10 Best Kubernetes Monitoring Tools in 2022

Better Stack Team
Updated on May 4, 2022

Kubernetes combines the experience of Google’s engineers and community-sourced ideas and practices into an extensible, open-source platform used for managing containerized workloads and services. Kubernetes container orchestration is now an industry practice, and many projects depend on it, which emphasizes the need for a good monitoring solution even more.

Kubernetes logo

What is Kubernetes?

The name comes from Greek and translates roughly as pilot or helmsman. You might also find the abbreviation K8s, representing the eight letters between the "K" and "s". Kubernetes has been Google's open-sourced project since 2014. Kubernetes rose as a solution to issues in software deployment, mostly related to hardware, cost, security, and scalability.

To understand the importance of Kubernetes, we need to understand where it came from and how it works.

Kubernetes's documentation divides deployment into three different eras:

  • Traditional Deployment Era
  • Virtualized Deployment Era
  • Container Deployment Era

What is Kubernetes monitoring?

It's the practice of proactive analysis, management, and troubleshooting of Kubernetes. Monitoring allows you to utilize any containerized infrastructure more efficiently to improve uptime, resource distribution and utilization, and interactions between individual components of your cluster.

If you want to learn more about containers and Kubernetes, scroll down, for more information!

Best Kubernetes monitoring Tools in 2022.

For now, it should be crystal clear, that monitoring of your Kubernetes infrastructure is crucial in the overall success of your project. Now we will dig deeper into software and tools that will help you monitor it.

1. Logtail

Logtail dash Logtail aggregates data from your Kubernetes architecture using Vector. Logtail allows you to query logs like your database thanks to SQL-compatible structured log management running on a custom-built technology and ClickHouse-based storage. This allows you to work with your resources more efficiently and thus, save funds. Seamless integration into any platform allows you to start monitoring and increase your performance and reliability within minutes. Creating a cloud integration is a matter of a few commands, and thanks to complex yet straightforward documentation, you will receive any guidance necessary.

Logtail offers support for your existing stack. Apart from Kubernetes, Logtail supports Docker, Dokku, Heroku, Ubuntu/Debian, Vercel, and many more.

Even in the free package, you Logtail offers real-time Live Tail, automated parsing, and visual query builder. You can also benefit from automated data enrichment and log collection. Logtail offers unlimited search duration, built-in Grafana, and interactive dashboards. When it comes to collaboration, Logtail offers Google Docs-ish collaboration and comments with tagging available. You can also create team-based notifications and archive log fragments. Logtail offers support for Docker, Dokku, Heroku, Ubuntu/Debian, Vercel, and many more.

You can get a rather generous Logtail package for free; advanced features are available in higher tiers, starting at $24/month.

Main Benefits of Logtail:

  • Well designed, Dark Mode UI and Grafana Visualizations
  • SQL-like log queries
  • Advanced Collaboration Features

2. Kubernetes Dashboard

Kubernetes Dashboard The Dashboard is a web-based Kubernetes UI that you can use to manage, deploy, monitor, and troubleshoot your Kubernetes clusters.

The Dashboard screen helps you understand the state of your infrastructure. Individual visualizations are color-based, based on the state and health of individual resources - e.g., a bright green circle shows healthy, active resources such as running Pods, while a red part of a pie graph represents failed resources.

Dashboards also give you an overview of Cron Jobs, Deployments, Pods, Replica Sets, Services, and more.

The Dashboard is a great tool that's free, easy to install, and part of the Kubernetes eco-system; however, it offers only a limited amount of features and is not a "dedicated" monitoring solution, meaning that a lot of work will remain on your shoulders.

Main benefits of the Kubernetes Dashboard:

  • Simple, native application

3. LogDNA

LogDNA Dash LogDNA parses major log line types on ingestion and offers Custom Parsing Templates. You can filter your logs based on app, host, or cluster, browse logs from any source instantly, and search through them with simple keywords, exclusion terms, chained expressions, and data ranges. Alerts are set off based on either Presence or Absence, or generate an alert from a saved View and report on them in PagerDuty, Slack, or with a custom Webhook. LogDNA also allows you to save views to access common Filters and Searches and share them.

LogDNA is built on Elasticsearch, providing you with relatively fast and reliable indexing and filtering of your logs. A web-based GUI handles filtering, logs grouping by source, and more. Visualization and custom dashboards are also available, and you can work with user-specific logs. Agentless log collection via Syslog and HTTP(s) with full-text search and visualizations are available.

LogDNA's pricing packages depend on the retention period in days and the number of users. For starters, you can get LogDNA for free for one user and without any logs retention and unlimited saved views.

Main Benefits of LogDNA:

  • Pay-as-you-go pricing model
  • Well designed UI

4. Sumo Logic

Sumo Logic Dash Sumo Logic offers a complex cloud monitoring solution. With support for more than 150 applications and integrations, you can collect and centralize all the necessary data. With real-time analytics, you can rapidly identify and resolve potential cyber-attacks or breaches. With customizable dashboards, you gain full-stack visibility and reliable monitoring results. Machine-learning-based algorithms run around the clock to test and alert you in case of any anomalies or errors.

Sumo Logic offers complete solutions to AWS, GCP, and Azure, promising full infrastructure visibility in each. You can use Sumo Logic as a custom-tailored solution in multiple fields, such as education, gaming, retail, fintech, and even the public sector.

Sumo Logic offers an Infrastructure Monitoring solution, starting at around $0.50/1000 DPM daily average, which would sum up to around $14/month per host. You can try Sumo Logic in a free trial period, combine it with other solutions or ask for a custom quote.

Main Benefits of Sumo Logic:

  • CrowdStrike threat intelligence
  • Security analytics app framework

5. Fluentd

FluentD dash Fluentd is sometimes integrated into the ELK stack - changing it into the EFK stack. Fluentd is a unified logging tool for cloud-native environments allowing you to collect logs in real-time.

You can use Fluentd to collect logs, filters, buffers, and storage in JSON data structure. A Plug-in based system will allow you to extend and customize your architecture. A great advantage is its lightweight operation since it demands about 40MB of RAM while handling more than 13,000 events every second.

Fluentd is a Cloud Native Computing Foundation member project, is available on GitHub, and offers rich and well-written documentation, alongside community support.

Main Benefits of Fluentd:

  • An open-source, CNCF project

6. NetApp Cloud Insights

NetApp Cloud Dash NetApp Cloud Insights is an infrastructure monitoring tool. Cloud Insights offer an option of monitoring, troubleshooting, and optimizing your resources across public clouds and private data centers.

NetApp offers seamless navigation and observability into Clusters, persistent storage allowing you to correlate storage utilization to workloads, and full-stack visualization, helping you understand individual metrics in context.

Data visualization is ensured by simple yet dynamic dashboards, which allow you to overview critical Kubernetes KPI. From here, you can view restart counts, calling metrics, pods, and containers that encounter outages, instability, or resource-related issues.

Main benefits of NetApp Cloud Insights:

  • Full-stack observability
  • Well designed dashboards

7. Sensu Go

Sensu Web Sensu Go offers a service health and telemetry solution for multi-cloud monitoring. It allows you to understand how your servers, containers, services, apps, and devices operate and co-operate across both public and private clouds.

Sensu Go is often running side-by-side with Prometheus. However, it is not necessary. It offers you an option to run custom scripts and plugins, collect metrics about resources usage, monitor and manage cloud endpoints or deploy a monitoring solution without coding, thanks to pre-defined templates.

Main benefits of Sensu Go:

  • Smart alerts possible thanks to PagerDuty, ServiceNow, and Jira integrations
  • Code-free workflow option

8. Dynatrace

Dynatrace Dash Dynatrace offers automation and AI tools for Kubernetes monitoring at scale. Using Dynatrace, you can reach full-stack observability. You can use Dynatrace to monitor the availability, health, and resource utilization of Kubernetes infrastructure. You can keep an eye on all the important metrics such as Cluster Resource utilization, Pod and Workload, and native Kubernetes Events. All of the data collected will be visualized. Dynatraces AI offers continual mapping of dependencies and auto-discovery.

You can get Dynatrace either as a Full-stack monitoring solution starting at around $69/month or go for their Infrastructure Monitoring subscription, starting at $21/month for 8GB per Host.

Main Benefits of Dynatrace:

  • AI-powered Tools
  • Full-stack observability available

9. Datadog

Datadog Datadog automatically monitors the nodes of Kubernetes platforms. Datadog’s agent collects metrics, events, and logs from cluster components, workload pots, and other Kubernetes objects. Datadog is a complex solution enabling you to work with logs, metrics, events, and more in real-time. Datadog offers more than 500 vendor-backed integrations, including incident management platforms, meaning that you can use the collected metrics to set up alerts.

You can get Datadog for free, with a limitation to 5 hosts (1 node = 1 host). Bear in mind that this plan is heavily limited. For advanced features, you need to subscribe to their premium plans starting at around 15 dollars per Host per month.

Main Benefits of Datadog:

  • An expensive but powerful solution
  • An ecosystem full of solutions

10. Jaeger

Jaeger Dash Jaeger is a Cloud Native Computing Foundation graduated project offering open-source, end-to-end distributed tracing. You can use it to monitor and troubleshoot transactions in complex distributed systems. To use Jaeger with Kubernetes, you need to use Jaeger Operator, an implementation of a Kubernetes Operator.

Jaeger offers very well-written documentation, offering a straightforward tutorial on how to integrate it with Kubernetes and further customize it to your needs.

Main Benefits of Jaeger:

  • Documentation
  • Open-source license

What is a container?

A container is a standardized unit of software (just like a regular container) that packages up code and its dependencies in order to run applications reliably. Companies such as Docker offer a lightweight, standalone, executable package of software, including everything your application needs to perform: code, runtime, sys tools, sys libraries, and configuration.

Docker Container images become containers when they run on Docker Engine and can run both Linux and Windows-based applications.

Advantages of container deployment:

  • While being similar to virtual machines, they allow sharing the OS, making it really lightweight
  • Containers allow for better observability beneath the OS-level surface. You can monitor application health and other signals
  • Apps run consistently across environments
  • Better resource management. You can isolate resources to create a more predictable environment when it comes to performance, which also increases the effectiveness of resource utilization.

Kubernetes Clusters

A cluster is a set of nodes running any containerized application. Clusters are composed of one main node and a number of worker nodes. Any of these nodes can be either a physical or a virtual machine.

Kubernetes Clusters Monitoring

When it comes to cluster monitoring, you want to overview the state of the whole cluster. You are making sure that all nodes in the cluster are working as they should, at what capacity, and how you are managing your resources.

To be able to know all this, you need to gain metrics, especially about:

  • Resource utilization. This is a set of metrics such as Network bandwidth and hardware-related metrics - CPU, disk, and memory utilization.
  • The Number of Nodes. These metrics help you to understand if you utilize your architecture properly. Meaning that you will understand (especially while using the cloud) how you utilize your cluster. Disk-related issues, such as resources shortage, can lead to severe failures such as data loss or corruption.

Kubernetes Pods

Google defines Pods as the smallest, most basic deployable objects in Kubernetes. A Pod represents a single instance of a running process in your cluster. Pods contain one or more containers, such as Docker containers. When a Pod runs multiple containers, the containers are managed as a single entity and share the Pod’s resources.

Pods Monitoring

Measuring Pod resources helps you understand the load a running Pod will put on the system. These metrics help you to keep an eye on how many nodes you have available, evaluate the situation, predict and prevent any crisis scenarios such as node failure, etc. But you can also monitor Pods themselves and gather information about them. You can keep an eye on resources in context and understand the performance of the individual Pod. If it has enough resources, you can monitor containers, and finally, gather metrics from applications deployed.

Conclusion

In this article, you read a bit about the origins of modern deployment, containers, and finally, Kubernetes. We went over its beginnings and how does it operate. Then we proposed a list of the best K8S monitoring tools in 2022. As a wrap-up, we brought you information background about the basics of containers and Kubernetes monitoring.

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