The Best Infrastructure Monitoring Tools

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In this article, we list some of the best monitoring tools available in the market that can help companies implement a monitoring system effortlessly.

A robust IT infrastructure is critical for business success in today’s digital era. According to Gartner, average IT downtime can cost up to $5,600 per minute. Companies must therefore have an effective monitoring system that can help them avoid such downtime.

Before going into the details, let’s see what infrastructure monitoring is and why it is so important. If you want to skip an go directly to the tools, click here.

FAQ’s about Infrastructure monitoring

What is Infrastructure Monitoring?

Infrastructure monitoring is the process by which companies collect, analyze, and identify issues across all active servers and platforms. Such servers and platforms may include data servers, virtual machines, cloud-based and hybrid platforms, databases, and other network devices.

It uses software tools to collect log files that several devices and applications generate. The log files contain critical metadata such as logged-in users, ID of the device or application, time of log-in and log-out events, etc.

There are three types of infrastructure monitoring; hardware, network, and application. Hardware monitoring involves collecting data from sensors that monitor fan speed, battery life, voltage, etc.

With network monitoring, organizations track data on traffic, bandwidth, latency, etc., which can help them in optimizing network performance for end users.

Lastly, application monitoring tracks the health and performance of applications installed on servers.

Why is Infrastructure Monitoring Important?

As mentioned at the start of the article, infrastructure monitoring can help organizations minimize unexpected downtimes. It does this by helping companies maintain their infrastructure’s health, performance, and security.

For example, hardware monitoring sensors will keep track of the voltage and current flowing into the servers. The sensors will alert the relevant teams if the voltage and current exceed specific thresholds. As such, teams can respond to such incidents and prevent server failure.

In addition, infrastructure monitoring helps with proactive resource planning. For example, sensors that track the storage capacities of servers can immediately alert IT administrators whenever capacity is about to reach its limit.

Preventing security breaches is one of the major benefits of infrastructure monitoring. Applications and network traffic are vulnerable to malicious external attacks. Sensors that monitor application usage and traffic flows can detect anomalies and notify administrators in case of potential threats.

How to choose the best infrastructure monitoring tools?

Efficient infrastructure monitoring requires third-party applications. And companies must purchase the one that best suits their needs. The following explains some factors companies should consider before buying such a tool.

Visualization

Clear visualization of the organization’s infrastructure is the key feature that makes monitoring tools so important. With this feature, IT administrators should easily see all the devices connected to the network and their dependencies to identify the root cause of an issue.

The feature is critical for organizations with more extensive infrastructures with several virtual machines, physical servers, routers, etc.

Multi-Channel Alerting system

IT administrators need to find out issues before they cause any disruption. But this requires monitoring tools to have versatile notification systems. They should allow administrators to set dynamic thresholds for critical metrics and alert them as soon as metrics approach thresholds.

The monitoring tool should be able to send alerts through SMS, emails, or any other communication and collaboration platform such as Slack, JIRA, etc. They should do so whenever critical metrics exceed their thresholds.

Customization

Whether it’s alerts, visualizations, dashboards, or reports, the tool should allow IT, administrators, to customize so that they can tailor each feature to their needs.

Cloud Compatibility

With the rise of cloud computing and cloud-based platforms, infrastructure monitoring tools must integrate easily with third-party cloud solutions. The feature will help companies to leverage the advantages of the cloud while ensuring that the system works efficiently.

Scalability

Lastly, the tool should quickly scale up whenever a company expands its infrastructure. Although vendors usually offer different packages for complex infrastructures, companies should still ensure they provide value for money.

Top 10 Infrastructure Monitoring Tools

Now that we know what factors to consider before buying an infrastructure monitoring tool, let’s move on to the top 10 tools you can choose.

1. Paessler PRTG Network Monitor

The Paessler PRTG infrastructure monitoring tool has state-of-the-art features that let administrators monitor the health and performance of the organization’s entire IT infrastructure constantly.

It allows administrators to set customizable alerts that send notifications through email, SMS, and HTTP requests, whenever key metrics exceed user-defined thresholds.

The tool is efficient for distributed monitoring because it lets you monitor and manage your network across locations. It also has an automatic network discovery feature that helps create detailed maps of the entire infrastructure. Administrators do not need to add new devices manually. The tool will automatically detect and add the device to the map if they are in the IP range.

PRTG’s monitoring tool comes with over 200 customizable sensors, which allow administrators to configure them based on business processes. It means administrators can create channels to configure multiple sensors associated with several devices.

In this manner, they can get notifications even if a single device in the entire process fails to work. Administrators can also define the weightage of each device. For example, if they add a single device multiple times in a channel, that device will have more weightage than others.

Key Features

  • Uses the latest technologies, such as Simple Network Monitoring Protocol (SNMP), Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI), Secure Shell (SSH), etc., for monitoring
  • Comes with customizable dashboards with drag-and-drop features that let administrators create intuitive views with over 300 widgets.
  • Administrators can also create internal and external links for dashboards through unique URLs and share them with relevant team members.
  • Features intelligent network discovery so administrators can instantly get vital information from new devices
  • Allows administrators to create customized reports and use pre-configured templates for quick details.
  • Lets administrators monitor devices on the go through the PRTG Paessler app. They simply need to attach a QR code to the device and scan it with the app to get the relevant information.

Pros

Paessler’s infrastructure monitoring is a complete tool. It doesn’t need any extra support or plug-ins for additional functionalities. PRTG platform is highly secure as it uses Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption for communication. Paessler also offers a free trial version.

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Cons

The platform has a steep learning curve. It takes time to understand all the configurations since there are several options to set up. Also, although there is a free trial version, the price can be a bit costly after the trial period.

2. ManageEngine OpManager Plus

ManageEngine
Image Source: ManageEngine

OpManager Plus by ManageEngine is a robust infrastructure monitoring tool that gives administrators a single platform to monitor all the infrastructure elements’ health, performance, and availability.

It monitors everything from physical and virtual machines to routers, switches, and much more while providing a holistic view of all these elements on a single screen.

The platform can monitor over 1,000 devices and provides measures of over a hundred metrics to monitor the infrastructure’s performance. It also helps administrators keep track of bandwidth and lets them analyze traffic patterns at a deeper level.

OpManager also offers the ability to track several changes to configurations and control access rights so that only a specific group of people have the authority to implement or approve changes. In addition, administrators can schedule configuration backups and define standards to ensure configurations comply with the set policies.

Key Features

  • Offers configuration and compliance management (CCM) to automate the configuration process and manage devices through their entire lifecycle.
  • Provides multi-level alerting systems that notify administrators of any issues instantly.
  • Features a change tracking mechanism that allows administrators to view the impact of any change on the firewall.
  • Comes with Advanced Security Analysis Module (ASAM) that detects anomalies by analyzing bandwidth patterns to check for security threats.
  • Allows administrators to monitor windows event Logs, firewall Logs, syslogs, etc., to figure out events that may be slowing down performance.

Pros

OpManager’s dashboard provides end-to-end visibility of the entire infrastructure, making it easier to identify issues quickly. Administrators can also use the tool on Linux, giving organizations more flexibility in terms of the operating system they can use. You also get a free 30-day trial period.

Cons

It can be challenging to install and configure the platform at first. ManageEngine gives the users a few options to customize the alerts so alerts can be easy to understand. Also, OpManager gives a ‘quote-only’ price.

3. Site 24×7

Site 24x7
Image Source: Site 24×7

Site 24×7 infrastructure monitoring covers websites, applications, networks, and servers. It allows administrators to monitor key performance metrics of their infrastructure constantly.

As such, it can monitor web, mail, virtual, database and application servers and provide real-time information to prevent outages and unplanned downtimes.

The tool also offers cloud monitoring that covers Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform.

Moreover, administrators can visualize the network architecture through intuitive maps and track network traffic through NetFlow.

Key Features

  • Supports Windows and Linux server monitoring and reports on critical metrics like CPU, memory, disk usage, load average, count of processors, etc.
  • Features AI-enabled cloud monitoring that can predict metrics for several cloud services based on historical trends. It helps administrators plan and resolves upcoming issues effectively.
  • Comes with an auto-discovery feature that automatically detects devices through SNMP and generates Layer 2 maps for better network visibility.
  • It lets administrators monitor load times of several elements like images, videos, and ad documents on websites to check which one is causing websites to slow down.

Pros

Site 24×7 has strong customer support with knowledgeable engineers who can quickly resolve customers’ issues. Also, the starting package is quite affordable at $9 per year. In addition, it is an easy-to-use platform that is simple to configure and install.

Cons

Since there are several features to work with, learning and understanding all the functionalities can take time. 

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4. SolarWinds Application and Server Monitoring

SolarWinds
Image Source: SolarWinds

The SolarWinds Application and Server Monitor gives a comprehensive solution for monitoring over 1200 applications and servers, that include Azure Performance Monitoring, AWS Cloud Monitoring, Microsoft Monitoring, Apache, Glassfish, etc.

It provides automated alerts to administrators whenever infrastructure elements deviate from baseline thresholds. They can also monitor the server capacity of all physical and virtual machines. It also includes services and logs to plan procurement activities more effectively.

SolarWinds Web Performance Monitor allows administrators to detect the impact of any change to code that may cause the end user to experience degraded services. Essentially, administrators can test the impact of changes before the website goes live.

Key Features

  • Features auto-discovery to automatically detect servers and applications for monitoring.
  • Builds application infrastructure maps that let administrators visualize all the dependencies and track their response time.
  • Allows administrators to track servers’ CPU, storage, and memory consumption through several metrics and comparison reports against historical trends.
  • Lets administrators create customizable alerts to receive instant notifications of server issues.

Pros

SolarWinds’ Application and Server Monitor provides out-of-the-box monitoring templates, making it easier to configure and set up the critical values to monitor.

Plus, it comes with an AppStack view which shows the application’s sub-systems and statuses through a single widget. SolarWinds Monitor has a free 30-day trial period.

Cons

The Application and Server Monitor does not include network monitoring. The Network Performance Monitor is a separate product. Scaling up the product can be expensive. In addition, the platform’s interface can be more intuitive.

5. Zabbix

Zabbix
Image Source: Zabbix

Zabbix is an open-source platform that is an all-in-one tool for infrastructure monitoring. It lets administrators measure the performance and health of all network devices, cloud services, containers, databases, applications, Internet-of-Things (IoT) sensors, websites, etc.

It also allows administrators to collect data in several formats, such as numeric, JavaScript Object Notation (JSON), binary, and text. Furthermore, it has machine-learning capabilities that provide metric predictions and generates alerts when predicted metrics exceed thresholds.

Thresholds are also dynamic, so the tool automatically adjusts the benchmarks according to the situation, and the administrators do not need to set them up manually.

The tool also supports customizable dashboards that allow administrators to create appropriate visualizations using several widgets through the drag-and-drop feature.

Key Features

  • Lets administrators schedule metric collections so they can specify the timings at which they want the platform to compute the metrics. By default, the platform computes them after every second.
  • Allows for windows event log files collection
  • Alerting system integrates easily with popular communication platforms, such as Slack, MS Teams, etc.
  • Comes with a sophisticated mapping feature that lets administrators view any type of data on the map in real time, and allows them to create nested maps, link different elements, and execute scripts from within the map.

Pros

Zabbix is an open-source tool, so it is free of cost. It is also very scalable as it works efficiently with local networks and large multi-tenant enterprise systems. It also comes with geo-maps that provide a geographical view of your entire infrastructure.

Cons

The platform takes time to install, and it is challenging to navigate through the options as the interface is confusing.

6. DataDog Infrastructure Monitor

DataDog is a Software-as-a-Service (Saas) based platform that can monitor on-premises, cloud, and hybrid environments to provide relevant metrics and visualizations through several useful features

Administrators can quickly deploy the platform and take advantage of more than 500 technologies it integrates with. It also features a flexible notification system that uses machine learning to send only critical alerts for administrators to focus on.

The tool also has an inventory management system that keeps a record of all the connected devices. It builds intuitive maps that update automatically whenever something changes in the infrastructure.

Key Features

  • Allows for tag-based search, making analyzing all the infrastructure elements easier.
  • Tracks more than a thousand metrics and maintains historical records for both existent and non-existent devices.
  • Comes with Live Process monitoring that helps track the impact of all the infrastructure processes
  • Allows administrators to define custom metrics based on business needs.

Pros

DataDog is a highly customizable tool, especially when it comes to metrics and alerts. In addition, it is straightforward to install since it is a cloud-based platform. Also, it comes with a free trial period.

Cons

It takes time to learn the platform and navigation in the beginning.

7. Dynatrace Infrastructure Monitor

Dynatrace is a modern infrastructure monitoring tool that leverages the power of a data lakehouse and AI to give precise, relevant, and instant analytics for quick and effective decision-making.

Dynatrace features Grail, which combines observability, security, and business data to give more context to the infrastructure metrics. The feature helps administrators quantify the impact of infrastructure elements on business functions.

It can monitor servers, cloud services such as AWS, Azure, and technology such as Kubernetes, OpenShift, Cloud Foundry, etc. The tool keeps track of resource usage, storage capacities, event logs, and other relevant network processes.

Key Features

  • Comes with AI capabilities that continuously track infrastructure performance and alert administrators in case of issues. It prioritizes each issue by business impact.
  • Lets administrators create custom metrics based on log files.
  • Integrates easily with IT Service Management (ITSM) solutions to help administrators quickly resolve issues.
  • Grail can ingest large amounts of logs and event files that the administrator can quickly analyze using Dynatrace Query Language (DQL).

Pros

Dynatrace AI engine is a real benefit as it can continuously monitor the infrastructure and provide solutions to problems, making it much easier for the IT team to manage the entire system. The platform is also simple to use and easy to install.

Cons

There are very frequent releases that make the documentation challenging to understand. Plus, there is only a 15-day trial period.

8. New Relic

New Relic
Image Source: New Relic

New Relic is a robust infrastructure monitoring tool that lets administrators monitor several metrics through the New Relic explorer. This gives a single view of all the infrastructure elements, their alert status, and dependencies.

The tool supports Linux, Windows, and macOS environments and integrates with Kubernetes and Pixie. It lets administrators create custom dashboards, view and update alerts from within the infrastructure chart, and quickly troubleshoot application problems.

Key Features

  • Comes with automated alerts to detect upcoming issues.
  • Allows administrators to add multiple configuration files to get a deeper view of the infrastructure.
  • Integrates with AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud Platform.
  • The data explorer allows administrators to search for relevant data visually.
  • Lets administrators query data through New Relic’s Query Language (NRQL).

Pros

New Relic’s alerting and visualization features are pretty strong.

Cons

The pricing is based on the data that the platform ingests. The first 100 GBs are free, but beyond that, you have to pay $0.30 per GB

9. SemaText Infrastructure Monitoring Tool

Sematext Infrastructure monitoring tool is a full-stack monitoring solution that integrates with several technologies, including Docker, Node.js, MySQL, AWS, etc.

It covers server monitoring, which keeps track of CPU, disk usage, memory, etc., to maintain all the servers’ performance and health. Also, it automatically detects applications and services on each server to track their usage.

Administrators can also visualize docker data in real-time and create insightful reports by parsing, structuring, and masking logs.

The tool also monitors databases, which include MySQL and Maria DB. It keeps track of the number of connections, open files, count of slow queries, etc.

In addition, Sematext comes with network monitoring capabilities and comprehensive inventory monitoring functionalities.

Key Features

  • Allows administrators to correlate logs and container metrics.
  • Traces database transactions to detect slow database operations and sorts operations by latency, time is taken for execution, and throughput.
  • Lets administrators pan, zoom, and filter network maps
  • Allows administrators to create alert queries and use filters to analyze logs more effectively.
  • Tracks information regarding package installations on servers, user details, hardware configurations, etc., as part of inventory management.
  • Comes with a Java Profiler that monitors each line of code in Java applications to track function calls to external packages or APIs connecting to other processes. It helps detect issues within the codebase and identify malicious packages.
  • Features website monitor, which keeps check of website response times and load times of each element within a webpage.

Pros

Sematext has a strong customer support staff and comes with an easy-to-navigate UI. The platform is pretty affordable, costing only $3.6 per month.

Cons

There is only a 14-day trial period. In addition, it doesn’t integrate with most security tools.

10. egEnterprise

egEnterprise
Image Source: egEnterprise

egEnteprise is a comprehensive infrastructure monitoring tool that monitors servers, storage devices, network devices, and network traffic, along with cloud platforms.

It has an intelligent alert system that sets dynamic thresholds for several metrics and provides intuitive out-of-the-box reports that help administrators track crucial performance measures.

Key Features

  • Supports more than ten virtual environments, including VMWare, Oracle VM, Solaris, etc.
  • Allows administrators to monitor critical network metrics such as latency, traffic, packet loss, bandwidth, etc.
  • Monitors cloud services which include AWS, Microsoft Azure, Alibaba, and Citrix Cloud.
  • Has support for monitoring more than 20 brands of devices.
  • Allows administrators to resolve issues remotely through automated control

Pros

egEnterprise comes with machine learning capabilities to adjust baseline thresholds and supports automated infrastructure maps that show application dependencies. It comes with a 30-day trial period.

Cons

The platform is challenging to install and configure. Also, it is pretty expensive, with the standard subscription-based plan costing $100 per month.

Conclusion

Many tools are available for infrastructure monitoring. Each has its own unique feature, while most features are common to all.

Organizations should purchase the one that best suits their needs in terms of infrastructure size, complexity, budget constraints, and staff expertise.Before that, however, organizations must first identify the goals and objectives they want to achieve with an infrastructure monitoring tool. They should then determine which one will help them achieve those goals.

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Nevertheless, PRTG Paessler stands out due to its customization, affordability, and scalability. It has comprehensive coverage of features that will suit organizations of all different sizes and allow them to deploy and learn the platform quickly. So get your free trial now and boost your infrastructure’s productivity with minimal effort!

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