Today’s vastly complicated IT infrastructures are impossible to set up, navigate, and manage without the help of system monitoring software. And this is to be expected since the technology of the present is interconnected but relies on independent processing and capabilities.
System monitoring tools can help manage all devices from a single pane of glass. These tools are vital in ensuring any business’s IT infrastructure runs without as many hiccups as possible. System admins also only intervene when something goes wrong.
Not only is this reactionary approach risky to manage, but can also be incredibly time-intensive. Smarter monitoring requires smart solutions and system monitoring and management tools are an excellent option. But I understand that picking the first name that shows up in a Google search result isn’t how most businesses select their preferred tool.
Having worked in the tech industry for more than ten years and having personally used different system monitoring software, I have curated a thorough list of the 8 best tools. By the time you’re done reading, you’ll be well-versed on the features to look for in a system monitoring software and how to pick the most capable option for the job.
- What Is The Best System Monitoring Software?
- 1. Datadog – Top Pick
- 2. Atera – Most Proactive Remote Monitoring
- 3. Solarwinds – Best For Full-Stack Observability
- 4. PRTG Network Monitor – Most Flexible & Customizable
- 5. Site24x7 – Most Reliable Functionality
- 6. Nagios – Most Extendable Architecture
- 7. Zabbix – Best Developer-Led System
- 8. ManageEngine OpManager – Most Uncomplicated Solutions
What Is The Best System Monitoring Software?
My top selections for the best system monitoring software are Datadog, Atera, and Solarwinds.
|Best overall. Secure monitoring at any scale. Free to use.||Cross-platform solutions. Best for system visibility. Starts at $99.||Most customizable system monitoring system. Pricing is available on-demand.|
|Try Datadog||Try Atera||Try Solarwinds|
I’ve detailed the best software for system monitoring below. The list is compiled keeping all their salient features and drawbacks in mind. But you can’t go wrong with any of these.
1. Datadog – Top Pick
Best System Monitoring Software With Effortless Deployment [Free]
Datadog is an incredibly versatile option for any business with a plethora of features to back it up and a cloud-ready environment making deployment easy and painless. Trusted by some of the biggest names in the business, Datadog is a reputable solution for any company looking for the best-in-class solutions for system and network monitoring.
The software is currently used by Samsung, 21st Century Fox, and Peloton to manage their systems and can handle even the most demanding of performance monitoring. The company also offers a serverless solution for startups and smaller businesses. Datadog is the perfect solution for anyone looking for an all-in-one tool with functionalities such as:
- Log management
- Database monitoring
- Sensitive data scanner
- Application monitoring
The company has also provided its software services to a variety of industries making it extremely adept at handling the unique demands of every business. The tool features comprehensive dashboards providing real-time updates on the system and timely notifications in the event of a malfunction or error.
Pros And Cons Of Datadog
|Has incredibly robust dashboards providing multi-faceted information||Instant notifications can be inconsistent at times|
|Easy to deploy in any environment due to its cloud-based architecture|
|Has the ability to run in multiple industry environments|
|Offers integration with Amazon Web Services, Kubernetes, and Microsoft Azure|
Datadog Pricing Plan
The Datadog system monitoring software comes in three plans, and the details are provided on their website. You can also find the details of their plans below:
- Free ($0): Supports up to 5 hosts with one-day metric retention.
- Pro ($15/host/month): Offers 500+ integrations with 15-month metric retention.
- Enterprise ($23/host/month): Comes with Machine Learning-based alerts with live processes.
2. Atera – Most Proactive Remote Monitoring
System Management Software With Best Visibility & Control [Free Trial | $99/User/Month]
Atera is an all-in-one remote monitoring and management software for IT professionals around the globe. The software offers professional services automation and is an extremely versatile option for any business looking to manage its infrastructure monitoring with ease and is also capable of:
Atera’s capabilities as a robust system management software are evidenced by the clients they have in their portfolio. The company lends its software-as-a-service (SaaS) to:
- American Psychological Association
Plus, the software is built with great attention to detail and it shows in its intuitive and user-oriented design. The dashboard is simple to use, has a clear interface, and navigation is a painless experience too. Users have the option to set up IT automation to power their work processes and feature a shared script library as well.
Deployed in over 105 countries, with more than 10,000 active customers, Atera is an easy recommendation due to its popularity and versatility. It is a scalable solution for businesses of all sizes. And with cross-platform compatibility (Windows and Mac), the software is a breeze to run regardless of what environment you choose.
Pros And Cons Of Atera
|Offers an easy setup process with remote accessibility||Reports of occasional delays in instant alerts function|
|Cross-platform support enables the program to run on Windows and Mac systems|
|Works as a PSA and RMM all-in-one hybrid|
Atera Pricing Plan
Atera has a transparent pricing model and provides complete details of its plans on its website. While the software is free to get started, users are required to upgrade to a plan for additional features and capabilities. These plans are
- Pro ($99/user/month): Offers OS and software patching with remote access using Splashtop.
- Growth ($129/user/month): Comes with unlimited Splashtop concurrent sessions and supports up to 10 addresses.
- Power ($169/user/month): Offers unlimited support address and Geo-redundant database.
3. Solarwinds – Best For Full-Stack Observability
Top System Management Software With Fully-Featured Virtualization Manager [Custom Pricing]
Solarwinds isn’t the run-of-the-mill everyday system monitoring software most would expect. It is a fully-featured platform with rich capabilities to handle even the most demanding reporting and monitoring from complex systems.
Deployed in large-scale companies, Solarwinds is the go-to option for any business looking for advanced functionality that provides end-to-end server health and application performance monitoring. The software can provide detailed reporting on IT infrastructure, app performance, and networks and also has the support to monitor:
- Azure and AWS IaaS
The software can help businesses detect any malfunctions and errors in their system too and provide a detailed troubleshooting diagnosis on the matter. Solarwinds also works as a virtual machine monitor designed to optimize system performance and reduce response time by fixing issues in minutes.
Users can gain visibility into system changes and can use it to compare different configurations over time. Solarwinds can power your IT setup and help improve it. Solarwinds slots in nicely at third place on my list and for good reasons too. Being the first of its kind to handle large-scale IT deployments, it is a unique offering compared to the rest on the list.
Pros And Cons Of Solarwinds
|An excellent option for large-scale companies and businesses||No free plan is available at this time|
|Offers software and services under the same banner|
|Works as a VMware too and has detailed reporting on system analytics|
|Can help manage remote sessions in a professional way|
Solarwinds Pricing Plan
Solarwinds is a comprehensive option for most businesses and can help leverage their management and monitoring aspects with ease. Unfortunately, the company does not provide a pricing plan for its products but you can contact the company directly for a precise estimate.
4. PRTG Network Monitor – Most Flexible & Customizable
Best System Monitoring Software For OT & IoT Infrastructures [Free Trial | $1,799/Server License]
Paessler is the company behind the development of the PRTG Network Monitor, and the software is currently in use by some of the biggest names in the IT sector. The product is deployed by Dell, Cisco, and Fujitsu, and is even a VMWare partner.
The system software can help provide detailed reports and analytics on all systems, devices, network traffic, and apps in your existing IT infrastructure. PRTG is also a fully-featured program that does not require the additional downloading of plugins or third-party tools to extend its capabilities.
From a single dashboard, PRTG allows businesses to manage.:
- Bandwidth usage and threshold
With colorful and extensive reporting through its dashboards, users have the option to toggle specific graphs for their analytics and have comprehensive information on all aspects of their system.
PRTG Network Monitor has raving reviews, is trusted by numerous businesses around the world, and is fully featured right out of the box. However, it is one of the more expensive options on my list, so it may not be suited for smaller businesses.
Pros And Cons Of PRTG Network Monitor
|Offer flexibility in monitoring choices (SNMP, Scripts, PINGS, WMI)||Primarily Windows-based and although it can be ported for Linux, the experience is buggy|
|Easy to set up and run|
|Gives excellent outputting/exporting options for structured historical data|
PRTG Network Monitor Pricing Plan
PRTG Network Monitor is proprietary software that can be downloaded for free for 30 days and has pricing plans to extend the usability of the software from then on. These plans are detailed below:
- PRTG 500 ($1,799/server license): Monitors 500 aspects or 50 devices on the network.
- PRTG 1000 ($3,399/server license): Monitors 1000 aspects or 100 devices on the network.
- PRTG 2500 ($6,899/server license): Monitors 2500 aspects or 250 devices on the network.
- PRTG 5000 ($11,999/server license): Monitors 5000 aspects or 500 devices on the network.
- PRTG XL1 ($15,999/server license): Monitors 10000 aspects or 1000 devices on the network.
5. Site24x7 – Most Reliable Functionality
System Monitoring Software Ideal For Enterprise-Scale Monitoring [Free Trial | $9/Month]
Site24x7 is my fifth recommendation and is a competent network management software for monitoring websites and overall server performance. The tool is versatile and can be operated from both mobile devices and desktop computers.
It provides the flexibility for monitoring alerts to be received via phone, text SMS, email, or browser offering software services to both small and large-sized corporations. Moreover, it entails an MSP-licensed feature that allows the user to monitor different clients separately.
Prominent clients such as Harley Davidson, NASA, and Ford, to name a few, trust Site24x7 as their go-to software company to acquire an exhaustive understanding of their company’s infrastructure and application. The company also offers a free trial for a short period providing an opportunity to increase familiarity with the software.
The constant monitoring feature of its software makes it a reliable tool to monitor outages which, in turn, enables the IT department of the company to carry out operations with a high level of efficiency and reliability.
Site24x7 is one of the best recommendations for any business looking for a dedicated system monitoring tool for various budgets. However, their enterprise plans include the most features and may be the best-suited option for large-scale companies.
Pros And Cons Of Site24x7
|The software provides rare certification monitoring||The user interface is known to be confusing and clunky|
|Provides support for scripting languages such as PowerShell, Bat, API, Python, and C|
|It provides root cause analysis and the traceroute when something goes wrong|
Site24x7 Pricing Plan
Site 24×7 has a transparent pricing strategy and even offers a 30-day free trial to new businesses. Once the trial is over, you would need to purchase any one of its four plans. These are
- Starter ($9/mo): Monitoring of 10 websites/servers/clouds with 100K RUM Pageviews and one site.
- Pro ($35/mo): Monitoring of 40 websites/servers/clouds with 500K RUM Pageviews and five sites.
- Classic ($89/mo): Monitoring of 100 websites/servers/clouds with 1M RUM Pageviews and ten sites.
- Enterprise ($225/mo): Offers custom options.
6. Nagios – Most Extendable Architecture
System Monitoring Software With Most Comprehensive IT Infrastructure Monitoring [Free]
Nagios is a world-class enterprise founded in 2007 with an ambition to help companies with their IT infrastructure needs. It delivers products and services for IT monitoring and security to millions of customers worldwide.
Reigning as the undisputed champion of the IT monitoring space, it ensures complete customer satisfaction across the board. Identifying and resolving complex on-premise IT infrastructure problems before they affect the critical functionings of a business is a strength of Nagios.
It forms a powerful IT management system and monitoring suite by boasting a variety of offerings such as:
- Nagios Core
- Nagios Fusion
- Nagios Log Server
- Nagios Network Analyzer
The diversity of its customer base reflects that Nagios is well-equipped to meet a variety of business needs. From Universities like St. Thomas to coat factories to telecom providers to stock exchange groups, all rely on it for efficient IT solutions.
With countless awards in its name, including that of “Best Monitoring Application” for the sixth consecutive year, Nagios represents the best in the IT marketplace. Due to its versatility and powerful functionality, Nagios gets my recommendation to any business in the market for an all-in-one IT solution for their business.
Pros And Cons Of Nagios
|Offers extreme customization through add-ons provided by a wide community of users||Takes work to get running. Installation documentation while complete is not always clear|
|The Core version is free and fully functional||Installation of add-ons can be difficult as most depend on creator-supplied documentation|
|Allows agent and agentless monitoring|
Nagios Pricing Plan
Nagios offers 3 pricing plans:
- Core (Free): Offers to monitor 7 nodes and comes with 100 total; host and service checks.
- Standard ($1995 – One-Time License): Offers to monitor 100 nodes and comes with GUI configuration and notification escalations.
- Enterprise ($3495 – One-Time License): Offers to monitor 200 nodes and comes with scheduled reporting and bulk-modification tools.
7. Zabbix – Best Developer-Led System
Open-Source System Monitoring Software With Best Distributed Monitoring Infrastructure [Free]
Zabbix offices span continents, making system monitoring for users easier and more direct. Zabbix claims to be 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.
Zabbix offers a variety of deployment options where you remain fully in control of your data at all times. Some of the key features of Zabbix are:
- 24/7 availability
- Safety and security
- Scalable to any infrastructure
- Offers high availability solutions
- Seamless integration with the systems you already use
- Flexible in the way you transform, analyze, and visualize data
Zabbix customers are well reputed, many of them included in the Fortune 500 lists. The world’s biggest educational, retail, healthcare, and government institutions trust Zabbix with their IT suite. Global brands such as Dell, ICANN, and SalesForce are all found in the roster of Zabbix clients that now benefit from their professional services.
Due to its open-source nature, Zabbix is an automatic inclusion in my list. The software has a dedicated community of developers extending its lifespan and adding more features with each iteration.
Pros And Cons Of Zabbix
|Flexible and can be customized to fit pretty much any use case||Does not have official support and updates are provided by the Zabbix community|
|Offers highly customizable dashboards, maps, graphs, and out-of-box templates|
|Can monitor any kind of IT solution, like servers, networks, services, virtual machines, databases or websites.|
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. This means that the software is completely free to use for all companies regardless of scale or size.
8. ManageEngine OpManager – Most Uncomplicated Solutions
System Monitoring Software With Best End-To-End Visibility & Analytics [Free Demo | $245 For One-Time License]
ManageEngine OpManager is an easy-to-use and affordable network monitoring solution. It provides real-time network monitoring which makes drilling down to the root cause of problems simpler. Performance issues are eliminated before operations are affected.
It offers detailed insights into said problem areas and can easily monitor all network devices which have an IP. The goal of ManageEngine OpManager is to simplify end-to-end system monitoring. It does so by providing features such as:
- WAN link monitoring
- Multi-level thresholds
- Customizable dashboards
- Real-time network monitoring
- Physical and virtual server monitoring
It is also affordable and easy to set up, equipping its customer base with uncomplicated network performance monitoring. Trusted by the likes of L’oreal, Nasa, DHL, and Siemens, it is no doubt that ManageEngine’s philosophy of making the customer’s jobs easier has attracted the attention of the best.
They have 120+ award-winning products to boast about and also offer free tools for the user’s benefit. ManageEngine has crafted a comprehensive IT management software that optimizes your IT in the simplest way possible by providing critical information like:
- Thread Count
- Memory and CPU usage
- PGSQL database details
- Connected network devices
My list concludes with the inclusion of ManageEngine OpManager. A great and affordable option since it requires a one-time payment, and has all the capabilities and more to handle everyday reporting, diagnostic, and management tasks.
Pros And Cons Of ManageEngine OpManager
|Offers personalized demo||Does not have a sensor for Azure or AWS metrics|
|Has integration with Site24x7, Prometheus, and ServiceNow|
ManageEngine OpManager Pricing Plan
ManageEngine OpManager is a custom solution for businesses and as such, has the option for personalized quotes directly from the company.
The software has three plans on offer online:
- Standard ($245 – One-Time License): Works on 10 devices and offers CSV and network discovery.
- Professional ($345 – One-Time License): Works on 10 devices and offers layer 2 discovery and discovery rule engine.
- Enterprise ($11,545 – One-Time License): Works on 250 devices and offers SNMP trap monitoring and adaptive thresholds.
IT infrastructure is tricky to set up and even more difficult to manage without the proper tools on the site. System monitoring software and tools are the preferred solutions for most companies due to their excellent reporting and diagnostic capabilities.
These tools are vital in managing complex systems and IT environments today, and most businesses would be remiss without them. My list today provides the best options for all types of companies on every budget. From open-source solutions to software with free trials to ones that are fit for extreme IT systems, you have the details on them all.
My top pick is Datadog due to its host of options and easy deployment in any type of IT infrastructure. A close second is Atera due to its proactive monitoring and great control remotely. In the third position is Solarwinds which offers great observability capabilities and a very capable virtualization manager.
While it is always best to research well on the subject before you make a definitive decision, my list of managed service providers for system monitoring does a lot of it for you.
If you’re looking for more lists on the best software for home, business, and personal use, my blog is an excellent guide. I post articles on various different types of software and rank them based on utility, quality, and affordability. Visit my blog today for similar pieces today.