Nowadays, when most businesses are opting for cloud technologies, it is essential that they set up and manage a large number of servers, a task which sometimes isn’t so convenient.
For this purpose, we use server monitoring software that can help organizations cater to their need for high amounts of servers for load balancing and disaster recovery.
What is Server Monitoring?
Many enterprises run on multiple servers such as database server, web server, caching server, core app server, etc.
It is business-critical that each of these servers’ performance is excellent, and every performance issue is proactively identified and fixed before they start wreaking havoc to business.
Server monitoring implies monitoring the server resources like CPU usage, Memory consumption, Process, I/O, Network, Disk Usage, etc., to help plan the capacity of the system.
Monitoring a server’s performance can identify other performance issues such as server application downtime, response time, and resource utilization.
How to monitor server performance?
Server performance can be easily monitored using server monitoring software that enables regular data collection on system resources. The monitoring can either be automated or performed manually.
Here are some best practices for server performance monitoring to help you get the effectiveness in your server’s performance:
Server metrics – For ensuring that the server performance monitoring is efficient and thorough, it is essential that you choose the right metrics for power supply, CPU, etc.
Applications – You must understand how the server and applications work together to achieve that excellent end-user experience.
Server alerts – Automated alerts must be set up by configuring thresholds and events so that you can have insights into the server issues.
Server discovery – Ensure that you monitor all the servers, including those of cloud and virtual servers.
Why is server monitoring necessary?
Server monitoring is imperative towards achieving a stable server and better maintenance of your online business.
It is business-critical for almost every cloud-based business or any other business dependent on multiple servers to have server monitoring software because it helps in:
- Monitoring responsiveness of the server.
- Detecting and preventing server issues proactively.
- Monitoring availability of servers and preventing data loss.
- Understanding server capacity, speed, and user load.
Here are a few benefits of server monitoring software that will surely help you decide:
1. Automated network checks
Whether your server is suffering from performance issues, insufficient hard disk space, unstable antivirus software, or other disruptions, the server monitoring tool can be of great help in checking them automatically. This will allow your server administrators some free time to locate the source of the issue.
2. Gain scalability
Cloud-based server monitoring software is flexible and allows you to add new computers, machines, and servers into your workstation with ease.
There is no requirement for any patches or updates by the IT administrator as it is all taken care of by the cloud vendor.
3. Complete Visibility
With the help of a Server monitoring tool, IT administrators can closely examine the server for any performance issues by looking at various variables in real-time and understanding how they affect the system and the workstation.
You can be proactive with resolving any server issues before they can impact your network performance.
4. Free IT resources
Since third-party vendors monitor the server performance, you can free up your IT resources and utilize them for other development and infrastructure tasks.
These monitoring solutions perform remedial actions such as rebooting or automatically restarting any service if it crashes.
5. Understand the network
These tools allow you to set up various thresholds and receive alerts via email or text messages whenever the server faces any issue.
This allows you to take action proactively from anywhere and save your server from going into downtime, thus increasing the organization’s productivity.
16 Best Server Monitoring Software & Tools for 2021
SolarWinds is a system management software that allows real-time monitoring of infrastructure, servers, visualization, security, server configurations, backups, databases, and disk space.
Instead of switching between tools and VM sprawl, SolarWinds provides a comprehensive system for virtual servers across hybrid, cloud, and on-premises environments with availability for event monitoring, data analysis, and capacity planning.
The SolarWinds Server and Application Monitor allow instant startup using their broad range of templates for various servers and cloud services.
Panopta is the best server monitoring software that provides a unified view across all server environments and facilitates server performance monitoring across on-premises, hybrid, and cloud servers.
Panopta offers a tool called CounterMeasures to configure predefined remedial actions against recurring issues.
The software is easy and quick to set up and can be configured using reporting features and customizable dashboards. It also helps you in avoiding unnecessary alerts and false positives.
OpenNMS is a flexible and scalable, fully open-source server monitoring solution that supports real-time performance data collection frameworks and extending server polling.
You can get notifications via Slack, Java native, Tweets, jabber, and email and can get ticketing integrations to OTRS, RT, JIRA, and many others.
The platform is published under the AGPLv3 license and is supported by multiple communities, large and commercial.
Various servers and environments can be brought together by normalizing messages and their dissemination through REST API.
This simplified and free server monitoring platform allows dashboard connectivity to set up in minutes, after which URL configuration and monitoring can begin immediately.
Spiceworks allows you to be proactive in bug fixing. It will enable you to receive real-time server and network monitoring insights for server application overload for on-premise and a cloud-based server.
This solution is fully integrated into the Spiceworks IT management cloud tools suite, and users can enjoy free tools such as online chat and phone support.
However, Spiceworks is still working on a solution for a proper mechanism to send notifications.
Offered by VMware as an open-source tool, vRealize is an excellent server and network monitoring solution for multitudes of operating systems.
vRealize middleware monitors and collects metrics from thousands of data to enhance the centralized application performance monitoring.
It provides infrastructure and Operating System monitoring tools for users to understand events, changes, utilization, and availability across the virtualization stack layers.
6. WhatsUp Gold
Created for windows server, WhatsUp Gold is a well-established tool that offers 2/3 discovery capabilities and can create interactive and detailed maps of the entire network infrastructure.
You can get real-time server monitoring alerts via SMS and email and server management and monitoring capabilities harnessed in the integrated mobile application.
It provides monitoring solutions designed specifically for SQL Server, AWS, and Azure server environments integrated with native interfaces to collect data for cost, availability, and other environment-specific metrics.
Paessler PRTG or Paessler Router Traffic Grapher is the best server monitoring software for both Windows and Linux environments that use SNMP, packet Sniffing, and Netflow.
There are various web servers, mail servers, virtual servers, and database servers that PRTG caters to. It provides a centralized monitoring system for cloud monitoring systems of IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS such as Amazon, Azure, and Docker, which are its strong suit.
Regular updates for firewall status and automatic notifications using integrated mobile and web applications ensure that PRTG efficiently monitors IPs and firewalls for inbound and outbound traffic.
This simplified server and applications monitoring tool comes with a simple sign-up process and requires no software setup.
You can get instant alerts from the application via Twitter, phone, SMS, and email for the pre-defined triggers. These alerts can be received even when the network is down and shared via the web interface and the mobile integrated servers applications.
Monitis comes with a unified dashboard for uptime and response time data, server health, and an API for additional monitoring.
Icinga is a server monitor that offers a fast web interface to monitor servers availability, access relevant data, and raise alerts to help you monitor large environments. The notifications can be received via SMS, email, integrated web, and integrated mobile interfaces.
Users can quickly build custom views by filtering and grouping individual elements in the dashboard to allow them to take immediate action against any issue.
Icinga server monitoring and management platform is fully integrated into the VMware environment and can fetch data about virtual servers, hosts, databases, and other metrics.
10. Nagios XI
Nagios is the most reliable server monitor for monitoring server health that provides real-time monitoring of infrastructure performance monitoring, system metrics, applications, and operating systems.
The application gives users a central view of server applications and comes with various third-party plugins to help you monitor all your in-house applications.
Nagios comes with an updated web interface, a robust monitoring engine, and graph visualizations to allow excellent monitoring capabilities.
If you want a free version of Nagios, then Nagios Core is best for you. However, Nagios XI is recommended for those looking for advanced reporting, configuration, and monitoring options.
Retrace is a recommended software for new and inexperienced teams as it comes with smart defaults, robust monitoring capabilities, and high scalability.
You can design your customized dashboard to get holistic and granular data using dashboard widgets. They help you to collect data on network’s utilization, CPU usage, uptime, and disk space.
Retrace allows you to monitor the server for error tracking, application performance metrics, application metrics, and log management and receive alerts via email, Slack, and SMS.
It is a clean and intuitive application to monitor applications across various platforms such as Docker and AWS and different application stacks such as PHP, .Net, Python, Java, Ruby, and Node.js.
Instrumental comes with a purposefully designed interface for the dashboard to provide a holistic view of data.
You can dive deep from the dashboard into each server and receive alerts via HTTP notification, SMS, and email.
Also, Instrumental provides native methods for data collection from other platforms such as telegraf, Statiste, and StatsD.
13. Sciencelogic SL1
Sciencelogic SL1 is a server monitoring tool that allows users to monitors all server and network-related resources and their configurations, utilization, capacity, and performance.
It supports multiple cloud platforms such as Google Cloud, AWS, OpenStack, and Azure, and it also supports various hypervisors such as Hyper-V, KVM, and VMware.
With its custom dashboards and ready-made or custom policies, you can easily monitor, perform health checks on pre-defined events.
Sciencelogic provides accurate data by using advanced API connectivity to merge with cloud services.
This consolidated monitoring platform is a leader in intelligent monitoring of applications and servers as well by using a centralized dashboard for multiple performance metrics.
Datadog allows users to build a complete understanding of workflows and applications by utilizing the mapping dependencies and application architectures.
Datadog allows source control and bug tracking, and server monitoring, facilitating various metrics in the cloud-native environments.
You can receive notifications via Slack, email, and other similar channels.
This free and open-source software is an enterprise-level monitoring solution that provides various metrics such as free disk space, fan state, network devices’ status, temperature, and CPU usage to facilitate network management.
It comes with ready-made templates for various popular servers like Dell, HP, IBM, and Lenovo and different operating systems such as Ubuntu, Solaris, and Linux.
With the help of complex triggers and data collection, and alerting dependencies, Zabbix provides enhanced monitoring capabilities.
Zabbix allows direct configuration from the webserver rather than being managed by test files which is the case with Nagios.
OpManager comes with over 2,000 built-in server monitoring solutions and customizable dashboards that can cater to multi-level thresholds and instant alerts for both physical and virtual servers.
It supports multiple operating systems such as Solaris, Unix, Linux, and Windows to monitor the system’s health and process using WMI and SNMP by providing support for various platforms such as Citrix XenServer, VMware, and Hyper-V.
ManageEngine OpManager is a trusted server monitoring software that provides robust monitoring capabilities for routers, switches, VMs, servers, and other network nodes having an IP.
The Server Monitoring solutions listed above are the best in the market that can help you in monitoring server uptime and the health of your servers and the applications hosted on them.
Some of these server monitoring tools are free, while others come with a free trial so that you can choose which one is the best for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the server monitoring tools?
Server monitoring tools help the users monitor the server for application performance, availability, and other processes. There is third-party monitoring solution designed to help you monitor the server and keep track of your server’s health. Some of these tools are SolarWinds Server and Application Monitor, Zabbix, Datadog, Nagios XI, Retrace, Paessler PRTG, etc.
How does server monitoring work?
Server monitoring allows enterprises to review and analyze their server application for performance, security, availability, server infrastructure monitoring, and other processes. It is performed by server administrators either manually or automated using server monitoring service tools.
How do I monitor my server’s health?
Various server monitoring tools can help you in monitoring the health of your application and server. These are – Nagios, Icinga, ManageEngine OpManager, Instrumental, Spiceworks Network Monitor, Paessler PRTG, Zabbix, etc.
What is the tool used for external monitoring?
Tools such as Nagios XI, Zabbix, Datadog, SolarWinds Server and Application Monitor, Paessler PRTG, Spiceworks Network Monitor are some of the tools used for external monitoring.