Observability: Top Observability and Monitoring Tools in 2024


Shikhar Sharma

April 17, 2024

Shikhar Sharma

Authored by

Shikhar Sharma

What is Observability?

In today's cloud environments, staying vigilant for unexpected occurrences, like the Black Swan, is vital for grasping evolving dynamics. The ability of a system to measure its current state based on the data it generates via logs, metrics, and traces is referred to as Observability.

Monitoring vs Observability

However, monitoring and observability cannot be used interchangeably, even though they complement each other in service. Monitoring works on unidentified knowledge whereas observability works on unidentified risk.

The Goal of Observability?

The Goal of Observability aligns well with The Goal By Eliyahu Goldratt in identifying and optimizing bottlenecks flow in analyzing data and gaining visibility into system behavior and performance. Just as "The Goal" emphasizes the importance of understanding the entire manufacturing process from raw materials to finished products, observability solutions aim to provide end-to-end visibility into complex systems.

Best Observability Solutions in 2024

1. Incerto

Incerto offers comprehensive observability and monitoring solutions tailored specifically to clients' infrastructure needs. This unique solution is not just another off-the-shelf SaaS; it's a meticulously crafted productized service. With Incerto, clients can simply outline their challenges, and the heavy lifting begins. From instrumenting the code to establishing a robust ClickHouse cluster, Incerto handles it all, ensuring a seamless experience. Leveraging cutting-edge technologies, Incerto utilizes OpenTelemetry for its powerful telemetry backend, harnesses the scalability of ClickHouse for storing telemetry data, and delivers intuitive user interfaces through Grafana. With Incerto, clients can trust that their observability needs are expertly addressed, allowing them to focus on their core business objectives with confidence.

Platform: Incerto is a self-managed platform that is implemented by Incerto on-premises or in the cloud. Incerto also offers managing services to its customers.

Instrumentation: Incerto takes care of the complete instrumentation part and data remains in the customer's infrastructure.

Offerings: Incerto offers an extensive suite of services, including Host Metrics, Distributed Tracing, Centralized Logs, Alerting, Real User Monitoring, and Root Cause analysis.

Free trial: No Free trial is available.

Pricing One-time instrumentation cost for the self-maintained solution. Instrumentation and monthly maintenance costs in which Incerto maintains observability.

2. Datadog

Datadog stands as the gold standard in observability platforms, offering organizations a robust suite for monitoring, troubleshooting, and optimizing applications and infrastructure within today's dynamic landscapes. With its unparalleled breadth of features and seamless integration with over 650 third-party tools, Datadog delivers comprehensive visibility across distributed environments. Renowned among DevOps teams, SREs, and IT professionals, Datadog empowers users with actionable insights to enhance system reliability and performance. However, it's worth noting that Datadog's excellence comes with a premium price tag.

Platform Datadog is delivered as SaaS.

Offerings Datadog offers an extensive suite of services, including Application Performance Monitoring (APM), Distributed Tracing, Centralized Logs, Alerting, Real User Monitoring, Synthetic Monitoring, and numerous additional features. These offerings are further segmented into various subcategories, providing a comprehensive solution for monitoring and optimizing applications and infrastructure.

Instrumentation Companies have to manually instrument their code and add Datadog's agent to export telemetry data to Datadog’s platform.

Free trial A 14-day free trial.

Pricing Datadog charges are based on multiple factors, some of which are ingestion, retention, number of hosts monitored, and number of agents running.

3. New Relic

New Relic provides comprehensive full-stack observability capabilities, enabling deep examination of networks, infrastructures, applications, and user experiences. Comprising multiple tools, the New Relic observability platform delivers full-stack monitoring across applications and infrastructure. Additionally, New Relic seamlessly integrates with over 500 third-party technologies.

Platform New Relic is implemented as SaaS.

Instrumentation Companies have to manually instrument their code and add New Relic’s agent to export telemetry data to New Relic’s platform.

Offerings Datadog offers an extensive suite of services, including Application Performance Monitoring (APM), Distributed Tracing, Centralized Logs, Alerting, and numerous additional features.

Free trial New Relics offers 100 GB free data ingest per month.

Pricing New Relics charges based upon ingestion, retention, and number of users.

4. SigNoz

SigNoz is a full-stack open-source observability and monitoring platform. It provides OpenTelemetry-native Traces, Metrics, and Logs in a single pane. With features like distributed tracing, metrics monitoring, and log analysis, SigNoz helps detect and diagnose issues in microservices architectures. It offers integrations with popular frameworks and libraries to gain insights into system performance and behavior. Here is a comprehensive feature comparison of SigNoz vs Incerto.

Platform SaaS is the primary offering of SigNoz.

Instrumentation With SigNoz, you can either do the instrumentation by yourself or sign up for the enterprise version where SigNoz will take care of the instrumentation.

Offerings Signoz offers an extensive suite of services, including distributed tracing, metrics monitoring, alerts, and log analysis.

Free trial 30-day free trial available.

Pricing Signoz cloud charges based on ingestion. The community edition is free. Enterprise edition charges monthly subscription fees.

5. Grafana Loki and Tempo

LGTM stands for Loki, Grafana, Tempo and Mimir. Grafana offers the LGTM stack as its observability solution.

Loki: Loki is a log aggregation system. It uses label-based indexing to organise log data, and it indexes metadata of the logs.

Grafana: When it comes to visualisation, it’s hard to find something better than Grafana. It is arguably the most popular open source visualisation tool. Known for its rich visualisation capabilities and support for various data sources, it allows users to create dashboards and charts to visualise metrics, logs, and traces from different systems in real-time.

Tempo: Tempo is an open-source distributed tracing backend. It also lets you link your tracing data with logs and metrics.

Platform Grafana Cloud is available as a fully managed cloud service. Grafana Enterprise Stack is a self-managed platform that can be implemented on premises or in the cloud.

Instrumentation Grafana's open source agent runs on monitored devices and collects metrics, logs and traces. The agent then forwards the telemetry data to the Grafana platform, whether running in the cloud or on premises.

Offerings Grafana offers an extensive suite of services, including distributed tracing, metrics monitoring, alerts, and log analysis and a lot more.

Free trial Organizations can try out Grafana Cloud through the free service or a 14-day free trial of the Pro plan. Organizations can also download the OSS or Enterprise edition and use it for free.

Pricing For self-hosted Grafana you just have to pay for the compute.

Observability stands out as a super spy who sees it all and knows it all. The difference lies in its implementation and use cases. Therefore, it becomes important to choose the right observability tool that adds value to your product, benefitting the smooth functioning of your runtime score.