Best Open Source Application Monitoring Tools in 2022
Application Performance Monitoring tools track the performance of applications in real-time but also analyze it in context and in time to spot anomalies and performance-related issues. Open Source Application Performance Monitoring tools give a lot of freedom to their users since they can access and customize the tool's source code for project-specific needs. It also allows for self-hosting, which can help in the context of tightening data protection laws. They also often offer a vibrant community of active developers who might provide helpful plugins and tips.
The market is saturated with free and open-source APM tools, but picking the right one for your stack might be tricky. Let's take a look at some of the most reliable and community-approved open-source application performance tools in 2022.
Prometheus is an open-source monitoring and alerting set of tools built by SoundCloud's engineers in 2012. It was the second CNCF project after Kubernetes, and it has managed to obtain a large and vibrant community of contributors and users ever since.
Graphite is here to kick ass, chew bubble gum and make it easy to store and graph metrics. It's an enterprise-ready monitoring tool optimized for extensive cloud infrastructure and cheap, budget servers. Graphite was initially built at Orbitz, which released it under an open-source Apache 2.0 license and adapted it as their main monitoring framework.
Built by Uber and then donated to CNCF, Jaeger is a Dapper-inspired, distributed tracing system allowing you to monitor and troubleshoot microservice-based distributed systems. Jaeger supports two open-source NoSQL database backends: Cassandra and Elasticsearch. Jaeger allows you to perform root cause analyses, analyze server dependencies, optimize performance and latency and monitor transactions.
SigNoz is an MIT-licensed, open-source alternative to many APM tools. It's a full-stack observability tool allowing you to monitor metrics and traces, with Log management on the way. SigNoz supports OpenTelemetry for instrumentation and offers out-of-the-box charts and visualizations. It runs on either Kafka+Druid or OLAP database ClickHouse for the backend. The Query service is built-in GO, and the front-end is Typescript-powered.
Elastic APM is built upon the ELK stack. It's composed of open source libraries for collecting performance data, a server, receiving performance data, Elasticsearch, and Kibana for visualization. The ELK Stack is one of the most popular data processing stacks.
Muniprofiler is a simple monitoring tool for .NET, Ruby, Go, and Node.js apps. It allows you to profile ASP.NET, ASP.NET Core, EF Core, Entity Framework 6, and SQL Server. It's available on GitHub.
Apache Skywalking is an All-in-one APM solution for distributed systems, made for microservices, cloud-native and container-based architectures. Skywalking is lightweight, scalable, and supports alerting and visualization features. Skywalking has more than 600 contributors on GitHub and has thousands of contributions every year.
Skywalking is built for Java .NET core, PHP, Node.js, Golang, LUA, Rust, and C++ agents and all of these agents are actively maintained.
Stagemonitor is an open-source Java application performance monitoring tool available from GitHub. It allows for private data collection, distributed tracing via Open Tracing API, Alerting and is fully extendable via 3rd party, community, or custom plugins drafted from scratch. Stagemonitor uses Kibana for dashboarding and visualization.
Clinic.js uses multiple tools to diagnose and remediate performance-related issues in your Node.js application. The doctor diagnoses performance issues and offers guidance when using specialized tools to diagnose your specific problems. Issues such as low CPU usage, obstruction of garbage collection, frequent event delays, or a chaotic number of active actions can indicate many potential problems, and the doctor will guide you to other Clinic.js tools.
Freemium APM Tools
Open-source monitoring tools are great for projects with tight budgets, non-profits, or other open-sourced projects. However, many SaaS offers free or reasonably priced bundles for non-profits, education, and other projects. Also, a self-hosted solution can get expensive really quickly, e.g., a hosted ELK stack from Elastic starts at $95/month. Open Source is rarely free, and many SaaS solutions offer better, more reliable, and reasonably priced, Application Performance Monitoring Tools.
Logtail is a part of the Better Stack ecosystem, and together with Better Uptime, they create a complete observability solution with incident management built-in. With one-click Better Uptime integration, you can easily alert on-call team members of any irregularities in your application's behavior. Be it a specific log message error or a predefined usage trend.
Sentry is available for free in the Developer pricing model and offers Limited error and Performance monitoring options. Sentry's performance monitoring offers support for various application languages and frameworks and is available both as a SaaS and Self-hosted platform. Sentry offers end-to-end distributed trace monitoring to trace performance issues to their origin.
3. New Relic
New Relic offers a free forever plan with 100GBs/month for free and one user access. New Relic offers a complete monitoring solution covering APM, K8s monitoring, ML Model Monitoring, Log Management, Synthetics, and more. Their Application Performance Monitoring allows you to navigate and visualize your stack, and it offers most of the features you'd expect from such a popular APM monitoring tool.
In this article, we took a closer look at some of the best open-source Application Performance Monitoring tools available in 2022. The importance of a good APM solution is now indisputable, so all it takes is to pick the right one. When deciding between an Open source and a SaaS solution, there are a few key aspects to consider:
- Continuity, community, and development. Open Source tools heavily rely on their community. If the last commit was pushed a few months ago and the repository has only a few active members, you risk future security and compatibility issues.
- Infrastructure costs. Open Source tools such as the Elastic stack easily ramp up the infrastructure costs, which diminishes your return on investment and has the potential of draining unnecessary funds.
- Integrations with third-party software. Most Open Source tools integrate well with third-party tools for tasks such as infrastructure monitoring or incident management. It's important to make sure that your stacks are fully compatible.
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