Top 10 CloudWatch Alternatives in 2023
Amazon Cloudwatch Logs is a solution allowing you to monitor, store and access log files from Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud, AWS CloudTrail, Route 53, and more sources. Using Amazon CloudWatch Logs, you can query data using their purpose-built query language.
CloudWatch is capable of anomaly detection, alarming, logs and metrics visualization and visual correlation, and trend detection and presents serious competition to other Cloud monitoring solutions, with the advantage of being made by, and for Amazon.
It provides sample queries, command descriptions, query autocompletion, and log field discovery to ease the onboarding process. Cloudwatch Logs can track the number of errors that occur in your application logs and send you a notification whenever any monitored rate exceeds a threshold.
Using CloudWatch Logs, you can create CloudWatch alerts, store logs for an unlimited amount of time, archive logs in highly durable storage, and access the raw log data. However, there are plenty of other logging tools that can be used with or instead of CloudWatch.
- Works very well with other Amazon-based services
- Latency in visualizing metrics
- Difficulties might occur when using tools from outside of the ecosystem
The Best AWS Cloudwatch alternatives in 2023
Because of all of the above, we've decided to compile a list of the best CloudWatch alternatives in 2023 sourced from our developers and engineers, clients, and community.
1. Better Stack
All the collected data are connected to Grafana for comprehensive visualization and even more efficient intel management. Tighter security is one of the main byproducts of log monitoring, and Better Stack itself is one of the most secure tools available. Using industry-standard best practices and cooperating only with data centers compliant with ISO/IEC27001 certifications, your data is safe during both transit and storage.
If you need a log monitoring solution for your hobby project, Better Stack is available for free. Without a credit card, you get access to 1 GB of storage a month, with 3-day data retention. For $24/month, you get access to the Freelancer package, with 30 GB of log storage and 15-day data retention.
Main Benefits of Better Stack:
- Better Stack Uptime integration for even better observability and incident management
- A one-click filter of logs in a structured format
- Advanced collaboration features
Logz.io is based on open source tools and heavily emphasizes the necessity of "giving back to the community", maybe that's why their free subscription plan is called Community. Logz.io is ELK-stack-based, which promises performance and reliability at a certain price. Its crowdsourcing and machine learning features can help you discover otherwise invisible events. It also provides a live tail feature to observe data in real-time, providing you with an option to monitor and analyze data from multiple sources at once.
Using query language, you can create custom and flexible alerts to be the first one to know about any bugs, threats, or anomalies. Kibana's query language provides you with multiple more features such as identifying specific events, customizing alert formats, or grouping options by fields.
Logz.io provides a safe way to store your in-transit data with its support for SSL encryption and robust AES 256-bit encryption.
Main benefits of Logz.io:
- It's based on open source
- ELK-stack provides a wide array of tools
- Reasonable pricing model
It uses Elasticsearch, Logstash, and Kibana for collecting and transforming data, searching, filtering and analyzing, and finally, data managing and visualization. You can troubleshoot faster with real-time alerting on both metrics and logs. Log analyzing and looking for anomalies are used to make the whole process more quickly. You can integrate it with email, PagerDuty, Slack, HipChat, BigPanda, OpsGenie, VictorOps, WebHooks, Nagios, Zapier, and more.
Sematext runs on AWS, whose infrastructure follows strict IT security best practices. Your logs are encrypted via HTTPS and sent through TLS/SLL channels. You can restrict specific permissions to some members of your team.
Main Benefits of Sematext:
- It brings infrastructure and application performance monitoring together with log management
- Easy to use with good pre-configured dashboards and reports thus also quick to start
Apart from log management, Splunk provides you with searching, filtering, diagnosing, indexing, and reporting features. It also offers intuitive and user-friendly dashboards which can be divided into multiple relevant sections. Splunk uses distributed tracing, a method to monitor events, failures, or performance issues.
Both tools are okay; however, they differ in some crucial aspects, and one or the other is not suitable for everyone. Splunk provides multiple additional features on the other hand. These include live logging, S3 backup, Heroku support, Github integration, JIRA integration, and more.
Main Benefits of Splunk:
- Support for various features like S3 backup, live, logging, Heroku, Github, and more
- Flexible GUI, support for a query language
- Complex, suitable for an enterprise solution
5. New Relic
New Relic's infrastructure monitoring offers faster visibility and troubleshooting. New Relic One offers an all-in-one data observation tool capable of correlation or drill-down from Kubernetes to specific log tracing in only a few steps. New Relic is highly adjustable, so it does not matter if you run from one or multiple clouds on-premise, you will have access to specific, accurate, and custom metrics in real-time and on a limitless scale. New Relic is an open and flexible integration network supporting all the most popular integrations like AWS, Azure, GCP, MYSQL, NGINX, Kafka, and more. If you find an integration that is not supported, you can build it from scratch with New Relic's Flex integration builder.
You can get New Relic for free and access the basic logs management and analyzing features. The rest of the packages are priced depending on your usage, where you pay for everything you used on top of the free plan.
Main Benefits of New Relic:
- Kubernetes monitoring Pixie
- Multiple by use case solutions
Datadog automatically parses JSON logs and lets users choose how to parse records from different formats via the Grok Parser. You can use MySQL, JSON, Windows Event Logs, W3C Log Formats, and other various log formats throughout the board. It also provides a view of all IIS log files, which can help you discover multiple patterns and trends. You can search them by date, IP address, and more, eliminating the need to search through many different files.
However Datadog comes at a significant cost, compared to AWS CloudWatch.
Main Benefits of Datadog:
- Quick to start
- Team collaboration tools
- Full API access
- Alert notifications
7. SolarWinds Server and Application Monitor
SAM includes hundreds of out-of-the-box templates to monitor server and application performance and the ability to display both real-time and historical trends, helping you to better understand how your server performs in time.
SAM's price starts at $1500, with the offer of a subscription and perpetual licensing options. However, SAM makes every penny worth, with 68 use cases available, including Agentless server, CentOS Server Management, and Monitoring Tool, or IMAP Server Monitoring Tool, there is not a lot of things that SAM can not do. However, if spending thousands of dollars on infrastructure monitoring is not what you are looking for, keep scrolling.
Main Benefits of SAM:
- Server Capacity Planning
- Custom App Monitoring
- Application Dependency Mapping
Thanks to advanced observability across PaaS and container technologies like AWS, Azure, Kubernetes, or Cloud Foundry, you gain access to process detection and resource utilization, network usage, and performance, log monitoring. Or you can use it to hold your partners accountable and verify their SLAs by third-party data and event monitoring integration. However, bear in mind that Dynatrace's complexity comes with a price, and fully plunging into how it works takes time.
Dynatrace's pricing depends on the monitoring solution. Their Full-stack monitoring starts at $69/month for 8 GB per host. Infrastructure monitoring offering observability for cloud, containers, and data center technologies, including AlOps, starts at $21/month.
Looking for tools similar to Dynatrace? Explore our Dynatrace alternatives article.
Main Benefits of Dynatrace:
- Unlimited AI-Assistance with anomaly detection and root-cause determination
- More than 560 integrations
- Unlimited ad-hoc analysis of log entries
Zabbix has a rich set of features to enable users to monitor more than just hosts and offers great flexibility to admins. Zabbix allows you to control many possible metrics and incidents when it comes to servers like High CPU or memory usage, Packet Loss Rate, or Disk Space. Zabbix's out-of-the-box templates allow you to monitor all popular servers and OS.
Zabbix allows you to collect metrics from Network devices, Cloud, containers and virtual machines, Databases, Applications, HTTP(s) endpoints, and many more. Alerting is handled by multiple platforms, including On-Call, Opsgenie, Pagerduty, Slack, MS Teams, Telegram, or Webhooks.
Zabbix offers a full set of education courses and materials with recognized certificates, confirming a certain level of expertise in Zabbix's function. Zabbix is really lightweight but offers support for almost every aspect of infrastructure aspects.
Zabbix is open-source, so there are no subscription packages. You can enroll in one of their courses or purchase advice in the form of technical support or consulting.
Main Benefits of Zabbix:
- Flexible notifications
- Remote command execution
10. Netdata Cloud
Netdata Cloud is a free, closed source SaaS solution that brings metadata from all tour endpoints running the Netdata Agent - their own free, open-source software licensed under GPL v3.0. It's perfect for single-node monitoring, lightweight and performant. In the future, the developers plan to deploy a paid plan for enterprise users.
Main Benefits of Netdata:
- Free and powerful tool
In this article, we introduced AWS Cloudwatch, its features, limitations, and the main complaints from its users. Then we proposed a list of the Best CloudWatch alternatives for those who decided it’s time for a change.
Other useful resources if you are considering Cloudwatch alternatives:
- Cloudwatch vs Cloudtrail
- Cloudwatch vs Datadog
- Best AWS Monitoring Tools
- Getting Started with Collecting and Managing AWS Logs
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