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Top 10 Serverless Monitoring Tools in 2020

Serverless computing tools are really riding a wave now. However, there’s no place for a fuss while migrating from server-based to serverless architecture. Other than examining the challenges of this move, project managers need to create a serverless security platform list that will help track serverless architecture and pinpoint and troubleshoot threats.

In this post, we will examine the ten most popular serverless monitoring tools.

What is Serverless Monitoring?

In a nutshell, a serverless computing model allows business owners to access infrastructure and resources as they go, instead of pre-purchasing server capacity beforehand. This application infrastructure practice saves business owners' money as they pay for resource consumption. Moreover, with serverless, you don’t have to expand the team to support the back-end since the vendor is in charge of maintenance. Finally, thanks to cloud technology, back-end scaling can be done effortlessly in a few milliseconds.

Sometimes people confuse observability vs. serverless monitoring tools. Monitoring is when a special tool presents you with the information about the app system to notify about a failure. While the observability tool reports you what and where broke down. More and more startups in serverless computing try to enter this niche and provide the most comprehensive solutions.

Serverless Monitoring Challenges

Despite all the advantages serverless has, some issues may arise that developers will have to deal with when opting for serverless. Let’s go through these challenges:

Serverless app security concerns

When choosing to compute serverless, development teams are at higher odds of data leaks than server-based project managers.

Lack of supporting and serverless security tools

There aren’t many tools for serverless observability dedicated to debugging distributed systems. Most development teams use AWS Cloudbase to test performance and capture metrics, even though it isn’t a full-fledged debugging environment.

Dormancy concerns

As a rule of thumb, there are no standby operations in serverless projects. As a result, the infrastructure is vulnerable to cold hits. It means developers have to reinitiate code from scratch, increasing the latency of responses.

Stateless nature

Monitoring serverless applications is a challenging process since there’s no way to access servers unless the system calls a function.

Hard to estimate infrastructure costs

It’s common to take only CPU and RAM usage into account when estimating serverless costs. Network, storage, and API requests are the hidden costs of serverless architecture. Estimating networking expenses is next to impossible — thus, there’s a risk that a serverless platform will cost more than server-based architecture maintenance.

The Best Serverless Monitoring Tools

To make sure you are in charge of your project’s infrastructure, consider using serverless monitoring tools. These solutions offer business owners a valuable perspective on profiling and resource tracking to monitor code performance. Below are the ten best serverless monitoring tools.

1. Amazon Cloudwatch

Amazon Cloudwatch is a go-to serverless monitoring platform for teams who use AWS in their projects. The tool supports creating and monitoring custom events in real-time. Cloudwatch collects data on volumes, thresholds, terminations, and other metrics and presents it as a comprehensive dashboard. Cloudwatch is easy to set up and use, but there are some delays in performance.

Pros:

  • Seamless AWS integration
  • Real-time alerts and metrics capturing
  • Easy-to-use

Cons:

  • Poorly integrated with vendors other than AWS
  • Low level of metrics customization
  • High subscription cost

2. Site 24x7

Site 24x7 is one of the top serverless monitoring tools. Tech teams can choose among predefined scenario types to track or design custom events. The platform’s accessibility is one of its strong suits—Site24x7 comes with a convenient mobile app.

On the flip side, the platform has a narrow range of build plugins, and creating the custom ones via Site 24x7 is a time-consuming process.

Pros:

  • Real-time alerts
  • Internal and external monitoring serverless application security tools
  • Well-optimized mobile app

Cons:

  • Underdeveloped process of transaction recording
  • No browser recorder playback
  • On-and-off customer support

3. Lumigo

Lumigo is a real-time platform for distributed environment monitoring that helps developers track scenarios and generate detailed, data-based reports. A sleek, intuitive interface is one of the platform’s selling points along with DevOps prioritization and timeline management. However, the feature range is limited and only suits the needs of smaller-scale project managers.

Pros:

  • Wide range of log and metric types
  • Capacity and demand analytics management
  • Customizable dashboard

Cons:

  • Lack of online following and user base
  • No audit trails support
  • Supports only one cloud at a time

4. Epsagon

Epsagon is a tool that helps development teams be aware of their serverless data. The product comes with a range of correlations and serverless monitoring platform tools, aiming to give project management a bigger picture of the app’s performance. Customizable logs and cloud management tools come in handy while getting insight into app performance. This helps to eliminate bottlenecks fast and efficiently. However, being relatively new to the market, Epsagon is not fully mature yet. That’s the reason why the data provided by the platform might feel fragmented at times.

Pros:

  • Intuitive interface
  • Powerful support team
  • Excellent for AWS Lambda troubleshooting

Cons:

  • No general data framework, a high degree of fragmentation
  • No mobile optimization
  • No support for several AWS accounts

5. Dashbird

Dashbird offers team managers real-time monitoring, a convenient alerting system, a sleek user interface, and a three-minute setup process. The good news—a business owner doesn’t need coding skills to set up Dashbird. Also, you’ll have no latency losses since the platform works on top of Cloudwatch. The tool supports Python, Java, and Node.js.

Pros:

  • Easy to set up
  • A centralized hub for performance tracking
  • Real-time event tracking

Cons:

  • Service interruptions
  • No mobile support
  • Limited range of integration

6. Thundra

Thundra is one of the most popular AWS X-Ray alternatives. It supports diagram reading, debugging, and end-to-end serverless architecture observability. Another advantage of the tool is that it separates execution data from the Lambda function. Python and Node.js developers, however, should keep in mind that Thundra is primarily Java-focused and consider alternatives instead.

Pros:

  • Detailed distributed system monitoring
  • Easy to set up
  • Doesn’t increase the execution time latency

Cons:

  • Requires AWS data access
  • Lacks learning resources

7. AWS X-Ray

AWS X-ray is a leading debugging tool compatible with the AWS infrastructure. The platform helps development teams handle the production of serverless applications and is specifically useful for microservice application production. The main features of the tool include EC2 and AWS integration along with Elastic Beanstalk.

Pros:

  • Native AWS integration
  • Robust feature set
  • In-cloud debugging support

Cons:

  • Compatible only with AWS
  • Few programming languages support
  • Performance errors

8. IOPipe

IOPipe is a handy tool for monitoring Lambda-based event-driven architectures. It supports developers with real-time updates, tracing, filtered search, profiling, and serverless monitoring apps. The tool supports Node, Java, and Python and requires no AWS access.

Pros:

  • Intuitive interface
  • Automatic end-to-end tracking
  • Friendly customer service

Cons:

  • No mobile app
  • Extra latency added to the execution time
  • Lack of mature infrastructure

9. SignalFx

SignalFx is a cost-efficient (with a free trial) tool for incident detection. However, it doesn’t come close to serverless monitoring applications like AWS Cloudwatch or X-Ray in terms of the range of features. The major features of the platform are real-time monitoring and an easy-to-navigate analytics dashboard with app troubleshooting tools.

Pros:

  • Robust set of incident detection tools
  • A constantly growing number of integrations

Cons:

  • A new product that lacks maturity
  • Counterintuitive UI

10. Stackdriver

Stackdriver is a distributed application monitoring system designed by Google. Although it has dozens of powerful tools under its belt with in-depth metrics capturing, the platform may seem challenging for novice developers to navigate. A pleasant bonus is Slack and PagerDuty integration with real-time alerts.

Pros:

  • Multi-cloud support
  • Google-backed
  • Wide range of integration

Cons:

  • Lack of customer support
  • No alert policy
  • Few criteria for query filtering

Conclusion

Serverless architecture is an accessible and cost-efficient way to build applications. However, monitoring the project’s performance and detecting risks is challenging. That’s why business owners should consider investing in serverless monitoring to control the back-end of the product more. It will definitely help to unleash all advantages of serverless further on.

To make sure you choose the right serverless vendor, technology stack, and get access to tech experts, contact TechMagic. We have years of experience in handling distributed apps and microservices and are looking forward to optimizing your project. Leave us a message to get in touch.

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TechMagic is a software and web development company from Lviv, Ukraine that builds dedicated teams skilled in JavaScript, Node.js, Angular, React, AWS, Serverless, and Salesforce.
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