Review: Cloud and on-premises monitoring software Site24x7

Product: Site24x7

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Monitoring IT resources such as servers and cloud services is essential to keeping key business resources running smoothly. Even so, monitoring isn’t quite as simple as it once was, because of the sheer variety of resources that need to be monitored. I recently heard about a cloud-based service called Site24x7 that is designed to monitor a huge variety of resources both on-premises and in the cloud and decided to check it out.

Infrastructure monitoring

Site24x7 offers infrastructure monitoring capabilities, which include the ability to monitor servers, Microsoft applications, and your network. Among the server types that Site24x7 can monitor are Windows servers, as well as Linux, FreeBSD, and OS X. There are also dozens of plugins available that extend monitoring capabilities to various application and infrastructure components such as SQL Server, Active Directory, and Apache. You can see what the Add Server Monitor screen looks like in the screen capture below.

Site24x7
Site24x7 can monitor a wide variety of servers.

I decided to begin my evaluation by trying out Site24x7’s server monitoring capabilities on a Windows Server. I clicked on the Windows Server icon shown in the figure above and was taken to a screen prompting me to download an agent. As you can see in the next figure, Site24x7 provides a device key that you will have to enter when you install the agent. I also intentionally kept the download window prompt open when I created the screen capture to show the size of the agent, which is a mere 3.8 MB.

Monitoring Windows Server is based on the use of an agent.

One of the things that caught my attention about the screen capture above is that it indicates that various Microsoft products and services will be automatically discovered. That being the case, I decided to install the agent onto a domain controller to see if the monitoring software would pick up on the Active Directory services. In doing so, I found the agent installation process to be completely painless, and I especially liked that the installer prompted me as to whether I wanted to install the agent onto additional servers.

After installing the agent, I went back to the Site24x7 site and then took a look at the Monitors screen. If you look at the next screenshot, you will notice the big, green circle with the number 2, indicating that two resources are up. The reason why Site24x7 is showing two resources is because it monitors Windows Server and Active Directory separately, as shown in the lower portion of the screen capture.

Site24x7
Site24x7 is monitoring Active Directory and Windows Server.

Clicking on one of the monitored resources takes you into a dashboard screen that allows you to gauge the server’s health (there is also an option to change alert threshold values). Two things impressed me about this screen. First, the screen was very clean and readable, with the most important statistics being displayed at the top. Second, Site24x7 gathers a huge amount of information about the monitored resource. I can’t even begin to show it all in a screen capture, but if you look below, you will see that data is spread across numerous tabs.

Site24x7
This is what it looks like when you monitor Windows Server.

For the sake of comparison, I have included a screen capture of the Active Directory monitoring below. As you can see, Site24x7 displays all of the relevant statistics about Active Directory health and availability.

Site24x7
This is what Active Directory monitoring looks like.

Cloud monitoring

Site24x7 does a great job of monitoring on-premises resources, but I was curious as to how the software would work if I tried to monitor cloud resources. Site24x7 supports the monitoring of both AWS and Azure. I decided to try monitoring AWS.

Clicking on the AWS icon takes you to a screen that asks you to integrate your AWS account. You can see what this screen looks like in the next screenshot.

Site24x7
Site24x7 requires access to your AWS account.

I expected to simply be prompted to enter my AWS credentials, but that isn’t what happened. Instead, I was taken to a screen containing instructions for logging into AWS and creating a role that could be used for monitoring purposes. Incidentally, I tried out Azure monitoring later in the review process, and for that, you only have to provide a set of account credentials.

When Site24x7 initially displayed the instructions for achieving AWS integration, I thought that the process seemed a bit long. However, it ended up being fairly easy to get AWS integration set up. My PC has two monitors, so I opened AWS on one monitor and left Site24x7’s instructions open on the other monitor. I was able to configure AWS integration in a matter of about three or four minutes. It is worth noting, however, that the initial AWS discovery process can take a while to complete. In my organization (which has minimal AWS resources) this process took about 10 minutes to complete.

I have to admit that I was impressed by the degree to which Site24x7 was able to monitor AWS resources. If you have ever used AWS, you know that it consists of a huge number of individual services. Given how large and diverse the AWS cloud is, I kind of expected Site24x7 to focus on a few key services such as EC2 or S3. Instead, Site24x7 was able to monitor dozens of different services, as shown in the screenshot below.

Site24x7 can monitor dozens of AWS services.

I think that the thing that I liked best about Site24x7’s AWS monitoring capabilities, however, was that they mimic on-premises monitoring. Clicking on EC2 for example, took me to the screen shown below, which is nearly identical to the screen used for monitoring on-premises servers. Likewise, clicking on an instance from within the list caused all of the instance’s relevant statistics to be displayed.

Site24x7 displays AWS EC2 instances in a manner similar to that of on-premises servers.

Perhaps more importantly though, AWS resources are displayed alongside on-premises resources on Site24x7’s Home screen, as shown below. This gives you a comprehensive overview of your organization’s resources, regardless of where those resources reside.

Site24x7
The home screen displays cloud and on-premises resources side by side.

Pricing

Unlike a lot of other software companies, Site24x7 lists its pricing on its website. The pricing is based on what you want to monitor, and on the number of systems that you need to monitor. The company has plans for website monitoring, infrastructure monitoring, and application monitoring. There is also an all in one plan, as well as a plan for MSPs.

I’m not going to try to break down all of the company’s pricing plans, but I will give you a quick example. A basic all in one plan (the Pro plan) costs $35 per month and includes 40 basic monitors and three advanced monitors. The Enterprise all-in-one plan, which includes 500 basic monitors and 25 advanced monitors costs $449 per month. Add-ons are available for those who need to increase their monitoring capabilities.

The verdict

When I write a review for TechGenix, I like to wrap things up by giving the product a star rating. These ratings range from zero to five stars, with five stars being a perfect score.  With that said, I decided to give Site24x7 a gold star rating of 4.9.

Over the last few years, I have reviewed a number of monitoring tools, and I found Site24x7 to be exceptional. In addition to its vast monitoring capabilities, there are other capabilities that I have not even talked about, such as features geared toward IT automation and alerting. You can also create custom dashboards.

The only thing that I wish Site24x7 would change is their pricing structure. It would be great if the company would offer a flat-rate plan that would allow subscribers to monitor whatever they need to, without having to worry about keeping track of their monitored resource count.

 

Rating 4.9/5

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