From data sharing to remote management and access, all technologies are now powered by the cloud or are migrating to this infrastructure. One technology that is yet to make the shift completely is on-premise server management, but server monitoring software may remedy that very soon.
Servers are deployed in large numbers on-premises in data centers and in the cloud to meet the ever-increasing processing demands of today’s apps and tools. With a discrepancy in deployment naturally comes managerial difficulty.
While setting up servers is easy for a company initially, as its processing demands increase, so do the server sizes and bandwidth. As a result, businesses struggle to adequately manage them which can lead to a host of privacy, security, and sustainability issues. And this is where server monitoring tools come into the picture.
Today, we’ll be discussing the best server monitoring tools for analyzing resources utilized by the systems through collecting various metrics. By the end of this article, you will know which server monitoring system to choose from to help you effectively track the performance of your servers and their components.
- What Is The Best Server Monitoring Software?
- 1. Grafana – Top Pick
- 2. Zabbix – Enterprise-Class Solution
- 3. Observium – Most Intuitive Server Monitoring
- 4. AppDynamics – Best Observability Platform
- 5. Nagios – Best Agentless Server Monitoring
- 6. Spiceworks – Most Feature-Packed Solution
- 7. Dynatrace – Best Automation Galore
- 8. Datadog – Most Configurable & Versatile
What Is The Best Server Monitoring Software?
Here are my top selections of the best server monitoring software: Grafana, Zabbix, and Observium.
|Best choice. Top-notch observability for businesses. Free to use.||Community-driven server management solution with flexible configurations. Free to use.||Most intuitive and trouble-free server monitoring option. Free to use.|
|Try Grafana||Try Zabbix||Try Observium|
Below are my top eight recommendations for server monitoring tools.
1. Grafana – Top Pick
Best Server Monitoring Software With High Cardinality Data & Accuracy [Free]
Grafana is listed as the first best option on my list for one very good reason: it is open-source. It means you can deploy this server management tool absolutely free and won’t have to deal with expensive licensing fees either. The second best reason to own this product is the Grafana stack.
The stack helps provide users with the system and server updates in real time and is entirely customizable to display only the most relevant information. You can also get detailed metrics using Grafana Mimir, Graphite, and Prometheus. These integrations further extend the functionality of the software, making it arguably the best software to have.
View plugins, reports, and the dashboard all from one console. Grafana is the ultimate choice for businesses of all scales and is used by some of the industry leaders like:
It also works cross-platform which means it can easily run on any operating system of your choosing.
Pros And Cons Of Grafana
|Has incredibly detailed dashboards with complete customizability||While the dashboard data is customizable, its design is limited|
|Open-source licensing means the software is completely free to use|
|Ability to run in multiple industry environments|
|Cross-platform development enables support for Windows, Mac, and Linux systems|
Grafana Pricing Plan
Grafana is completely free to use thanks to its open-source development platform.
2. Zabbix – Enterprise-Class Solution
Most Proactive Server Management Software Supported By A Dedicated Community [Free]
Zabbix is a state-of-the-art server management tool that is completely open-source and allows for cross-platform support and functionality. Some of the world’s biggest brands regularly utilize Zabbix for the management of their network devices. The list of Zabbix clients includes Dell, Salesforce, Orange, and ICANN.
Zabbix has a detailed dashboard where all data is displayed for the user to view and allows for:
- Cloud monitoring
- Server monitoring
- Service monitoring
- Application monitoring
- Complete network monitoring
Its ability to run on-premise or in the cloud makes it one of the most scalable and versatile options around. Zabbix offers many deployment options where you remain fully in control of your data at all times. It also features excessive integration options with existing systems your company may already be using.
Some key offerings of Zabbix are listed below:
- 24/7 availability
- Safety and security
- Offers high availability solutions
- Incredibly scalable for any infrastructure
- Offers flexibility in the way you transform, analyze, and visualize data
Zabbix is 100% enterprise-ready, bringing to the table an umbrella offering that takes care of your whole IT infrastructure stack. You can monitor anything and improve your monitoring performance while you’re at it.
Pros And Cons Of Zabbix
|Being open-source makes it a great free option for most businesses||Notifications are known to be inconsistent at times|
|Cross-platform support enables the program to run on Windows and Mac systems|
|Offers integration options with existing technologies|
Zabbix Pricing Plan
Zabbix caters to a large expanse of companies working today and has highly customizable solutions thanks to its open-source nature on Windows, Linux, and Mac operating systems. Being open-source allows Zabbix to offer its software completely free to use for all companies regardless of scale or size.
3. Observium – Most Intuitive Server Monitoring
Low-Maintenance Server Monitoring Software With Most Expanded Visibility [ Free ]
Observium is one of the easiest to manage server management solutions and its enterprise and community users would attest to this fact. The software is incredibly low-maintenance and supports a large number of devices, operating systems, and platforms. These include:
- Microsoft Windows Server
The company also offers various plans for its tools, but its most popular Community plan is heralded among businesses for its open-source nature and the fact that it is free to set up and run. Speaking of the software itself, it improves the visibility of your network infrastructure as it automatically collects data and displays information about services and protocols that typically go under the radar.
The tool can also streamline disaster recovery and capacity planning and provide intuitive visual representations of collected performance data. All of these functions help businesses make smarter and quicker decisions that can effectively prolong the lifespan of their server systems and improve their reliability too.
Observium is an excellent option for companies looking to extend its functionality for its external integration with tools such as:
Pros And Cons Of Observium
|An excellent option for companies looking for integration options||Does not have many options to customize dashboards|
|Has strategies in place to help improve server reliability and performance|
|The community plan is completely free to use|
|Offers lots of cross-platform and cross-device support|
Observium Pricing Plan
Observium is a comprehensive option for most businesses and can help leverage their management and monitoring aspects with ease. The company offers three plans at the moment. These plans are listed below:
- Community (Free): Has two yearly releases and offers full auto discovery of supported devices and metrics.
- Professional ($280/year): Offers RESTful API, real-time software updates and fixes with rule-based automatic grouping.
- Enterprise ($1,400/year): Has the ability to scale an instance across multiple servers and offers enterprise-grade email & live support.
While you can opt for its paid plans, its community plan is excellent if you need help managing home lab server environments.
4. AppDynamics – Best Observability Platform
Server Monitoring Software Ideal For Complex Infrastructure Monitoring [Free Trial | $0.06/Month/1000 Tokens]
AppDynamics isn’t the first name that comes to mind when it comes to server management and monitoring tools but all evidence points to its underrated nature. For starters, the software is very easy to implement in any company regardless of its scale or size. Once set up, the tool is an excellent source of all incoming and outgoing data of your servers.
AppDynamics focuses primarily on transparency and ensures that businesses and their IT teams remain on top of all functionality and core processes of their systems. Powered by Cisco, the software also has enough industry backing and development maturity to handle even the most complex server setups and infrastructure.
With companies such as Glassdoor, Nasdaq, Vodafone, and FICO all utilizing their services, AppDynamics is one of the most popular and well-trusted options available today.
Besides server management, the company also helps with cloud monitoring and migration. The software is built with traceability as a priority and can locate and report all application and server problems. This approach helps your IT teams and server providers develop templates for any scenarios and remain proactive in disaster recovery situations.
Pros And Cons Of AppDynamics
|Flexibility in monitoring choices including SNMP||Integration with outdated applications is a challenge|
|Very easy to set up and run|
|Real-time server & application performance can be monitored|
AppDynamics Pricing Plan
AppDynamicsNetwork Monitor is proprietary software that can be downloaded for free for 15 days and has pricing plans to extend the usability of the software from then on. These plans are detailed below:
- Infrastructure Monitoring Edition ($6/month/CPU Core): Offers foundational infrastructure diagnostics and server performance monitoring.
- Premium Edition ($60/month/CPU Core): Offers complete back end and application performance monitoring
- Enterprise Edition ($90/month/CPU Core): It offers everything you get in the premium plan along with complete business performance monitoring
- Enterprise Edition for SAP Solutions ($167/month/CPU Core): Offers code-level SAP visibility and performance monitoring
- Real User Monitoring ($0.06/month/1000 tokens): Provides full visibility into your digital experience by offering business performance monitoring and end-user monitoring.
Due to cost and value for money factors, the Premium Edition would be the best choice.
5. Nagios – Best Agentless Server Monitoring
Server Monitoring Software With Most Extensive Add-ons Directory [Free Trial | Custom Pricing]
Nagios is my fifth recommendation and is a world-class enterprise founded in 2007 with an ambition to help companies with their IT infrastructure monitoring needs. Identifying and resolving complex IT infrastructure problems before they affect the critical functionings of a business is a strength of Nagios.
Reigning as the champion of the IT monitoring space, it ensures complete customer satisfaction across the board. Nagios does this by providing businesses with the option to use an agent or agentless server monitoring, hency removing human dependency. Plus, the company boasts almost 3500 add-ons for this purpose. It is also compatible with all major operating systems including a wide variety of Linux servers.
Nagios also has fast detection of network and server outages and protocol failures. Once detected, it alerts users of such performance issues immediately. As the most powerful and trusted infrastructure monitoring tool on the market, Nagios has helped Fortune 500 companies in their efforts to maintain stable networks and servers.
Due to its versatility and immense functionality, Nagios gets my recommendation to any business in the market for an all-in-one IT solution for their business. The software is packed with a full host of features that will prove useful to any company deploying large-scale server solutions.
Pros And Cons Of Nagios
|Equipped with quick detection of failed servers, services, processes, and batch jobs||Plug-ins can be a bit difficult to install at first|
|Gives you the top view down of your entire network infrastructure.|
|It provides root cause analysis of issues in the server|
Nagios Pricing Plan
Nagios offers a powerful solution to manage complex IT environments and their products can be availed using their free trial. However, for detailed pricing, it is recommended you reach out to the company directly.
6. Spiceworks – Most Feature-Packed Solution
Server Monitoring Software With Best Distributed HTTP Checks [Free]
Spiceworks provides a simple, easy-to-use server monitoring software that promises to reduce response times and catch problems even before users notice. You can begin server monitoring in minutes by:
- Setting up their connectivity dashboard
- Installing the monitoring agent on your workstation/ server
- Configuring the application URLs
Spiceworks offers real-time monitoring to its customers and is also releasing a new feature of real-time email and SMS alerts that inform you when a business-critical web application is unreachable by the users.
They are ahead of the curve and comprehensive in their approach to server monitoring. With Spiceworks, you get a dynamic dashboard, distributed HTTP check, and free support from IT professionals. You are also fully integrated into the Spiceworks IT management cloud tools suite at all times.
They have star-studded reviews which are remarkable compared to other competitors offering free services. Spiceworks also conducts regular webinars and events in the IT space, spearheading the movement to simplify IT.
They also offer other services alongside server monitoring that help keep your business on track, such as
- Managing contracts
- Launching help desks
- Inventory management
Nothing beats Spiceworks when it comes to value. There’s a lot you can get for free with this server monitoring solution and for this reason, its inclusion in my list was inevitable.
Pros And Cons Of Spiceworks
|No pricing plans, completely free to use forever||Ad placements in the software can be annoying|
|Allows for easy creation of tickets via email or input directly from staff||Not many customization options in the help desk view for techs|
|Has a responsive interface that runs on almost any device|
Spiceworks Pricing Plan
Spiceworks commits to a future where its product is free for anyone to use forever. The software is available for download and has no limits on licensing either.
7. Dynatrace – Best Automation Galore
Best Monitoring Software For Virtualized Network Infrastructures [Free Trial | $22/Month]
Dynatrace can have you set up to start server monitoring within minutes. It can show you your servers’ SPU, network, and memory health metrics down to the process level. This makes manual configuration of your monitoring setup unnecessary and Dynatrace is the only solution available that shows you process-specific network performance metrics.
Through its insight-driven technology, Dynatrace enables you to see virtualized environments with a bit more context. Using artificial intelligence, you can gain a deeper understanding of the impact issues are having on customer experience. You can detect and analyze problems across your entire technology stack.
The automation of complex processes ensures that you have a useful partner in Dynatrace. Trusted by thousands of global brands such as Dell, Kroger, and U-haul, Dynatrace has made an impact worldwide.
Their AI gives them meaningful insights for proactive problem solving and automation in the cloud means faster deployment of high-quality products. They also offer a free trial to those looking to test out what it’s like to have Dynatrace as a partner.
Due to its AI-driven solutions, Dynatrace is a versatile and feature-packed server monitoring software. For these reasons and more, it earns seventh place on my list.
Pros And Cons Of Dynatrace
|Offers many integration options||Could have more options for monitoring web servers|
|Can generate reports based on user-defined thresholds|
|Supports a vast variety of applications that can supplement real-time server monitoring|
Dynatrace Pricing Plan
Dynatrace provides a clear pricing plan for its different monitoring services. For server management solution, it has one plan that starts at $22/month. This plan offers 8GB per host and includes infrastructure monitoring, AIOps, and digital business analytics.
8. Datadog – Most Configurable & Versatile
Most Comprehensive Cloud-Ready Server Monitoring Software [Free]
Monitoring the performance of your servers is imperative when it comes to the smooth running of applications online. Datadog allows the admins to do so no matter how complex the environment is.
You get a full view of your systems to collect, correlate and monitor servers alongside data from your entire stack. You can also get a free trial for advanced plans and sign up for a live demonstration session. Datadog is an essential monitoring and security platform for the cloud age.
It makes your applications, third-party services, and infrastructure entirely observable by bringing together end-to-end traces, metrics, and logs. It monitors your server status in real-time with alerts on. It also actively measures and optimizes your server’s performance by spotting underutilized or overloaded hosts.
The client list of Datadog speaks for its excellence. Names like The Washington Post, Samsung, and 21st Century Fox entrust Datadog with their server monitoring needs. With a user-friendly interface, real-time graphs, and 500+ integrations, Datadog makes the process of gaining a deeper understanding of the status of your servers an easy one.
Datadog rounds off my list of the best server troubleshooting and managing software and has earned this spot due to its versatility and the plethora of features on offer. It has all the capabilities and more to handle everyday reporting, diagnostic, and management tasks for onsite and virtual servers.
Pros And Cons Of Datadog
|Can ingest all metrics, traces, and logs across applications, infrastructure, and third-party services||Can be difficult to locate metrics even if you are familiar with the software|
|Offers powerful and configurable UI and dashboards|
Datadog Pricing Plan
The Datadog server monitoring software comes in three plans.
- Free ($0): This plan offers core collection and visualization features.
- Pro ($15/month/host): This plan offers 500+ integrations with 15-month metric retention.
- Enterprise ($23/month/host): It has advanced features and administrative controls with machine learning-based alerts and live processes.
The Pro plan is a better option for small-to-medium-sized companies as it provides all the necessary functionalities without costing much.
Managing servers and ensuring there are no downtimes in the processing of your business is vital for the always-online and cloud-based corporate sector of today. But IT infrastructure quickly becomes complicated to manage as it scales up with the business.
Network monitoring is vital for businesses to ensure maximum uptime for their servers and that their apps and services continue to run as intended. With our selection of the eight best server monitoring software, your job of selecting the best service provider is made easy.
My top pick is Grafana due to its industry-best observability and accuracy. Zabbix is in at close second due to its flexible configurations and proactive monitoring capabilities. In the third position, I have placed Observium since it is the most low-maintenance option of the lot with expanded visibility.
You can visit my blog right away for additional information about the different productivity software that you can use to increase the efficiency of your company.