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57 Ratings
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Score 8 out of 101
57 Ratings
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Score 8.4 out of 101

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Likelihood to Recommend

Amazon CloudWatch

It is well suited for organizations already using a number of Amazon services, as most of these will integrate very nicely with CloudWatch. If you have detailed log retention requirements, it's quite nice as well since they make it easy to configure retention and export data to S3. The tooling for metric filters and dashboards are very customizable and sufficient for general monitoring but the UX is not the most friendly. If your organization spends a lot of time on business intelligence and performance tracking, you may want to consider a more targeted 3rd-party service.
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Zabbix

Zabbix is well suited in an environment where connectivity is possible between all hosts in the network. Zabbix agents need to be able to "phone home" to the Zabbix server or a proxy. If connectivity is not possible between the agent and the server (typically the server is going to live in the "trust" section of the network, rather than a DMZ), Zabbix may not be a good fit. Zabbix is also appropriate in a cross-platform environment.Zabbix is also highly appropriate in shops that are interested in building their own monitoring infrastructure, rather than using a service. These services are obviously not free, but the time that you invest in Zabbix may make up for that monthly spend.
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Pros

  • Application Performance Management.
  • Error Management.
  • Utilization Management.
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  • Zabbix is able to provide us a single pane of glass for monitoring. It can handle Systems, Database, Network and application level alerts and send those alerts to the appropriate parties.
  • Zabbix graphs all metrics that come in. This means it's easy to spot trends and create alerts based on when those trends cross user-defined thresholds.
  • Zabbix allows for the escalation of issues. If someone sleeps through an alert in the middle of the night, it can easily be escalated to the next tier.
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Cons

  • The console's log search lacks many of the features you would find in PaperTrail or Log.ly. Regex search is either not supported, or very difficult to find.
  • It can be difficult to understand how the CloudWatch bill breaks down by log group.
  • The date/time picker in the console could be easier to use.
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  • In a busy Zabbix environment, it can easily overwhelm the underlying database. Plan on having SSDs and a significant server infrastructure to keep up with more than a hundred hosts.
  • Building out Zabbix metrics that suit your environment can be very time consuming. When choosing a monitoring platform like Zabbix, expect a steep learning curve and to invest significant resources to make the tool valuable.
  • This is less important than it has been in the past, but current versions of Zabbix still do not handle IPMI checks of hardware very well. We needed to write our own wrapper for IPMI checks rather than using the built in IPMI poller.
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Alternatives Considered

CloudWatch's log search features are impoverished compared to PaperTrail's or Loggly's. However, CloudWatch aggregates logs from Lambda, ECS, API Gateway and more out-of-the-box. You do not need to manage anything. You do not need to worry about an errant logging configuration saturating your NAT's bandwidth. CloudWatch is not an APM like New Relic or Datadog, but it does provide some instrumentation. CloudWatch metrics for EC2 is most comparable to Nagios.
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Zabbix is a great, free solution. While not everything is discovered and configured out of the box, it is a powerful tool that allows for complete customization to what your organization needs as far as a monitoring solution. We've invested the time to make Zabbix powerful, and while it doesn't upgrade or maintain itself, it continues to demonstrate a positive ROI compared to off the shelf tools.
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Return on Investment

  • CloudWatch is integrated with other AWS products out-of-the-box; our engineers do not need to configure and maintain log aggregation services and can focus on our product. Allowing engineers to focus on building competitive advantages instead of infrastructure is a huge boon.
  • It is easy for our engineers to build alerts with CloudWatch; we know when services break and can respond before our customers discover the problem.
  • CloudWatch can be inexpensive, particularly if your business is required to retain logs for years.
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  • Zabbix has had a positive impact on uptime of our external facing website. Users don't always call up our Customer Service team to report that something is down - sometimes they just abandon the website all together. By having a monitoring solution that tells us when things are down before customers do, we are able to respond quickly and avoid losing visitors and ultimately sales.
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Pricing Details

Amazon CloudWatch

General
Free Trial
Free/Freemium Version
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
Entry-level set up fee?
No
Additional Pricing Details

Zabbix

General
Free Trial
Free/Freemium Version
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
Entry-level set up fee?
No
Additional Pricing Details