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DevOps Monitoring Tools: Sensu, Librato, Prometheus and More

Table of Contents

The success of IT products can be measured by the number of users and their satisfaction when using the product. One way to satisfy users is providing a system with stable quality. Especially in DevOps activities, DevOps monitoring tools are needed to ensure product reliability. In this article, we will go through the list of continuous monitoring tools in DevOps.

What is DevOps Monitoring?

DevOps Monitoring is a system used to collect information about the hardware and software of an IT system. The monitoring system collects detailed information from the server’s status (CPU, memory, network,…) and then shows how the server handles user requests (number of requests/s, server processing time).

DevOps Monitoring Tools

Roles of DevOps Monitoring

A monitoring system will help us to have a view of the products’ quality and problems. It will automatically warn us as soon as it detects something unusual. Now, instead of being notified by the user that the server has a problem, we can notice and fix it before the user realizes it. Moreover, for complex systems, the monitoring tools also help us to know which components are prone to problems so that we can focus on improving quality.

Specific features:

  • Ensuring operating time in the best condition for uninterrupted business operations.
  • Provides detailed information about the performance of all devices and network interfaces, along with their hierarchy.
  • Detailed performance analysis at device and interface levels using a set of performance metrics.
  • Identify threats in advance.
  • Provide necessary alerts and prevent downtime.

3 types of DevOps monitoring tools

There are 3 main kinds of monitoring tools for DevOps:

Server monitoring

Server monitoring is the process of reviewing and analyzing a server for availability, activity, performance, security, etc. It is done by server administrators to ensure that the server is working as expected and to minimize problems when they become apparent.

It can be done by manual techniques and automatic server monitoring software. Depending on the type of server, server monitoring can have different goals.

For example:

  • The application server is monitored for its availability and responsiveness of the server.
  • Storage servers are monitored for availability, capacity, latency, and data loss.
  • The web server is monitored for user load, security, and speed.

Server monitoring also monitors the performance and activity of components and devices at a granular level, including CPU utilization, and available storage. The main goal is protecting the server from possible failure.

Network monitoring

Network monitoring is a system that monitors the problems, performance, and status of devices and computers in the network. The system includes software that records information and helps system administrators to track information through it. This software also can send notifications, and warnings to system administrators when there is a risk of a problem or an ongoing problem via SMS, email, etc) over the internet.

Monitoring through the protocols is provided by the device or its operating system, one of the most important and widely used is SNMP, besides there are many other protocols such as Netflow, WMI, ICMP, and IPSLA… These protocols collect information on the device and send the data to the system monitoring software, the software will process and store this data in the database. As a result, the monitoring process will be displayed on the management interface, allowing the administrator to review the status and problems of the network system, and at the same time send alerts via email, SMS, and chat… according to the administrator’s configuration.

Application performance monitoring

Application Performance Monitoring (APM) is the last type of three monitoring tools in DevOps. It is the practice of tracking key software application performance metrics using monitoring software and telemetry data. APM ensures that the applications work to meet performance standards and provide a smooth user experience. Mobile apps, websites, and business apps are typical use cases for tracking.

IT professionals can use performance metrics – APM tools that collect from a specific application or multiple applications on the same network – to identify the root cause of problems. The data that APM tools collect includes client CPU usage, memory demand, data throughput, and bandwidth consumption.

Application Performance Monitoring focuses on monitoring 5 key components of application performance:

  • Runtime application architecture
  • Real user monitoring
  • Business transactions
  • Component monitoring
  • Analytics and Reporting

Best DevOps Automation Tools List For 2023

DevOps monitoring tools list

Here are some of the top monitoring tools you can check in the DevOps monitoring tools list:

Nagios

Nagios is a free and open-source software application for computer systems. It is used to monitor systems, networks, and infrastructure. Nagios can notify technical staff of the problem, allowing them to initiate remediation processes before the outage affects business processes, end users, or customers.

Specifically:

  • Nagios identifies all types of server and network problems, helping users analyze the root cause of the problem.
  • It screens the entire business process and end-to-end infrastructure and allows users to fix server performance issues. It also helps users plan their infrastructure and update accordingly to avoid outdated applications that cause some problems.
  • Nagios uses a single pass to monitor the entire infrastructure.
  • The maintenance and security of the server can be standardized and managed by Nagios, and problems are fixed automatically. If there are any fluctuations in the system, it will trigger an alert to stop it.
  • It also has a highly reliable database and an efficient log-tracking system with an informative web interface.
    Nagios is used for periodic monitoring network services like SMTP, HTTP, NNTP, ICMP, FTP, POP, SNMP, etc.

Prometheus

Prometheus is a system monitoring and alerting service. It is free and known as one of the best DevOps monitoring tools service. The most important feature of Prometheus is the collection of parameters and data from the targets (services) targeted at certain pre-set intervals. There are also other APIs that display results, evaluate with regular expressions, and issue warnings. Prometheus also provides a very powerful query language PromQL, which is extremely useful when communicating with other monitor services.

Some features of Prometheus:

  • The time series data model is particularly well suited for tracking metrics over time.
  • Has its query language PromQL which is very powerful.
  • Integrates well with many application platforms.
  • Requires infrastructure for simple deployment.
  • Push Gateway support (when working with short-lived services and cancels upon completion).
  • Support Service discovery or static configuration to find and target to be tracked.

Sensu

Sensu is a collaboration between development and operations that relies on self-service workflows with integrated authentication solutions. Sensu monitoring is a solution that provides health checks, incident management, self-healing, alerting, and OSS observability across multiple environments. You can codify monitoring workflows in declarative configuration files and share them with your engineers.

Zabbix

Zabbix is ​​a well-known open-source tool that solves our problems of monitoring – software that uses a network’s parameters, the health, and the integrity of servers and network devices.

Zabbix uses a flexible and highly customizable notification mechanism that allows users to configure email or SMS to alert based on pre-set events. Also, Zabbix provides accurate data and reporting based on the database. This makes Zabbix more ideal, suitable for medium and large networks of existing businesses with a moderate investment cost.

Some Advantages:

  • Automatically monitor, find and detect servers and networks.
  • Support server installed on Unix/Linux operating system line.
  • Support multi-OS client workstations.
  • The web interface is extremely sophisticated and beautiful.
  • Notifications via email, OTP App, and SMS.
  • Open source, low investment cost.
  • Charts for monitoring and reporting through the interface.
  • Control login tracking.
  • Flexibility in user authorization.
  • Many Plugins support.

Monit

Monit is a free and open-source DevOps monitoring tool for Unix and Linux, which runs on localhost. What sets Monit apart from other monitoring tools is its ability to perform automated maintenance, repair, and run meaningful causal actions in failure situations.
Because of its ability, Monit is quite popular, especially with the Ruby On Rails community – when Ruby on Rails applications needs to manage a lot of processes. Many popular Rails sites already use Monit, like Twitter and Scribd.

Splunk

Splunk is software for storing and indexing machine data types for search and analysis needs. Splunk supports most data types from machine systems, servers, virtual machines (VMware), network devices, firewalls… and all Unix and Windows platforms.

It provides an intuitive web interface to use data as well as change the configuration of receiving, storing and classifying data.

  • Indexing: Splunk categorizes syntactically parses each input source/type and adds a dictionary of keywords so that the data can be searched.
  • Data model: Splunk provides the ability to create hierarchies of one or more indexed data fields.
  • Representation (Pivot): Splunk provides a Pivot Editor feature that helps users to represent data models in the form of tables, charts, and visual graphs. Pivots can be saved as reports or saved to pivot tables.
    Search: Search in all indexed databases. The returned results are rows of data that match the search criteria. All alerts, reports, and charts are based on search results. Splunk uses a separate set of syntax for searching, the Splunk Search Processing Language (SPL).
  • Alerts: Issue alerts, based on real-time or historical search results, in the form of mail and/or run automated scripts to initially troubleshoot. Alerts can be generated directly from a search result or a statistic.
  • Report: Reports are saved searches and graphs. Reports can be generated instantaneously, periodically, or over a period of time. Reports can also be set to output alerts and can be included in dashboards.
  • Dashboard: Create a summary of statistics, charts, and warnings. The dashboard helps to focus on tracking the same object, which is a data type or a collection of multiple data types.

Chaossearch

ChaosSearch is one of the popular tools for continuous monitoring include in DevOps. It is used for searching, finding, introspecting, and interrogating your historical log and event data.

ChaosSearch is a new approach with innovative technology that manages the tsunami of log and event data being generated today as well as unlocks the value of its analysis.

Although, first and foremost, ChaosSearch is a search and analytic service for detecting and inspecting historical log and event data over days, weeks, months, and years, directly in your cloud object storage. This service is not like anything you have seen before — there are several important advantages and differences…

Sematext

Sematext Synthetic is an intuitive, easy-to-use, and reliable website speed testing tool that monitors the availability of your APIs and websites from multiple locations around the globe, measuring performance across devices, browsers and identifying problems with third-party resources.

You can use Sematext to measure more than 25 website performance metrics, including the basic ones:

  • Core Web Vitals
  • Page speed and load times
  • Number of requests
  • Page sizes
  • Time to first byte
  • First meaningful paint
  • HTTP headers
  • Request waterfall

ELK

ELK Stack is a collection of 3 pieces of software that go together for logging work:

  • Elasticsearch: Database for storing, searching, and querying logs.
  • Logstash: Receives logs from multiple sources, then processes logs and writes data to Elasticsearch.
  • Kibana: Interface to manage and log statistics. Read information from Elasticsearch.

The strength of ELK is the ability to collect, display, and query in real-time. Can satisfy the query of an extremely large amount of data.

Big Panda

BigPanda gives DevOps activities the monitoring alerts, changes, and topology data from the entire IT stack into a single place. BigPanda’s solution helps operating costs and improves performance and availability.

Git

Git is a Distributed Version Control System (DVCS), and it is one of the most popular distributed version management systems today. Git provides each developer with its repository containing a complete change history.

Advantages:

  • Easy to use, quick to operate, compact, fast, and very safe.
  • It’s easy to combine branches, which can make the team coding workflow a lot simpler.
  • Just clone the source code from the repository or clone a changed version from the repository or a branch from the repository, you can work anywhere, anytime.
  • Deployment of your product couldn’t be easier.

Appdynamic

AppDynamics is a software to monitor real-time features of many types of web applications such as Java or .NET…

It is a monitoring system that has virtually no impact on the operating environment the monitored system is in, and can also monitor the processing status of externally linked services. The console screen is designed to be intuitive and easy to understand, and from the statistical data, this DevOps tool also automatically creates a map of the system’s usage status, so when there is a problem with the system, it can be easily handled.

Selenium

In the list of DevOps operations tools for continuous monitoring, Selenium has known as a set of specialized tools in open source automation testing for web applications, as well as supporting operation on browsers with different platforms such as Mac, Linux, Windows,… With Selenium, it is possible to write test scripts in many different programming languages ​​such as Java, PHP, C#, Ruby, or Python.

Selenium is used to automate browser operations or simulate browser-based interactions similar to a real user. Therefore, you can automatically program it to turn on browsers, open a link, input data, upload, download data from a web page or even get an info page.

PagerDuty

PagerDuty is an incident management cloud platform that provides reliable notifications, automatic updates, call scheduling, and it can help to detect and fix problems on the go.

CloudZero

CloudZero is a solution for Untangle Your Cloud Cost Once And For All. It can improve your unit economics, empower engineering to control spending, and connect the dots between cloud cost and your business.

CloudZero’s features:

  • A Modern Cloud Cost Platform
  • All The Costs That Impact Your Bottom Line
  • Transform Your Spend
  • Built For High-Performing Teams
  • Extend Your Team With A Cloud Cost Expert
  • Compare Cloud Resources And Pricing
  • Cost Intelligence That Meets You Where You’re At

Summary

For DevOps activities, the DevOps monitoring tools system is an indispensable tool to ensure the quality of the product as well as the user experience. This article describes some of the best monitoring tools in DevOps that you can learn, build, and successfully use yourselves. In addition to the above information, IT products are carefully monitored by other monitoring systems (not covered in this article) because there are many different aspects of IT that we need to protect.

Bùi Xuân Hiền
Bùi Xuân Hiền

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