APM, Channel technologies, IT management, MSP

10 Most Popular Monitoring Tools: Cloud, APM, Web and More

I don't want to call them the best monitoring tools. But it's safe to say these 10 companies have the most widely deployed tools for cloud and systems monitoring; application performance management (APM); web and user monitoring; and log management.

First, some background. The list is based on a user survey by BigPanda, which was seeking to pinpoint the state of monitoring for 2016. trends. More than 1,700 people participated in the survey. They represent employees across small, midsize and large enterprises. So what tools are they using to monitor and manage cloud and on-premises workloads, infrastructure and more? Here's the top 10 list according to respondents...

Top 10 Most Popular Monitoring Tools

1. SolarWinds: Known for a range of IT management software, SolarWinds has monitoring tools for networking, applications, databases, virtualization, storage, security and servers. The company also offers SolarWinds N-able -- a remote monitoring and management (RMM) tool for MSPs. The N-able portfolio has grown to offer a ticketing system and remote control system for MSPs as well.

2. Nagios: The toolset includes monitoring for servers, networks and applications. Launched in 1999, Nagios has grown to include thousands of projects developed by the worldwide Nagios community. Aside from the open source offerings, Nagios is officially sponsored by Nagios Enterprises, which sells commercial products and services.

3. SplunkThe company's core products include Splunk Enterprise (search, monitor, analyze machine data); Splunk Cloud (a SaaS-based version of Splunk Enterprise); Splunk Light (log and analysis for small IT environments) and Hunk (analyze data in Hadoop to find the business value). Additional offerings involve security, service intelligence and analytics.

4. Amazon Cloudwatch: Naturally, the world's largest public cloud service needs monitoring tools. CloudWatch is a monitoring service for Amazon Web Services cloud resources and associated applications. It can collect and track metrics, collect and monitor log files, set alarms, and automatically react to changes in AWS resources, Amazon asserts.

5. New Relic: The company specializes in SaaS-based Application Performance Management (APM). As of May 2016, New Relic delivers real-time insights to more than 1 million users and 13,000 paid business accounts. The platform is designed to monitor software in virtually any environment, without having to build or maintain dedicated infrastructure, the company claims. Yes, New Relic has an emerging partner program.

6. Logstash: A tool for managing events and logs. When used generically the term encompases a larger system of log collection, processing, storage and searching activities. It's often associated with Elastic.co.

7. Pingdom: Known for website monitoring, more than 700,000 users leverage the SaaS-based service -- which starts at $15 per month.

8.. PRTG: From Paessler, which is perhaps best-known for network monitoring software. The company also works closely with partners -- particularly MSPs.

9. AppDynamics: Another key Application Performance Management (APM) and monitoring player. The company also positions itself in the ITOA (IT operations analytics) sector.

10. Zabbix: With a strong open source heritage, Zabbix focuses on enterprise-class monitoring -- and the company has been lining up partners.

What About RMM, Enterprise Giants?

At least two key sectors are largely missing from the list.

First up, there are the classic IT management players -- where names like CA Inc., BMC, Hewlett Packard Enterprise and IBM enter the conversation. While still successful in the IT management market, those players haven't been as dominant in the more recent cloud, network and network monitoring world.

Second, most of the major RMM (remote monitoring and management) players that support SMB MSPs aren't on the list. The reason? Generally speaking, RMM tools are highly specialized and have tens of thousands of users --rather than hundreds of thousands or millions.

If you're looking for a snapshot of the RMM software market, check out this Top 10 RMM Software Predictions List for 2016. Or, you can check out this top 50 list of cloud monitoring and management tools.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.