10 Best Docker Monitoring Tools in 2023
Docker is originally an open-source project made by Solomon Hykes in 2013, written in Go language used to deliver software in standardized packages called containers.
What is a Container?
A container is a standardized unit of software (just like a shipping container) that packages up a code and its dependencies. This allows for seamless and reliable deployment of applications in any computing environment.
A docker container image is a standalone, executable package of software including everything you need to run an application. In order for an image to become a container, you need to run it on Docker Engine.
To dig deeper into container orchestration, check out vmware's article.
Benefits of running containers on Docker engine:
- Containers are standardized, meaning that they are easily portable
- Containers share the machine’s OS system kernel, meaning they do not require an OS per application, making it much more resource-efficient
- Docker containers provide a high level of isolation capabilities, meaning that applications are safe and secure
How to monitor your containers
The cloud-native wiki states a few best practices allowing you to improve monitoring of your containers. These include:
- Alerting Across the Delivery Pipeline
- Monitor the Entire Stack
- Visualize the Environment
- Add Context to Alerts
The Best Docker Monitoring Tools in 2023
By now, it is certain that having a Docker monitoring solution is a must, so the question is not when should you start, but which tool should you use. Let's take a look at some of the best Docker Monitoring Tools in 2023.
By offering integrations into stacks like Kubernetes, Heroku, Logstash, Ruby on Rails, AWS, and more, you get broad array of options for monitoring. Thanks to custom-built technology and ClickHouse, you can work with your logs more efficiently and save funds. All the collected data are sent to Grafana for comprehensive visualization and more efficient intel management.
Using Logtail’s advanced Collaboration features you can archive important log fragments, comment, and share logs with your colleagues. On top of that, everything is put together in a simple, purpose-driven, Dark-mode UI.
Tighter security is one of the main priorities in log monitoring, and Logtail itself is one of the most secure tools available. Using industry-standard best practices and cooperating only with data centers compliant with DIN ISO/IEC27001 certifications, your data is safe during both transit and storage.
If you need a log monitoring solution for your hobby project, Logtail is available for free. 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 Logtail:
- A one-click filter of logs in a structured format
- Better Uptime integration for Uptime monitoring solution and incident management
- Advanced Collaboration Features
Datadog's free plan offers Unlimited User Accounts, 1-day full-resolution data retention but it does not provide alerting or container monitoring. Datadog's first paid Infrastructure monitoring solution starts at $15/month per host.
Main Benefits of Datadog:
- IoT add-ons
- Custom Metrics in Higher tiers
- Full-stack observability and monitoring achievable
Prometheus enables you to collect and store metrics as time-series data, meaning that data is stored with a respective timestamp, and optional key-value pairs called labels.
Prometheus uses its own PromQL, query language, collects time series via a pull model over HTTP, pushes data over an intermediary gateway. It allows for multiple different approaches to data visualization. Prometheus is usually deployed alongside Grafana since it supports out-of-the-box support.
However, bear in mind that Prometheus delivers reliable service, but if you have a zero fault tolerance policy when it comes to data accuracy such as per-request billing, Prometheus might not be the right choice.
Main Benefits of Prometheus:
- Open-source platform developed by a plethora of community contributors
- CNCF project
- Grafana integration
Docker monitoring is a part of the infrastructure monitoring solution. Dynatrace collects data from the cloud, hybrid, containers, VMs, network, servers, storage, and many more.
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 hold your partners accountable and verify their SLAs by third-party data and event monitoring integration. However, Dynatrace's complexity comes with a price, and fully plunging into how it works takes time.
Main Benefits of Dynatrace:
- AI-powered Tools
- Full-stack observability available
5. Sumo Logic
Sumo Logic is also a security and compliance management. Thanks to its log analysis capabilities, it offers fast threat detection and also helps you detect breaches, and leverage other threat intelligence tools.
Thanks to anomaly detection, outlier detection, and predictive analytics, you get deep and comprehensive insights into your architecture's performance. Sumo logic offers real-time visibility into AWS, Azure, and GCP cloud applications and infrastructure. Alongside that, you get access to over 150 apps and native integrations to get full out-of-the-box visibility into third-party technologies.
Sumo Logic provides you with two dashboards - a live dashboard and an interactive one. The live dashboard offers numerous real-time data in the order as they come. However, it doesn't provide an option to look back at the older data.
Main Benefits of Sumo Logic:
- CrowdStrike threat intelligence
- Security analytics app framework
Site24x7 solution features an Automated discovery, Mapping, and Monitoring of network devices. All the data collected are represented in dashboards, giving you a complete overview of your infrastructure's performance and health. Plenty of third-party integrations are available, and if you find you need custom monitoring plugins, you can write your own using Shell, PowerShell, Batch, VB, or Python.
Main Benefits of Site24x7:
- Full-observability possible
- Automated Discovery and Mapping
AppOptics is available in two different versions - the AppOptics Infrastructure Monitoring and AppOptics APM. Docker integration is available in the Infrastructure monitoring. This allows you to visualize all your infrastructure in one place and include other services using out-of-the-box integrations and plugins.
AppOptics offers pre-populated dashboards for the most popular systems and allows you to edit charts and dashboards. You can also create simple alert notifications to notify you about code deployments, cron-hob runs, and more.
AppOptics is a scalable and secure solution.
Main Benefits of AppOptics:
- SolarWinds backing
- Both APM and Infrastructure monitoring modes are available
Sematext allows you to observe containerized applications running in Docker or platforms like K8s, or Nomad. You can benefit from its automated discovery features and anomaly detection for alerting. Integrations with incident management tools such as PagerDuty, Opsgenie, Splunk On-Call, and Webhooks are possible.
You can try Sematext Infrastructure Monitoring in a 14-day free trial. From there you can choose one of their premium pricing tiers, including one free for up to three hosts, or Standard and Pro, starting at around $0.007/per container host per hour.
Main Benefits of Sematext:
- Automated Discovery and Sematext Agent
- 100+ integrations for the most popular stacks.
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
Sysdig uses transparent instrumentation to see inside Docker containers, meaning that you remove the need to multiply agents across containers. It gives you real-time insights about the state of your containers and deployed applications and allows you to visualize everything in dashboards, monitor and receive notifications.
Sysdig is a really complex enterprise-ready service and is available to try in a free-trial period.
Main Benefits of Sysdig:
- Security monitoring platform
- Transparent instrumentation
Containers revolutionized the digital space and more and more projects are relying on this type of deployment. This emphasizes the need for a good Docker monitoring solution even more. Now, the only remaining question should be which solution will suit you the most.
Want to learn more about Docker? Explore our Docker logging guide and our Docker in production series.
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