Best Network Monitoring Tools & Software for 2020

eWEEK RESOURCE PAGE: Choosing a network monitoring service provider is a job that requires finding a partner who will back you up when the going gets tough—and it will get tough at some point.


Selecting a networking monitoring service provider isn't a trivial pursuit. There seem to be a million dots to connect—or ignore—when determining what an enterprises really needs when it comes to 24/7 security and control of its data networks.

There are an estimated 200 companies competing in this space in a market now worth about $1.9 billion and expected to be worth more than $3 billion by 2023, according to industry analyst MarketsandMarkets.

The following multinational software companies all are highly regarded in this segment, or else they wouldn't even have been considered for the eWEEK listing. Note all the differing attributes and specialties they bring to the table. Which one is the ideal provider for what your company is doing?


Austin, Texas

Value proposition for potential buyers: Since its founding in 1999, SolarWinds’ mission has been to provide purpose-built products that are designed to make jobs easier for IT professionals, MSPs and DevOps pros. It offers value-driven products and tools that solve a broad range of IT management challenges—whether those challenges are related to networks, servers, applications, storage, virtualization, cloud or development operations.

If there is a piece of IT infrastructure anywhere in the world where performance matters, SolarWinds claims to provide the technology to manage it.

Whether you’re an army of one managing a small environment, an MSP responsible for multiple customers, part of an IT team managing an enterprise, or you’ve migrated to the cloud—if you care about IT performance—SolarWinds claims to offer powerful, easy-to-use and affordable products to help you manage it.

SolarWinds said it refuses to accept the status quo established by most technology vendors. Face it: The vast majority of IT management tools today are difficult to use, expensive and really don’t address the realities of today’s real-world IT challenges. Too many IT pros have resigned themselves to accept the frustration.

But SolarWinds believes enterprise-grade software or services do not have to be so complex. The company contends that great technology not only makes it much easier to manage infrastructure but empowers IT to actually delight end users.

The company's approach is to deliver unexpected simplicity and redefine the management and monitoring expectations for all aspects of IT, MSPs and DevOps pros.

Key values/differentiators:

  • Eliminates the complexity found in traditional enterprise software and services: SolarWinds makes it easy to find, buy, deploy and maintain solutions, regardless of an organization’s size.
  • Connects users with SolarWinds community: The company interacts daily with its large, global user community to guide product development and strategy and foster an environment where users with even the most complex IT challenges quickly connect with experts who love to help.
  • Constantly evolving products: SolarWinds ensures that its software is on point to meet the most important problems that IT pros, MSPs and DevOps engineers have today and continues to deliver increasing value over the lifetime of ownership. The company was built by IT administrators and senior systems engineers who know what it takes to manage today’s dynamic IT environments.
  • SolarWinds combines its expertise with a deep connection to the IT community to create IT management products that are effective, accessible and easy to use, the company said.

Who uses it: enterprises of any size
How it works: subscription public or hybrid cloud service
eWEEK score: 4.8/5.0

Read user reviews of SolarWinds


Dublin, Ireland

Value proposition for potential buyers: Kaseya is among world market leaders as a provider of automation and monitoring software for IT service providers and public and private sector IT organizations. Kaseya's IT automation platform allows IT professionals to proactively monitor, manage and maintain distributed IT infrastructures remotely, easily and efficiently with one integrated Web-based platform.

Kaseya claims its integrated web-based platform is complete, powerful, secure and easy to deploy and administer. The Kaseya managed service platform is designed for IT administrators who need to reduce complexity and increase productivity and managed service providers who want to pass those benefits to their customers and increase their own profit margins.

Key values/differentiators:

  • Kaseya's System Monitoring Software provides user defined monitoring for all the managed systems on the user's network. With the help of automated alerts, the user receives instant notification of changes and/or problems.
  • The fast set-up process gets the software up and running in minutes with no software to install. It monitors servers, workstations, remote computers, Windows Event Logs, and applications.
  • The software's automated LAN discovery and comprehensive reports keep the organization running smoothly and help ensure network security and productivity.
  • Kaseya's IT Management Monitoring Platform provides proactive, user-defined monitoring with instant notification of problems or changes. It sends a system alert when critical servers go down, so that users can alter their configuration when a possible security threat occurs. The company provides IT professionals with the tools they need to proactively manage their systems and keep the organization running efficiently.

Who uses it: enterprises of all sizes
How it works: subscription cloud service or on-premises installation
eWEEK score: 4.8/5.0

Read user reviews of Kaseya

ManageEngine OpsManager

Pleasanton, Calif.

Value proposition for potential buyers: ManageEngine OpManager is an easy-to-use and affordable network monitoring solution. It monitors network devices such as routers, switches, firewalls, load balancers, wireless LAN controllers, servers, VMs, printers, storage devices, and everything that has an IP and is connected to the network.

A lot of value in all ManageEngine products lies in the dependable nature of the global parent company itself. ManageEngine (formerly AdventNet) is the Enterprise IT Management Software division of privately held ZOHO Corp. Founded in 1996 and known until 2009 as AdventNet Inc., ZOHO is headquartered in Pleasanton, Calif. with offices in North America, Europe and Asia.

ZOHO serves a diverse range of enterprise IT, networking and telecom customers. It has achieved impressive growth over the years and has been a rock-solid supplier and partner with sound financials.

With more than 45,000 customers worldwide, including 60 percent of Fortune 500 companies, ManageEngine claaims to be the fastest-growing alternative to traditional network management frameworks.

Key values/differentiators:

  • OpManager continuously monitors the network and provides an in-depth visibility and control over it. In case of a fault, users can easily drill down to the root cause and eliminate it before operations are affected.
  • Real-time network monitoring: OpsManager has more than 2,000 built-in network performance monitors, monitor health and critical metrics such as packet loss, latency, speed, errors and discards, and analyze performance bottlenecks.
  • Physical and virtual server monitoring: Monitors CPU, memory, and disk utilization of Windows and Linux servers. Also monitors the performance of host and VMs of VMware, Hyper-V and Xen virtualization platforms.
  • Multi-level thresholds: Proactively monitors network performance with multi-level thresholds. For every critical performance monitor, users set multiple thresholds and get instant alerts for violation.
  • Customizable dashboards: Assess default dashboards or create custom dashboards by making use of over 200 performance widgets available and view performance of your network at-a-glance.
  • WAN Link monitoring: Monitor key metrics such as latency, jitter, RTT and packet loss to eliminate network issues. View hop-by-hop performance to find what's causing latency and fix it quickly.
  • Affordable and easy to set up: ManageEngine OpManager requires no costly consultation or training for installation and user education. It's the only network monitor tool to offer a transparent device-based pricing model.

Who uses it: mostly large enterprises
How it works: subscription cloud service or on-premises installation
eWEEK score: 4.8/5.0

Read user reviews of ManageEngine OpsManager


Santa Barbara, Calif.

Value proposition for potential buyers: LogicMonitor provides SaaS-based data center monitoring services for physical, virtual and cloud-based IT infrastructures. The company claims that it can discover everything users need to know about their networks automatically. Within minutes, the company says, users have the monitoring, alerting and graphing they need to maintain and optimize network infrastructure.

LogicMonitor's 1,500 integrations ensure coverage for even the most complex networks, whether resources are on-premises, spread across multiple data centers, or in the cloud.

Key values/differentiators:

  • LogicMonitor provides SaaS-based data center monitoring of physical, virtual and cloud-based IT infrastructures.
  • The software provides performance monitoring, historical trending, reporting and email/SMS alerting to proactively warn IT staff of potential issues before they cause business interruptions.
  • LogicMonitor provides pre-configured out-of-the-box monitoring for most vendors of switches, routers, firewalls, load balancers, servers (including VMware, Citrix, Amazon), applications, databases, VoIP systems, and storage from a single web-based console.
  • The software is delivered on a month-to-month subscription basis, and is used by managed service providers (MSP's), hosting providers, SaaS companies, and internal corporate IT staffs to ensure maximum uptime of critical IT systems.

Who uses it: midrange to large enterprises
How it works: subscription cloud service
eWEEK score: 4.7/5.0

Read user reviews of LogicMonitor


New York City

Value proposition for potential buyers: Datadog offers monitoring and analytics for cloud-based workflows. The company offers a monitoring service that brings together metrics and events from servers, databases, applications, tools and services to present a unified view of the infrastructure. These capabilities are provided on a SaaS-based data analytics platform that enables Dev and Ops teams to work collaboratively on the infrastructure to avoid downtime, resolve performance problems and ensure that development and deployment cycles finish on time.

Key values/differentiators:

  • Since it was released in 2015, the Serverless Framework has become the community-favorite way to manage and deploy serverless applications in the cloud. Similar to Terraform and CloudFormation, it lets users express infrastructure as code, making it easy to share and version-control your entire serverless environment.
  • Datadog's Serverless plugin includes built-in support for the company’s AWS X-Ray integration and Lambda Layers, so users can track custom business metrics, automatically instrument Lambda functions, and get end-to-end visibility into requests as they travel across a serverless architecture. The Datadog Serverless plugin supports Lambda functions written in Node.js and Python.
  • Oracle’s Container Engine for Kubernetes (OKE) is a service that helps deploy, manage and scale Kubernetes clusters in the cloud. With OKE, organizations can build dynamic containerized applications by incorporating Kubernetes with services running on their Oracle Cloud Infrastructure.
  • Datadog partnered with Oracle so that users can deploy the Datadog Agent to get comprehensive visibility into Kubernetes clusters on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. Once they’ve enabled Datadog's Kubernetes integration, they can visualize an OKE container infrastructure, monitor live processes and track key metrics from all pods and containers in one place.

Who uses it: midrange to large companies
How it works: subscription cloud service or on-premises data center installation
eWEEK score: 4.6/5.0

Read user reviews of Datadog


Dublin, Ireland

Value proposition for potential buyers: Pulseway provides an award-winning network monitoring platform with OS patch management, instant push notifications, remote access and endpoint protection. It also features real-time monitoring and management; remote access with its remote desktop tool; extreme security with device access policies; and robust features with powerful automation. The company describes itself as “the easiest way to remotely monitor and control IT systems from any device.”

Key values/differentiators:

  • Robust RMM Platform: Instant push and email notifications will alert users when something goes wrong, so they’ll have the power to resolve those issues immediately, and from anywhere, using the device closest to them.
  • Customizable API: Using the rich REST API or CLOUD APIs. users can develop their own application monitoring plugins.
  • Discovery and Deployment: Instantly discover all the systems in a network and mass deploy Pulseway in minutes.
  • Patch Management: Keep a network up-to-date and secure from vulnerabilities. Scan, install and update all Windows operating systems.
  • Desktop Dashboard: Pulseway’s all-in-one Desktop Dashboard gives users a real-time eagle-eye overview of all their systems.

Who uses it: any size enterprise
How it works: subscription cloud service
eWEEK score: 4.7/5.0

Read user reviews of Pulseway


Pleasanton, Calif.

Value proposition for potential buyers: Site24x7 provides a performance monitoring tool which monitors website, apps, server, cloud and network from a single pane of glass. Site24x7 is a full stack performance monitoring solutions company that offers cloud monitoring for DevOps and IT operations staff with monitoring capabilities extending to analyzing the experience of real users accessing websites and applications from desktop and mobile devices. The company assists DevOps teams to monitor and troubleshoot applications, servers and network infrastructure, including private and public clouds.

The company provides monitoring solutions such as mobile, website and web application monitoring; server and network monitoring, public and private cloud monitoring; and application performance monitoring in one console. Site24x7 was founded in 2007 and is headquartered in Pleasanton, Calif.

Key values/differentiators:

  • Monitors Website Performance: Monitors the performance of internet services such as HTTPS, DNS server, FTP server, SSL/TLS certificate, SMTP server, POP server, URLs, REST APIs, SOAP web service and more from 90 global locations (or via wireless carriers) and those within a private network.
  • Server Monitoring: Stay on top of outages and pinpoint server issues with root-cause analysis capabilities. Create custom plugins and monitor critical attributes. Monitor Windows, Linux, FreeBSD, VMware and Docker.
  • Synthetic Web Transaction Monitoring: Record and simulate multi-step user interactions in a real browser and optimize login forms, shopping carts and other applications.
  • Application Performance Monitoring for DevOps: Identify application servers and app components that are generating errors. Monitors for Java, .NET, Ruby, PHP, AWS, Azure and mobile platforms.
  • Network Monitoring: Comprehensive monitoring for critical network devices such as routers, switches and firewalls. Assists network teams to get deep performance visibility required to manage complex networks.
  • Public and Private Cloud Monitoring: Get complete visibility across cloud resources. Monitor workloads and troubleshoot app performance on cloud and virtualization platforms such as Amazon Web Services, Azure and VMware.
  • Real User Monitoring | RUM: Gauge the application experience of real users. Analyze and segment performance by browser, platform, geography, ISP and more.
  • Public Status Pages: Powerful status pages for business transparency. Communicate downtime and promptly notify customers about service status.
  • Log Management from the Cloud: Collect, consolidate, index, search and troubleshoot issues using application logs across servers and datacenter sites. With support for common applications and log frameworks getting started is very easy.

Who uses it: enterprises of any size
How it works: subscription cloud service or on-premises installation if needed
eWEEK score: 4.8/5.0

Paessler Log Monitor

Nuremberg, Germany

Value proposition for potential buyers: Paessler, the leading networking monitoring tool maker in Europe, develops highly respected, affordable and easy-to-use network monitoring and testing solutions. The company describes its award-winning PRTG Network Monitor as a powerful, affordable and easy-to-use unified monitoring solution. It is a highly flexible and generic software for monitoring IT infrastructure, already in use at enterprises and organizations of all sizes and industries. More than 200,000 IT administrators in more than 170 countries rely on PRTG to gain insight into their networks. Founded in 1997 and based in Nuremberg, Germany, Paessler AG remains a privately held company that is recognized as both a member of the Cisco Solution Partner Program and a VMware Technology Alliance Partner.

Key values/differentiators:

  • Flexible alerting: PRTG comes with 10 built-in technologies such as email, push, play alarm audio files, or triggering HTTP requests. PRTG on-premises also supports SMS text messages and executing EXE files. Users can adapt the notification system to suit individual needs and schedule alerts (such as "no low priority alerts at night"), or avoid alarm floods by using dependencies and acknowledging.
  • Multiple user interfaces: The full-featured web interface, based on AJAX with high security standards, is highly performant, thanks to Single Page Application (SPA) technology, and optimally adjusting to your systems by its responsive design. PRTG Desktop app is a native application for PRTG, especially for several PRTG installations
  • App for iOS and Android: All user interfaces allow SSL-secured local and remote access and can be used simultaneously.
  • Cluster failover solutions: It is always better to be safe than sorry. PRTG Network Monitor allows failover-tolerant monitoring. One single failover is included in every PRTG on-premises license.
  • Automatic failover handling: if the primary master of the cluster is not connected or is down, another node immediately takes over all its responsibilities, including the sending of notifications.
  • Multiple points of presence monitoring: All nodes monitor all sensors all the time, so users can compare response times from different locations in the network (LAN/WAN/VPN). The hosted version of PRTG also comes with high-availability monitoring. PRTG takes care of it so there is no cluster support in the cloud.
  • Maps and dashboards: Users visualize a network using real time maps with live status information. They can create dashboards with the PRTG map designer and integrate all network components with more than 300 different map objects – from device and status icons to traffic charts and top lists. Individualize your map using custom HTML.
  • Distributed monitoring: Users can monitor several networks in different locations and separated networks within a company (for example, DMZ and LAN) with PRTG Remote Probes. Remote probes can be used to monitor a LAN with the hosted version of PRTG. MSPs can monitor customer networks and increase the quality of service.
  • In-depth reporting: Users can get the numbers, statistics and graphs of specific monitoring data or configuration; they also can export historic monitoring data as PDF, HTML, XML, or CSV files and further process monitoring data. Reports can be run on demand or as scheduled regular reports (daily, weekly, monthly).

Who uses it: organizations of any size
How it works: subscription cloud service or on-premises installation
eWEEK score: 4.6/5.0

Read user reviews of Paessler Log Monitor


Portland, Ore.

Value proposition for potential buyers: Sensu's open source-based platform enables high-velocity organizations to maintain operational visibility while supporting software and infrastructure-as-code development best practices and solving the unique challenges of monitoring in dynamic operating environments (such as public/private/hybrid cloud computing environments, container-based environments, and more). The company describes itself as offering “future-proof, multi-cloud monitoring at scale.” As a framework and software platform, Sensu contends that it will increase its commitment to the open source community while continuing to innovate as a fundamentally different approach to full-stack monitoring. From Kubernetes to bare metal, Sensu claims its monitoring event pipeline gives users complete visibility across every system, every protocol, every time.

Key values/differentiators:

  • Cloud and Kubernetes monitoring: Sensu empowers users to monitor everything from containers (Kubernetes, Docker, Cloud Foundry) to cloud compute instances (AWS, GCP, Azure), to bare metal (even mainframes).
  • Infrastructure and application monitoring: Automate system reliability and improve visibility across your entire stack. Sensu claims to provide a single, robust platform for availability and application performance monitoring.
  • Sensu is a leading Nagios alternative: Is your company migrating to the cloud? With Sensu, users can consolidate legacy monitoring tools while improving visibility across large-scale, hybrid cloud deployments.

Who uses it: enterprises of any size
How it works: subscription cloud service only
eWEEK score: 4.7/5.0

eWEEK publishes this series of articles to examine all sectors of IT and present up-to-date research and analysis on the leading companies in each space. It's all designed for enterprise buyers of hardware, software, services and cloud products to have more and better information in hand when the time comes to make an investment.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 15 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...