Every tool and platform in your infrastructure must not only integrate well within your overall business requirements but must also add value to your operations. A good way to measure this value is to assess its performance against a set of established Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
There are many tools available today to measure the actual performance against established KPIs to understand deviations and their causes. A popular choice is to use tools that gather data about a device or application and represent it in the form of graphs and charts for easy understanding.
One such tool is Cacti, a performance and fault management framework that stores information in a Time Series Database (TSDB) and creates performance graphs and charts based on it. Cacti is a LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP) stack web application and over the years has evolved to work well on Windows as well.
While Cacti is widely-used across industries, it still comes with a bunch of shortcomings such as an elaborate configuration process that can be ridden with errors, difficulty in changing the configuration and managing change, difficulty in installing plugins, and more. This is why it merits to look at Cacti alternatives before deciding the appropriate tool for your business needs.
Here is our list of the best Cacti monitoring alternatives:
- SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor – FREE TRIAL This multi-vendor monitoring tool scales well with your business and provides the insights you need for informed decision-making.
- PRTG Network Monitor This is a flexible monitoring solution from Paessler that allows you to probe the metrics that are relevant to you. Using these metrics, you can understate the state of your infrastructure and take the required actions as needed.
- Progress WhatsUp Gold This tool works well on both on-premises and cloud environments and helps avoid downtime. It also comes with a host of features for faster and more efficient troubleshooting.
- ManageEngine OpManager This is a network performance monitoring tool that provides in-depth visibility into the performance of critical applications in your network.
- Zabbix This is an open-source enterprise-grade monitoring solution for tracking millions of metrics across a ton of devices and applications.
Let’s now take a detailed look at the features of each of these tools.
The Best Cacti Monitoring Alternatives
SolarWinds NPM is a comprehensive networking monitoring tool that works well across all devices and platforms. It not only scales well with your growing business but also provides all the in-depth insights you need for effective decision-making.
Here is a detailed look at the features of SolarWinds NPM.
- Critical Path Visualization NPM provides a hop-by-hop analysis of the critical paths to understand the impact of every hop on the overall performance and speed of your network. It also maps this information along with a network map for quick visibility and understanding. This feature can be a gamechanger for predicting outages and fixing them before they impact the end-users.
- Performance Analysis NPM analyzes the performance of different tools and platforms and the way they interact with the larger network. It comes with the capability to drag and drop metrics from different sources on a single chart to get a comprehensive understanding of the tool’s performance. These charts and graphs can also be shared across teams to facilitate collaboration.
- Custom Maps With NPM, you can create custom maps and visual paths to trace the root cause and troubleshoot faster. It also integrates with Orion Maps to correlate disparate information within your network, so you can get an idea of the bigger picture. These visualizations also highlight any traffic bottlenecks that may exist among the nodes in your network.
- Comprehensive Monitoring NPM is best known for collecting a wide range of metrics across different parts of your network. It gathers this information in great detail and facilitates historical comparison as well. With this information, you can reduce the chances of network downtime and ensure high availability for your employees and end customers. Also, identifying and resolving network issues is easier with the right data provided by NPM.
In all, NPM is a wide-arching service that helps you to make sense of all that is happening within your network, so you can address underlying issues, and make informed decisions.
Pricing: The pricing starts at $1,638.
Download: Click here to download your SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor (NPM) fully functional 30-day free trial.
2. PRTG Network Monitor
PRTG Network Monitor from Paessler is a sensor-based monitoring tool that probes the specific aspects of your devices or networks, so you can always stay on top of their performance and availability.
Here’s a detailed look at the features of this tool.
- Simple and Extensive One of the highlights of the PRTG Network Monitor is that it is simple to set up and use. Since everything is included in this tool, there is no need for you to download or install additional tools or plugins. The entire process of setting up and usage is also intuitive and straightforward and doesn’t require extensive technical expertise. At the same time, PRTG is also extensive as it can monitor all devices, systems, and traffic in your IT infrastructure, thereby making it ideal for businesses of all sizes and across all industries.
- Sensor-based Monitoring PRTG is a sensor-based monitoring system, where one sensor monitors one aspect of a device. For example, if you want to monitor the bandwidth utilization and memory of a device, you need two sensors, one for each aspect. To monitor bandwidth utilization across three devices, you need three different sensors. PRTG comes with thousands of sensors for monitoring specific aspects of different devices. Some of the aspects you can monitor include bandwidth, database storage capacity, SQL queries, cloud computing metrics, server reliability, and more.
- Wide Support Another important feature of PRTG is that it supports a wide range of technologies such as SNMP, WMI, SSH, flow protocols, packet sniffing, REST APIs that return both XML and JSON, Ping, SQL, HTTP requests, and more.
- Visualizations PRTG generates maps and dashboards that comprise live information, which you can get a quick understanding of your infrastructure’s current state and its underlying problems. It also comes with a PRTG map designer using which you can create custom dashboards. On these dashboards, you can integrate more than 300 different map objects such as devices, status icons, etc. You can even use custom HTML to create maps for easy sharing.
- Alerts You can set up alerts just the way you want. When PRTG identifies an unusual behavior or if the values go below or above an established threshold, you can set up the system to alert you. PRTG has many built-in alerting options such as email, push, and HTTP requests. You can also use its API to write your custom alerts.
Overall, PRTG is a popular choice for monitoring networks and devices, and is undoubtedly a good alternative for Cacti, given its powerful visualization options.
Pricing: Since PRTG is a sensor-based monitoring system, the cost depends on the number of sensors you use. The cost is as follows.
- 500 sensors – $1,750
- 1000 sensors – $3,200
- 2500 sensors – $6,500
- 5000 sensors – $11,500
- 10,000+ sensors – $15,500
Download: Click here to start a fully-functional 30-day free trial.
3. Progress WhatsUp Gold
WhatsUp Gold is a multi-environment monitoring tool that provides all the information you need to catch issues and troubleshoot them more efficiently. As a result, the chances for downtime are greatly reduced.
Let’s now take a look at some of the features of this tool.
- Complete Visibility WhatsUp Gold provides complete visibility into everything that’s connected to your device. It can monitor devices such as computers, servers, routers, sensors, storage devices, cloud devices, and more. It can also monitor a wide range of applications deployed across environments. It can manage configurations and analyze network traffic as well.
- Smart Alerts This tool provides smart alerts after considering the underlying topology and the related network dependencies, so the chances for false alerts are greatly reduced. You can also set up alerts through SMS, email, Slack, etc., to help fix issues before they impact end-users.
- Maps Dependencies WhatsUp Gold automatically discovers devices, applications, and their dependencies, and creates a map based on them. This map can come in handy for troubleshooting issues and quickly looking at dependencies.
- Custom Dashboards You can customize dashboards to see the data that matter the most to you! This way you can find the information you want quickly and take action accordingly. These dashboards can also be customized for reporting and auditing as well.
- Log Management WhatsUp Gold offers a streamlined log management system that comes with integrated log collection, management, alerting, and archiving. It gives extensive visibility of your devices’ log data and even displays them in a simplified interface for easy understanding.
Thus, these are the features of Progress WhatsUp Gold and as you can see, it is extensive and gives all the information you need.
Pricing: The cost depends on your requirements. Click here for a custom quote.
Download: Click here for a free trial.
4. ManageEngine OpManager
OpManager is an end-to-end monitoring solution that provides in-depth visibility into the availability and performance of critical resources such as servers, WAN devices, switches, and more by continuously monitoring their critical parameters.
The features of OpManager are as follows.
- Live Monitoring OpManager monitors some critical parameters such as memory, bandwidth, and CPU utilization in real-time to help identify the root cause of network latency and performance degradation issues. It gathers all this information and presents it to you in the form of reports and intuitive dashboards. Based on these details, you can identify the root cause and troubleshoot quickly.
- Tracks Database Servers This tool’s comprehensive database monitoring capabilities track the health, availability, and performance of critical database servers. Using this information, you can do a gap analysis to proactively address issues before they impact your infrastructure.
- Manages Configurations OpManager stays on top of configurations and sends instant alerts when any critical changes are made to them. This helps to identify insider attacks at the earliest.
- Generates Reports OpManager generates detailed reports that can not only provide a visual representation of the situation but can also help with auditing and compliance to industry standards. Furthermore, it can also help the decision-makers to decide on capacity planning, resource utilization, and other aspects.
In all, these are the features of OpManager and as you can see, it is comprehensive and covers all areas of operations.
Pricing: Click here to get a quote.
Download: Click here for a free trial.
Zabbix is an enterprise-grade monitoring platform that tracks thousands of metrics spread across devices and applications within your network. This open-source tool is highly extensible as well.
Here’s a detailed look at Zabbix’s features.
- Collects Metrics Zabbix collects metrics from any device or application. Some source examples include containers, virtual servers, IoT sensors, external API endpoints, log files, databases, applications, and more. It even provides a contextual background by correlating these disparate pieces of information, so you can make sense of them all.
- Advanced Alerting Mechanism Zabbix offers multiple messaging channels to notify anomalies and problems. Depending on your preferences, it can send notifications via third-party tools such as Opsgenie, PagerDuty, VictorOps, and more. This is in addition to regular channels such as email, SMS, communication platforms like Slack, Webhooks, and ITSM tools.
- Widget-based Dashboards Zabbix comes with an advanced web UI for presenting information just the way you want. It allows you to use multiple widgets on the dashboard, drag and drop them to suit your convenience, and more. Your dashboards can be private or public, and you can even have automatic scripts for refresh and for taking specific remedial actions when a particular event occurs. Cloning maps, generating flexible graphs, and creating map hierarchies are some of the other things you can do to better understand the data. Zabbix also supports the use of filters and user permissions for fine granularity and to discern the patterns and trends from data.
- Correlates Data Zabbix is well-known for its ability to correlate the data collected from different sources to identify problems and their root causes. Its advanced algorithms help to pinpoint issues to their correct cause and prevent secondary issues from emanating.
- Seamless Integration Zabbix integrates well with most vendors such as Cisco, HPE, Juniper, IBM, Microsoft, and more. It also works well with existing docker containers, web server backends, databases, operating systems, cloud services, etc.
In all, Zabbix is an advanced platform for monitoring your systems and generating stunning graphs and charts from the underlying data. Its open-source nature also supports extensibility, so you can customize it to meet your specific requirements.
Pricing: Click here to talk to a customer representative.
Download: Click here to get started.
Thus, these are the five best alternatives to Cacti.
To conclude, Cacti is a monitoring and visualization framework that takes data from the underlying Time Series Database to display them in graphs and charts for easy understanding and assimilation. Though this is an open-source that can be extended easily into your environment, it is still limited and doesn’t provide the flexibility that some businesses may need.
That’s why we present a few alternatives to Cacti and they are SolarWinds NPM, PRTG Monitor, ManageEngine OpManager. Zabbix, and Progress WhatsUp Gold. We hope the detailed feature description of each of these tools will help you to pick the appropriate one for your business.