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Get to know popular cloud monitoring tools

With so many cloud monitoring services on the market, it can be difficult to choose. Review some of the popular tools available from AWS, Google and Azure -- as well as non-native options.

As enterprises move some -- or all -- of their workloads to the cloud, IT teams also need to adapt how to monitor and manage cloud data.

When workloads are critical and important, users want commensurate visibility into those applications' performance. The major cloud providers and third-party vendors have released a range of cloud monitoring tools that give users insights into application health.

Review some of the popular cloud monitoring tools on the market and decide which services best fit the cloud workloads and monitoring metrics of your organization.

Google Stackdriver: This Google Cloud monitoring tool enables users to track performance data of applications running on the public cloud. This service completes diagnostics, logging and monitoring tasks, which can be used for cloud optimization. Google Stackdriver is a native Google Cloud Platform product, but can also be used to monitor applications and virtual machines that run on AWS EC2. There are five main features of Stackdriver: Monitoring, Error Reporting, Debugger, Trace and Logging. This cloud monitoring service can also pull performance data from a range of open source systems.

Microsoft Azure Monitor: Microsoft's cloud monitoring tool, Azure Monitor, collects and analyzes data and resources from the cloud environments to determine application availability and performance. Azure Monitor aggregates three types of data: diagnostic logs, activity logs and performance metrics. It's able to provide insights into the operations of applications, containers and VMs running in the cloud.

Amazon CloudWatch: CloudWatch from AWS monitors a range of the cloud provider's resources, including Amazon EC2 and Amazon Elastic Block Store. CloudWatch monitors in real time and provides metrics on latency, requests and CPU utilization. Users can specify to track additional data, such as error rates or memory usage. The cloud monitoring tool can be accessed through command-line tools, an AWS software development kit, API or the AWS Management Console.

Oracle Application Performance Monitoring Cloud Service: Oracle's cloud monitoring service tracks application performance to identify problems so IT can address issues. The product's key features include tracking browser performance, application performance, application logs and application resource performance. Oracle Application Performance Monitoring Cloud Service combines all the collected logs and information, where they can be viewed as a unified data set.

Cisco CloudCenter: This hybrid cloud management platform enables users to deploy and manage applications. Among its many other capabilities, Cisco CloudCenter can be used as a cloud monitoring tool to ensure acceptable application performance. Users can monitor VMs and aggregate memory, disk and CPU usage. If IT teams want system-level data, they can use any third-party cloud monitoring tool to collect more data and provide metrics on usage.

Datadog: Datadog is an analytics and monitoring tool that can be used on databases, tools and servers, working with Linux, MacOS and Windows operating systems. It also supports all of the major cloud service providers. It is available for on-premises deployment or as SaaS. Datadog offers a range of features for users including customizable dashboards, API access and critical issue alerts.

New Relic: New Relic works in real time to track web applications. This cloud monitoring tool enables users to gauge the health of workloads and make decisions about performance data. New Relic displays metrics in a performance dashboard, which can lead users to discover bottlenecks or other issues affecting workloads.

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