What is happening with your apps? How about your server? When was the last time you really analyzed your logs? Probably never! We don’t blame you, the manual process of analyzing and monitoring a server can feel like a ton of work, and it is, but monitoring has some intense benefits to take advantage of, especially in the field of application/server security, but also understanding how your users are using your app, and what you can do to improve the user experience, believe it or not — there’s a lot of room for improvements, even if you think that you have done everything in your power. There’s always something more, and these apps/tools will tell you exactly what it is. Monitoring is all about understanding the connection between the app and the server, the app and the user, and all the other wonderful variations that you can imagine.
When this post was first proposed as an idea, we didn’t seem to think much of it, yet that was also when it struck us, during our research, that there is huge demand for monitoring tools, especially for things like uptime monitoring, general server health monitoring, and user accessibility monitoring. All these categories have tens of startups working hard on producing the best possible tool to solve the given issue. We had some fun and learned that out of the 100+ tools on the market right now, about 30 of them are worth a mention of their own, not because they have great communities behind them, but because they achieve the result of smooth monitoring functionality, without much of an interference to your workflow.
Uptime is the one essential thing to keep your customers happy. If your applications or websites are offline, how can customers access what you have to offer? Although we’re experiencing greater uptime rates as technology evolves, it isn’t uncommon for developers to run into server problems, and have the application go offline, often unexpectedly. Even the most popular businesses in the world experience uptime problems, but the one thing that they excel at is monitoring their uptime rates, and understanding spikes and then resolving those issues to avoid any future issues. Happy Apps business model is built around uptime monitoring for apps and your server infrastructure. The platform can check the performance of all your system aspects, including databases which often can lag out due to overload and such. Happy Apps also covers detailed reports for any unexpected downtime, and gives you direct insight as to where you need to look to fix the problem.
New Relic (Our Favorite)
New Relic grew immensely over the last two years, thanks to their dedication to development of a real-time monitoring and analysis application that gives you all the necessary insight to understand your application performance. Whether you want to monitor the page load times, or see what eats up most of your server memory, New Relic can carefully detail all these aspects through visual analysis methods. New Relic doesn’t stop at app monitoring either, their services extend to the browser, mobile, and your system too. So you can easily monitor all the important and sensitive parts of your infrastructure from one place. Built for modern applications to support the way DevOps teams work, New Relic APM is designed with the flexibility to monitor apps in any language, on any hosting configuration, and across any configuration of backend or 3rd party services. Integrate in minutes, and get access to your application performance data immediately.
NodeQuery provides a sophisticated platform for monitoring the health of your linux servers; the most popular operating system for modern server management. With an easy to setup process, you can start monitoring your server in just seconds; the process of activating NodeQuery is a single line of command. The platform monitors memory, and server usage and helps you to understand where possible performance leaks exist, so that you can get on top of them and fix them in any future releases. What all these monitoring tools are all about, is the helpful approach towards understanding potential problems before they become real problems, at which point it can be too late to fix anything, or data can be misplaced in the process. Investing in server monitoring is a wise choice, and a wise way of spending your financial budget.
Monitoring tools don’t have to be expensive either. There are countless services out there, such as WatchSumo, that provide free server and website monitoring to keep you up to date with your performance. WatchSumo lets you add unlimited number of websites for easy performance monitoring. That includes monitoring the state of youe website, and also the response time of the website. If WatchSumo detects that your websites are lagging or have gone offline, you will be able to get an instant email notification (or a notification through the API) about the status of your website. Detailed analytics are available to see if there have been any spikes in performance over the last few days or months.
Circonus works with DevOp’s to help them understand their systems better. Circonus main selling points are the concise real-time metrics analysis of your system that can be quickly turned into visualizations, ready for instant delivery and fixing. Circonus can help you analyze metrics such as: network, cloud, machine data, devices, servers, web, rss feeds, internet of things, databases, business data, virtual data, ecommerce, and software. All these metrics can be combined into real-time analysis such as reports, graphs, thresholds, and even root cause analysis of where the problems are originating from. A truly invaluable tool for any devop who wants to stay on top of his system, and never let it run into the hole.
StatusCake is loved by thens of thousands of users. It’s the quintessential website monitoring and downtime monitoring platform to keep your insight about your website performance fresh, and real. Their list of clients include Google, Netflix, GoDaddy, Disney, and many other prominent names in the business field. Don’t risk having your websites go down unnoticed, StatusCake will do everything in its power to alert you about any potential issues with your website, instantly.
TrueSight Pulse was converted into a separate montioring service that was previously known as Boundary. The platform offers concise real-time analysis of your cloud, and physical servers and their ecosystem. You can monitor applications like databases, but also web servers like Apache and so forth. All data is streamed in real-time giving you a look of how well your servers are dealing with load, and general server configuration. The more of this data you can get your hands on, the easier it becomes to configure your server to be bulletproof against any potential issues in the future. It’s super easy to setup, and has in-built alert tools to keep you up to date about what is happening to your infrastructure.
Testing and in turn monitoring goes beyond the real-time server analysis, the structure of an application or a server involves many unique aspects, one of which is UI; User Interface. Just like your server needs stress testing, so does your UI. Ghost Inspector is a Chrome extension that you add to your browser. Once added, you can start testing websites for their UI performance and whether at any point errors are being encountered, the Ghost Inspector widget will record all that data for instant availability. You can also avoid the recording part altogether, and instead use the visual editor to create your own manual tests and only test the things that are important to you. Once a test has been recorded or built, you can continue to monitor the results and see what parts of your UI are not functioning as you’d expect them to function.
Check my Website
Check my Website checks your website status from various locations across the world, so in case it seems like the server is down only from one location, you can verify and make sure that it is down everywhere. The notifications feature lets you receive instant updates and notifications through email, or directly to your mobile phone using SMS. The recorded logs history allows you to frequently check back to the stats to see if at any point your website was undergoing a difficult time. Check my Website can also record snapshots of your website and provide more deep understanding of how your websites interact with different browsers. You can create your own status page with a custom domain name and use that to put in the footer of your application to allow users check if any of your services are currently down, or undergoing maintanence.
AppNeta provides four different products: Trace, App, Flow, and Path — all ending with View. The combined power of all these four tools is irreplaceable. You can monitor code performance, you can monitor how different data interacts with your codebase, you can preview the impact that external traffic has on your apps, and you can setup a fully supported network analysis platform to gain insight into your network performance. It is being marketed to both DevOp’s and IT specialists.
ThousandEyes focuses on both the external and internal performance of your network. Such analysis helps to improve your application’s performance and delivery rates, but also to reduce the number of times your server crashes. What’s most intriguing about ThousandEyes, their algorithm can intuitively detect if there are any upcoming crashes or server errors coming up, so you can fix them before they even happen. That’s a truly unique way of approaching problems. The visual analysis tools really capture the essence of how ThousandEyes work, and how it can be used as an internal tool for all things testing, and all things performance. Get as much insight about your page load times, as you can for your server load. A key to understanding network performance is knowing how it changes
over time. Navigate seamlessly across a month of detailed performance data using the Interactive Timeline. Baseline performance across locations and metrics. See where path changes increase latency or introduce packet loss.
Stackdriver specializes across a wide array of monitoring techniques. They’re one of the rare platforms that tap into the Amazon Web Services API and provide concise real-time analytics for how your AWS servers and apps are performing. They’re also keen on helping developers to analyze their stack, monitoring application and infrastructure uptime, and provide unique monitoring options for serious enterprise level businesses.
OpsGenie is happy to advertise their diverse range of clients: New Relic, Datadog, Zendesk, Pingdom and others. OpsGenie keeps you up to the second detail of any alerts that your apps are experiencing. Any upcoming alerts can be networked through OpsGenie and then received directly on your smartphone, so even if you’re a plane to Hawaii, you can always get notified and alert your team that fixes need to be implemented.
Welcome to Uptime Robot! Monitor up to 50 websites that are checked once every few minutes, all for no cost at all. You can configure multiple uptime monitoring sources, including for websites, ports, and even keywords. Your notification methods include SMS, social media (Twitter), Slack chat rooms, and API hooks that you can directly hook into your existing apps. You can look up the uptime rates, the downtime rates, and amount of times it takes for your websites/apps to respond. All notifications are verified before confirmed, by checking the uptime ration from multiple locations around the globe. You can also publish your own status page using Uptime Robot, a feature that has been highly utilized by its clients already.
Elasticsearch, Solr & Lucene are the three names that you’ll frequently hear about if you’re planning to explore the world of big data. Monitoring big data can be a tough task because of how complex the data usually is, but also how complex the system is that is running that software. Sematext is a business model that works around the idea of helping you to monitor your big data, and in turn understand its content and uses.
We had barely any cloud monitoring platforms throughout the list so far, so it’s time we add some, starting with Datadog. Datadog is used by IT experts and DevOp teams who want to better understand their network and app performance in the cloud. Gain clear metrics and insights about your application, network and server performance within a single dashboard. The key component of Datadog is the easy integration between cloud apps and services. Here are few of the services that Datadog supports: Amazon, Apache, Bitbucket, Cassandra, Docker, Go, Java, Slack, Redis, MySQL.. do we need to go on? With the integration of Datadog you’ll have access to automation tools, monitoring tools, database management tools, all these wonderful tools for the platforms that you’re running the cloud.
Node.js has some of the most widespread use in modern apps, and Node.js continues to act as one of the most solid frameworks that the current era of web and server development has seen. Hundreds of thousands of packages have been built just for Node.js, but have you taken care of an application that can monitor all those packages and their effects on your bottom line? That’s where Keymetrics comes in, a server, application, and transaction monitoring tool for Node.js apps! The real-time reporting here is important to help you stay above any potential errors or issues with your configurations. You can build your own custom metrics and get the data that’s important to your team.
APIs have evolved as some of the most essential parts of web development. So many apps are being produced right now that rely on pure API services to exist in the first place. A good example is all those social media monitoring apps on the market, the only reason they can do what they do (report and monitor) is because of complex API functions and calls. And if you’re relying on external APIs for your service, or even internal, it’s best that you have the right tools to monitor their health during any time of the day. Something that Runscope specializes in. The product monitors API performance, and it also verifies any data that is being sent through the API, so you don’t end up delivering garbage where there’s no need to.
The ProbeAPI ensures that your APIs are functioning across the planet in an efficient way without losing any data to you. Learn more about your content delivery with ProbeAPI and get on top of those nasty leaks quick.
Performance is the public enemy number one where developers are concerned. Learning the process of building highly reliable apps and networks is crucial, but this will be a though task to fulfill if you’re not using platforms like Blackfire, these guys are specialists in performance testing, test automation, and the process of understanding how your apps work in the real world. Blackfire can analyze data like CPU load, I/I load, memory loads, network interaction, database and web server requests. All that juicy data that helps you hop back into the driver’s seat of performance optimization. Profiling is done on demand. The only request showing overhead is the one being profiled, only for the profiling session. No other session or request is impacted. You can safely use Blackfire on production servers.
Want to start working APIs, but don’t have a clue as to where to start? Start with APImetrics, a full fledged API solution for businesses and enterprises alike. Use a visual editor to create and deploy complex APIs all across the globe, access the API analytics platform to have all the data presented to you in a single dashboard. Create custom workflow to make continuous sequences of calls. Configure your API so that it can be run anywhere, be it cloud, or your own server infrastructure.
Don’t want to trust all these companies with your server monitoring requirements? Sometimes that’s the case, so why not opt for a self-hosted solution, such as the one from OpsDash (a sister platform of RapidLoop), and deploy your own monitoring dashboard on your own server. You can monitor servers, clusters, services, and even manage uptime monitoring. All the good features in a single dashboard that comes at the price of one dollar per month. That’s two coffee cups per year to have your own monitoring dashboard from a reputable and experienced company. Does’nt get any cheaper than that.
StatHat puts all your important server and web statistics into a single dashboard. Built over a decade ago by the same people who brought us OkCupid.
Wasting time on trying to understand why an error or performance issue is occuring, without the use of an external application to do the analysis for you, well..that’s another waste of time. Skylight gives you the necessary features to understand why your apps are slow, and what you can do about that slowness to fix it once and for all. Skylight although an appealing platform, is only available for Ruby on Rails developers.
Application performance doesn’t just stop at improved load times, or network interaction. Performance is a crucial element when we talked about UX and the way that performance is affecting the browsing experience for the users of your apps. That’s why AppDynamics came into the market, to allow developers utilize a single platform that could give the perfect insight into why something doesn’t work the way it should, and what can be done to fix it.
Dead Man’s Snitch
The infrastructure of a professional business application is very complicated. One needs to ensure that tasks are being run regularly, there needs to be constant checks for backups and another check to see if email is being sent out properly. The number of such checks extends well beyond the basics, and can be a time consuming process if not automated. So.. say hello to the Dead Man’s Snitch — a simple and interactive platform that analyzes all the automated tasks on your server and tells you whether they are working and functioning properly, or perhaps you need to reassess the situation and fix something. It’s only when you establish these tools in your workflow, that you can start to understand their importance in your business operations where IT is concerned.
Cloud is everywhere, and so is cloud software. Librato explores the possibilities of real-time monitoring for your cloud application, and provides a consistent technological approach towards visualizing the important data of your cloud platforms, in a way where the data itself becomes useful towards making your platform grow based on what Librato is learning from the data that’s being transferred through its algorithms.
Grab Freeboard to visualize the way your application interacts with the rest of the world. Gain deep understanding of the little quirks that make your app so appealing.
It was quite obvious throughout the list of these amazing monitoring tools that many are premium, and require an investment of financial proportions. But, there’s nothing stopping companies from employing these financial challenges because of the value that such monitoring tools and resources are able to give back. Now that we’ve reached the end of the list, we wanted to end it with mentioning Loader — a free load testing platform that’s built inside of the cloud, giving you great performance results and great insight about the maximum load that your apps or websites can take.