Top Server Monitoring Vendors

eWEEK TOP COMPANIES COMPARISON AND ANALYSIS: Good server monitoring software is able to check everything about your system and notify admins in advance of a problem. Here's a listing of some of the best solutions in the business.

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The internet pretty much runs the world right now, and servers run the internet. That's how important these powerful enterprise computers are.

Businesses rely on servers to store and process data of all kinds, so if one of them isn’t performing as it should, then the data that businesses rely on for mission-critical tasks won’t reach its destination on time, or at all. Server monitoring tools are the best way for enterprises to ensure that their servers, both physical and virtual, are operational and functioning at a manageable level. 

Server monitoring software is an essential tool for system administrators, because it allows for automated reporting, scheduled checks and pre-emptive warnings about the health of your many servers within your operating environment. Good server monitoring software is able to check everything about your system and notify admins in advance of a problem.

Which server monitoring tools are the best for your company? That's for you to decide, but we can help bring you timely, pertinent third-party information.

We at eWEEK have compiled a list of the best server monitoring tools to help you make a decision. These tools should definitely be considered by any enterprise looking for a solution to improve or manage the performance of their server infrastructure.

Here we go, in alphabetical order:

Datadog

New York, N.Y.

Value proposition for potential buyers

Datadog is a monitoring service that brings together metrics and events from servers, databases, applications, tools and services to present a unified view of the infrastructure. These capabilities are provided on a SaaS-based data analytics platform that enables Dev and Ops teams to work collaboratively on the infrastructure to avoid downtime, resolve performance problems, and ensure that development and deployment cycles finish on time.

Datadog allows IT teams to monitor their entire infrastructure. The monitoring tool unifies IT service and technology monitoring, giving enterprises a holistic view of how their network, services, applications and deployments are performing. Datadog’s monitoring tool can integrate with several cloud environments and servers, including Microsoft Exchange Server, Kubernetes Metrics Server, and SQL Server.

Key values/differentiators

  • Seamlessly unites metrics, traces, and logs
  • Aggregate metrics and events from 350+ technologies
  • Search, analyze, and explore enriched log data
  • Trace requests across distributed systems and alert on app performance
  • Seamlessly pivot between correlated data for rapid troubleshooting

Who uses it: any size enterprise

How it works: subscription cloud service

Read user reviews of Datadog

Digital Ocean

New York, N.Y.

Value proposition for potential buyers

DigitalOcean, which specializes in providing cloud services for software developers, offers a free-of-charge monitoring service that provides insight into the resource utilization and operational health of every droplet, or cloud server. Of course, the company also offers additional enterprise features and services to augment the basic platform for specific use cases.

Using Digital Ocean, developers can collect and visualize metrics in graphs, monitor droplet performance and receive alerts in one intuitive interface, with no configuration required, the company said. 

Overall, DigitalOcean is an IaaS company that delivers a fast and easy way for developers and businesses to deploy and scale any application in the cloud. With a laser focus on simplifying the end-user experience, DigitalOcean accelerates software development so developers spend more time building features and less time managing their infrastructure. Because the company has more than 750,000 registered customers and over 40,000 teams, DigitalOcean claims to be the second-largest and fastest-growing cloud computing platform in the world.

Key values/differentiators

  • The monitoring service measures the performance of each droplet's CPU (central processing unit), its memory, disk utilization, disk reads and writes, network traffic and top processes.
  • Metrics are collected at one-minute intervals and the data is retained to enable users to view both up-to-the-minute and historical data.
  • Developers can create alert policies and receive notifications by email or Slack when usage crosses a specified threshold.

Who uses it: any size enterprise

How it works: subscription cloud service and on-premises options

LogicMonitor

Santa Barbara, Calif.

Value proposition for potential buyers

LogicMonitor provides SaaS-based data center monitoring of physical, virtual and cloud-based IT infrastructures. The software provides performance monitoring, historical trending, reporting, and email/SMS alerting to proactively warn IT staff of potential issues before they cause business interruptions.

LogicMonitor provides pre-configured out-of-the-box monitoring for most vendors of switches, routers, firewalls, load balancers, servers (including VMware, Citrix, Amazon), applications, databases, VoIP systems, and storage from a single web-based console.

The software is delivered on a month-to-month subscription basis, and is used by managed service providers (MSP's), hosting providers, SaaS companies, and internal corporate IT staffs to ensure maximum uptime of critical IT systems.

Key values/differentiators

  • SaaS-based performance monitoring platform that features comprehensive server monitoring.
  • Automatically discovers all network devices and interfaces, with more than 1,500 integrations of network hardware, cloud deployments, server, storage and database technologies. 
  • Features CPU and memory alerting, volume utilization, data request per second visualization, and support for Microsoft Exchange, IBM AIX, Windows, and Linux servers.

Who uses it: any size enterprise

How it works: subscription SaaS cloud service

Read user reviews of LogicMonitor

ManageEngine OpManager

Pleasanton, Calif.

Value proposition for potential buyers: ManageEngine OpManager is an easy-to-use and affordable IT system  monitoring solution. It monitors devices such as servers, routers, switches, firewalls, load balancers, wireless LAN controllers, virtual machines, printers, storage devices, and everything with an IP address that is connected to the network.

A lot of value in all ManageEngine products lies in the dependable nature of the global parent company itself. ManageEngine (formerly AdventNet) is the Enterprise IT Management Software division of privately held ZOHO Corp. Founded in 1996 and known until 2009 as AdventNet Inc., ZOHO is headquartered in Pleasanton, Calif. with offices in North America, Europe and Asia.

With more than 45,000 customers worldwide, including 60 percent of Fortune 500 companies, ManageEngine claims to be the fastest-growing alternative to traditional network management frameworks.

Key values/differentiators

With many of today's applications and services moving to a data center, virtualization and server consolidation are creating new management challenges. OpManager provides IT administrators, a single management console for in-depth visibility and control of both physical and virtual servers across Windows, Linux, Unix, VMware, Hyper-V and Xen server platforms.

OpManager assists in server management by:

  • Monitoring physical and virtual servers
  • Troubleshooting faults
  • Automating repeated management tasks
  • Capacity Planning
  • SLA Management

Who uses it: any size enterprise

How it works: subscription cloud service and on-premises options

Read user reviews of ManageEngine OpManager

Nagios Core

St. Paul, Minn.

Value proposition for potential buyers

Nagios is recognized as the top solution to monitor servers in a variety of different ways.  Server monitoring is made easy in Nagios because of the flexibility to monitor your servers with and without agents. With more than 3,500 different add-ons available to monitor your servers, the community at the Nagios Exchange leaves nothing to chance.

Nagios is fully capable of monitoring Windows servers, Linux servers, Unix servers, Solaris, AIX, HP-UX, and Mac OS/X and more.

Key values/differentiators

Implementing effective server monitoring with Nagios offers the following benefits:

  • Increased server, services, process, and application availability
  • Fast detection of network and server outages and protocol failures
  • Fast detection of failed servers, services, processes and batch jobs

Who uses it: any size enterprises

How it works: subscription cloud service and on-premises options

Read user reviews of Nagios Core

Netreo

Irvine, Calif.

Value proposition for potential buyers

The Netreo platform is a clientless, agentless, virtual/cloud monitoring appliance with hassle-free SaaS pricing, no modules, no headaches. Netreo develops and manufactures the award-winning OmniCenter family of network management appliances, which provide cost-effective and easy-to-deploy application, network, and systems management. It provides a unified dashboard-view into virtually all IT components, from end-user application experience to device-level performance and capacity planning. 

Netreo's no-hassles approach to management means a full-service support model, including remote upgrades and a dedicated customer advocate who knows and understands IT environments and their needs. 

Key values/differentiators

  • OmniCenter is 100% HTML web-based for both reporting and administration, from any operating system or platform, including iPad, iPhone and Android devices. 
  • This architecture means there are no Java clients to download, no agents, probes, or client software to install, and no remote-desktop access required. 
  • Multiple users and administrators can all be working in the application seamlessly and easily, from anywhere in the extended enterprise, including over VPN connections. 

Who uses it: any size enterprises

How it works: subscription cloud service

OpsView

Reading, UK

Value proposition for potential buyers

Opsview is a modern, scalable monitoring platform that provides unified insight into dynamic IT operations on-premise, in the cloud or hybrid. Opsview is a global business. Its flagship product, Opsview Enterprise, was released in 2009, based on the original Opsview open source project launched in 2003, and is in use in over 35,000 companies in 160 countries.

Opsview was founded by Michael Walton, C.E.O. in the belief that the open source model drives better quality software with more relevant features. This has been achieved through open collaboration with its huge community of users. The fast-moving and mission-critical nature of its customers' enterprise systems, including virtualized, cloud and highly distributed systems, means Opsview is continually enhanced to meet their evolving monitoring challenges.

Opsview is an IT systems management leader with hundreds of global enterprise customers, including blue-chip organizations such as BT, Blue Cross Blue Shield, BSkyB, Allianz, US Army, IBM, Irish Revenue and Yale University. Our rapid growth is testament that we are successfully delivering world class software, backed by fantastic customer service, all at a highly affordable price

Key values/differentiator

Opsview has a free iOS and Android app. Specialties include:

  • Network Monitoring
  • System monitoring, IT Monitoring 
  • Server Monitoring
  • Application Performance Monitoring
  •  Cloud Monitoring
  • Virtualization monitoring

Who uses it: any size enterprise

How it works: subscription cloud service and on-premises options

Read user reviews of OpsView

Pulseway

Dublin, Ireland

Value proposition for potential buyers

Pulseway is a mobile-first IT management software that helps busy IT admins look after their IT infrastructure on the go. The application will work even if the PC or server cannot be directly accessed from the internet, meaning it does not have a routable IP address or sits behind a firewall. The application communicates with the server using a secure encrypted connection and the PC application installs as a service and it starts automatically when your PC starts. 

Pulseway has been in business since 2011.

Key values/differentiators

Monitors include:

  • status and uptime of all computers
  • current CPU usage and usage history chart
  • current available memory and usage history chart
  • external IP address and the location on the map using GeoIP
  • ping round trip response time and response time chart
  • local hard disks status
  • services status
  • network interfaces status and traffic chart
  • running processes
  • event logs
  • scheduled tasks status
  • all logged in users (local and remote)
  • hardware details like temperatures (system, CPU and HDD) and fan speeds (system and CPU)

Send Commands:

  • Start, pause, continue and stop a service
  • Kill a process
  • Start and stop a scheduled task
  • Log off any logged in user (local or remote)
  • Command prompt support
  • Restart, wake up, shutdown, power off, suspend or send the computer into hibernation
  • Send commands to multiple computers in the same group
  • Mobile device authorization for system commands - only selected authorized devices on your account can be allowed to send system commands

Get Notified:

  • When a computer goes offline
  • When a computer starts up or shuts down
  • When a monitored service stopped unexpectedly
  • When the free memory is below a specified percentage
  • When the processor usage is above a specified percentage for a specified period of time
  • When the free space of a hard disk drive is below a specified percentage
  • When a user logs in or logs out
  • When ping round trip time is above a specified value for a specified period of time

Additional Features:

  • Fully secure connection using SSL for both computer and mobile device
  • Ideal for home or work use
  • Monitor up to 5 PCs (if you need to monitor more than 5 PCs, you can purchase a subscription)
  • Ability to run any operation that can be defined in Task Scheduler

Operating systems supported:

  • Desktop: Windows XP and up
  • Server: Windows 2003 and up

Who uses it: any size enterprise

How it works: subscription cloud service and on-premises options

Read user reviews of Pulseway

Sensu

Portland, Ore.

Value proposition for potential buyers

Three-year-old Sensu is a new-generation, full-stack monitoring platform for dynamic operating environments. The platform enables high-velocity organizations to maintain operational visibility, while supporting software and infrastructure-as-code development best practices, and solving the unique challenges of monitoring in dynamic operating environments (e.g. public/private/hybrid cloud computing environments, container-based environments, and more). As a framework and software platform, Sensu will increase its commitment to open source, while continuing to innovate as a fundamentally different approach to full-stack monitoring.

Sensu Go is a telemetry and service health checking solution for multi-cloud monitoring at scale. Users gain deep visibility into servers, containers, services, applications, functions and connected devices across any public or private cloud.

Key values/differentiators:

  • Complete automation: Instrument your applications and infrastructure, observe data in real time and route incidents to the right teams. 
  • Value-added features: With built-in contact routing, metric translation, and RBAC, you have total control over your systems.
  • IT monitoring at scale: From bare metal and mainframes to hybrid cloud and multi cloud solutions, the Enterprise console captures it all.
  • Monitoring as code: Sensu Go codifies monitoring workflows into declarative configuration files that can be shared amongst team members, treated as code, edited, reviewed and versioned.
  • Self-service: Sensu Go was designed from the ground up for self-service workflows with features like deeply-embedded role-based access controls (RBAC) and namespaces.

Who uses it: midsize to large enterprises

How it works: subscription cloud service and on-premises options

SolarWinds

Austin, Texas

Value proposition for potential buyers

SolarWinds Server and Application Monitor is a server and application monitoring solution that allows IT teams to monitor the status and performance of servers. The tool monitors a server’s critical hardware components, including fan speed, device temperature, power supply, CPU usage, and battery usage. SolarWinds also supports customizable server monitoring, letting IT departments work with pre-established templates or import custom scripts that work with their deployments.

Key values/differentiators

As IT staff take on new clients, they need to be able to monitor everything on their network—not just servers and workstations—to help ensure complete coverage. Without visibility into the whole network, admins may lack the information they need to fully resolve issues.

The network device monitoring feature in SolarWinds RMM is designed to provide visibility into the devices on managed networks. This feature was built to allow admins to quickly detect and monitor all connected devices, which can potentially help limit unexpected expenses and troubleshooting time from unforeseen issues—and give them greater control of the networks they manage. 

Remote monitoring and management (RMM) is the process of supervising and controlling IT systems (such as network devices, desktops, servers and mobile devices) by means of locally installed agents that can be accessed by a management service provider.

  • Monitoring for a wide range of devices: Monitor network devices, such as printers, firewalls, routers, switches, uninterruptible power supplies (UPS), and more.
  • Easy discovery: Monitor devices on your user networks and search for devices under any subnet.
  • Asset information: Import devices connected to each managed subnet with details such as MAC Address, IP, operating system, firmware version, and hostname.
  • SNMP check: Run checks for in-depth monitoring of hardware health, performance, and utilization.

Who uses it: any size enterprise

How it works: subscription cloud service and on-premises options

Read user reviews of Solarwinds

eWEEK is building a new IT products and services section that encompasses most of the categories that we cover on our site. In it, we will spotlight the leaders in each sector, which include enterprise software, hardware, security, on-premises-based systems and cloud services. We also will add promising new companies as they come into the market.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 15 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...