Understanding what's happening within your systems is a necessity in today's world. But, have you ever wondered how experts keep an eye on systems to make sure everything's running smoothly? That's where observability tools come in!

Observability tools serve as companions that let you see into your system. This blog post will discuss the top 10 observability solutions, their market shares, distinctive characteristics, and how to pick the best one for your business.

What are Observability tools?

Observability tools help you figure out what's going on with your systems. They watch how everything works, find problems, and show you trends that can help you understand why things went wrong.

These tools assist you in swiftly identifying and resolving problems by compiling data like measurements, records, and pathways in one location. They also display information and send notifications if something goes wrong. All you have to do is set up a tool and start understanding how your system is performing.

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Difference between Observability tools & Observability Platforms

Observability Tools:

Observability tools are individual software solutions or components that provide specific functionalities related to monitoring and gaining insights into the behavior and performance of a system. These tools focus on gathering data, analyzing metrics, logs, traces, and other relevant information to help engineers and operators understand how the system is performing, diagnose issues, and optimize performance.

Examples: Prometheus (for metrics collection), Grafana (for visualization)

Observability Platform:

An Observability platform, on the other hand, is a comprehensive and integrated solution that brings together multiple observability tools and capabilities under a single umbrella.

It provides a holistic view of a system's health, performance, and behavior by consolidating data from various sources.

Observability Tool Types

Now that we know what observability tools are, let's learn about their different kinds and how they help companies keep an eye on important metrics.

APM (Application Performance Management) Tools

Application performance management (APM) tools focus on monitoring applications and identifying any issues or slowdowns that can influence how users interact. These tools provide data on how well your applications perform in actual use, enabling you to identify problems as soon as they arise and determine their root causes.

Open-Source Tools

Open-source tools are designed to monitor services placed inside containers, such as those in real-time. It can send out notifications and gather measurements. One example is Prometheus, which most organizations use to monitor real-time services.

Log Management Tools

Log management solutions are great for gathering and saving log data so that you can look at it later. Some of these solutions even let you check out the logs in real-time and get alerts if something weird happens. These tools work exceptionally well for organizations that deal with a lot of data because they help gather and save information quickly and effectively.

Now, letโ€™s understand the observability tools in detail.

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1. Datadog

Datadog serves as a comprehensive service designed to monitor large-scale applications operating in cloud environments. Its functionality encompasses scrutinizing servers, databases, tools, and services through an advanced online data analysis platform.

Datadog commands a substantial market share of 51.82% within the data center management sector. Impressively, it boasts a customer base of approximately 47,431, according to recent statistics.

Recently Datadog introduced Quality Gates, a feature that enhances code quality control. This feature intervenes in the code merging process, preventing the integration of code that doesn't meet predetermined quality benchmarks. This proactive measure ensures that only high-caliber code is incorporated into your project.

Quality Gates empowers teams to establish customized rules that align with their priorities. This assures that the code meets high quality standards, performs efficiently, and maintains security. For example, you can halt code changes that might reduce quality in specific parts of your project or prevent changes that could destabilize tests across the entire project. This feature strikes a balance between rapid development and adherence to code quality standards before deployment.

Learn how to integrate Zenduty with Datadog observability tool!

2. New Relic:

New Relic stands out as a software analytics and monitoring platform, aiding organizations in overseeing and enhancing the performance of their applications, infrastructure, and digital interactions.

In the system administration market, New Relic holds a substantial market share of 24.00%. Remarkably, as of 2023, over 175,839 companies worldwide have embraced New Relic as their preferred system administration tool.

A feature of New Relic is its compatibility with Docker and StatsD data sharing through the innovative OpenTelemetry Collector. This streamlines the process of collecting and transmitting this data for monitoring and analysis within the New Relic platform.

Checkout the steps to integrate Zenduty with New Relic here!

3. Grafana:

Grafana stands out as an open-source platform for visualizing data and monitoring. It empowers you to interactively query, visualize, and comprehend your data in real time. It's especially popular for crafting dynamic and customizable dashboards that provide insights into the performance, metrics, and health of diverse systems, applications, and data sources.

Within the Application Performance Management category, Grafana holds a notable market share of approximately 1.2%. Remarkably, about 26,550 companies are utilizing its services to fulfill their requirements. Moreover, Grafana's impact also reaches the Data Visualization category, where it secures a substantial market share of 4.03%.

If you're familiar with Grafana, here's a feature that will enhance your dashboard creation process:

Scenes, a novel front-end library developed by Grafana. It empowers creators of Grafana plugins to seamlessly design captivating dashboard-style interfaces for their app plugins. With Scenes, you can effortlessly develop applications that mirror the dashboard experience found in Grafana itself. This includes features such as supporting template variables, flexible layouts, dynamic panel visualization, and a range of other functionalities that enrich your dashboard-building journey.

How to integrate Grafana with Zenduty?Read the steps here!

4. Prometheus:

Prometheus serves as an open-source toolkit designed for the monitoring and alerting of cloud-native systems and environments.

Its core purpose is to keep an eye on the performance and well-being of systems and applications, particularly those within containerized and microservices setups. This tool collects data such as metrics and time series from different sources, encompassing network devices, servers, and application software.

Globally, approximately 7528 companies have incorporated Prometheus into their data management and storage strategies, contributing to a market share of around 2.43%.

The most prominent feature of Prometheus is its practical query language named PromQL (Prometheus Query Language). With PromQL, users can choose and organize real-time time series data. The results of these queries can be displayed graphically, arranged as structured information within Prometheus's expression browser, or shared with other systems using the HTTP API.

5. Splunk:

Splunk plays a vital role in enhancing observability by offering deep insights into the performance, health, and behavior of intricate systems and applications. It achieves this by effectively collecting, analyzing, visualizing, and monitoring data in real time.

As of 2023, Splunk has been embraced by more than 14,885 companies worldwide as their go-to Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) solution. Impressively, Splunk dominates the security information and event management (SIEM) market with an impressive market share of 63.56%.

In a recent update, Splunk introduced Threat Intelligence management. This feature equips security analysts to meticulously investigate security incidents or suspicious actions. By delivering relevant and standardized intelligence, this tool boosts analysts' understanding of the context of threats and accelerates the process of assessing and responding to these situations.

6. AWS Suite- AWS Cloudwatch, AWS EventBridge, AWS CloudTrial, AWS GuardDuty, AWS Security Hub:

As per the research, Amazon held about 32 percent of the global cloud infrastructure market in the second quarter of 2023. AWS offers a suite for observability and monitoring. Below are some examples of the services:

AWS CloudWatch, part of Amazon Web Services (AWS), is a service designed to assist you in monitoring and overseeing a range of resources and applications within your AWS environment. It offers insights into the well-being and performance of your applications, infrastructure, and services. This is achieved by collecting and keeping track of metrics, logs, and events.

An additional feature is Amazon CloudWatch Internet Monitor, which empowers you to set your own standards for health events. In the past, a health event was triggered if the overall availability and performance scores fell below 95%. However, this update grants you the flexibility to adjust these thresholds for health events. This is particularly valuable for monitoring the connection between your users and the applications hosted on AWS.

AWS Eventbridge, acts as a serverless tool that uses events to link different parts of programs together. This makes it easier for developers who want to create apps that can handle lots of work by responding to events. With EventBridge, developers can build systems where different parts work together, even if they aren't closely connected. This helps make sure the parts can work separately and from different places.

AWS GuardDuty is like a security watchdog that keeps a constant eye on your computer systems. It's there to spot any unusual or possibly bad actions happening in your Amazon Web Services setup. This helps find things that you didn't expect or actions that might not be allowed or could be harmful.

AWS CloudTrail works like a digital record keeper that helps with checking, security watching, and fixing problems in your computer operations. It keeps track of what users are doing and how they're using the special tools (APIs) in Amazon Web Services. CloudTrail makes ongoing records and keeps an eye on all the actions happening in your AWS setup. This way, you can decide how to store the information, look into it, and take steps to fix things if needed.

AWS Security Hub is like a helper for keeping your cloud environment safe. It checks if you're following the best security practices, collects alerts about potential problems, and can even automatically fix issues. It's a tool that helps you manage the security of your cloud setup.

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7. AppDynamics

AppDynamics functions as an observability platform, supporting organizations in monitoring, analyzing, and optimizing their software applications and digital services' performance. By offering profound insights into application performance and behavior across various layers and components, AppDynamics empowers businesses to deliver exceptional user experiences and preemptively identify issues before they impact users.

Over 6,500 companies have embraced AppDynamics for mobile analytics purposes, contributing to its market share of 1.46% in the mobile analytics landscape.

An interesting update about AppDynamics now acknowledges the potential for alert failures. These failures might result from improper alert settings within the AppDynamics platform or if the alert management system experiences timeouts. This enhancement equips users with a systematic approach to identify instances when broader alerts encounter problems. For instance, an uncomplicated email notification could promptly inform an AIOps team about these matters.

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8. Dynatrace:

Dynatrace stands as an advanced platform that offers observability and application performance monitoring capabilities. It's designed to provide insights into the performance and well-being of intricate software environments.

Globally, over 10,675 companies have chosen Dynatrace as their API management solution. In the realm of API management, Dynatrace commands a market share of 3.38%.

Introduced as a new addition to the Dynatrace platform, Dynatrace Security Analytics is a tool with the ability to detect threats, uncover issues, and swiftly respond to problems. It accomplishes this by leveraging both security and observability data. Security analysts can use this tool to inquire about extensive data and receive rapid answers, aiding in automated problem-solving based on their findings.

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9. Sumo Logic:

Sumo Logic operates as a cloud-based platform, dedicated to log management and analytics. This platform aids organizations in gathering, analyzing, and extracting insights from machine-generated data. It offers real-time visibility and actionable insights spanning an organization's operations, applications, and infrastructure.

On a global scale, more than 1,930 businesses have adopted Sumo Logic as their chosen cloud security solution. Sumo Logic commands a market share of 0.06% in the cloud security domain.

Sumo Logic has introduced a feature called "Muting Schedules for Alerts". This feature responds to the common need to temporarily halt notifications from active monitors, especially during instances like system maintenance or non-working hours. The new feature empowers users to set specific time periods where alert notifications from one or more monitors are temporarily silenced. These schedules can be customized to repeat daily, weekly, or monthly as required. If a monitor becomes triggered during a muted period, both the Monitors List and the Monitor details view will indicate the muted status of that particular monitor.

10. Coralogix:

Coralogix is a platform designed to assist organizations in effectively managing and analyzing their log data. It furnishes solutions for log management, facilitating monitoring, troubleshooting, and the extraction of insights from application and system logs. Coralogix simplifies the processes of gathering, storing, and processing log data, thereby aiding in the identification of issues, performance tracking, and system health enhancement.

Coralogix is employed by 89 companies, and within the network management category, it captures a market share of about 0.04%.

An aspect of Coralogix is its 'Unified Threat Intelligence' feature. This feature effortlessly integrates with prominent global threat intelligence feeds, which are curated by security experts. These feeds expose various threat entities, enabling the detection of malicious network activities.

The advantage is that no complex API integration, special syntax, or formatting adjustments are necessary. Coralogix automatically enhances your log data with indicators of potential threats in real time. This empowers you to easily search, visualize, and establish alerts for potential security threats, all without unnecessary complications.

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What factors should be taken into account when selecting an observability tool?

Selecting an observability tool involves considering various factors to ensure it effectively meets your monitoring and troubleshooting needs.

Here are some relevant factors to consider:

Data Sources: Ensure the tool supports the data sources you need to monitor, including servers, containers, cloud services, applications, and more. It should cover the entire technology stack relevant to your environment.

Cardinality: In observability, cardinality refers to the number of distinct or unique values that a particular attribute or field can take within a dataset. In simpler terms, it measures the variety of different values that a specific piece of information can have.

Cardinality is an important concept in observability because it has a significant impact on how data is managed, stored, and processed within monitoring and logging systems. High cardinality attributes have many distinct values, while low cardinality attributes have fewer distinct values.

Metrics, Logs, Traces: Look for a tool that offers comprehensive visibility by supporting metrics, logs, and traces. This enables a holistic understanding of your system's performance and behavior.

Ease of Use: Choose a tool with an intuitive interface and user-friendly features. A complex tool can hinder adoption and lead to inefficiencies.

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Scalability: Consider the tool's scalability to handle your current and future workload demands. It should accommodate growth without sacrificing performance.

Real-time Monitoring: Real-time insights are crucial for proactive issue identification and quick responses. Ensure the tool offers real-time data collection and visualization.

Customization: Look for flexibility in creating custom dashboards, alerts, and reports that cater to your specific monitoring requirements.

Alerting and Notifications: The tool should allow you to set up customizable alerts based on predefined conditions, and it should offer various notification channels like email, SMS, or integrations with collaboration tools.

Anomaly Detection: Anomaly detection capabilities can help automatically identify irregular behavior and potential issues, reducing manual monitoring efforts.

Integration: Consider the tool's integration capabilities with your existing tools and services, such as version control systems, incident management platforms, and collaboration tools.

Performance Impact: Ensure the observability tool does not cause performance issues in your production environment. It should be lightweight and efficient.

Security and Compliance: Data security is vital. Confirm that the tool adheres to security best practices and meets your organization's compliance requirements.

Support and Documentation: Evaluate the tool's support options, including documentation, community forums, and customer support, to ensure you can get assistance.

Cost: Understand the pricing model and whether it aligns with your budget. Consider potential additional costs as your usage scales.

Vendor Reputation: Research the vendor's reputation and customer reviews to gauge the tool's reliability and support quality.

Future Compatibility: Consider whether the tool is built to adapt to emerging technologies, trends, and changes in your infrastructure.

Trial Period: Before committing, take advantage of trial periods or demos to test the tool's features in your environment.

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Are You Looking for a Reliable Incident Management Solution?

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General FAQ for Observability tool

What are observability tools, and why are they important?

An observability tool offers a centralized platform for aggregating and showing telemetric data gathered from application and infrastructure components.

How do observability tools differ from traditional monitoring tools?

The difference between monitoring and observability relies on whether or not data taken from an IT system is predefined. A monitoring solution gathers and examines preset data obtained from various systems. The Observability solution collects all data generated by all IT systems.

What types of data do observability tools collect?

A data observability platform enables enterprises to identify, address, and resolve real-time data challenges by analyzing telemetry data such as logs, metrics, and traces. This observability approach extends beyond conventional monitoring, allowing organizations to enhance security by monitoring data flow across various applications, servers, and tools.

How can observability tools help in identifying and resolving performance bottlenecks?

Observability tools swiftly detect performance bottlenecks by collecting diverse data, offering real-time insights, and correlating events. They use metrics, tracing, and alerts to pinpoint issues, facilitating prompt resolution. These tools enable teams to collaborate, visualize trends, and identify root causes, ultimately enhancing system optimization and user experience.

Do observability platforms offer real-time monitoring and alerting features?

Yes, observability platforms do indeed provide real-time monitoring and alerting features. They ensure that organizations can continuously monitor their systems and receive instant alerts when anomalies, performance issues, or predefined thresholds are breached.

What security measures do observability tools implement to protect data and insights?

Observability tools employ strong security measures like encryption, access control, and audit logs to protect data. They comply with regulations, use network safeguards, and offer secure integrations.

Anjali Udasi

As a technical writer, I love simplifying technical terms and write on latest technologies. Apart from that, I am interested in learning more about mental health and create awareness around it.