When offering services to consumers, you must monitor everything that might have an influence on your success, from low-level performance metrics to high-level business key performance indicators. From server-side logs to stack traces, you'll have complete insight into your product's business and software operations.

Cloud monitoring tools and services can help with this. They assist you in managing, monitoring, and assessing the performance of your cloud computing architecture, infrastructure, services, and applications, as well as ensuring that your users and clients can fully utilize your platform.

What Is Cloud Monitoring?

The process of getting visibility into your cloud-based infrastructure, services, apps, and user experience is known as cloud monitoring. It allows you to monitor the environment, assess, and forecast the overall infrastructure's performance and availability, or dive into each component individually.

Cloud monitoring collects observability data from your whole IT infrastructure, analyzes it, and presents it in a manner that people and machines can understand, such as charts, graphs, and alarms.

Table of Contents
 

How to Choose the Best Cloud Monitoring Tools

When choosing cloud monitoring tools, make sure the product you choose fits a few important criteria to ensure compatibility and value. The following are some critical requirements to consider.

Comprehensive Visibility

Because cloud apps, users, and resources are dispersed, you must monitor a much larger number of components than traditional infrastructures. Look for software that can consolidate and correlate data from several systems while also providing end-to-end tracing.

Cloud Integrations Natively

Ideally, seek products that can interface seamlessly with your current systems and suppliers. You add more points of failure the more agents, plugins, or custom integrations you need to incorporate. If a component is updated, you risk losing compatibility.

Cloud-Aware Pricing

Traditional on-premises cloud monitoring tools are frequently charged based on the number of devices or users that will be monitored. Because of the changing nature of cloud resources, this price system does not perform effectively. Look for alternatives that allow you to float charges from month to month or have variable pricing.

Scalability

When you combine cloud settings with the Internet of Things (IoT) or other streaming devices, you get a lot of data. Especially with customer-facing apps and services, user volumes might vary. Any monitoring solution you use must be able to handle the massive volumes of data generated by your workloads and users. 

10 Cloud Monitoring Tools

For monitoring your cloud activities, there are several native and third-party solutions available. You may want to utilize a single, generalist tool or a set of specialist tools, depending on your cloud environment. Consider the following tools to guarantee that you are monitoring your surroundings thoroughly.

1. Amazon Cloudwatch

Developers, system operators, site reliability engineers, and IT administrators can use Amazon CloudWatch to monitor and manage their systems. It provides valuable and timely insights to monitor applications, understand and respond to system-wide performance changes, optimize resource utilization, and create a unified view of operational wellness.

Amazon's cloud monitoring tool overview

Source

CloudWatch can gather and analyze both metrics and log data and can be integrated with over 70 AWS services. You can also use the service to trigger automated actions and processes when combined with CloudWatch Events.

Features:

  • All information will be available on a single platform.
  • The most comprehensive and in-depth knowledge about AWS Resources.
  • Cross-application, infrastructure, and service visibility
  • Diminish Time to Resolution and Progress Average TCO stands for Total Cost of Ownership.
  • Pay just for the services you utilize

Pros:

  • It may be used to set high-resolution alerts and view logs and data from a different perspective.
  • Troubleshoot difficulties and automate operations to improve apps.
  • Logs, metrics, and events are used to assemble data.
  • Compatible with other AWS products.

Cons:

  • The ability to customize dashboards should be improved.
  • The user interface is extensive.
  • Manually constructed alerts and alarms
  • Transferring alarms and alert information are not present.

Pricing:

Volume-based pricing means you only pay for the information you want to see and how thorough it is. The free tier allows for 5-minute metric granularity monitoring of your AWS services. EBS volumes, RDS DB instances, and Elastic Load Balancers are all eligible for the free tier. It includes up to ten metrics and then monthly alarms.

The free tier also provides up to 5GB of logs per month, three dashboards, and 100 synthetic monitor runs per month. The cost of the paid tier is determined by consumption. For example, one-minute granularity measurements start at $0.30 per metric per month for the first 10,000 metrics and drop to $0.02 per metric per month once one million metrics are sent.

2. NewRelic

Among the most recent cloud monitoring tools, NewRelic is used widely. This tool is suited for cloud infrastructure monitoring, which is complicated and dynamic. The New Relic tool aids in the real-time knowledge of cloud apps and cloud servers. Page load, list of operating servers, error rates, and sluggish transactions can all be monitored from a single location. New Relic also assists with database performance monitoring by performing a SQL query.

Newrelic Dashboard

Source

Features:

  • Error rates, website load times, sluggish transactions, and a list of running servers may all be viewed in one location.
  • New Relic checks database performance by executing a SQL query.
  • When an issue occurs, you may set your own alerts and cautions.
  • Make your own dashboards.

Pros:

  • It is adaptable and simple to install.
  • The information granularity is superb.
  • Create your own alert metrics by integrating with multiple tools.

Cons:

  • In the beginning, metrics might seem perplexing.
  • The mobile application could be improved.

Pricing:

Pricing is depending on the features and is based on annual and monthly compute units or host-based pricing. Computing units, which are derived by multiplying the total number of CPUs by the amount of RAM in your system, multiplied by the number of running hours, maybe the best solution for tiny services.

3. Dynatrace

Dynatrace is a full-stack observability solution with a user-friendly interface for monitoring cloud apps, infrastructure, and logs. It offers a single operating agent that can be managed via the Dynatrace UI once deployed, making monitoring simple and enjoyable to use. It will meet most of your monitoring needs when it comes to application performance monitoring, actual users, logs, and infrastructure. It is available in both software as a service and on-premise models.

Dynatrace best cloud monitoring tool

Source

Features:

  • Dashboarding and comprehensive integrations for frequently used tools, as well as code-level tracing, are available for cloud application performance monitoring.
  • Support for advanced log analysis, including automated detection of common system and application log types.
  • Monitoring of real and simulated users.
  • Memory dumps, exceptions, and CPU analysis, as well as top database and web queries, are all possible with diagnostic tools.
  • Integrations with Docker, Kubernetes, and OpenShift.
  • Support for Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform

Pros:

  • Straightforward agent installation with UI help for novice users with demo data to gain a better understanding of the product.
  • You can monitor the logs of your cloud services and apps using a sophisticated integration library - virtually anything can be done from the UI.
  • An intuitive and powerful top-to-bottom view of the whole stack, from the mobile/web application through the middle layer and database.
  • Dedicated problem-solving features to aid in problem-solving speed and efficiency.

Cons:

  • Many options might be intimidating at first, but the solution makes every effort to assist new users.
  • In comparison to AppDynamics and Datadog, for example, business metrics analysis is still restricted.
  • When compared to other serverless alternatives on the market, such as Datadog, New Relic, and AppDynamics, the serverless offering is restricted.
  • Only once you join up can you get pricing information.

Pricing:

The pricing is based on the features. Pricing for application performance monitoring is based on the number of hosts and the amount of RAM each host has. Each 16GB is a host unit, and the pricing is based on how many host units are used in an hour. The price of actual user monitoring is determined by the number of sessions, whereas synthetics monitoring is determined by the number of activities. Finally, similar to the other suppliers discussed in this post, the logs component of the solution is computed depending on volume.

4. LogicMonitor

LogicMonitor is a quick and easy way to set up a server monitoring architecture. The platform's automatic discovery capability, which employs several protocols to quickly locate and monitor devices and applications, is a crucial distinction.

Cloud Server monitoring tool

Source

LogicMonitor can monitor servers on-premises as well as hypervisors and cloud installations.

Features:

  • With their agentless and cloud-based collection, implementation takes only a few minutes.
  • SNMP, jFlow, NetFlow, sFlow, WMI, NBAR2, and IPFIX are all used for monitoring.
  • LogicMonitor provides a comprehensive picture of the network, making it simple to browse and diagnose problems.
  • Intelligent alerts, network topology mapping, and root cause analysis
  • This network management tool has powerful visualization and configurable dashboard tools that let you rapidly understand your system, how it's linked, and what problems are affecting performance.
  • Auto-discovery of any device on any network with over 2000 out-of-the-box connections with leading brands.

Pros:

  • Cloud-based application performance monitoring
  • Assets in hybrid cloud settings may be monitored.
  • The dashboard may be personalized and preserved, which makes it ideal for multiple NOC teams or individual users.

Cons:

  • Reporting needs improvement
  • Free trial: 14- days, the free version

Pricing:

Pricing for LogicMonitor varies based on the demands of each company; therefore, you'll need to contact the vendor for a tailored price. The platform, however, is available in two major editions: Pro and Enterprise.

  • The platform's cloud-based architecture is fully accessible with the Pro edition. The package can accommodate up to 199 devices.
  • More AI-based features, such as root cause analysis, dynamic thresholds, forecasting, and more, have been added to the Enterprise version. More than 200 devices are supported by this package.

5. AppDynamics

AppDynamics offers cloud-based network monitoring solutions in both a software as a service and an on-premise approach, allowing you to examine the performance of the whole stack that powers your services. It caters to large businesses by allowing them to link application performance indicators with infrastructure data, alerts, and business-level KPIs. The platform provides you with information about your environment, ranging from top-level transactions that business leaders can understand to code-level data that DevOps and engineers can use.

Appneuralic Dashboard

Source

Features:

  • End-user monitoring using real-time, synthetic, and internet of things monitoring on smartphones and browsers.
  • Cloud infrastructure monitoring with insight into network components, databases, and servers provides data on status, usage, and flow between each part.
  • Business-oriented dashboards and features visualize and analyze the relationships between performance and business-related data.
  • Anomaly identification and root cause investigation were helped by Machine Learning.
  • Email templating and period digest features are available for alerting.

Pros:

  • Very specific information on the environment, such as JVM application launch settings, JVM version, and so on.
  • Provides sophisticated language features, such as automated leak detection and object instance tracking for the JVM-based stack.
  • Connections between system components, environment aspects, endpoint response times, and business activities are all visible.
  • Up to code-level visibility and automatic diagnostics are provided for server and application metrics.

Cons:

  • Pricing is prohibitively costly, complicated, and opaque. Concentrated on conventional high-touch sales tactics and selling to major corporations.
  • The agent must be manually downloaded and started during installation; there is no one-line installation and configuration function.
  • Some fundamental data, such as system CPU, memory, and network consumption, are not available in the free plan.
  • Compared to some of the other tools described in this description that enable comprehensive dashboarding features, such as Sematext, Datadog, or New Relic, slicing and dicing through the data is more difficult.

Pricing:

AppDynamics APM now supports AWS, Lambda, Microsoft Azure, as well as Docker and Kubernetes monitoring. The Enterprise Edition, which includes APM, cloud infrastructure monitoring, and business performance monitoring tools for $90.00 per month per CPU core, is the most expensive.

A 15-day trial of AppDynamics is available for free.

6. Datadog

Datadog excels in reducing complicated data points in vast contexts. This is accomplished through its powerful filtering and elegant UI, which makes combining data from many cloud services even simpler.

most popular cloud monitoring platform Datadog

Source

Simple pre-configured connectors with some of the most popular platforms, including AWS, GCP, Alibaba Cloud, and Azure, are available. Over 400 more platforms and services, such as Slack and PagerDuty, have been integrated. Datadog also provides strong API access for developers that need to consolidate data from custom-built apps.

Features:

  • Monitoring cloud application performance with a wide variety of connectors and support for distributed tracing.
  • Centralization and analysis of logs
  • Monitoring of real users and synthetics
  • Monitoring of the network and hosts.
  • The dashboard architecture enables the creation and sharing of nearly anything using the metrics and logs supplied.
  • Machine learning skills for alerting.
  • Collaboration software for group conversations.
  • API that allows you to interact with data, tags, and dashboards.

Pros:

  • All-in-one observability system, including metrics, logs, security, real-world users, and synthetics.
  • Hosts, containers, processes, networks, and serverless capabilities are all monitored as part of the infrastructure.
  • Applications, containers, cloud providers, clients, and common log shippers are all included in the rich logs integration.
  • Data analysis tools that are both powerful and adaptable, with alerts and bespoke dashboards.

Cons:

  • For newbies, the installation process for anything beyond basic metrics might be overwhelming.
  • NetFlow data is not automatically included.

Pricing:

Datadog has three pricing levels, the first of which is a fully free tier with restricted capabilities but still includes basic data collecting and visualization functions. When invoiced annually, paid services start at $15.00 per month. Organizations that monitor over 500 hosts per month qualify for enterprise bulk savings.

A free 30-day trial of Datadog cloud monitoring platform allows you to try out all the capabilities.

7. Hyperic

Hyperic by VMware is one of the best cloud monitoring tools available today. This tool is suitable for monitoring cloud-based applications, as well as operating systems, networks, and middleware. Hyperic may be used to get a complete picture of infrastructure as well as monitor performance. Hyperic also aids in the tracking of logs and modifications throughout the many layers of the server virtualization stack.

Hyperaulic

Source

Features:

  • vSphere auto-discovery of all virtualized application components
  • Discovers, monitors, and maintains software and network resources automatically.
  • Apps running Unix, Linux, Windows, Solaris, AIX, HPUX, VMware, and Amazon Web Services are all monitored.
  • Databases, application servers, middleware, web servers, network devices, and other typical components are all included.
  • vCenter and vSphere integration make it ideal for virtual environments.

Pros:

  • High-level monitoring features that are powerful
  • Graphing, alerts, and a well-designed user interface make navigating simple.

Cons:

  • It does not include automated remedial measures.
  • Running Hyperic HQ's remediation feature requires additional manual work.

Pricing:

Hyperic's flagship HQ product comes in two flavors: Hyperic HQ - Hyperic's open-source product is GNU GPL v2 licensed. HQ Enterprise - Hyperic's enterprise solution contains all the open-source version's capabilities plus extra automation and control tools for managing web applications at scale. Hyperic's HQ Enterprise is available for download as a free trial under a Commercial License. The enterprise trial has a limit of 50 managed cloud monitoring platforms and usually lasts 30 to 45 days.

8. Instana

All services, infrastructure, and interdependencies are automatically discovered and mapped by Instana's Enterprise Observability Platform, which is driven by automated Application Performance Monitoring. Instana ingests all observability metrics, traces each request, profiles every process, and updates application dependency maps in real-time to provide Dev+Ops with the context and actionable feedback they need to improve application performance, enable innovation, and mitigate risk, allowing them to add value and efficiency to the pipeline.

Instana Summary Dashboard

Source

Features:

  • Relevant metric collecting is fully integrated into the Instana Dynamic Graph
  • Behavioral learning with full AI support
  • Every request generates a trace.

Pros:

  • Keeps 100% of Trace requests
  • Simple query interface
  • Easy to integrate
  • Insight into RCA

Pricing:

If invoiced yearly, Instana costs $75 per host every month. Open standards such as Prometheus, StatsD, OpenTracing, and Opencensus are also supported.

9. Solarwinds

SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor is simple to install and use, and it can be up and running in no time. The utility detects network devices automatically and deploys them within an hour. Its straightforward approach to network management makes it one of the most user-friendly and intuitive user interfaces available.

The product is very adaptable, and the user interface is simple to administer and update. The web-based performance dashboards, charts, and views may all be customized. For your entire network infrastructure, you may create a custom topology. You may also develop personalized dependency-aware intelligent warnings.

Solarwinds dashboard

Source

Features:

  • Automatically discover and scan networks for both wired and wireless computers and devices
  • Forecasting & Capacity Planning for a Wide Range of OEM Vendors
    With the NetPathTM Critical Path visualization function, you can quickly pinpoint network performance issues.
  • Analyze critical data points and pathways throughout your network with an easy-to-use performance dashboard.
  • Robust Alerting System with Simple/Complex Trigger Options
  • With their New Network InsightTM for CISCO ASA, you can keep an eye on your CISCO ASA networks.
  • Monitor your Cisco ASA's ACLs, VPN, Interface, and Monitor.
  • Firewall Rules is a tool for monitoring firewall rules. Analysis of Critical Network Paths and Components in the Browser
  • Discover and map networks automatically, including topology views.

Pros:

  • Supports auto-discovery, which generates real-time network topology maps and inventory lists based on devices that join the network.
  • Has some of the greatest alerting features, balancing efficacy and usability.
  • Supports both SNMP monitoring and packet analysis, offering you greater monitoring flexibility than comparable solutions.
  • Customizes the look and feel of the dashboard by dragging and dropping widgets.
  • There are several pre-configured templates, reports, and dashboard views available.

Cons:

  • Non-technical users may find some capabilities overwhelming because this is a feature-rich corporate solution built for sysadmins.
  • There isn't a lot of integration with third-party products.

Pricing:

The program is supplied in modules depending on your needs. SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor costs $1,995 for a one-time license that includes the first year of maintenance. You can also get a 30 days fully functional trial.

10. SumoLogic

Sumo Logic is a cloud monitoring platform that focuses heavily on working with logs, and it excels at it. With tools like LogReduce and LogCompare, you may not only see logs from a certain time period but also decrease the amount of data you need to study and compare periods to identify intriguing inconsistencies and abnormalities. When you combine it with analytics and security, you have a powerful tool for monitoring your environment.

sumologic dashboard

Source

Features:

  • Log analysis using the LogReduce technique allows you to cluster similar messages, and LogCompare allows you to compare data from two different time periods.
  • Field extraction allows the researcher to extract data from unstructured data using rules.
  • Monitoring application performance using real-time alerts and dashboarding
    Scheduled views to run your queries regularly.
  • With PCI compliance and integrated threat intelligence, cloud security capabilities for typical cloud providers and SaaS solutions are available.

Pros:

  • Sumo Logic offers free product certifications and training.
  • Real-time analytics and alerts are simple to set up.
  • Dashboards and graphs that are visually appealing

Cons:

  • Some analytic capabilities, particularly low-level log data analysis, are limited by Sumo Logic's query language.
  • When loading dashboards or running large queries, there are performance difficulties and slowdowns.
  • All log sources are missing support.

Pricing:

Sumo Logic offers multiple pricing plans that serve an array of business needs.

Free: Trial version

Essentials: Beginning at $102 per GB analyzed per month

Enterprise Operations: Beginning at $675 per 5GB analyzed per month

Enterprise Security: Beginning at $718 per 5GB analyzed per month

Enterprise Suite: Custom pricing depending on usage

3 Open-Source Cloud Monitoring Tools

If your IT department is looking for low-cost, no-lock-in cloud monitoring tools, open-source may be the way to go. Let's look at three prominent open-source cloud choices.

1. Zabbix

Zabbix is a tried-and-true open source cloud monitoring tool with very configurable setups that was first launched in 2001. It can employ agents to collect cloud monitoring data, which might be handy for monitoring cloud-based VMs. It also interfaces with Amazon CloudWatch to gather metrics from cloud environments directly.

Zabbix may be tricky to set up, especially when it comes to monitoring cloud settings. IT was created long before the cloud was a thing; therefore, it wasn't meant to be easy to set up as a cloud monitoring platform. Zabbix's scalability is similarly limited: it can only support 1,000 nodes.

Zabbix is an excellent choice if you require a highly customized monitoring solution for small to medium-sized cloud setups.

2. Nagios

Nagios and Zabbix have a lot in common. It's been around for about two decades, so it's a reliable open-source cloud monitoring tool. It also provides the same amount of setup and data collecting options.

The fact that Nagios comes in two flavors is a significant distinction. Nagios Core is free; however, Nagios XI is a commercial platform with more functionality and better usability. There is just one version of Zabbix. If you believe you'll require more functionality than the free platform, Nagios' dual-version strategy can be appealing. Start using Nagios Core and upgrade to Nagios XI later if necessary.

3. Icinga

Consider Icinga if you need more functionality than Nagios Core provides but don't want to upgrade to Nagios XI. Icinga, a fork of Nagios, was founded in 2009 and includes many of the same functionality as Nagios Core, as well as additional features to simplify monitoring and boost usability, such as a more simple UI.

Icinga does not interact directly with most cloud services, which might be a major reason to avoid it. For example, you can't get data directly from CloudWatch. Instead, Icinga imports data from cloud workloads, such as virtual machines. This is acceptable if your cloud environments are largely made up of simple components like VMs, but it's inconvenient if you need to track other cloud services.

Conclusion

There are many cloud monitoring tools and services available, all assist you in acquiring observability data, but they take different approaches, offer different functions, and have varying prices. Some solutions may be a better fit than others depending on your use case, so test out a few and pick the one that best suits your needs.