Top 8 IT Infrastructure Monitoring Tools

ZabbixDatadogSolarWinds NPMLogicMonitorPRTG Network MonitorBMC TrueSight Operations ManagementPandora FMSCentreon
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    The most valuable feature is service assurance.Zabbix is quite stable once it is set up. We haven't had any post-setup issues.
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    I have found some of the most valuable features to be the way things all come together that gives us a point of view that is useful. The panel is very beautiful and customizable.
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    We have configured multiple alerts for our network devices, including routers and switches, so that we are notified if any interface goes down. The product is lightweight in terms of memory use, requiring only 10 megabytes or less.
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    Whenever we reach out to our customers, we give LogicMonitor as a dashboard to them so they don't need to monitor the hardware side separately. For example, if my service is running on their hardware X, that means they don't need to monitor hardware X and our services too. LogicMonitor has the capability of monitoring their hardware as well as our services. This is how LogicMonitor helps us.
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    The solution is easy to manage and the reports are very accurate.The initial setup is very simple.
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    The solution has a very good business event manager tool. The event management part of TrueSight Operations Management, in my experience, is probably the best in the market. You have endless flexibility. You can build your own rules, you have the MRL language, and you can implement any kind of logic on the alerts. It may be correlation, abstraction, or executing something as a result of the alerts. You have almost the whole range of options available for event management using the available customization.
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  9. It is easy to create your own custom modules if you just know a little bit of scripting. If you have unique requirements, you can just make your own modules. You can even grab checks from other vendors. There are open-source checks for various things such as SMTP, etc. There is a long list of different ones from Nagios. You can just use them, and within seconds, you get yourself a check that is monitoring whatever you need. It is really flexible. I guess that's why they call it Pandora Flexible Monitoring System (FMS). It is reliable. It does the job, and it alerts. It is also surprisingly feature-rich. Our network guy just recently asked about a particular protocol to monitor the bandwidth on the network, which is not a common protocol. When I looked it up, and I found that they cover it. It is very mature for a not-so-known product.
  10. The customizable reports and dashboards are really flexible. We started this partnership with Centreon, when we were looking for a solution, because of the flexibility of the reporting. That's what we found to be most attractive in the solution. You can display the data as you want.

Advice From The Community

Read answers to top IT Infrastructure Monitoring questions. 502,335 professionals have gotten help from our community of experts.
Rony_Sklar
There are many open source IT Infrastructure Monitoring solutions on the market. However, large companies often invest in a paid solution. What do paid monitoring solutions offer that make them a better choice than open source?
author avatarRichard Treadway (NetApp)
Real User

When you’re considering infrastructure monitoring, you certainly have plenty of options to choose from. From free to expensive, from targeted to comprehensive, today’s monitoring software presents a confusing assortment of features and claims.


How do you make sense of it all and choose a solution that meets your needs and is within your budget? The question “Can you afford it?” might quickly become “Can you afford not to have it?,” especially when you consider the cost of poor performance and downtime.


We look at ways to frame the problem and decide what’s right for you. We start by looking at cloud infrastructure monitoring tools and why they need to be specifically designed to handle new cloud-based applications. Then we’ll consider how to measure the value of a monitoring tool and what it’s worth to your organization.  


Read the complete analysis in this eBook

Infrastructure Monitoring Software: Can You Afford It? How to choose a monitoring tool that meets your needs — and your budget


Thanks,


Richard Treadway

author avatarStacy Leidwinger (Goliath Technologies)
Real User

George Spiers a certified Citrix CTP and technology evangelist has a nice write up talking about how without enough experts to manage the infrastructure you do have to rely on technology to help:


https://www.jgspiers.com/troub...


In relying on software, I think the key difference commercial products can bring is the embedded intelligence and automation that can discover your overall infrastructure along with the what and how to monitor automatically. With open-source, you often have to decide what you want to monitor and what thresholds to set and even create scripts to manage the alert process. With 3rd party tools, it is all there and a core reason for needing help is you don't have enough experts already. 


Just make sure if you are paying for a product, it is doing a lot of the setup, configuration, and management for you! 


author avatarFaustine Chisasa
Real User

The main reason large companies invest in paid solutions is the advanced and timely support  provided when using paid solutions. And of course those who sell the solutions need to do a good support job to continue selling their products.


Using open source solutions means having very skilled  personnel to do most if not all of the work on getting things working and continue running which can be more expensive than paying for support by opting a paid solution. For example a monitoring solution for a large enterprise may require experts or separate teams to handle database administration, network and systems administration, web applications, systems security etc. but most of the work will be done by the vendor or suppling partner when it comes to paid solutions.


Also paid solutions seem to be more secure and when issues or bugs arise, the supplier/vendor is responsible to quickly get things on track. 


Paid solutions can easily provide customer requested features as part of support, that means less work on the end user for features request.


And since paid solutions are often sold to many similar customers, many large companies feel more assured by the large  portfolio of existing customers hence less risk in their opinions.

author avatarDavid Collier
Reseller

Frankly speaking, these days there is very little if any advantage. Allow me to build on that if you will.....


First, let's talk about cost. Open source software, such as Zabbix (and numerous others) does not suffer from complex licensing considerations. Most paid-for solutions license their products based on number of devices, number of users, number of locations or a combination of all the above. There are even some licensing schemes where a docker container counts as 1/10th of a device. This makes license compliance difficult and an unwanted overhead to users. It's no wonder that many commercial vendors have "License compliancy" teams who are incentivised to identify and pursue non-compliant customers. In effect, increasing licensing complexity is actually good for the vendor.


With open source licensing these issues are non-existant.


Next, support. One commentator said "Open source software isn't free, you have to pay for support". This is true - if you want official support from the vendor. Speaking from wide-ranging personal experience, I've found that the support from open source providers is, without exception, orders of magnitude better than the paid for software. I've found that there isn't the obfuscation and "script reading" from open source support compared to commercial vendors. Also, with commercial vendors there are usually 2 components to a software support contract - "problem resolution" and "product updates". For most vendors, an annual support and upgrade contract is upwards of 20% of the initial capital cost of the software, usually with an annual uplift. So every 5 years you're buying the software again.


This takes me on to feature bloat. Some of the major vendors seem to introduce features almost to justify the annual support contract. At a high level, the features are always valuable, but in my experience are rarely implemented by users correctly or worse, not even used at all. These features are developed at the insistence of the largest customers and in those cases, the very largest will indeed use the feature. However, every customer will pay for a feature that delivers benefit to only the biggest customers. Smaller customers are hit twice in that they pay via their support contract for these features which likely need increased IT resource just to run, let alone use.


I think I should pause here, as it might appear that I have a massive chip on my shoulder regarding commercial ITOM vendors. Nothing is further from the truth. I have implemented a considerable number of such systems and I've found that once running they are reliable. They do require just as much "care and feeding" as open source solutions but there's no doubt there is a psychological aspect to having paid for the solution. The phrase "reassuringly expensive" comes to mind.


Another commentator talked about "fast training". Well, training is another area where open source providers excel. Certifications, on-site training, remote training, community support and so forth are all part of the open-source ecosystem, just as with any commercial vendor.


Someone else mentioned better security from commercial software. I don't want to offend, but let's ask Solarwinds about that. Open-source software prides itself on the availability of the source code. There are many tools out there that scan source code to find vulnerabilities (including some big vendors). This isn't possible with commercial vendors.


It's also worth talking about "supplier stability" - commercial vendors are likely to be more trusted as they are "real" whereas there still seems to be a perception that open source is written by amateurs in their parents' basement. Nothing could be further from the truth. Take a look at Apache and RedHat as 2 examples.


Open source in the 21st Century is as professional and of a quality and security that exceeds many commercial vendors.


Try it, you'll like it.

author avatarreviewer904428 (IT Strategy, Management Consulting, Training and Development at a comms service provider with 51-200 employees)
Real User

The so called free NMS is not free in case you want support. All organizations where critical businesses processes have dependency on reliable IT Network and therefore, reliable monitoring, have to go for an NMS tool which is preferred by organisations whose business processes are IT critical. It is simple, anything free is not guaranteed to work under all circumstances. Financial viability of NMS too vendor is essential to have a reliable tool which helps them continue to invest in future developments in line with emerging network technolofy landscape.   

author avatarreviewer1140534 (Director, Middle East, East India & SAARC at a tech company with 51-200 employees)
Real User

Generally apart from IT companies, I feel its difficult to manage an open source tool since it requires a lot of manual effort. IT Managers / Network Admins / Server Admins would rather use a commercial tool to spend less time on it from a daily operations / maintenance perspective. The major challenges of Open Source Tools include: 


1. Lack of professional support increases tool deployment cycle


2. Better Security and quick fixes to any security issues found in any commercial tool


2. Need for expensive resources to manage open source tool (must have scripting knowledge on programming languages like Perl / Python / Java etc.)


3. Steep learning curve leads to user dissatisfaction in Open Source tools


4. Limited API support for 3rd party integrations in Open Source tools


5. Better roadmap visibility both from product & company perspective for any commercial tool as compared to a similar open source tool


6. Personalized solution / tailor-made solution is a possibility with commercial tools (although it may involve additional costs)

author avatarOan-Ali
Real User

Most of modern open source Infrastructure monitoring tools can suffice the needs of any organisation, but the reason to organisations opt for a commercial product is of timely support and upgrades from the vendor.


Having said that, with Open Source software companies can go for Enterprise support from any certified partner. In this way the company saves massive CAPEX on software licensing.

author avatarMamadou-Diallo
Real User

Hello,


It's to have the service of technical support and the guarantee of security and integrity of the applications.


Also to have quick training for the technicians.


Thank you for your interest,

Ariel Lindenfeld
Let the community know what you think. Share your opinions now!
author avatarStacy Leidwinger (Goliath Technologies)
Real User

1) Ease of deployment and maintenance. The ideal solution will auto-discover your environment and have intelligence built in to tell you what to monitor and how to monitor with built-in alerts that leverage industry best practice thresholds. This way users can anticipate issues and resolve them before users are impacted. 


2) Historical, real-time, and discrete data that will show all IT infrastructure elements used to deliver a single end-user experience. The is the only way to monitor and troubleshoot issues is to have full visibility into the true user experience.


3) Document all user activity, behavior, and system performance so that you can share, integrated, and enhance data to collaborate with management, other IT teams, application vendors, and even end-users. 

author avatarDmytro Kutetskyi
Real User

I think you need to look for:


1. Unifications. All aspects of the monitoring should be done by one or multiple tools. As an option, integration between tools should be possible.


2. Plug-in based or open architecture. Open Source will be a huge plus. In this case, you will have community support, and hiring the expert for widely used technology should not be the issue.


3. Tools should have quick support - monitoring could go down when you really need this. Open Source tools allow you to have a big market of engineers with good expertise.


4. Agree with other comments - ROI is very important here.

author avatarMichaelDelzer (Michael Delzer Consulting)
Real User

The ability for the solution to correlate data from across the enterprise to remove noise in alerts, and for the alerts to be able to trigger automation to remediate a known problem/incident.

author avatarMichael DelSecolo
User

I would propose to look at Infrastructure monitoring from a different perspective. The corollary I would use is to equate infrastructure monitoring to a big data problem with the need for automation. In today's world we have many infrastructure devices that transmit a large amount of data or telemetry and the key to quick automated response is to look at adjacencies and quickly determine corrective action. I suggest injecting the telemetry into an infrastructure data lake and apply some ML & AI applications to determine issues and automation to quickly solve. The amount of data produced has become daunting and I suggest taking a data driven approach instead of siloed Infrastructure monitoring tools.

author avatarit_user298344 (Marketing Coordinator with 51-200 employees)
Vendor

It's integration, helping to improve management capability, and ROI, how does it drive value (this include price).

author avatarit_user190584 (User)
Vendor

Our most important criteria include price, compatibility with our existing infrastructure, HIPAA compliance, and security.

Henry Steinhauer
With the security issues associated with SolarWinds - are people switching to other vendors?   Which ones are you switching to?
author avatarTigerLily
Real User

We’ve switched from Solarwinds to Centreon even before the issue occurred. It’s way cheaper and is a good alternative and very flexible to your needs. You can play with it yourself.

author avatarRobertUllman
User

Thousand Eyes acquired by Cisco, interesting synergies with AppDynamics APM.

author avatarTjeerd Saijoen
Vendor

Riverbed is also a great solution very easy to install and a great dashboard.

author avatarIanMacfarlane
Real User

I have used both and have to say my experience with Connectwise was very good. Design for MSP's and when used with IT Glue and My It Process nice, accurate seamless. 

author avatarSonal Kashyap
Vendor

We, at MapleLabs have developed best-of-the breed APM & Log mgmt. product SnappyFlow (https://www.snappyflow.io/#/). SnappyFlow is a unique APM & Log Monitoring application that brings together metrics, logs, tracing & synthetic monitoring in an elegant workflow and unified view. We work with SaaS companies having Cloud native applications that are micro services based, dispersed across VMs, Kubernetes & Cloud Services and straddle hybrid Clouds. SnappyFlow is best suited to optimize your cloud native apps, maximize the performance and availability of your cloud infrastructure. SnappyFlow is currently listed in AWS and vCenter marketplace and very cost-effective, scalable and flexible solution compared to its peers, including Cloudwatch. We're offering extended free trials till the time you're comfortable with the product. Please give it a thought. Thanks!

author avatarreviewer1140534 (Director, Middle East, East India & SAARC at a tech company with 51-200 employees)
Real User

Please check out InfraonIMS from EverestIMS Technologies.


(https://www.everestims.com/inf...)

The major advantage is an integrated solution which not only monitors the complete IT Infra but also provides complete visibility into the ticket lifecycle for any issues detected via the PINK-Certified InfraonDesk ITSM engine.

From a security standpoint, the tool is OWASP Certified for higher levels of protection against malicious attacks.

author avatarBernd Harzog
Real User

The hackers targeted SolarWinds because SolarWinds has many customers. To minimize the risk of being hacked through one of your vendors, this suggests choosing unpopular vendors with few customers. Which is completely irrational.


Summary - this is a really hard problem and switching vendors does nothing to reduce your risk of this type of hack.

author avatarTjeerd Saijoen
Vendor

IBM Netcool is a great alterative, also available as a SaaS solution from https://rufusai.com

Rony_Sklar
What tools do you recommend for SQL server monitoring for an enterprise-level business?
author avatarDonaldBakels
Real User

I highly recommend 2 products from the SolarWinds ITOM Suite;


1 Server Application Monitor Check link: https://www.solarwinds.com/server-application-monitor


1 Database Performance Analyzer for SQLServer https://www.solarwinds.com/database-performance-analyzer-sql-server



Both products are integrated

author avatarSergiy Ustenko
User

I use the Paessler (PRTG) for long time, and highly recommend one: https://www.paessler.com/database-monitoring

author avatarPieterVan Blommestein
Real User

It is a very easy answer. For sure OpsMgr(SCOM). The simple reason is, Microsoft developed OpsMgr(SCOM) to monitor Microsoft products and the best to do this. NO other monitoring toolset can do it as good as OpsMgr(SCOM). OpsMgr(SCOM) can do 3rd party monitoring as well.

author avatarWalter Harris
Real User

We have used Microsoft system center operations manager  and it integrates well with SQL.  We are starting to use open source tools and sending the metrics to Wavefront. This provides more real time monitoring but extensive development.  The main issue we have in our environment with SCOM is real time ability.  

author avatarMohamed Y Ahmed
Reseller

PRTG With SQL sensor


Check this link: https://www.paessler.com/manua...

author avatarUsman Malik
Consultant

You can use Solawind or BMC

author avatarMorne' O'Kennedy
Real User

I personally believe in SCOM (Operations Manager) since it contains all the required tools to monitor and manage SQL operationally. Majority of enterprises already have the Microsoft EA in place so the System Center licensing is already available along with SQL. 


.. in summary

author avatarIan Ian (Panopta)
Vendor

I am 100% biased as I work for Panopta, but I wouldn't work here if I didn't think our monitoring tools weren't outstanding. 


Nurit Sherman
Is it required in your company to conduct a security review before purchasing an infrastructure monitoring solution? What are the common materials you use in the review? Do you have any tips or advice for the community? Any pitfalls to watch out for?
author avatarMenojRoekalea
User

I would start focussing on the used acounts and their privileges, other components aren't that interresting security wise. But the used accounts are probably over privileged as my experience has showed my before.

author avatarDavid Collier
Reseller

As with any software that is deployed within any organisation, security must be built-in from the ground up. When it comes to Infrastructure Monitoring Software, the problem has and additional dimension - that of the underlying protocols used in the core work of gethering data. These protocols are typically outside of the control of the software developer themselves. So I would certainly incude "How the software vendor responds to 3rd party vulnerabilities". And there are potentially many areas where such vulberabilities can exist. For instance SNMP is pretty standard for collecting metrics and intercepting SNMP "traps". But what if there is an issues with SNMP itself?  (I won't go into SNMPv1, v2 and v3 here) How does your vendor respond and mitigate against issues with underlying protocols. I've mentioned SNMP, but what SSH (or the numerous implementations of SSH), WMI. sFlow etc etc. This is my first layer. Security of the PROTOCOL.


The next thing is the communication of the monitoring data. Each of the above protocols need a TCP/IP port to be open. That means putting holes in your firewall. And for me that's the only downside of "agentless" monitoring tools. Don't get me wrong, agentless is great for ease of deployment and ease of management in a closed network. For anything that goes over a wider network or Internet, then it's agent-based management for me. Why, well typically because it should be more secure. The agent should communicate data to the management server over a single port in an encrypted for. The agent should also be configured to only respond to data requests from a VERY limited number of servers. So that's the second layer, the security of the AGENT.


Moving up our IT monitoring ladder, we have the security of the MANAGEMENT ARCHITECTURE. Is all data encrypted in transit? Is it encrypted at rest (i.e. in the database). Is access to the database limited to only the management software? Is all other access simply REad-Only (e.g. for 3rd party reporting tools). There's also the security of the entire network within which the management software is operating - but that comes under the remit of wider network security. Most IT Infrastructure Monitoring software these days is web-based. Is the web-server secure? i.e. is Apache, NGinx, IIS etc fully patched and as secure as possible. Same for databases.


We then also need to consider the ability of users to "do bad things". As a previous respondent says, deny everything and allow by exception. This is typically achieved by using some form of RBAC mechanism in the software (Role Based Access Control). Each user is given on the level of access to the monitoring software that is needed to deliver the service the business needs. For instance, A firewall guy (or gal) does not the ability to run scripts on an Oracle database. Therefore I'd include in my review an assessment of the granularity of RBAC for users of the monitoring software. Let's call this the security of the APPLICATION.


Now that's a long response, but never, ever lose sight of the simple truth - the human brain is more complex, intricate and flexible than any IT system. Or in other words, don't underestimate the ability of man to screw it all up.


DAVE COLLIER


Nobius IT.





author avatarTchidat Linda
Real User

Although in our company we didn't require to conduct a security review before choosing an infrastructure monitoring solution, we have particularly look about the authentication method. Talking about user's accounts, groups and permissions.
One tip we have used, was to look for a monitoring solution that can interface with an existing entreprise authentication server (LDAP Server). In other that users could directly log in this purchased solution with their entreprise accounts.
So we have no more need to invest in creating a new secure users database and simply focus on creating users permissions depending on employees category.

author avatarCarlos Daniel Casañas Bertolo ஃ
Real User

The documentation MUST indicate that the standard security configuration is DENY EVERYTHING and grant permissions based on multiple conditions (IP, user, schedule, ...).
The BD with which it is compatible must be able to be encrypted.
Compatible with iso 27000.
The trial must pass several security tests before being included as an option to choose.

author avatarMatt Davis
Real User

My company does not require a security review per se, although we do incorporate security measures to protect our network. For example, if your monitoring system is public facing, you'd want to lock it down so that only the IP ranges and TCP/UDP port ranges necessary for you to monitor what you want to monitor are allowed in. If you are doing only active monitoring, then you don't really need to allow any establishment of connections from outside. If you are using SNMP traps, or an agent that pushes info to the monitoring services, the respective IPs and ports need to be allowed in. You can do this with a firewall like iptables. Security by obscurity is also still a helpful thing. Default port numbers, etc. are low-hanging fruit for bots and things that scour the internet for easy victims. You can also use something like fail2ban, which creates a blacklist of IPs who repeat failed logins. It is also helpful to ask the vendor which versions of software they use. It is possible they use an older version, which is not as secure as using one that is regularly updated with security patches. For example, do they use mySql? Which version? What about the OS? Is it a version still supported?

author avatarSofian Bayoudh
User

IT security is an ongoing exercise, with some sporadic penetration testing. SOC should be closely coupled to NOC, especially in terms of log management, traffic capture and analysis (for heuristics/forensics), connectivity/management, DNS security, WAF, etc.
So it's more than security review before deploying NOC, it's rather complete integration with due proper design and planning.

author avatarTjeerd Saijoen
Vendor

Security is always important, the first thing you review is if you start using monitoring is do you need this on-premise or from the cloud.

With on-premise you follow your own security rules however important are the following questions:

-How is the monitoring data stored in the database?
-Are the DB fips enabled?
-How are agents sending data, is the data encrypted?
-What kind of data is sent between customer systems and monitoring server?
-Does the monitoring software using security policies or for example integrate with LDAP or active directory?

Today you have many tools for infra monitoring we deliver monitoring from the cloud and using a VPN/IPSec tunnel between the customer and the systems in our cloud.

Also, we have customers doing a security check on our servers and we using patent recognition to check if our systems have no security leaks. Second, we using local gateways at the customer to collect the data we need and only the local gateway has a connection with our servers. Using this technology we have only one connection between datacenter and gateway and this connection is monitored all the time as well only 2 ports are open in the firewall.

Important is what are you using for infrastructure monitoring and how is it connected, what kind of interface is it web or client/server from the client to the monitoring server.

author avatarRakesh Kanojia
Consultant

security review for infrastructure monitoring software are limited to,
1. Software layer for venerability.
2. User privileges.

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Find out what your peers are saying about Zabbix, Datadog, SolarWinds and others in IT Infrastructure Monitoring. Updated: May 2021.
502,335 professionals have used our research since 2012.