IT pros weigh in on the pros and cons of cloud infrastructure monitoring software products.
Growing reliance on the cloud in the enterprise makes cloud monitoring tools essential. However, the process of choosing a cloud monitoring solution that meets the unique needs of a business or network can be challenging. Peer reviews can help in the purchasing process.
Based on real user reviews at IT Central Station, these six tools are some of the top cloud monitoring software products on the market today: SolarWinds NPM; Logic Monitor; CA Unified Infrastructure Management; SevOne; OpsView Enterprise and Science Logic. Contributors at IT Central Station shared their thoughts on the pros and cons of each product, based on their experience. They cite best features as well as shortcomings.
“I love the GUI. Almost everything is accessible through the web interface. It is very user-friendly. It is easy to drag and drop resources wherever you want them,” reports Christopher G., lead network engineer/business developer at a tech services company.
“Compared to many products, SolarWinds is very simple to use. When you add a node in NPM, it is easy to get it to start monitoring everything it supports and you very quickly see the results of this in the graphs and such,” Writes Craig N., senior network engineer at a healthcare company.
However, Brian V., systems engineer at a communications service provider, would like to see better offline license management. "I’ve had to get in touch with customer support several times simply to remove an expired license from our NPM servers (which have no connection to the public internet)," he wrote.
“NPM comes with a tool called Network Atlas. Currently, it can only link switches to switches, and only if all the corresponding ports are monitored. I would like it to figure out next-hop devices, which other tools like NetBrain can do,” writes Jacob H., systems administrator at a tech services company.
Read more reviews of SolarWinds NPM by IT Central Station users.
“My entire team and I are on LogicMonitor all the time on a daily basis. The entire tool is extremely valuable, especially the dashboards and alerts. The escalation change and API integration are also huge for us, making alerting seamless," commented Stephen S., NOC Manager at a tech services company..
Troy M., engineering manager at Xceptional Networks, Inc., also likes LogicMonitor: “The dashboard display for all of the alerts and monitoring data is a great approach to creating a NOC, because the info is so upfront and easily digestible. Basically, it provides at-a-glance problem detection.”
But Scott F., principal hosting engineer and team lead at a tech services company, sees room for improvement: “It would be nice to see more predictive analytics where based on past behavior, at a certain time of day/week/month, the data point should be within a set range of values, and if it's greater than two standard deviations outside, this represents an anomaly that should be investigated.”
A director of platform operations at a Software R&D company wrote, “The reports are still fairly weak. Custom reports add some flexibility, but having a more direct/rich access to both the configuration state and alerts needs improvement. Better integration with push-based tools (e.g. StatsD).”
Here are more reviews of LogicMonitor by IT Central Station users.
CA Unified Infrastructure Management
“CA UIM not only allows you to manage the templates, but the new MCS module allows you to dynamically assign them to groups. This means that any node/probe belonging to that group will automatically receive the templates," wrote” a CA Unified Infrastructure Management administrator at a government agency.
Andrew A., team lead at a healthcare company, reported that "One of the most valuable features would be the out-of-the-box capability. It's extremely capable from day one. Not a lot of customization is required in order to implement it within your environment.”
Zafir Y., architect at a communications service provider, suggested a way to make the product better: “I would like to see further consolidation of the tools from a deployment point of view. Make it more modular; drag and drop; being able to have a commercial model that also lends itself well with what we're trying to achieve for our customers.”
Luis M., senior manager of IT infrastructure at an insurance company, said he would like to see improvements in the maintenance mode area. "I would like to set only a probe from a robot or group in maintenance or place profiles from probes in maintenance. Making a GUI with criteria such as selection by robot/hub/probe etc.," he wrote.
A lead engineer at a communications service provider cited “very quick graph generation" as a valuable feature of SevOne “Previously, we used a customized MRTG solution. Graph generation was painfully slow. With SevOne, we are able to generate graphs and reports quickly.”
Amarnath P., Senior Solution Architect at a media company, reported that “Given the ease of access to the information in a few clicks, the user base of the product has increased tremendously. As the word of mouth spread, the increased reachability of this for the performance reporting space within our organization increased.”
At the same time, though, a lead data network engineer at a communications service provider noted that he would “like to be able to stitch together multiple network elements or services for more of an end-to-end view of network performance.”
Abdul-Bari K., senior software engineer at a communications service provider, thinks that SevOne needs a platform to add portals. "Some of the low-level features and how they work could use some improvements," he wrote.
Read more reviews of SevOne by IT Central Station users.
“All the useful information is right there in tabs for me to check on graphs; check if and when notifications went out. I can make notes on a particular occurrence, and check the history all of these features. It saves me time when troubleshooting an issue with an interface or service," wrote Scott G., sysadmin at Antietam Cable Television, Inc.
Raffaello P., data center operations at a communications service provider, said his company previously used Nagios. "It's based on Nagios too, but the biggest benefit when compared to it is the simplicity to set up and modify devices.”
Wayne V., IT operations and senior analyst/engineer at a media company, said what it would take for OpsView Enterprise to become more than a super monitoring tool: "I would wish for an integrated CMDB and call-logging module to create a standalone integrated IT service management system out of it. It has the potential!”
Here are more reviews of OpsView Enterprise by IT Central Station users.
“The most impressive feature is the event management capabilities. With the ability to create custom events, administrators can dial in monitoring and really customize events for specific devices or applications that help ensure you are on top of issues and stabilizing your environment,” wrote Jason K., senior IT infrastructure specialist at a tech vendor.
Arthur P., associate IT infrastructure specialist at a tech vendor, commented: “Event creation, device relation building, and customization are excellent aspects of ScienceLogic for infrastructure and application monitoring. Dashboards are another excellent feature as that provides a visual representation to application owners and support teams.”
Jason B., sysadmin at a tech vendor, reported that “The UI takes a bit to learn but once you get past that it gets the job done. Creating dashboards is also complex, but that is because of the sheer number of options.”
However, Kalani S., senior director of MSC Technologies at a tech company, wrote: “While EM7 covers a lot of ground quickly and is capable of consuming enormous amounts of event and performance data, EM7 ironically has a hard time reporting on it - basic reporting is there, but, if you let's say want to run a report for the last 90 days of how many Cisco 2900 routers had a critical power supply incident, that for one isn't easy and two needs a developer to write a custom report.”
Read more reviews of ScienceLogic by IT Central Station users.