Observability has become far more popular due to the increased use of software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications and the cloud. It represents a shift toward a more holistic view of the network.
Network observability refers to the ability to use diverse sources of data to gain insight into the internal happenings of a network and how business objectives and user experience are impacted by internal network states.
Observability is simply being able to quickly and easily answer any questions about one’s network. Network observability can offer value such as lower mean time to resolution (MTTR) and improved productivity of teams.
Also see: Best Cloud Networking Solutions
Network observability enables organizations to manage the performance and reliability of infrastructure and applications by providing an understanding of the internal states of networks. The importance of network observability continues to rise as network architectures and configurations are rapidly becoming more complex. An observable network means that IT teams can easily understand the comprehensive picture of how services and experiences are impacted by the network.
On the other hand, monitoring means collecting metrics such as NetFlow or packet data to track the network health of devices. Network monitoring answers particular questions about the performance of certain devices.
With the increasing complexity of networks, monitoring struggles to keep track of different network segments such as SaaS and cloud environments. Network monitoring and observability, however, are interlinked and should be used together to optimize network monitoring results.
Also see: Best Network Management Solutions
The ideal network observability tool will be dependent on your use case, the features that you require, and your budget. Beyond these three considerations, you may consider:
Also see: Top Managed Service Providers
Datadog is an observability platform that places a focus on connectivity and collaboration. It offers network monitoring, traditional application performance monitoring, synthetic monitoring and more.
The platform combines automatic scaling and deployment with tools that integrate machine learning to improve the reliability of insights into infrastructure and applications. Datadog provides end-to-end visibility into cloud and on-premises networks, which involves application layer performance as well as the health of bare-metal appliances.
Con: In addition to a learning curve for non-technical users, Datadog’s features in free pricing tiers are limited.
Dynatrace puts intelligent observability at the fingertips of its users through contextual information, automation and artificial intelligence (AI). The platform enables users to deal with blind spots and swiftly resolve issues.
Dynatrace handles network monitoring at the process level to provide detailed metrics on process-to-process communications. With support for more than 600 third-party technologies, Dynatrace is created with open standards that empower organizations to extend the platform through the use of the Dynatrace APIs (application programming interfaces), SDKs (software development kits), or plugins.
Con: Implementing Dynatrace can be complex and frustrating due to the learning curve involved.
New Relic stands not only as one of the largest but also as one of the most comprehensive cloud-based observability platforms. It is open, programmable, and connected to offers to assist teams to visualize and grasp everything that is required to deliver high-quality software. New Relic is described by capabilities such as a telemetry data platform, full stack observability, and applied intelligence.
Con: The interface can be clunky in addition to presenting a learning curve to new users.
AppDynamics Business Observability Platform gives enterprises the ability to see, understand, and optimize their back-end operations to fast-track their growth. As a full-stack observability solution, AppDynamics provides a comprehensive set of tools to help its clients obtain insight into their infrastructure.
AppDynamics provides total visibility over the internet, virtual workforces, and global third-party services. Combined with ThousandEyes, AppDynamics delivers full observability of networks where its clients’ businesses are.
Con: Complex installation experience.
LogicMonitor offers visibility into networks, servers, applications, and other parts of infrastructure as a SaaS-based observability platform. Through a single pane of glass, the platform enables users to optimize and monitor the entire tech stack including networks and physical networking gear, on-premises and cloud-based servers, and more. LogicMonitor also provides strong alerting and dynamic thresholds and provides anomaly detection capabilities.
Cons: Alerting capabilities create a learning curve for new users.
PRTG Network Monitor is a real-time unified infrastructure monitoring tool that empowers IT teams to identify issues across their entire networks and address them before they escalate to a business-critical status.
PRTG utilizes SSH (Secure Shell), HTTP requests, flows and packet sniffing, REST APIs, and other technologies to monitor all devices, systems, traffic, and applications of an organization’s IT infrastructure. The tool is an observability solution suite that enables large enterprises and SMBs (small and medium businesses) to have fast, responsive, and reliable networks.
Con: The complexity of PRTG’s dashboard makes it less user-friendly.
Enterprise Networking Planet aims to educate and assist IT administrators in building strong network infrastructures for their enterprise companies. Enterprise Networking Planet contributors write about relevant and useful topics on the cutting edge of enterprise networking based on years of personal experience in the field.
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