based on threshold values, with notifications delivered by text (SMS) or email if those values are exceeded. There is also an automatic reporting feature, so you can keep management and co-workers informed. PRTG Network Monitor is available on a perpetual license basis, or on monthly subscription plans with PRTG Hosted Monitor. On the former, you acquire a license and there are no recurring subscription costs. On the latter, you can choose a variety of plans according to your needs, with monthly or annual billing. There is a 30-day free trial of PRTG, with all features available during this period, no credit card is needed. Dynatrace Dynatrace offers comprehensive cloud monitoring services, providing observability across various cloud environments, including AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, Kubernetes, Red Hat OpenShift, and more. It can auto-detect cloud applications and services in private or public data centers, and monitor distributed applications deployed via containers across hosts and cloud instances, offering observability without the need for special configuration. This tool integrates seamlessly with cloud and container environments, offering a complete picture of the health of the entire cloud infrastructure, covering nodes, transactions, and users in one interface, and can detect issues with 3rd party services, load-balancers, hypervisor dynamics, disconnected hosts, and limited network observability. The Auto Scaling feature on Dynatrace can help you optimize the cost of your cloud applications. It also provides full-stack Kubernetes observability, including workload metrics, logs, and traces, facilitating intelligent cloud scaling for elastic response. Business transactions can be traced through your cloud environment, aiding in understanding capacity requirements and optimizing cloud application costs. There is also support for cloud migration, helping those who are still transitioning from on-premises infrastructures. Dynatrace is SaaS (Software as a Service), offered on a subscription basis, with prices varying with resource usage. There is a 15-day free trial available. ManageEngine Site24x7 Site24x7 offers a comprehensive cloud monitoring tool that incorporates artificial intelligence insights and IT automation to monitor cloud applications and services. It supports monitoring popular cloud platforms such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform, providing centralized visibility and real-time data analysis. It enables end-to-end monitoring of your AWS infrastructure, providing performance trends and AI-powered reporting. Azure monitoring covers IaaS and PaaS services, including virtual machines, Kubernetes, App Service, Event Hubs, and SQL databases. For the Google Cloud Platform, it monitors services like GCE, GAE, Google Kubernetes Engine, VPC, Cloud IAM, Cloud Audit Logging, and BigQuery. A custom monitoring dashboard on Site24x7. This tool supports hybrid monitoring, allowing organizations to monitor their entire IT infrastructure, including on-premises environments alongside cloud services. Users can collect logs from cloud and on-premises resources and analyze them using Site24x7's cloud-based log management tool. Infrastructure monitoring in ManageEngine Site24x7 is SaaS, and available in a "Starter" plan with a basic set of monitoring features, which can be expanded with add-ons like more monitors, additional log processing, Microsoft application monitoring, hourly pricing for auto-scaling workloads, and more. There is a 30-day free trial available. SolarWinds Hybrid Cloud Observability SolarWinds Hybrid Cloud Observability is a full-stack cloud observability platform designed to optimize performance, ensure availability, and reduce remediation time in on-premises and multi-cloud environments, offering comprehensive, integrated coverage across the network, cloud, infrastructure, application, and databases, Key features include infrastructure, network, and application performance observability, automated discovery of hosts and services, historical and real-time dashboards, AI correlation, and customizable reporting reducing alert fatigue. Monitoring can be agent-based, agentless, or API-sourced, offering visibility across the entire hybrid environment. Cloud Instance Details on SolarWinds Hybrid Cloud Observability Single-pane-of-glass observability with actionable AI Ops (Artificial Intelligence for IT Operations) and visualizations, combined with deep outlier detection and cross-domain context, enable your teams to identify and diagnose service issues, assess compliance problems, and surface potential security incidents with greater efficacy. This will help you ensure service level objectives (SLOs) are met and improve the mean time to resolution (MTTR). SolarWinds Hybrid Cloud Observability is SaaS available in two service plans, Essential (offering integrated hybrid cloud observability) and Advanced (with full-stack observability), with varied levels of features and billed annually. There is also a fully-functional, 30-day free trial available. Sematext Cloud Monitoring As the name implies, Sematext Cloud is a cloud-hosted monitoring package that offers "a unified view over server and application metrics and logs", with end-to-end visibility from the performance of your servers to the availability of your SaaS applications. Sematext can monitor private, public, and hybrid cloud services, with easy integration and automatic discovery of container platforms, and can also do cloud application and infrastructure monitoring, including resource utilization and hardware inventory on remote servers. Container monitoring on Sematext. There are integrations for numerous cloud platforms and services, like Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Storage, Docker, and Kubernetes. Besides traditional monitoring, this tool can also do real user monitoring, allowing your team to "see website performance as users experience it" and synthetic monitoring to check the availability of websites and APIs. Sematext Cloud Monitoring is SaaS with monthly billing and a rather flexible, but complex pricing scheme. First, you need to choose which modules you want: log, infrastructure, user experience or synthetics monitoring. Then you choose which plan you want for each module, between three options. There is a 14-day free trial available, a rather short period when compared with other tools mentioned in this article. New Relic New Relic is a monitoring solution that can be used for Infrastructure Monitoring, Application Performance Monitoring (APM), Network Monitoring, Log Management, and much more. Boasting over 600 integrations with popular tools and platforms, it promises instant observability across all your stack. The Infrastructure Monitoring aspect of the platform provides "dynamic observability of your entire infrastructure, from services running in the cloud or on dedicated hosts to containers running in orchestrated environments" like Amazon, Google Cloud, or Azure instances. Infrastructure performance indicators on New Relic With integrated dashboards for infrastructure and application performance monitoring, New Relic can show system resources like CPU and memory usage for hosts, containers, and VMs within APM to easily detect under-provisioned resources, and quickly correlate drops in performance. New Relic is SaaS with a pricing structure based on the volume of data ingested (with 100 GB free each month), the type (basic, core, or full platform), and the number of users needed. Users can also subscribe to a "free forever" tier, with no credit card required and access to 16 tools at "no extra charge". LogicMonitor LogicMonitor provides a unified cloud monitoring platform that offers real-time visibility into the health and performance of various cloud environments, including AWS, GCP, Azure, and VMware, as well as on-premises infrastructure and containerized environments, including Kubernetes and Docker. It allows users to automatically discover, apply, and scale monitoring for their entire cloud ecosystem, and it includes logs and metrics to add context and correlation to cloud service provider data. It provides over 2,000 turn-key integrations, offering rapid API-based monitoring for business-critical cloud platforms without deploying agents. Hybrid Cloud Overview on LogicMonitor. Users can visualize and analyze cloud spending alongside resources, enabling them to identify opportunities to cut costs with detailed ROI (Return of Investment) analysis and forecast future spending for optimized resource allocation. An intelligent alerting system can detect changes and anomalies across cloud and on-premises infrastructure, and reduces alert noise by focusing on "the right insights at the right time". LogicMonitor is SaaS, but pricing isn't immediately clear: the website directs interested users to "get a quote", without details on available plans and their capabilities. Several additional services (like log analysis and application tracing) are offered, and volume discounts are mentioned. There is a 14-day free trial available. Datadog Infrastructure Datadog provides infrastructure monitoring solutions that promise effortless deployment, minimal maintenance, and extensive coverage of various technologies. This includes on-premise, hybrid, IoT, and multi-cloud environments, giving you complete visibility into infrastructure performance. With support for more than 600 data sources (including Azure, AWS, and GCP), it can track tens of thousands of infrastructure metrics out-of-the-box and allows one-click correlation of related metrics, traces, and logs from across the stack. A feature called "Metrics Without Limits" enables users to ingest all metrics and decide which ones to index based on their queries, preserving mathematical accuracy and granularity. A performance dashboard on Datadog. In contrast, many other tools place a limit on the amount of metrics that can be ingested, according to a subscription plan. Administrators then must plan ahead on what to collect, something that may complicate problem resolution in the future if the relevant metrics for the solution have never been collected at all. Datadog offers Infrastructure Monitoring as SaaS in three plans (Free, Pro, and Enterprise) billed monthly, with different capabilities and data retention periods. The Free plan allows for the monitoring of up to 5 hosts with data retention for 1 day, but lacks features like alerts and correlations. A 14-day free trial of the Pro plan is available. AppDynamics Developed by Cisco, AppDynamics bills itself as "the world’s only business-first observability platform", allowing you to "spot every application issue" and pinpoint root causes of application problems in real-time, from 3rd party APIs down to code-level issues. It supports cloud platforms such as Azure, AWS, GCP, OpenShift, and more. It offers real-time monitoring "from code level to customer experience", with application performance monitoring, end-user monitoring, and infrastructure visibility. This end-to-end transaction tracing can be done no matter if your resources are on-premises, in the cloud, or on a hybrid architecture. Application Flow Map on AppDynamics. The application performance baselining feature relies on agents that are monitoring business transactions sending performance and business data back to the controller, which uses AI to create a baseline of what is the "normal" performance of your applications. Health rules leverage those baselines to establish performance thresholds, with alerts being raised, and corrective action being undertaken, when those are exceeded. AppDynamics is SaaS and offered in various "editions", billed monthly "per CPU core", with a varied feature set. For example, the "Premium Edition" can do application performance monitoring, while the "Infrastructure Monitoring Edition" cannot. A 15-day free trial is available. Zabbix Zabbix is a free and Open Source monitoring package that can do a lot, including server, cloud, application, services, and network monitoring into one tool. This includes integrations for Azure, AWS, the GCP, and associated services. This tool claims to be able to collect data from "any" source, using push or pull methods for data retrieval and a polling interval that can go as low as one second. With auto-discovery, cloud infrastructure components will be discovered in a matter of minutes, and discovered components can be filtered by their attributes. Monitoring of AWS instances on Zabbix. When problems occur, Zabbix can do root-cause analysis, anomaly detection, and trend prediction. The alerting system is very flexible, supporting not only SMS and email, but also modern communication platforms like Slack, Microsoft Teams, Telegram, and more. Messages can even be customized according to the type and role of the recipient. Zabbix may be Open Source and free, but you pay for the technical support. There are five support tiers (Silver, Gold, Platinum, Enterprise, and Global I), each one with different levels of availability, response times, and amount of incidents and support contacts. Conclusion Among all these, our favorite hybrid cloud observability tool is Paessler PRTG, as it "ticks all the boxes" in our list of desired characteristics, and streamlines your workflow by enabling you to monitor all of your infrastructure with a single tool. The built-in sensors cover many of the main use cases, without the need to purchase extras, so it can monitor your cloud infrastructure, but also your network, services, servers, IoT devices, and much more. It is also extensible, which means you can deploy third-party sensors, or even develop your own, to cover specific needs. That means you can do away with having to rely on various individualized solutions, which can carry potential risks such as conflicts with your current workflow and even network security issues. And to top it off, the dual licensing scheme, with options for a perpetual license or monthly subscriptions, brings you a cost flexibility that is lacking in many other tools.