A server monitoring software enables you to stay on top of performance bugs and outages. You can have in-depth visibility into key performance metrics of your server infrastructure. In this blog, we’ll discuss the popular Server Monitoring tools that are being widely used.
What is Server Monitoring?
Server monitoring is the process of gaining clear insights into the physical or virtual activity on your servers. It monitors CPU Usage, Memory Consumption, I/O, Network, Disk Usage, Process etc.
Servers store and process information that is provided to other devices, users, or applications. Server Monitoring ensures the security of server data and helps in better performance of the server.
Why Server Monitoring?
Today, business computations and deployments are increasingly cloud-based. Cloud service providers like AWS and Azure provide IaaS Services on a pay-per-use basis. This enables the organizations to deploy more Servers into the cloud. Increased server count can be a growing security concern. Ensuring security along with maintaining performance and server availability is crucial for optimizing the customer experience.
- Due to these concerns, organizations with cloud-deployed Servers need Server Monitoring Solutions.
Server Monitoring can have multiple objectives and may track different Key Performance Indicators (KPI). But the main objective of Server Monitoring is to protect the server from failures that may interrupt the server availability.
- To detect, prevent and resolve any issues that can affect the server proactively.
- It enables you to track data loss and server availability.
- To know the capacity and speed of the server.
- You can keep track of the responsiveness of the server.
- It also tracks memory consumption, Input/Output, and CPU processes.
- SM helps in identifying issues like app downtime and response time.
Server Monitoring Solution:
A server monitoring software helps you in the automation of the Server Monitoring process. Processes like identifying performance-related defects such as application downtime, response time, and resource utilization can be automated.
How does Server Monitoring Work?
The general process of Server Monitoring can be explained in 5 steps
1. Identify The Most Important KPIs
The process starts with the identification of the data you would like to track. The Key Performance Indicators can be different for different servers based on their functionalities for your organization. Critical KPIs for different servers are as follows
- For application server – availability and responsiveness
- For web server – capacity and speed
- For a data storage server – data loss, latency, and data throughput.
2. Set Baseline KPI Values
In this step, all servers are measured against identified KPIs and an acceptable range of values for each KPI is measured. This initial measurement can be used as a baseline for future testing of the performance of the server.
3. Configure Data Collection And Analysis
A server monitoring tool must be properly configured to extract data from the server deployed in the cloud. These tools track the on-server activity by streaming event logs, Server OS KPIs including CPU, memory availability, disk performance, and network connectivity.
4. Set Up Comprehensive And Specific Alerts
After configuring your data collection, this step involves building an alerting system that alerts you in times of a KPI network breach or when your chosen metrics go below the baseline values.
5. Get Ready To Respond
In the final step, you will be needing an outline policy that guides your team about how to respond to the alerts. Which alerts should be the priority and how urgent a type of alert notification needs a response etc.
Also Read: Customer Support Service Tools
List of Best Server Monitoring Tools
The following are the best server monitoring tools that help to monitor your servers. First, let’s explore paid Server Monitoring Solutions.
Paid Server Monitoring Solutions
It is a network monitoring tool suitable for both small and enterprise environments. PRTG tool can monitor any IT-related resource that connects to your network. The tool has a 20-day trial option, and it offers a free version with limited functionalities.
- PRTG setup is dynamic, its monitoring capabilities shrink or grow in proportion to the requirements of your organization.
- It can deliver Email and SMS notifications based on a threshold level of your KPIs
Datadog is a safety, surveillance, and analytics tool. This is an outstanding network and service monitoring solution for IT startups of medium size because of its customizable alerts, a huge number of integrations, and dashboards.
- It can combine and automate infrastructure surveillance, log management, and performance monitoring.
- It ensures proper real-time monitoring of your whole technology stack.
- It is known for its simple cloud-hosted model, Customizable views, and seamless integration of metrics and events of your stack.
Panopta is a web-based Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) that tracks network and Server performance in the cloud, on-premises, and in hybrid environments. Its Cloud monitoring feature performs automatic checks on application performance, disk space utilization, and load balancers.
- Its built-in incident handlers allow you to manage and resolve incidents from a centralized platform.
- Panopta’s API allows users to integrate several third-party applications into the system for remotely monitoring activities.
It is an integrated tool that consists of every service you need. Atera’s pricing allows managed service providers to grow their business with plans that support unlimited devices with no extra cost. It generates versatile alerts and effectively customizes different locations.
- Full remote monitoring and access, professional service automation, patch management, billing, and reporting are invaluable aids to IT teams
- Patch management and remote management save a lot of time for your technicians and improves their preventative maintenance.
5. OpsView Monitor
It is a Comprehensive Monitoring tool used by IT teams and service providers. OpsView Monitor comes with complete monitoring and customizable capabilities, and also it is an easy-to-use solution. This tool monitors applications, web servers, and other resources.
- Alerts, reports, graphs, infrastructure, business service monitoring, and customizable dashboards are some of OpsView’s key features.
- OpsView Monitoring solution integrates with other products of OpsView and few add-ons like Elastic Stack for workflow automation and performance tracking.
Observium is a server monitoring tool and network equipment monitoring tool that uses the SNMP protocol and has a lot of supported devices. Installation and configuration of Observium are comparatively easy.
- Its easy-to-use UI comes with useful features like a display of data, diagrams, and graphs.
- It collects data and the data is displayed for every detected port depending on the device.
7. Op5 Monitor
It is a server monitoring tool capable of tracking thousands of devices and providing real-time metrics about the process. Op5 Monitor offers you high flexibility and rapid scalability. It also provides predictive analysis.
- Op5 comes with a RESTful API and offers a secure integration with the third-party tools
- Its single dashboard view gives you easy access to data and easy-to-understand reports.
8. Icinga 2
It is a free tool with paid support for enterprise-level services. Icinga 2 tracks your network availability and provides performance data.
- This tool uses SSL secured connections to secure sensitive data and grants you edit rights.
- Icinga 2 solution has an easy-to-use and responsive web interface.
- It is designed to be scalable and also supports distributed performance monitoring.
Seagence is a reliable server-side Defect Monitoring and Root Cause Automation tool that monitors your backend applications. It offers great scalability to the new teams with no experience. It spots the defects as they manifest in real-time and enables you to resolve them before the end-user reports.
- Its easy-to-understand user interface makes your monitoring process very easy.
- It detects all application defects in realtime with root cause and eliminates debugging.
Monitis is an efficient monitoring tool for applications, websites, networks, and as well as servers. It gives detailed insights into the performance of an application or server. The paid Monitoring tool allows you to check different KPIs and detects server performance issues.
- Monitis can perform Server Monitoring/Server checks in 1 minute time intervals.
- Its User Interface is instinctual and the dashboard is customizable.
11. ManageEngine OpManager
It is a real-time monitoring tool that tracks routers, firewalls, and servers. This solution allows you continuously Monitor Servers to spot critical uptime and performance
- It offers physical and virtual server monitoring, threshold-based monitoring with customized dashboards.
- This tool stores historical Performance monitoring and eliminates the need for other Monitoring tools.
Free Server Monitoring Tools
12. Nagios XI
It is an efficient and free server monitoring software that is been in use for many years. Its complex configuration can be a difficulty for beginners. But it can also be advantageous because it can be adapted to any Monitoring task.
- Nagios has an intuitive web interface and a reliable Server part.
- Nagios allows you to monitor the status of the server, services, and everything else that the IP network layer protocol understands.
It is a first-class network monitoring tool with a fast and easy web interface. Ntop provides good graphs and table representations of real-time data about network traffic, host data, and host connections.
- The most effective application of Ntop is traffic control in a specific location.
- Ntop has an intuitive web interface.
It is an open-source software that presents you with a remarkable graphical representation of a network. This solution can support all tuning possibilities thus it is too difficult for some apps.
- Cacti include the LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) suite, which allows you to build graphs for any statistical data.
15. Netwrix Auditor Free Community Edition
It is free monitoring software that gives required updates about the important changes to the windows server to the IT admins. With this, you can properly configure servers and services.
- Netwrix Auditor can constantly monitor the availability and protection of the server.
NeDi is a free monitoring tool that consistently looks at the network infrastructure and categorizes the devices by tracking everything it detects.
- The important application of NeDi is that you can mark the mac address of the lost devices so that when it reappears in the network, NeDi will alert you.
17. Spiceworks Network Monitor
This is a simple network monitoring solution. It is much scalable and flexible, it allows independent thresholds per device. The software is quick and easy to implement.
- It is mostly for more granular monitoring of memory and disk activity. It runs on a VM or a physical box.
Zabbix is a full-scale tool for network and server monitoring. You can configure it to monitor and collect data from a wide variety of servers and devices.
- It enables you to customize the dashboard and web interface to emphasize more important components of the network.
- It can be difficult to implement but using Automatic detection and other templates can make it simple for you.
Netdata is a free monitoring tool that is designed for real-time metrics such as Memory and GPU. It is a distributed tool for real-time performance monitoring. It can work independently without any involvement of third-party components or can be integrated into the existing monitoring tools.
- Netdata is lightweight yet powerful, also easy to install and configure.
OpenNMS is a fully open-source solution that is published under the AGPlv3 license. It has an extensible architecture and supports extended performance data collection process.
- OpenNMS is built for flexibility and scalability. It can monitor millions of devices simultaneously.
- It also offers ticketing integrations to many platforms such as Jira, RT, etc.
Retrace is a highly scalable solution with robust Monitoring capabilities. It is excellent for newbie teams with less experience as it offers smart default configurations for your requirements.
- Retrace alerts, relevant users, through SMS, email regarding monitoring thresholds and breaches.
- It supports both Windows as well as Linux.
How to choose the best server monitoring tool?
Before choosing a Server Monitoring tool, know your data center’s requirements and properly plan a deployment.
1. Analyze your application and the environment in which you run them.
2. Examine your budget and assess how much you can invest.
3. Choose your suitable deployment option
4. Create a shortlist of solutions and test-drive your top 3 choices.
5. And also ensure that your choice is future proof
6. Clearly understand what you are investing in.
Monitoring the performance helps you maintain better standards of customer experience. All the server monitoring tools we discussed are not ranked, you should choose the solution as per the requirements of your organization.