Cloud monitoring: Users review five top tools

Cloud technology is becoming a “staple” in the enterprise -- 70% have at least one application in the cloud – and may become the “default option” for software deployment by 2020. That makes it even more important that systems administrators can monitor, manage and optimize data-processing workloads in the cloud.

For that, corporate IT can turn to cloud monitoring software. According to the IT Central Station user community, the most important criteria to consider when choosing cloud monitoring software include scalability, ease of use, and a customized dashboard.

Five of the top cloud monitoring products are CA’s Unified Infrastructure Management (UIM), SevOne, Opsview Enterprise, ScienceLogic and LogicMonitor, according to online reviews by enterprise users in the IT Central Station community.

But what do enterprise users really think about these tools? Here, users give a shout-out for some of their favorite features, but also give the vendors a little tough love.

Editor’s note: These reviews of select cloud monitoring software products come from the IT Central Station community. They are the opinions of the users and are based on their own experiences.


Valuable Features

“CA UIM is very easy and fast to use. It offers both agent-based and agent-less monitoring options.”

-- Shahzada.R., solution architect at a tech consulting company

“The most valuable feature we're taking advantage of today is computer memory disc monitoring and the alerting on it. We're able to predict how close we're approaching our thresholds so we can head off a disaster and we can troubleshoot it before it becomes a big problem.”

-- Gary G., senior director of technology services operations at a tech services company

“It has a wide breadth of monitors and probes. It enables us to monitor just about anything we come across.”

-- SrSysEng300., senior systems engineer at an aerospace/defense firm

Room for improvement

“I think that the core functions of the product are great [but] it might need a little more work at the extremities, e.g., trying to hook up with other software.”

-- Productiecd2., production analyst at a university

“I would like to see more configuration around best practices and recommendations, because the software that is being monitored and APIs are becoming more complex. It's just overwhelming what you can monitor. Having something out of the box that would allow you to at least monitor the most important things would be nice.”

-- seniorma558039., senior IT manager at a leisure travel company

You can read more CA UIM reviews on IT Central Station.


Valuable Features

The most valuable features for us “are basic network monitoring, reporting (performance metrics, third-party data, status maps, device configuration, etc.), scalability (monitor devices and metrics, and maintain speed) -- and that it's Linux-based.”

-- Abdul-Bari K., senior software engineer at a communications service provider

“The most valuable feature for us is its flexibility to handle different systems and different functions. We use it for [monitoring] networking, service systems, power distribution units, and [systems for] sales and operations planning.”

--Tools&AutomationMngr916., manager of tools and automation at a tech company

“It's given us the ability to create various real-time network performance reports and distribute them to any colleague, who can access these reports immediately.”

-- SrNwkCapacityPlnr565., senior network capacity planner at a tech services company

Room for Improvement

“For server monitoring, it has some areas for improvement. For example, when you need to measure the CPU usage on Windows servers, it does not have the option to measure the total usage of CPU, only the measure of each core or CPU.”

-- InfoMngmtSrEng609., senior engineer for information management at a tech services company

“They could improve the application session tracking, improve virtual appliance scalability, dashboard and report delivery. Also, the integration with service management suites (ServiceNow, Remedy) should be an out-of-the-box API.”

-- Akash T., solution architect at a tech company

You can read more SevOne reviews on IT Central Station.

Opsview Enterprise

Valuable Features

“I like its scalability. It also has good roles management, which is very useful for a service provided to customers. Lastly, it also has a nice GUI.”

-- Raffaello P., data center operations at a communications service provider

“There are several valuable features for us, including ease of configuration of monitoring of new hosts/services, load balancing, and the fact that it’s compatible with the plethora of existing Nagios plug-ins available on the web.”

-- SystemAdmi381., system administrator at a university

“The most valuable features for us are the modification profiles and the initial dashboard. They're also the two things we use the most.”

-- Oscar H., network operations center manager at a communications service provider

Room for Improvement

“Using the Opsview API, we can put a server in downtime programmatically as a part of our regular patching schedule, and even restore monitoring after the patching script has determined the target server is once again up and running.”

--Designer006., designer at a transportation company

“Some aspects of the GUI functionality need improvement. We've discussed them with Opsview and they plan on making improvements per customer request.”

-- Dervla M., online services manager at a communications service provider

“I think it still has room for improvement to auto discovery. I also think integration with VMware can be improved. It can be a little bit flaky with the agent on VMware.”

-- Joe P., systems engineer at a maritime company

You can read more Opsview Enterprise reviews on IT Central Station.


Valuable Features

“The most impressive feature is the event management capability. With the ability to create custom events, administrators can dial in monitoring and customize events for specific devices or applications that help ensure you are on top of issues and stabilizing your environment.”

-- Jason K., senior IT infrastructure specialist at a tech vendor

“Event creation, device relation building, and customization are excellent aspects of ScienceLogic. Dashboards are another excellent feature, a visual representation to application owners and support teams.”

-- Arthur P., associate IT infrastructure specialist at a tech vendor

“The ‘power packs’ that are available are amazing. It took me about 10 minutes to fully configure multiple disk arrays. The Cisco UCS power pack was even faster. Literally pointed it at the IP of the UCS and it did all the work.”

-- Jason B., systems administrator at a tech vendor

Room for Improvement

It needs a “simplified interface. ScienceLogic can be a bit overwhelming when you begin working with it. The amount of customization is sometimes too much.”

-- Paul B., support engineer at a tech services company

“Overall monitoring capabilities could be improved. We run into instances where we are not able to configure monitoring for specific things, so it requires quite a bit of manual labor to accomplish these tasks.”

-- Kait M., service manager (remote monitoring and management) at a tech vendor

“The reporting module needs work. We often find ourselves creating reports by accessing the back-end database directly instead of the built-in tools. We would also like to see improvements in the modelling capabilities for the IT service toolset.”

-- Karl F., senior director of systems integration at a communications service provider

You can read more ScienceLogic reviews on IT Central Station.


Valuable Features

“The dashboard display for all of the alerts and monitoring data is a great approach, because the info is so up-front and easily digestible. Basically, it provides at-a-glance problem detection. [In some] situations you can automatically remediate errors as they come up.”

-- Troy M., engineering manager at tech services company

“It drastically reduces the amount of time devoted to the administrative overhead of monitoring.”

-- Mike D., senior systems engineer at a university

“It's a product that monitors our network from both within and without. The integration with third parties and very granular notification/alerting methods are good.”

-- Alexis W., IT infrastructure manager at a real estate company

Room for Improvement

“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. [It also needs] better integration with push-based tools (e.g., StatsD).”

-- Director965., director of platform operations at a software R&D company

“It would be nice to see more predictive analytics where, based on past behavior [and certain parameters, it identifies] an anomaly that should be investigated. I would also like to see an easier way to build useful performance dashboards.”

-- Scott F., principal hosting engineer at a tech services company

“The portfolio of pre-packaged services that LogicMonitor can monitor does not seem to be expanding very quickly, and there isn’t a quick or easy way for self-service expansion.”

-- Chad C., executive director of technology infrastructure services at a university

You can read more LogicMonitor reviews on IT Central Station.

This story, "Cloud monitoring: Users review five top tools" was originally published by Network World.


Copyright © 2017 IDG Communications, Inc.

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