TSPLUS BLOG

Server Monitoring Software – A Pick of the Best

In today's digital landscape, server infrastructure forms the backbone for the IT ecosystem of any organisation. Therefore, ensuring the performance and availability of the servers making up any network is paramount for IT professionals. This is where server monitoring comes into play.
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7 Best Server Monitoring Software Of 2023

In today’s digital landscape, server infrastructure forms the backbone for the IT ecosystem of any organisation. Servers host critical applications, store sensitive data and facilitate communication and collaboration. Therefore, ensuring the performance and availability of the servers making up any network is paramount for IT professionals. This is where server monitoring comes into play. We have pick 7 favourites, including TSplus Server Monitoring, to help you pick out which may suit your business.

Server Monitoring: Ensuring Optimal Performance and Availability

There are dozens if not hundreds of server monitoring software, tools and platforms on the market or in use in 2023. It can be a nightmare trying to determine which one is right for your business. Do you want an out of the box solution or something you can tweak and tailor to your requirements? Before presenting you our pick of the best server monitoring software for this year, let us start with reminders of some basics.

First, what is server monitoring software, then, why is it important? These will be followed by some essential features needed for your monitoring software to be an effective tool. Then only will we look at our top monitoring software and weigh up their pros and cons. You can also compare pricing, read some use cases and more.

This article aims to simplify the search for you. We hope it gives you a satisfactory walk-through of some of the best server monitoring software out there. Though succinct, such a guide should let you define what you want for your company and help you find the closest match.

What is Server Monitoring Software?

Server monitoring software helps businesses keep track of a variety of “metrics” for their servers. Surveillance tools generally provide real-time insights, alerts and reports to ensure optimal server performance and minimise downtime.

Server monitoring refers to the process of observing and tracking the health, performance and utilisation of servers, in real-time. It therefore involves collecting and analysing various metrics and logs. Metrics are the measurements concerning aspects that vary according to how the servers are accessed and used, how they react to the use, and other such markers. Because different servers have varied purposes and uses, there are also a variety of monitoring features and tools to match.

Why is Server Monitoring Important?

Surveillance aims to gain insights into the server’s behaviour, identify potential issues, since these will enable agents to take proactive measures to optimise performance, uptime and availability. These are the main areas of data collection and application:

  1. Preventing Downtime and Performance Issues: Server outages or slowdowns can have severe consequences, resulting in business disruptions, lost revenue and diminished customer satisfaction. Server monitoring allows IT professionals to detect early warning signs, such as resource bottlenecks, hardware failures or software glitches, and take corrective actions before they escalate into major incidents.

  2. Optimising Resource Allocation: By monitoring server performance metrics like CPU usage, memory utilisation, disk I/O and network traffic, IT professionals can gain insights into resource consumption patterns. This information helps in identifying overloaded or underused servers, optimising resource allocation and scaling infrastructure. In turn, they can then work towards efficiently meeting the evolutions in demands of applications and services.

  3. Capacity Planning: Server monitoring provides valuable data for capacity planning. By analysing historical trends and forecasting future resource requirements, IT teams can make informed decisions regarding server upgrades, scaling strategies and infrastructure investments. This proactive approach ensures that the server environment can handle increased workloads and growth yet remain uncompromising on performance.

  4. Security and Compliance: Monitoring server logs and security events enables IT professionals to promptly detect and respond to potential security threats. Intrusion attempts, unauthorised access or abnormal user behaviour can be identified through log analysis and anomaly detection. By monitoring server activities, IT professionals can ensure compliance with industry regulations and implement necessary security measures.

Key Features of Effective Server Monitoring Tools

When selecting a server monitoring solution, IT professionals should consider the following essential features:

  • Real-time Monitoring: The tool should provide real-time visibility into server performance, displaying metrics and alerts as they occur.

  • Comprehensive Metrics: Look for tools that offer the relevant range of metrics, covering CPU, memory, disk, network and application-specific performance indicators.

  • Alerting and Notifications: Whether they come via email, SMS or other communication channels, the ability to configure customisable alerts and receive notifications is crucial for timely incident response.

  • Historical Data and Reporting: A good server monitoring tool should store historical performance data and provide intuitive reporting capabilities. Thus, IT teams can analyse trends, generate insights and demonstrate compliance.

  • Scalability and Flexibility: Choose a tool which scales with your server environment and supports different operating systems and server types, including physical, virtual, and cloud-based servers.

All this to remind you that surveillance of your networks and farms is an indispensable practice for IT teams, especially those responsible for managing and maintaining server infrastructure. By leveraging server monitoring tools and adopting proactive monitoring strategies, businesses and larger organisations can enhance server performance, maximise uptime and deliver optimal user experiences.

The ability to identify potential issues before they impact the business means you can effectively address server-related challenges and ensure your company and clients a robust and reliable IT environment.

The Best Server Monitoring Software

  • Nagios XI: best all-rounder for comprehensive server monitoring;

  • Zabbix: best open-source server monitoring solution;

  • SolarWinds: best for network and server performance monitoring;

  • Datadog: best consolidated monitoring platform;

  • PRTG Network Monitor: best for easy setup and usability;

  • What’sUp Gold: best for Windows server monitoring;

  • TSplus Server Monitoring: best for simplicity, efficiency and affordability.

Nagios logo

1. Nagios XI

This all-rounder offers comprehensive server monitoring. Nagios XI provides real-time monitoring of operating systems, applications and infrastructure performance. With a robust monitoring engine and an updated web interface, it demonstrates excellent visualisation and reporting capabilities.

Pros:
  • Comprehensive Monitoring: Nagios XI offers real-time monitoring of operating systems, applications, and infrastructure performance, providing a centralised view of your server and network operations.

  • Robust Monitoring Engine: With its robust monitoring engine, Nagios XI can handle a wide range of monitoring tasks and supports various third-party plugins, making it highly adaptable to monitor different types of applications.

Cons:
  • Steep Learning Curve: Nagios XI can be challenging to set up and configure, especially for beginner techs or organisations without sufficient IT support.

  • Complex Configuration: The configuration process for Nagios XI can be overwhelming, as it requires managing text files for customisation and fine-tuning.

Zabbix logo

2. Zabbix

This is our top pick for open-source server monitoring solutions. Zabbix is a free and open-source Linux server monitoring tool that offers enterprise-level monitoring. It provides a user-friendly web interface and customisable metrics and supports various servers and operating systems.

Pros:
  • Enterprise-level Monitoring: Zabbix is an enterprise-level monitoring solution that supports monitoring servers, networks, cloud services, applications and services. It offers extensive monitoring capabilities for large-scale infrastructures.

  • Web Interface Configuration: Zabbix allows configuration directly from its web interface, simplifying the setup process compared to tools that require manual editing of configuration files.

Cons:
  • Initial Setup Complexity: While Zabbix provides powerful monitoring capabilities, the initial setup process can be complex, requiring careful configuration and customisation to suit specific monitoring needs.

  • Resource Intensive: Zabbix can be resource-intensive, particularly when monitoring a large number of devices and collecting a vast amount of data, which may impact performance if not properly managed.

Solarwinds logo

3. SolarWinds

Best server monitoring software for network and server performance monitoring. SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor is a comprehensive solution for monitoring servers, virtualisation, disk space, configurations and backups. It offers pre-defined templates, fast setup and integration with other SolarWinds tools.

Pros:
  • Vast Predefined Templates: SolarWinds offers a wide range of predefined templates (over 1,200) for various types of servers and cloud services, enabling quick and easy setup and monitoring.

  • Comprehensive Monitoring Solutions: SolarWinds provides monitoring solutions for server infrastructure, applications, databases and security, covering multiple aspects of IT operations.

Cons:
  • Cost: SolarWinds products, including server monitoring solutions, are typically commercial and come with a price tag. The cost may be a consideration for smaller businesses with limited budgets.

  • Learning Curve for Advanced Features: While SolarWinds offers extensive features and capabilities, some of the more advanced functionalities may require time and effort to fully understand and use.

Datadog logo purple

4. Datadog

As a consolidated monitoring platform, Datadog is a centralised monitoring platform for servers, applications and stacks. It provides real-time metrics, source control and bug tracking integration. Additionally, Datadog provides comprehensive insights into application and data flow.

Pros:
  • Unified Monitoring Platform: Datadog provides a consolidated monitoring platform that covers servers, applications and stacks, offering a centralised dashboard for real-time observability across the entire technology stack.

  • Rich Integration Ecosystem: Datadog integrates with numerous tools and services, allowing users to combine and analyse data from different sources, providing a holistic view of their environment.

Cons:
  • Initial Setup and Configuration: The initial setup and configuration of Datadog may require some time and effort, especially when integrating with various systems and defining customized monitoring setups.

  • Pricing: While Datadog offers valuable features, the pricing may be a consideration for smaller organisations, as it is not a free tool and the cost can vary based on the volume of monitored resources.

PRTG network monitor logo

5. PRTG Network Monitor:

Here is our favourite surveillance tool for easy setup and usability. PRTG Network Monitor is a user-friendly tool suitable for both small and enterprise environments. It offers customisable dashboards, real-time monitoring and a wide range of predefined templates for quick installation and configuration.

Pros:
  • User-Friendly Interface: PRTG Network Monitor offers a user-friendly interface, making it easy for users to set up and configure monitoring parameters without extensive technical knowledge.

  • Versatile Monitoring Capabilities: PRTG Network Monitor supports infrastructure monitoring, flow and packet sniffing, and offers a wide range of sensors for monitoring different aspects of the network.

Cons:
  • Limited Free Version: While PRTG Network Monitor does offer a free version, it comes with limitations in terms of the number of sensors that can be monitored, making it less suitable for larger environments.

  • Pricing Structure: The pricing structure of PRTG Network Monitor is based on the number of sensors used, which may result in higher costs as the number of monitored elements increases.

What'sUp Gold logo

6. What’sUp Gold

To focus on Windows server monitoring, this is the top tool. What’sUp Gold indeed specialises in monitoring Windows servers, applications, virtual machines and traffic flow. It offers detailed interactive maps, real-time alerts and integrations with other applications. All this makes for effective monitoring and management.

Pros:
  • Comprehensive Network Monitoring: What’sUp Gold provides comprehensive network monitoring capabilities, including layer 2/3 discovery, traffic flow monitoring, and application monitoring across Windows, Java and LAMP environments.

  • Interactive Network Maps: What’sUp Gold offers interactive maps that visualise the entire network infrastructure, providing a centralised view and enabling efficient monitoring and management.

Cons:
  • Windows-Centric Focus: While What’sUp Gold supports monitoring various environments, it has a stronger focus on Windows servers and may have comparatively fewer features for other operating systems.

  • Limited Free Option: What’sUp Gold does not provide a free option, and companies must configure the pricing and subscription plans based on their specific needs.

TSplus Server Monitoring logo

7. TSplus Server Monitoring

Last but not least, here is our favourite for simplicity, efficiency and affordability, TSplus Server Monitoring. Our very own monitoring software is straightforward to install and use and will monitor your Windows and Linux servers. It is ideal to retrieve historical and real-time data about your servers but also websites, users and applications.

Pros:
  • Excellent After-Sales Service and Support: Customers and resellers appreciate the after-sales service and support provided by TSplus. The company goes above and beyond to assist its customers. This level of support ensures that all users have the necessary guidance and assistance in using and troubleshooting their software.

  • Reliable and Stable Performance: Feedback indicates that TSplus Server Monitoring delivers a stable and reliable monitoring solution. Users value the ability to depend on the software for their server monitoring needs, particularly in environments with high simultaneous logins and server usage.

  • User-Friendly Interface: Many clients have praised the user-friendly interface of TSplus Server Monitoring. They appreciate its intuitive design, which makes it easy to navigate and access important server monitoring features. The simplified browser-like interface allows users to quickly view and understand server metric and generate alerts and reports without requiring extensive technical knowledge.

Cons:
  • Further information may be required to assess integration options with other tools or systems. This can be a drawback for businesses that already have existing monitoring solutions or require integration with other IT management platforms. Customers would like to be made aware of how TSplus Server Monitoring will integrate into their overall monitoring ecosystem.

  • Will benefit from wider OS compatibility. For the moment, TSplus Server Monitoring accepts Windows and Linux servers as well as any websites.

Pricing Summary of the Top 7 Server Monitoring Software

Like most products, prices for server monitoring software range from free options to subscription-based plans, and some even have lifetime licensing. Consider the features, scalability and support provided by each tool to make an informed decision based on your budget and requirements.

Here is a summary of the pricing for the software mentioned in this article:

Before You Jump In – What to Look For in Server Monitoring Software?

When choosing server monitoring software, consider factors such as automation capabilities, ease of use, scalability and integration options. Look for features that align with your specific monitoring needs, including scalability as your enterprise grows.

Also, consider cost. Bear in mind cost will be both financial and in time and staffing. Your business may benefit from spreading financial cost over the long term or from an upfront investment. Your may have staff who have the skill and time to adapt a versatile configurable tool to your needs. Or your teams may be stretched already and want a tool which will be up and running in a tick and save them extra work.

Each of these factors and more can take time to balance. Be prepared to compromise on the appropriate aspects and be less flexible on the key points.

To Conclude our Tour of the Best Server Monitoring Software – What’s Next?

In conclusion, choosing the right server monitoring software is crucial for maintaining optimal server performance and minimizing downtime. We hope this articled helped you assess your specific needs, evaluate the features and cost of each tool and select the one that best fits your business requirements.

Remember, investing in robust server monitoring software is an investment in the stability and efficiency of your IT infrastructure. That is why we are so proud of the accessible prices of our licences and the simplicity of our consoles. Whatever happens, try out the products you mean to choose. This will help you decide more wisely and keep your servers running at their best.

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