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Modern IT landscapes are complex, with a mix of cloud-based services, virtual machines, and on-premise hardware. Keeping everything running smoothly requires constant vigilance.

That's where IT infrastructure software comes in, specifically server monitoring solutions. These solutions scrutinize everything from CPU usage in Windows and Linux operating systems to the intricate data exchanges between network devices. Whether you're harnessing a cloud-based SaaS or diving into full-stack infrastructure monitoring tools, these solutions offer real-time insights into network traffic, web server health, and even metrics from virtual servers.

As virtualization grows and the demand to optimize various facets like disk space and templates intensifies, these tools are indispensable for anyone seeking a clear, data-driven view of their network's performance. Embrace the zenith of technology with our curated collection of the best server monitoring software.

What is Server Monitoring Software?

Server monitoring software is a specialized toolset designed to oversee and track the health, performance, and activity of servers. System administrators, IT professionals, and even business owners utilize these tools to gain insights into server functionality, ensuring they operate at peak IT efficiency.

By doing so, they can detect and address potential issues before they escalate, maintain optimal system performance, and guarantee the delivery of digital services and applications to end users.

Overviews Of The 10 Best Server Monitoring Software

1

PRTG

Best for customizable monitoring dashboards

PRTG Network Monitor by Paessler is a comprehensive network and server monitoring solution designed for IT professionals and network administrators. It provides real-time insights into network performance, ensuring servers, applications, and devices are functioning optimally. 

Why I Picked PRTG: I like that PRTG offers robust monitoring capabilities, including real-time data collection, alerting, and reporting. The software’s customizable maps, dashboards, and reports allow users to visualize server performance in a way that meets their specific needs. Additionally, PRTG's flexible alert system ensures that IT teams are promptly notified of any server issues

Standout features & integrations:

Some of PRTG's most commendable features include its auto-discovery function, the ability to create custom sensors, and comprehensive reporting capabilities. For integrations, PRTG supports API integrations, allowing for a connection with other platforms and tools, and enhancing its utility.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • User-friendly visual interface
  • Customizable monitoring and alerting
  • Scalable for a wide range of network sizes

Cons

  • More advanced features may come with a learning curve
  • High costs for larger deployments
This is an aggregated rating for this tool including ratings from Crozdesk users and ratings from other sites.
4.7 220

Free trial available

From $2,149

2

Dynatrace

Best for AI-powered application performance

Dynatrace is an application performance monitoring solution that leverages artificial intelligence to provide insights. With AI at its core, it offers precise and actionable data, ensuring optimal application performance.

Why I Picked Dynatrace: In my quest for the best AI-driven monitoring tool, Dynatrace was a clear winner. Its emphasis on AI-powered solutions ensures issues are not only detected but also understood in context. This makes Dynatrace the top pick for those seeking AI-driven insights for application performance.

Standout features & integrations:

Notable features of Dynatrace include real user monitoring, synthetic monitoring, and AI-driven root cause analysis. As for integrations, Dynatrace is compatible with a host of platforms like AWS, Azure, and Kubernetes, ensuring a unified monitoring approach.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • A wide array of integrations
  • Comprehensive application monitoring
  • Deep AI-driven insights

Cons

  • The setup might be challenging for novices
  • Complexity requires dedicated training
  • Pricing can be steep for large teams
This is an aggregated rating for this tool including ratings from Crozdesk users and ratings from other sites.
4.5 1059

15 days free trial

From $0.08/8 GB/Hour

3

LogicMonitor

Best for hybrid infrastructure monitoring

LogicMonitor serves as a comprehensive platform for monitoring both on-premises and cloud infrastructure. It is particularly beneficial for enterprises that leverage a hybrid approach in their IT setup, requiring a unified monitoring view.

Why I Picked LogicMonitor: My decision to choose LogicMonitor revolved around its proficiency in hybrid infrastructure monitoring. What differentiates LogicMonitor is its integration of on-premises and cloud monitoring under one umbrella. Based on my assessment, it's the go-to tool for businesses employing a hybrid IT infrastructure.

Standout features & integrations:

Key offerings of LogicMonitor include automated device discovery, performance forecasting, and customizable dashboards. For integrations, LogicMonitor comfortably meshes with services like AWS, Azure, Slack, and ServiceNow, providing a connected monitoring experience.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Intuitive and user-friendly interface
  • Automated device discovery
  • Comprehensive hybrid infrastructure coverage

Cons

  • Requires training to exploit advanced features
  • The initial setup might be complex
  • Steeper pricing for smaller organizations
This is an aggregated rating for this tool including ratings from Crozdesk users and ratings from other sites.
4.5 470

14-day free trial

Pricing upon request

4

Nagios

Best for comprehensive IT infrastructure monitoring

Nagios is renowned for its in-depth server and network monitoring capabilities. It provides system administrators with a clear window into their IT infrastructure, from networks to hardware, enabling proactive management and issue detection.

Why I Picked Nagios: When it came to selecting a monitoring tool with an expansive feature set, Nagios consistently emerged at the forefront of my evaluations. I was drawn to its longstanding reputation and its holistic approach to infrastructure oversight. Given its prowess in monitoring a broad range of IT components, it's clear to me why Nagios stands out as best for comprehensive IT infrastructure monitoring.

Standout features & integrations:

Nagios offers a robust set of monitoring features, including performance graphs, multi-tenant capabilities, and escalation notifications. Its customizable dashboards ensure relevant data visualization based on user needs.

On the integration front, Nagios provides connections with popular tools such as Slack, JIRA, and Grafana, enhancing its collaborative and alerting capacities.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Strong third-party integrations
  • Customizable dashboards
  • Wide-ranging monitoring capabilities

Cons

  • The interface can appear dated compared to newer platforms
  • The annual licensing model may not suit all businesses
  • The steeper learning curve for beginners
This is an aggregated rating for this tool including ratings from Crozdesk users and ratings from other sites.
4.6 42

30-day free trial

From $1,995/user

5

AppDynamics

Best for end-to-end business transaction tracking

AppDynamics emerges as a premier solution in tracking business transactions from start to finish. Its prowess in end-to-end business monitoring ensures businesses can trace transactions throughout their lifecycle, enabling informed decision-making.

Why I Picked AppDynamics: I opted for AppDynamics after noticing its distinct capability in thorough business transaction tracking. It stands out by offering a clear view of transactions across multiple touchpoints. From my comparisons, AppDynamics excels for companies aiming for a comprehensive transaction tracking system.

Standout features & integrations:

AppDynamics boasts features like deep code-level diagnostics, dynamic baselining, and real-time analytics. As for integrations, it aligns well with platforms such as AWS, Azure, and various databases, reinforcing its monitoring capabilities.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Wide-ranging integration support
  • Real-time performance metrics
  • Detailed business transaction insights

Cons

  • Can be resource-intensive on monitored systems
  • Might be over-comprehensive for small setups
  • Higher pricing tier
This is an aggregated rating for this tool including ratings from Crozdesk users and ratings from other sites.
4.3 359

15-day free trial

From $6/core/month

6

Icinga

Best for modular configuration approach

Icinga stands out in the realm of IT infrastructure monitoring with its modular configuration design, allowing users to create a tailored monitoring setup. It is crafted for businesses and IT professionals who prioritize flexibility in configuring their monitoring solutions.

Why I Picked Icinga: Selecting Icinga was based on its unique modular approach, which is distinct from many other monitoring solutions. Its flexibility in configuration offers users the freedom to determine the exact setup they need. I judged Icinga to be optimal for those who prioritize a modular approach to their monitoring configuration.

Standout features & integrations:

Central features of Icinga encompass real-time monitoring, advanced visualizations, and the ability to add multiple modules for enhanced capabilities. As for integrations, Icinga is compatible with tools such as Grafana, Elastic Stack, and Puppet, further enhancing its modularity.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Active community support
  • Wide range of plugins and modules
  • Highly customizable with modular design

Cons

  • Lack of built-in advanced reporting tools
  • Documentation can be overwhelming for new users
  • Might require time to configure it perfectly
This is an aggregated rating for this tool including ratings from Crozdesk users and ratings from other sites.
4.5 24
7

Datadog

Best for cloud-scale infrastructure monitoring

Datadog is a cloud-centric monitoring and analytics platform. Given its deep integration with cloud services, it excels in monitoring large-scale cloud infrastructures, making sense of vast amounts of data effortlessly.

Why I Picked Datadog: Selecting a tool optimized for cloud environments led me straight to Datadog. With its robust capabilities tailored for cloud infrastructures, it was an easy choice. Datadog stands out as best for businesses scaling or operating predominantly in the cloud.

Standout features & integrations:

Datadog impresses with features like real-time performance dashboards, distributed tracing, and log management. Its integrations span numerous cloud platforms like AWS, GCP, and Azure, as well as tools like Slack and PagerDuty for effective communication.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Extensive integrations list
  • Comprehensive monitoring and alerting
  • Tailored for cloud environments

Cons

  • Additional costs for extra features
  • The learning curve for advanced features
  • May be overkill for smaller setups
This is an aggregated rating for this tool including ratings from Crozdesk users and ratings from other sites.
4.3 273

14-day free trial

From $15/user/month (billed annually)

8

Zabbix

Best for scalability with large networks

Zabbix is an open-source monitoring solution tailored for diverse and expansive IT environments. It excels in providing robust monitoring solutions that expand with growing enterprise needs, particularly vast networks.

Why I Picked Zabbix: I chose Zabbix after careful comparison, valuing its ability to adapt to varying scales of networks without compromising on performance. Its expansive features and adaptability make it a prime choice for large-scale enterprises. This scaling capability, especially for extensive networks, solidifies its position as best for scalability with large networks.

Standout features & integrations:

Zabbix boasts features like auto-discovery, distributed monitoring, and detailed reporting. Additionally, it provides real-time graphing for faster insights. As for integrations, Zabbix is compatible with tools like Grafana, Elasticsearch, and integration platforms like Zapier, fostering wider operational cohesion.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Detailed real-time graphing
  • Open-source, offering customization options
  • Extensive scalability for large networks

Cons

  • Heavy customization might demand skilled personnel
  • otential complexity for beginners
  • Requires dedicated setup time
This is an aggregated rating for this tool including ratings from Crozdesk users and ratings from other sites.
4.2 167

Free forever

Free to use

9

ManageEngine

Best for integrated IT management

ManageEngine is a comprehensive IT management solution, that harmonizes various IT functionalities into a singular platform. With its integrated approach, it streamlines the challenges of overseeing complex IT environments.

Why I Picked ManageEngine: Choosing ManageEngine for this list was a result of its multi-faceted IT capabilities. What truly differentiates ManageEngine is its integrated approach, offering a one-stop solution for varied IT challenges. In my opinion, ManageEngine is best suited for those desiring an all-encompassing IT management platform.

Standout features & integrations:

ManageEngine boasts features like automated IT workflows, advanced analytics, and robust IT helpdesk solutions. Integration-wise, it offers connectivity with platforms such as Microsoft Active Directory, AWS, and VMware, facilitating a unified IT management experience.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Intuitive user interface
  • Detailed analytics and reporting
  • Comprehensive IT tools suite

Cons

  • Occasional performance issues reported
  • Takes time to fully exploit all features
  • Might be overkill for small businesses

30-day free trial

Pricing upon request

10

Solarwinds

Best for user-friendly network diagnostics

SolarWinds provides a suite of IT management tools, but its monitoring software stands out for its intuitive network diagnostic capabilities. Its design focuses on offering clear insights and diagnostic tools, making the network management experience straightforward and user-friendly.

Why I Picked SolarWinds: When determining which software offered the most intuitive experience for network diagnostics, SolarWinds consistently came up trumps. Its interactive dashboards and the ease of isolating issues set it apart in my evaluation. Hence, I'm of the opinion that SolarWinds is best suited for those seeking user-friendly network diagnostics.

Standout features & integrations:

Noteworthy features of SolarWinds include its NetPath services for visual traceroute, PerfStack for cross-stack performance analysis, and intelligent alerts. When considering integrations, SolarWinds interfaces effectively with platforms such as Microsoft Teams, Slack, and ServiceNow, enriching its communication and incident management capabilities.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Comprehensive integration capabilities
  • Versatile alerting system
  • Intuitive network diagnostic tools

Cons

  • Might be overkill for smaller networks
  • The steeper learning curve for advanced features
  • Pricier initial setup

30-day free trial available

From $19/user/month

The Best Server Monitoring Software Summary

Tools Price
PRTG From $2,149
Dynatrace From $0.08/8 GB/Hour
LogicMonitor Pricing upon request
Nagios From $1,995/user
AppDynamics From $6/core/month
Icinga No price details
Datadog From $15/user/month (billed annually)
Zabbix Free to use
ManageEngine Pricing upon request
Solarwinds From $19/user/month
Preview Image - <h2 class="c-block__title b-summary-table__title c-listicle__title h3" > Compare Software Specs Side by Side</h2>

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Other Notable Server Monitoring Software

Below is a list of additional server monitoring software I shortlisted but did not make it to the top 10. Definitely worth checking them out.

Selection Criteria for Choosing Server Monitoring Software

I've tested and evaluated dozens of monitoring tools over the years. While there are many competent options out there, not all of them cater to specific needs in the same way. I've always approached my evaluations with a clear set of criteria in mind, prioritizing the unique requirements of network and system monitoring. Here's a deeper dive into the critical factors that guided my selection:

Core Functionality

  • Real-time Monitoring: The ability to observe and analyze system behavior as it happens.
  • Alert Notifications: Immediate alerts when anomalies or system failures occur.
  • Historical Data Analysis: Tools to evaluate past performance data to identify patterns or recurrent issues.
  • Scalability: The capacity to grow and monitor more extensive networks without compromising performance.

Key Features

  • Customizable Dashboards: Personalize how data is presented based on user preferences or roles.
  • Integration Capabilities: The ability to easily connect with other tools, especially those commonly used in IT environments.
  • Data Visualization: Graphs, charts, and other visual aids to represent complex data simply.
  • Automated Discovery: Automatically identifies and adds new devices or systems to the monitoring scope.
  • Role-Based Access Control: Determine who can see what and ensure that only authorized personnel have access to sensitive data.
  • Event Correlation: Grouping related events to pinpoint root causes of issues, rather than sifting through noise.

Usability

  • Intuitive User Interface: The dashboard and controls should be organized logically, making it easy to locate specific features or data.
  • Drag-and-Drop Customization: For tools that offer customizable dashboards, the ability to adjust elements via drag-and-drop can be invaluable.
  • Accessible Learning Resources: Given the potential complexity of monitoring tools, having a comprehensive resource library, documentation, or training program is crucial for onboarding users.
  • Responsive Customer Support: The availability of expert help, be it through chat, email, or phone, especially during critical downtimes or system issues.
  • Configurable Alerts: The ability to set up alerts based on specific conditions or thresholds, ensuring users receive relevant notifications.

In this type of software, usability becomes paramount. It's not just about having a set of features but how effectively and effortlessly users can employ those features to achieve their monitoring goals.

Most Common Questions Regarding Server Monitoring Software (FAQs)

What are the benefits of using server monitoring tools?

Server monitoring tools offer a range of advantages, including:

  • Proactive Issue Identification: They detect potential problems before they escalate, ensuring minimal downtime.
  • Optimized Performance: By continuously tracking server health and performance, these tools help maintain systems at peak efficiency.
  • Detailed Reporting: They provide insights into server performance metrics, helping businesses make informed decisions.
  • Cost Efficiency: By preventing potential outages and optimizing server use, businesses can save significantly in the long run.
  • Ease of Scalability: As your infrastructure grows, these tools can adapt, ensuring continuous monitoring.

How much do these server monitoring tools typically cost?

The cost varies widely based on the tool, the scale of your operations, and the features you require. Pricing can range from as low as $10/user/month to upwards of $500/user/month for enterprise-level solutions.

What are the common pricing models for these tools?

Most server monitoring software offers a few standard pricing models:

  • Per Device/Node: Pricing is based on the number of devices or nodes you’re monitoring.
  • Per User: Pricing depends on the number of users accessing the tool.
  • Tiered Packages: Offering different feature sets at different price points, allowing businesses to select the one best suited for them.
  • Freemium Models: Basic functionalities are available for free, with premium features at an additional cost.

What's the typical range of pricing for this software?

Typically, for small to mid-sized businesses, the pricing can range between $20 to $200/user/month. For larger enterprises or those requiring advanced functionalities, the pricing can go up to $500/user/month or more.

Which is the cheapest server monitoring software?

Netdata is one of the more affordable options, with its basic version being free and premium features available at a relatively low cost

Which software is the most expensive?

Tools like AppDynamics or Dynatrace, catering primarily to large enterprises with extensive features, tend to be on the higher end of the pricing spectrum.

Are there any free server monitoring tool options available?

Yes, several tools offer free versions. Netdata, for instance, provides a free version. Similarly, tools like Prometheus offer open-source versions that can be used without incurring a cost, although they might require more technical know-how to set up and manage.

Is it worth investing in server monitoring software?

Absolutely. The insights and proactive management these tools offer can prevent costly downtime, enhance server performance, and ultimately lead to better user experience and business efficiency. The initial investment in a good server monitoring tool can save businesses substantial amounts in the long run.

Other Server Monitoring Software Reviews

Summary

Choosing the best server monitoring software is a crucial decision for any business. These tools not only help in maintaining the health and performance of your servers but also play a significant role in ensuring optimal user experience and efficient business operations. The market offers a myriad of options, each with its unique selling proposition, features, and pricing model.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Identify Core Needs: While all server monitoring tools offer basic functionalities, specific needs such as scalability, real-time analytics, or integrations might dictate your choice. Understand your infrastructure and future growth plans to pick a tool that aligns well.
  2. Consider Usability and Onboarding: The tool's interface, ease of use, and onboarding process are essential. A complicated tool might offer many features but can become a bottleneck if your team finds it challenging to use.
  3. Evaluate Cost vs. Value: While pricing is a consideration, it's crucial to weigh the cost against the value the tool provides. Sometimes, investing in a slightly pricier option can offer better features, reliability, and ultimately, a better return on investment.

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Paulo Gardini Miguel
By Paulo Gardini Miguel

Paulo is the Director of Technology at the rapidly growing media tech company BWZ. Prior to that, he worked as a Software Engineering Manager and then Head Of Technology at Navegg, Latin America’s largest data marketplace, and as Full Stack Engineer at MapLink, which provides geolocation APIs as a service. Paulo draws insight from years of experience serving as an infrastructure architect, team leader, and product developer in rapidly scaling web environments. He’s driven to share his expertise with other technology leaders to help them build great teams, improve performance, optimize resources, and create foundations for scalability.