By Surajdeep Singh

What is Infrastructure Monitoring?

Infrastructure monitoring is the proactive analysis of application infrastructure that enables you to identify or predict performance issues before they become grave and ensures that network resources are functioning as intended.

For example, a large data center operating multiple servers could face instances where servers are running and consuming electricity without using any cycles or generating traffic. Appropriate information technology (IT) infrastructure monitoring would help prevent the loss of money, space, and time associated with running and maintaining unproductive servers. 

Why is Infrastructure Monitoring Important?

IT monitoring software automates the collection and analysis of information related to infrastructure components, be it on-premises or in the cloud. This allows IT teams to address the root cause of performance setbacks quicker and more efficiently.

As modern IT infrastructure is becoming more complex by the day, the need for performance monitoring tools to assist with infrastructure management is becoming more important to increase response time and reduce outages.

Here is how you can maximize value from your IT monitoring tool:

  • Leverage intelligent alerting to prioritize notifications
  • Harness automation
  • Build role-specific dashboards
  • Schedule a test run
  • Check your performance metrics regularly
  • Tap into your vendor’s expertise

We have made the process of selecting a sturdy IT infrastructure monitoring solution easier for you.

Also read: Best DevOps Monitoring Tools for 2021

Top Infrastructure Monitoring Tools

PRTG Network Monitor

PRTG Network Monitor by Paessler is an infrastructure monitoring and visualization tool that helps you stay one step ahead of IT infrastructure problems. The solution is robust, easy to use, and available in packages for businesses of all sizes. 

Key Differentiators

  • The tool monitors your entire IT infrastructure and supports all important technologies, including SNMP, WMI and Windows Performance Counters, SSH, HTTP requests, REST APIs returning JSON or XML, traffic analysis using packet sniffing or flow protocols, Ping, and SQL.
  • You can visualize the entire network using maps with real-time status information. Maps can be individualized with custom HTML and shared as a URL.
  • With PRTG Map Designer, you can create dashboards and integrate network components using over 300 different map objects, including top lists, traffic charts, and device and status icons.
  • With flexible alerting, you can customize the notification system to suit your needs. What’s more, with PRTG API you can write your own notifications. 
  • The infrastructure monitoring tool allows failover tolerant monitoring.
  • PRTG Remote Probes enable distributed monitoring.
  • The solution offers in-depth reporting capabilities. 
  • You can utilize the desktop and mobile PRTG Network Monitor applications with SSL-secured local and remote access.

Pricing: You can download a fully functional, 30-day free trial today. Paessler offers five perpetual PRTG licenses:

  • PRTG 500 is ideal for very small environments and is available for $1,750 per server license.
  • PRTG 1000 is perfect for small and medium environments and is available for $3,200 per server license.
  • PRTG 2500 is perfectly suited to medium-sized environments and is available for $6,500 per server license.
  • PRTG 5000 is ideally suited to large environments and is available for $11,500 per server license. It is the most popular package on offer. 
  • PRTG XL1 is suited to very large environments and is available for $15,500 per server license. 

ManageEngine OpManager

screenshot of ManageEngine OpManager

ManageEngine OpManager enables you to continuously monitor servers, routers, load balancers, switches, firewalls, virtual machines (VMs), printers, storage devices, etc., for fault and performance and provides in-depth network visibility and control. 

Key Differentiators

  • With over 2,000 built-in network performance monitors, you can analyze performance bottlenecks and monitor health and critical metrics like errors and discards, speed, latency, and packet loss. 
  • The solution offers physical and virtual server-monitoring capabilities. 
  • Multi-level thresholds enable you to proactively monitor network performance. 
  • You can access default dashboards or customize dashboards to suit your needs by utilizing over 200 different available performance widgets.
  • With the solution, you can view hop-by-hop performance to determine what is causing latency and fix it promptly.
  • Email and SMS alerting help you stay informed on the go. 
  • The IT monitoring tool enables you to automate and orchestrate ongoing maintenance tasks and first-level network fault troubleshooting steps with ease. 
  • The solution is affordable and easy to set up.

Pricing: You can download a free 30-day trial today. ManageEngine OpManager is available in three packages: Standard, Professional, and Enterprise. Chat with the ManageEngine team to request a price quote for 50–1,000 devices or simply fill out a form.

Zabbix Network Monitoring 

screensot of Zabbix Network Monitoring

Zabbix Network Monitoring is an open-source software that enables you to monitor network-related performance metrics and incidents, including network bandwidth usage, packet loss rate, network health, and configuration changes.

Key Differentiators

  • Numerous metric collection methods and protocols are available, such as IPv6 support, Active/Passive modes, SNMP, and IPMI. 
  • You can make use of flexible and extensible data gathering capabilities.
  • Auto-detect network devices and device configuration change. 
  • By defining hysteresis, you can avoid false positives.
  • Proactive network monitoring capabilities include network downtime prediction, bandwidth usage trend prediction, and network load anomaly detection.
  • You can leverage flexible notifications via delivery methods like email, SMS, messenger, jabber, or custom scripts.
  • Utilize out-of-the-box templates to monitor popular vendor devices, including the likes of D-Link, HP, Dell, Cisco, Broadcom, Intel, Juniper Networks, Extreme Networks, and Huawei. Templates come with pre-configured web scenarios, low-level discovery rules, screens, applications, graphs, triggers, and items.
  • Other features include remediation, event correlation, customized escalation scenarios, task automation, unlimited scalability, high-performance optimization, high availability, and security and authentication.

Pricing: Download the Zabbix Network Monitoring software for free. 

Datadog IT Infrastructure Monitoring

Screenshot of Datadog IT Infrastructure Monitoring

Datadog IT Infrastructure Monitoring enables you to track the performance and health of your entire IT landscape. From a single, unified platform, you can leverage over 450 vendor-backed integrations to obtain complete stack visibility; identify areas that need addressing; and dive into the relevant logs, traces, metrics, etc.

Key Differentiators

  • With more than 450 turnkey integrations, such as MongoDB, Kubernetes, and EC2, you can set up the software in a few simple steps.
  • With open-source, lightweight, and easy-to-install agents, you can collect events and metrics from individual containers and VMs. Leverage DogStatsD to collect custom metrics.   
  • Using tools like Ansible, Puppet, and Chef, the software scales with your dynamic infrastructure. 
  • You can identify and diagnose problems in IT infrastructure by harnessing the Host Map, tags, out-of-the-box dashboards, and live process monitoring capabilities. 
  • With metrics like estimated cost, duration, and memory for each invocation, you can visualize the health of serverless functions.
  • You can inform on-call engineers with alerts driven by machine learning (ML). Integrate with services like Slack and Jira to establish effective collaboration.

Pricing: Fill out a form to sample Datadog IT Infrastructure Monitoring for 14 days, and monitor as many servers as you fancy. Reach out to the Datadog team for product pricing information.

SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor

screenshot of SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor

SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor is a comprehensive server and application monitoring platform as the name suggests. The solution’s key features include end-to-end monitoring, server capacity planning, custom application monitoring, application dependency mapping, and Azure monitoring.

Key Differentiators

  • With over 1,200 monitoring templates, including Apache Server Monitoring, Microsoft Monitoring, AWS Cloud Monitoring, and Azure Performance Monitoring, you can easily monitor server performance across all environments. 
  • The solution delivers complete network visibility through a single pane of glass. 
  • By combining the solution with Database Performance Analyzer and Virtualization Manager, you can view resource utilization, capacity, uptime, and performance across the IT stack. 
  • You can develop maps and poll dependencies to monitor incoming network connections for a managed application or server. This helps provide critical insights. 
  • With deep dive diagnostics, you can identify and troubleshoot performance problems before they impact end-users. 
  • Intelligent monitoring alerts inform you when health indicators reach warning or dangerous thresholds and eliminate false positives. 
  • End-to-end monitoring automation increases agility. 
  • The infrastructure monitoring tool helps you monitor resource usage and server capacity for server capacity planning.

Pricing: SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor starts at $1,622. You can download a fully-functional 30-day free trial, request an interactive demo, or request a quote from the SolarWinds team. 

Choosing Infrastructure Monitoring Tools

Each of the discussed infrastructure monitoring tools is worth purchasing. However, one is likely to be a better fit for your organization than the others. To determine which of the five infrastructure monitoring software you should buy, carefully assess product catalogs, review pricing plans, and look through honest customer reviews on leading portals. 

Read next: Top Automation Software for Managing IT Processes

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