Best IT Infrastructure Monitoring Tools in 2019

Get to know the best tools for IT infrastructure monitoring, including network, server, and application performance. Learn about the exact implementation benefits of such solutions.

All IT departments deal with it. Server, network and applications issues arise, and they must react as quickly as possible. These situations are disruptive, stressful, and can result in downtime that impacts operations (and profits) of the entire organization. Per last year’s report, the average IT downtime costs rounded up to $1.55 million. What’s even more problematic is that outrages result in 545 hours of staff productivity losses per annum.

For these reasons, businesses are increasingly investing in application performance monitoring (APM) and server monitoring software, among other solutions. Since it really is not a question of if infrastructure monitoring is a required solution for businesses, the question becomes which tools to use.

Romexsoft SysOps and tech support engineers have narrowed down the following list for your consideration.

The Best IT Infrastructure Monitoring Tools Reviewed

The goal of server and network monitoring tools is to ensure stable IT performance 24/7 and alert your IT support if any issue arises. This way, you can maximize your uptime and develop better disaster recovery plans.

In general, all tools have commonalities, but all are not equal. Here is a list of what we consider to be the top contenders.

1. Zabbix

Zabbix is arguably one of the most popular and robust real-time monitoring solutions on the market. It’s open source, comes with a neat set of features and has solid documentation, updated and supported by an active community of users. Other benefits include ease of use and, of course, the fact that it provides a solution without any vendor lock-ins.

Among the many highlights of Zabbix is its ability to predict trends in traffic and provide forecasts of system behaviors based on gathering historical data.

Key features:

  • Proactive Monitoring
  • Capacity Planning
  • Built-in Java Application Server Monitoring
  • Hardware Monitoring
  • Web Services
  • Virtual Machine Monitoring

Zabbix can be configured to provide monitoring solutions for various industries – from aerospace to finance and retail – and is equally suitable for mid-to-large enterprises. Romexsoft team relies on this tool to deliver IT support 24/7 to our clients.

2. Prometheus

Here’s another of our team’s favorite open source monitoring tools that provides detailed infrastructure insights based on time series data. It’s a solid choice for monitoring highly dynamic environments (e.g. containers in AWS).

Essentially, Prometheus scrapes metrics, stores all samples locally and runs its “rules” over the data to aggregate or generate alerts.

The key strengths of Prometheus include:

  • the fact that it fits both machine-centric as well as service-oriented architecture monitoring;
  • it’s a perfect “go-to” tool during outages, allowing a user to diagnose problems quickly;
  • viewing statistics of a system by users is always available, even during failure conditions (each Prometheus server is standalone).

3. Grafana

Grafana is an excellent complimentary analytics and monitoring tool to use for time-series analysis. It enables you to create attractive visualizations of your data to get the big picture in one glance. In particular, you can visualize metrics such as system CPU, memory, disk and I/O utilization. The tool is very versatile and you can create custom dashboards, featuring data from different data sources, and style them as a graph, singlestat, table, heatmap or freetext.

Grafana can be easily integrated with Prometheus, Graphite, InfluxDB, MySQL, PostgreSQL, and Elasticsearch. Additional data sources can be connected using plugins. While Grafana is not a standalone solution, it’s a great add-on worth considering for your monitoring system. Our team utilizes Prometheus, integrated with Grafana, as a solution for many of our clients.

4. ManageEngine OpManager

ManageEngine OpManager is a comprehensive performance monitoring tool that provides server monitoring, as well as allows you to proactively manage networks, perform network configuration, and network traffic analysis. There is also application performance management plug-in software. However, it must be installed on site in order to run.

To match your needs, you can set up customizable dashboards to monitor different components of your network and metrics. You can also use it for LAN/WAN monitoring and receive detailed traffic path visualizations, review bandwidth traffic measurements and run benchmarks for various network systems performance metrics.

Unlike the previous options, ManageEngine is a premium tool. You will receive a custom price quote based on your business needs.

5. Amazon CloudWatch

Amazon CloudWatch gives you greater visibility into your app performance, utilization of resources, overall cloud infrastructure health, and assists in the identification and correction of the problem.

CloudWatch enables you to collect operational data in form of logs, metrics and events. The tool runs both on AW and on on-premises servers, meaning that you can get a truly unified view of all your assets. And its dashboards are configurable, allowing administrators to direct AWS to take specific actions based on predefined events.

CloudWatch enables you to collect operational data in form of logs, metrics and events. The tool runs both on AW and on on-premises servers, meaning that you can get a truly unified view of all your assets. And its dashboards are configurable, allowing administrators to direct AWS to take specific actions based on predefined events.

Businesses who have recently migrated their infrastructure to AWS cloud should consider using this cloud infrastructure management software at least to some capacity.

6. WhatsUp Gold 2017

Yes, it is 2019, but this network system monitoring tool is one of the easiest and most configurable ones on the market, even now.

Just a few of the highlights include the following:

  • Its newest “plus” version include hybrid cloud monitoring, real-time performance, both automatic and manual failover, as well as visibility to distributed networks.
  • Highly customizable alerts systems that can include email, text, slack alerts, IFTTT posts, service restarts, and web alarms.
  • Automatic discovery and mapping of the entire network.
  • Companion mobile app to review insights on the go.

WhatsUp Gold comes with fully customizable and extremely user-friendly dashboards that can be generated for individual users.

Downsides? Only one – it is limited to Windows OS support.

7. Icinga

One of the best free monitoring tools, Icinga is a popular choice both among enterprises and startups. Its strength lies in its flexibility for organizations of all sizes and its focus is on monitoring infrastructure and services.

Further, it provides great analyses of thresholds and clear reports and alerts. These are displayed on a user-friendly dashboard and can be distributed via email, SMS or other mobile messaging apps. Additionally, it can be connected to a number of popular DevOps tools to create a more tailored monitoring solution for your business needs. These include Chef, Puppet, Graylog, Ansible and others.

8. Datadog

Datadog has been designed as a monitoring service for hybrid cloud ecosystems, but it can be also configured to monitor network, services, and app performance. In fact, it comes with the largest list of supported integrations that you can plug to receive a unified view of your ecosystem. The tool can aggregate metrics and events from:

  • SaaS and Cloud providers
  • Automation tools
  • Databases and common server components
  • Monitoring and instrumentation tools
  • Source control and bug tracking solutions
  • Databases and common server components

Users can easily customize the visual dashboard and reports with a number of options for graphs, metrics, and alerts. Very small companies, with up to five hosts, can get Datadog for free. Pro and enterprise editions area priced per host.

The Benefits of Implementing IT Infrastructure Monitoring

Simply from a description of the tools, it is easy to glean the benefits of using infrastructure monitoring. For the sake of summarizing them, however, here’s a short list of exact business benefits you can obtain.

Gain Insights Based On Data, not Opinion or Hunches

The IT department of any organization is a precious commodity and responsible for the smooth operation of every department, from HR to sales, marketing, customer service, and more. Monitoring allows the IT pros to develop insights regarding potential issues, especially as an organization grows and puts more stress on the current systems. Those insights will translate into recommendations and decision-making that is based on solid information.

Detect Issues Early On

Using proactive monitoring tools means that you will receive alerts before an issue becomes a disaster. Small discrepancies and early warning signs will allow your IT folks to anticipate potential issues and ward them off.

This is a far more productive approach than facing the disasters after they occur and trying to put out fires. Best to catch them when they are just sparks.

Plan for Upgrades and IT Budgeting

As organizations grow, the stressors on current infrastructure grow as well. Careful monitoring can point out areas to be prioritized as upgrades are planned for. In turn, budget planning is enhanced.

Reduced Downtime

This, of course, is the bottom line. With downtime comes a loss of productivity on the part of end-users. Order fulfillment is stalled; logistics suffers; customer-service is negatively impacted, etc. If these things occur too often, business losses occur.

So What’s Your Monitoring Plan?

If you are not sure of your monitoring needs or the best tool to meet those needs, now and in the future, Romexsoft can help. We are happy to analyze your IT monitoring needs, recommend the best tool(s) and install and configure them in a fully customized way. Schedule a discovery call with us to learn more about your options.

romexsoft
romexsoft We are Romexsoft – agile Java software development and Managed IT Services provider from Ukraine. We track all the latest tech trends and love to share industry insights and best practices learned from own experience.
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