Best Database Monitoring Tools Shortlist
Here are my top recommendations for database monitoring tools in 2023 based on my analysis of their core functionalities, key features, and ideal use cases.
- New Relic Database Monitoring - Best real-time monitoring tool for startups and small businesses
- SolarWinds Database Performance Analyzer - Best for machine learning-powered performance tuning
- Redgate SQL Monitor - Best for SQL monitoring
- Dynatrace - Best for full-stack observability and application performance monitoring
- Prometheus - Best for time series-based monitoring
- Quest Foglight for Databases - Best for cross-platform database monitoring
- AppDynamics Database Monitoring - Best full-stack observability platform for enterprises
- Datadog - Best for secure database monitoring
- Grafana - Best for visualizations and intuitive dashboards
- ManageEngine Applications Manager - Best for database performance optimization of business-critical applications
- Paessler PRTG - Best easy-to-use solution for monitoring IT infrastructure
- Checkmk - Best scalable IT monitoring platform
A high-performing database environment is vital for the smooth functioning and scaling of digital operations. Downtime and sluggishness can harm the end-user experience. To ensure optimal performance, it's crucial to identify and resolve performance bottlenecks.
Database monitoring tools provide real-time insights, predictive alerts, and in-depth analysis to maintain the performance of a database. In this article, I’ve evaluated the top database monitoring solutions and answered common questions to help you make an informed decision.
What Are Database Monitoring Tools?
A database monitoring tool is a software application to monitor the performance, availability, and overall health status of a database. It tracks critical metrics like disk usage, query performance, database server resources, and system performance.
Database administrators, IT operations, and support teams use database monitoring tools to identify bottlenecks, maintain the efficiency of the database environment, and ensure optimal performance while minimizing downtime.
Overviews of the 12 Best Database Monitoring Tools
Below is my list of the best database monitoring tools, along with my analysis of their top features and functionalities that make them stand out in the crowded market of IT monitoring tools.
1. New Relic Database Monitoring - Best real-time monitoring tool for startups and small businesses
New Relic Database Monitoring is an all-in-one observability platform that enables engineering teams to monitor, debug, and improve their database and application performance.
Why I picked New Relic Database Monitoring: I think New Relic is a great tool for startups because it gives you everything you need right out of the box. You can begin monitoring without any complicated installation process with its Instant Observability quickstarts bundle. It also has a generous, free-forever plan that’ss ideal for startups with a limited budget.
New Relic Database Monitoring Standout Features and Integrations
I think the standout feature of New Relic Database Monitoring is its ability to debug and collaborate from the IDE itself. This improves the workflow of technical teams as they can continue to focus on development while keeping an eye on infrastructure and application performance.
The key integration of New Relic Database Monitoring is the native support for OpenTelemetry. It also has pre-built integrations with cloud services like AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud.
Pricing: $0.30/GB (First 100 GB free)
Trial: Free plan available
- Automated installation and easy deployment
- AI-supported cross-platform observability
- Flexible pricing model on a pay-as-you-go basis
- Confusing dashboard
- Limited historical data storage
2. SolarWinds Database Performance Analyzer - Best for machine learning-powered performance tuning
SolarWinds Database Performance Analyzer is a comprehensive database monitoring solution. It supports a diverse range of database platforms like Oracle, SQL Server, MySQL, PostgreSQL, DB2, and AWS RDS.
Why I picked SolarWinds Database Performance Analyzer: I picked SolarWinds because of its focus on optimizing user experience and integration of machine learning to detect anomalies in real time. The tool can analyze patterns across a range of databases, and the algorithm gets smarter over time to improve prediction accuracy.
SolarWinds Database Performance Analyzer Standout Features and Integrations
One of the standout features of the platform includes cross-platform support that can monitor both cloud and on-premise databases. In my opinion, another powerful feature is the utilization of wait-time analysis for targeted optimizations and performance improvement of the system while keeping users in mind.
Integrations are native with a range of tools, like SolarWinds Orion Platform, Microsoft SQL Server, and Oracle Database.
Pricing: From $1,275 (billed annually)
Trial: 14-day free trial
- Flexible licensing options
- Historical reports for performance analysis
- Gives quick alerts on inefficient queries
- UI can become clunky if you want to monitor multiple servers
- High incremental cost
3. Redgate SQL Monitor - Best for SQL monitoring
Redgate SQL monitor is a tool to track and optimize the performance of SQL databases. It tracks key performance metrics of the databases like memory consumption, disk I/O, CPU usage, and query execution times to tackle performance issues.
Why I picked Redgate SQL Monitor: I chose this tool because of its intelligent alert system while it monitors SQL servers across multiple platforms. It comes with out-of-the-box alert systems that are customizable and can escalate errors based on severity and impact.
Redgate SQL Monitor Standout Features and Integrations
In my opinion, the standout feature of the Redgate SQL Monitor is the availability of 65 fully customizable alerts. It even groups them under common issues to make it easier for you to address performance issues in a specific area.
Integrations include out-of-the-box integrations with Amazon RDS, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure SQL Database, Microsoft SQL Server, and Slack.
Pricing: From $1,026/server/year
Trial: 14-day free trial
- Simultaneous monitoring of multiple servers
- Enables proactive resolution due to smart, customizable alerts
- Web browser-based dashboard that can be accessed anywhere on any device
- Only for SQL server monitoring
- Can impact server performance due to constant monitoring
4. Dynatrace - Best for full-stack observability and application performance monitoring
Dynatrace is an advanced observability and application performance monitoring (APM) tool. It gives you comprehensive insights into the performance and user experience of applications, infrastructure, and cloud environments.
Why I picked Dynatrace: I picked Dynatrace because of its AI-powered full-stack observability that prioritizes customer experience. It has a powerful real-user monitoring system that helps you track the user experience in real time and resolve complaints from a centralized system. I think its artificial intelligence capability and integrations with workflow and communication tools like Jira and Slack make it suitable for large teams and enterprise environments.
Dynatrace Standout Features and Integrations
The standout feature of Dynatrace, in my opinion, is its patented AI assistant called Davis AI for root cause analytics. It powers its entire suite to find performance issues faster and optimize the experience of end users.
Integrations include 600+ pre-built integrations with ServiceNow, Adobe Analytics, Apple Safari, Google Chrome, Amazon CloudWatch, Jira, and Slack. Dynatrace also offers native integrations with major cloud platforms like AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud.
Pricing: Starts at $0.08 per hour for 8 GiB host (full-stack monitoring)
Trial: 15-day free trial
- Easy configuration
- Real user monitoring for application performance
- Faster root cause analysis driven by AI
- Agent-based monitoring can lead to system performance issues
- Can be expensive
5. Prometheus - Best for time series-based monitoring
Prometheus is an open-source monitoring and alerting system developed by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCG). It specializes in collecting and analyzing data in a time-series format that allows for higher efficiency in data collection and analysis.
Why I picked Prometheus: I picked Prometheus because of its unique approach to data collection and beautiful visualizations. It stores data as time-stamped values associated with specific labels. This leads to improved data collection, querying, and analysis.
Prometheus Standout Features and Integrations
The standout feature of Prometheus, in my opinion, is its native language, Prometheus Query Language (PromQL). Once you become comfortable with it, it can help you do powerful querying, slicing, and dicing of the collected data to get relevant, actionable insights.
Prometheus offers pre-built integration with Grafana — an open-source data visualization platform. It also provides native support for client libraries of popular programming languages like Go, Java, Python, and Ruby.
Pricing: No paid plans
Trial: Free to use
- Rich ecosystem of integrations and extensions
- Visually appealing dashboards
- Stores historical metrics for a long time
- Installation and configuration is development intensive and take time
- PromQL has a learning curve
6. Quest Foglight for Databases - Best for cross-platform database monitoring
Quest Foglight for Databases provides unified monitoring for various database platforms in a single interface. It simplifies the entire monitoring process for database administrators who work with different environments.
Why I picked Quest Foglight for Databases: I chose Quest Foglight for its versatile and cross-platform database monitoring. It offers quick diagnostics, analytics, and alerting capabilities to monitor diverse databases through a single console. Given its wide database support, Quest Foglight has the right combination of comprehensive database monitoring with an easy-to-use installation and deployment.
Quest Foglight for Databases Standout Features and Integrations
I think the standout features of Quest Foglight for Databases are automated discovery, wait-event analysis, and quick view drill-downs. Automated discovery of instances and specific hosts enables a faster installation and configuration process.
Quest Foglight for Databases has pre-built integrations with database platforms like MySQL, Microsoft SQL Server, PostgreSQL, IBM DB2, and SAP ASE. It also offers pre-built integrations with virtualization platforms like VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V.
Pricing: Pricing upon request
Trial: 30-day free trial
- Easy installation and deployment
- Comprehensive database support
- Helps to monitor microservices infrastructure
- Limited alerting functionality
- High memory consumption
7. AppDynamics Database Monitoring - Best full-stack observability platform for enterprises
AppDynamics Database Monitoring offers full-stack observability of your databases and connected application services. It’s ideal for complex database environments and enterprises with diverse technology stacks that need a centralized platform to monitor everything.
Why I picked AppDynamics: I chose AppDynamics because of its ability to capture granular details about key performance metrics like resource utilization and response times of databases in a live production environment. It also offers end-to-end visualization of the user journey, which I think is a great way to diagnose and troubleshoot issues that can impact customer experience.
AppDynamics Standout Features and Integrations
Some of the standout features of AppDynamics include automatic discovery and dynamic baseline comparison. I think automatic discovery and mapping is the most useful feature of AppDynamics. This enables the root cause analysis as it helps you visualize the impact of database performance on application performance.
AppDynamics offers pre-built integrations with JIRA, ServiceNow, Splunk, Scalyr, DB CAM, and Apica. It also offers APIs.
Pricing: From $60/month/CPU core
Trial: 15-day free trial
- Excellent diagnostics and troubleshooting
- Enables clear visibility of user journeys
- Can monitor large and complex database environments
- Steep learning curve
- Might become expensive when you try to scale
8. Datadog - Best for secure database monitoring
Datadog is a comprehensive platform that allows you to measure performance, troubleshoot issues, and optimize your infrastructure. It allows you to collect data from all sources, including user sessions, and present it on an intuitive dashboard for analysis and troubleshooting.
Why I picked Datadog: Datadog provides all the essential features of a database monitoring platform when it comes to tracking performance metrics and troubleshooting issues. Beyond this, I picked Datadog because of its collaboration capabilities without sacrificing security. I think Datadog is great for any team size without worrying about security risks because it allows you to create secure logins for each user and limit their access to sensitive information.
Datadog Standout Features and Integrations
The standout feature of Datadog is the provision to secure personally identifiable information (PII) through its automatic obfuscation from all query data. I think this is the feature that makes Datadog a secure, collaborative monitoring platform. Datadog enables scalable DBM access where you can add or remove members whenever you want while specifying their level of access.
Datadog offers more than 600 built-in integrations like Amazon RDS, Amazon Lambda, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, Hive, Jira, Kong, and OpenAI, to name a few. It also offers REST API functionality that allows you to build integrations with any service.
Pricing: From $70 per database host per month (billed annually)
Trial: 14-day free trial
- Real-time, centralized monitoring of everything
- User-friendly incident management
- Out-of-the-box slow query detection
- Pricing of logs by volume leads to high costs
- More integrations can lead to slow performance and information delivery
9. Grafana - Best for visualizations and intuitive dashboards
Grafana is an open-source observability platform that specializes in data collection from multiple sources and presents them with beautiful, customizable dashboards. It can also work with other data tools to give you a holistic view of different databases in your environment.
Why I picked Grafana: I picked Grafana because of its ability to handle a high volume of data from multiple sources and turn them into interactive visualizations. It can display data in any format of your preference, such as graphs, heat maps, histograms, gauges, or tables. Grafana also provides dynamic and reusable queries to help you understand and explore your data in a better way.
Grafana Standout Features and Integrations
The standout feature of Grafana is its support for more than 40 data sources, including Prometheus, Elasticsearch, InfluxDB, MySQL, and PostgreSQL. I think none of the other monitoring tools have this kind of support with the ability to query, transform, and visualize the incoming data in a simple dashboard.
Grafana has a number of pre-built integrations like Prometheus, InfluxDB, MongoDB, MySQL, Docker, Kubernetes, and GitHub. It also offers native integration with the log aggregation system Loki and cloud monitoring platforms like Microsoft Azure Monitor, Google Cloud Monitoring, and AWS CloudWatch.
Pricing: From $29/month (plus usage)
Trial: 14-day free trial + Free plan available
- Cloud-native architecture that can scale and handle large amounts of data
- Advanced querying and transformation capabilities
- Rich library of plugins and panels
- Complex setup and configuration
- Knowledge of JSON required to create advanced dashboards
10. ManageEngine Applications Manager - Best for database performance optimization of business-critical applications
ManageEngine Applications Manager is an application monitoring software. It excels in providing visibility into the performance and user experience of business-critical applications and infrastructure components. IT administrators and operators use ManageEngine to optimize their applications across physical, virtual, cloud, and container platforms.
Why I picked ManageEngine Applications Manager: I chose ManageEngine due to its out-of-the-box monitoring, alerting, and reporting for more than 150 applications and infrastructure elements. It employs agentless real-time database monitoring with automated discovery of database instances.
ManageEngine Applications Manager Standout Features and Integrations
Some of the standout features of ManageEngine Applications Manager include trend analysis, proactive anomaly detection using dynamic baselines, and multi-vendor database support. I think that its agentless monitoring using methods like native OS and API calls further makes it suitable for scaling business applications.
ManageEngine Applications Manager provides native integrations with databases like Oracle, MySQL, PostgreSQL, MongoDB, AWS Aurora, and Azure SQL. It also offers out-of-the-box integration with Slack, ServiceNow, and Site24x7.
Pricing: Pricing upon request
Trial: 30-day free trial
- Covers monitoring of microservices like Docker, Kubernetes
- In-built reporting tools
- Allows alert configuration at different levels
- Initial setup and configuration can be complex
- Outdated, clunky user interface
11. Paessler PRTG - Best easy-to-use solution for monitoring IT infrastructure
Paessler PRTG Network Monitor is an agentless infrastructure monitoring and management software. Database monitoring is one of its components with predefined sensors for all important database manufacturers like Microsoft, MySQL, and Oracle. It also supports the monitoring of other components like network devices, applications, servers, and cloud services.
Why I picked Paessler PRTG: I picked Paessler PRTG because it’s easy to set up and use with support for a wide range of technologies. Due to its automatic network discovery, I think it can help administrators save a lot of time for administrators as they can monitor critical components of their infrastructure in no time.
Paessler PRTG Standout Features and Integrations
I think that the standout feature of Paessler PRTG is the out-of-the-box support for all major technologies and databases. I also loved its feature to help you view data in a 2-day, 30-day, or 365-day format that allows you to analyze performance trends.
Paessler PRTG comes with 250+ pre-built integrations for all popular databases.
Pricing: From $1,699 per year
Trial: Free plan available (up to 100 PRTG sensors)
- Full-stack monitoring
- Flexible, customizable, easy-to-use dashboard
- Fast setup
- Sensor-based pricing model that can become expensive
- Maximum of 10,000 sensors
12. Checkmk - Best scalable IT monitoring platform
Checkmk is an IT infrastructure monitoring solution that gives you the freedom to customize everything while monitoring. You can track network devices, cloud services, databases, operating systems, server hardware, and web applications.
Why I picked Checkmk: I picked Checkmk because of its flexibility and scalability. It comes with more than 2,000 plugins to help you monitor various aspects of your entire IT infrastructure. You can start with its free forever open-source edition and move to Enterprise or Cloud edition when you want to automate and scale your IT monitoring.
Checkmk Standout Features and Integrations
I think the main standout feature of Checkmk is its rule-based 1-to-N configuration. This results in a low configuration and setup effort in complex IT environments as well and makes it highly scalable.
Checkmk offers a range of pre-built integrations with technologies like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, VMware, and Docker. It also offers native integrations with monitoring protocols, including SNMP, WMI, and JMX, to monitor infrastructure components.
Pricing: From $70.95/month (billed annually)
Trial: Free plan available
- Ability to customize nearly everything and monitor custom applications
- Flexible licensing options
- Free out-of-the-box plugins in the open-source edition itself
- Steep learning curve
- Difficult UI navigation
Other Data Monitoring Software Options
Here are some other database monitoring tools that are best for special scenarios:
- Elastic - Best for AI-powered search analytics and automated monitoring
- DBA Dash - Best free and open-source monitoring tool for SQL servers
- Zabbix - Best open-source monitoring for enterprises
- InfluxDB - Best time-series database for event logging
- Splunk - Best unified platform for observability and security
- Amazon CloudWatch - Best for AWS environments
- Azure Monitor - Best for Azure services and applications
- Oracle Enterprise Manager -Best for end-to-end Oracle database management
Selection Criteria For Database Monitoring Tools
Here’s a short summary of the main selection and evaluation criteria I used to develop my list of the best database monitoring tools for this article:
A good database tool must have the following core functionalities:
- Performance optimization: To identify performance bottlenecks, such as slow queries, and optimize configurations, queries, and indexes for better performance.
- Issue detection and troubleshooting: To enable early detection of issues, such as server failures or disk space shortages, so that administrators can take immediate action to resolve them
- Proactive maintenance: To minimize downtime and improve system availability by proactively addressing potential issues before they escalate into critical problems.
Based on the above functionalities, here are some key features of a database monitoring platform I considered while preparing this list:
- Track resource utilization metrics such as CPU, memory, disk space utilization, and network bandwidth to identify resource-intensive processes
- Real-time monitoring of performance metrics such as CPU usage, memory utilization, disk I/O, and query response times
- Query analysis and optimization features to capture and analyze SQL queries, identify slow-performing queries, and suggest optimizations to improve overall query performance
- Alerts and notifications to notify administrators about critical events or predefined thresholds being exceeded. Advanced tools also allow you to set up custom alert thresholds and enable the delivery of notifications through email, SMS, or integration with popular collaboration platforms.
I think an intuitive and user-friendly interface can make or break the success of a database monitoring tool. It should provide clear visualizations, customizable and tidy dashboards, and straightforward configuration options to save time and reduce the learning curve for teams.
Security and Compliance
The right monitoring tool helps your business comply with industry regulations and security policies by detecting suspicious activities, unauthorized access attempts, or anomalies in data access patterns. Advanced database monitoring tools employ artificial intelligence and machine learning models to analyze logs and detect potential security issues in database systems.
Automation and Integration
Database monitoring tools need to integrate with other systems and tools in the IT ecosystem. It can be through APIs or native or built-in integrations. This enables automated workflows, seamless data sharing, and streamlined collaboration across various IT teams.
What can database performance monitoring tools tell me about my databases?
What are the most important database performance metrics, and how do you monitor them?
How to choose the best database monitoring tool?
More Data Management Software Reviews
Join The Conversation
I hope that this breakdown of all top database monitoring tools will help you make the right choice.
Subscribe to The CTO Club newsletter to get more detailed breakdowns and deep insights from our network of CTOs, engineering directors, and technical leaders.