Infrastructure monitoring solutions assess and communicate the health and performance metrics of IT tools across your network. This information can be used to understand capacity, usage, available storage, performance, and a range of other metrics. The solutions will gather data from a wide range of sources, including from data centers, managed services, VMs, containers, databases, and other on-premises components. The tools collect and reveal data in real time, allowing you to gain an in-depth and accurate understanding of your infrastructure status.
The data gathered through infrastructure monitoring solutions can be used by engineers to analyze and visualize key network statistics. This, in turn, allows them to ensure that network infrastructure is operating as it should, and that it is correctly configured. This data can be used to improve operational efficiency, for example to identify if more capacity is needed in certain areas, or if parts of your infrastructure are redundant.
In this article, we’ll explore the top 10 infrastructure monitoring solutions that suit a range of use cases and organization sizes. In each case we’ll highlight the tool’s key features and suggest the type of organization that would benefit most from their implementation.
What Is Network Infrastructure Monitoring?
Network Infrastructure monitoring tools can gather information and data from across your network and tools to ensure that processes are running effectively and that any failures or errors can be identified quickly. Network infrastructure monitoring tools will help to visualize this information and alert key users on any troubling findings, or areas that require action.
How Do Infrastructure Monitoring Tools work?
The first task of an infrastructure monitoring solution is to discover all relevant network devices. This will include applications, managed services, tool, devices, and endpoints like servers. This process needs to be comprehensive, otherwise there will be blind spots that cannot be monitored.
Typically, a piece of software called an “agent” is installed on each host. This software will monitor activity and collect metrics, then report these findings back to the monitoring platform. Here, analysis and comparison can be carried out.
Once the data has been assessed, analyzed, and contextualized (if necessary), the platform will render this intelligence in meaningful and digestible ways. This will include graphs and tables, with the most urgent or abnormal results being flagged.
What Areas Should An Infrastructure Monitoring Solution Cover?
The term ‘’infrastructure” can be a nebulous one that is hard to pin down. One way to think about it can be that infrastructure is the framework that enables your organization to work. Infrastructure components include:
- Operating systems
Infrastructure monitoring tools are not designed to assess the information or the data that your applications (for instance) use, nor will they identify active threats or cyber-attacks. They will monitor the tools that you use to function.
Four Types of Infrastructure Monitoring
Some vendors will develop an infrastructure monitoring tool that is focused on working effectively with a specific type of infrastructure. Other solutions will combine these areas of focus to act as a comprehensive and holistic tool. It is worth delving into the four different types of infrastructure monitoring to ensure that you can make informed decisions when looking for a solution.
- Availability Monitoring – this monitors if a device is operational and currently running. Commonly used network availability monitoring protocols include ICMP, SNMP, and Syslog.
- Configuration Monitoring – these tools compare your devices with standard examples to ensure that yours are configured correctly. These should operate in real-time and be automated.
- Performance Monitoring – this goes beyond availability monitoring to track detailed metrics such as latency, path selection, and utilization to understand how well a component is working.
- Cloud Infrastructure Monitoring – As most cloud services are managed services, the provider will often have a form of monitoring service. It can sometimes be difficult to integrate these tools with their other monitoring tools.