If you don’t pay close attention to the health and performance of your applications and servers, you could miss issues impacting end-user productivity. When companies spend hours searching for root causes, the downtime can translate to lost revenue.
To ensure applications are running smoothly and accelerate the resolution process when they aren’t, most IT professionals monitor their organization’s servers and applications around the clock—including tracking their resources, health, availability, and performance—whether located in the cloud, an in-house data center, or a mixture of the two. IT teams also need to keep track of server CPU consumption, disk health, memory, storage, and network bandwidth and throughput, as well as applications error rates, average response times, number of instances, and availability.
Tools like SolarWinds® Server & Application Monitor (SAM) and Zabbix are designed to help quickly detect, diagnose, and solve problems. SAM and Zabbix offer similar capabilities for monitoring applications and servers and their performance and processes 24/7. With the right software, you have what you need to stop potential problems in their tracks—or at least, you have access to insightful contextual data to help you detect issues faster and reduce your mean time to resolution (MTTR). These tools offer high levels of customization and include security, alerts, and data visualization to help ensure servers and applications have the resources needed to run all your critical processes.
|Remediation (Take Action)||✔️||❌|
|License Model||Node-based licensing or component-based licensing available on a subscription or perpetual basis Free 30-day trial available||Free|
|Operating Systems||AIX, HP-UX, Linux, Microsoft Windows Server (2003, 2008, 2008 R2, 2012, 2012 R2, 2016, 2019) Solaris, UNIX||AIX, FreeBSD, HP-UX, Linux Mac OS/X, NetBSD, OpenBSD, SCO Open Server, Solaris, Windows 2000, 2003, XP, Vista (only Zabbix agent)|
|Learn More||Learn More|
|Remediation (Take Action)|
|Node-based licensing or component-based licensing available on a subscription or perpetual basis Free 30-day trial available||Free|
|AIX, HP-UX, Linux, Microsoft Windows Server (2003, 2008, 2008 R2, 2012, 2012 R2, 2016, 2019) Solaris, UNIX||AIX, FreeBSD, HP-UX, Linux Mac OS/X, NetBSD, OpenBSD, SCO Open Server, Solaris, Windows 2000, 2003, XP, Vista (only Zabbix agent)|
|Learn More||Learn More|
SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor (SAM) simplifies application and server performance monitoring. With over 1,200 out-of-the-box monitoring templates, SAM enables you to monitor your application and physical and virtual server infrastructure health, availability, and performance and map application dependencies from one tool. You can also monitor custom applications with SAM leveraging the SAM API Poller.
Whether you run your servers and applications on-premises, in the cloud, or in a hybrid environment, SAM offers valuable insights and context to help quickly pinpoint the root cause of slow applications, downtime, and other complex issues in your servers or applications to accelerate the troubleshooting process. And with SAM intelligent alerting, you get the information needed to resolve these issues rapidly before they impact your end users and business services.
SAM is an affordable, easy-to-use, easy-to-install monitoring solution for automatically discovering your server and application environment and dependencies. You can install SAM and start monitoring your servers and applications in around an hour—no consultation or professional installation services are required.
Zabbix is a quality monitoring tool making it simple to collect numerous metrics from networks, servers, virtual machines (VMs), cloud services, and other IT components. You can use this open-source software to monitor key performance indicators and service level agreements.
Zabbix is compatible with various OSes, including macOS, Solaris, HP-UX, and Linux, and comes with several out-of-the-box monitoring templates. With Zabbix’s help, you can collect metrics on disk space consumption, bandwidth, network utilization, internet usage, IP addresses, CPU load, and more, making identifying and resolving performance bottlenecks faster and easier.
This enterprise-ready monitoring solution features encryption options and is used by companies in the banking and finance, education, aerospace, marketing, education, retail, healthcare, energy, chemical, and IT industries. It’s easy to use, automatically monitors changing environments, and can quickly scale to keep up with your organization’s fluctuating needs.
Zabbix vs. SolarWinds Features Comparison
Server and Application Monitoring Capacity, Instances
Both SAM and Zabbix are ideal solutions for monitoring servers and applications, as they are robust, built to be secure, and intuitive.
SAM provides comprehensive monitoring for solutions like application servers like Apache Tomcat and IBM WebSphere to database servers like MongoDB and PostgreSQL. It’s also compatible with hypervisors, Active Directory (AD), Azure, and AWS IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS. If none of the 1,200+ out-of-the-box templates meet your needs, you can use WMI, SNMP, SAM API Poller based on the REST API, or PowerShell scripts for custom monitoring.
SAM can also assist with server capacity planning, domain controller monitoring, IT inventory and asset management, and application dependency mapping. You can drag and drop network performance metrics onto a shared timeline to cross-stack correlate your IT data and identify root causes faster. Plus, SAM seamlessly integrates with other SolarWinds tools, giving you a comprehensive view of other issues related to application performance, such as network latency, server load, and infrastructure information. Here you can check data about Zabbix integrations.
With SAM’s help—and the deep visibility into application and server performance it provides—you can more quickly locate and resolve issues. And SAM users identify and troubleshoot application issues up to 65% faster than before.
SAM runs on the integrated Orion® Platform and leverages a variety of powerful common services like the PerfStack, AppStack, application dependency maps, etc. SAM combined with other Orion Network and System modules provides one of the more comprehensive observability solutions on the market.
Similarly, Zabbix is a powerful tool for collecting essential metrics from your devices, applications, and systems. Like SAM, Zabbix is equipped with several out-of-the-box templates for Apache and Cisco solutions and Microsoft SQL Server, along with many Zabbix community templates, so you can start monitoring your servers and applications quickly.
Zabbix also makes it easy to understand collected metrics with graphs, slideshows, and network maps. It also features widget-based dashboards and easy-to-comprehend drill-down reports – so you can quickly discover the root cause of performance issues. Zabbix also automatically finds and starts monitoring new devices or equipment, so you won’t have to perform manual checks constantly.
When it comes to customization options, both SolarWinds and Zabbix have plenty to offer.
For example, if one of the SAM’s 1,200+ out-of-the-box monitoring templates doesn’t match your needs (or you have a custom application), you can easily edit or customize an existing monitoring template. You can also browse the collection of community-generated templates shared on THWACK® or build a new one from scratch using REST API, SNMP, WMI, or PowerShell scripts.
Similarly, if Zabbix doesn’t have what you need, you can add custom scripts to create custom agent checks or build custom templates using a command-line interface utility, external scripts in any scripting language, custom agent plugins, or synthetic monitoring. If you aren’t sure how to build a custom monitoring template, you can leverage Zabbix’s template building service.
There are also customized alerts in both SAM and Zabbix. SAM will automatically generate alerts and reports based on deviations from baseline thresholds. You can create custom reports and alerts as needed to investigate specific metrics or select the conditions you want to be notified on. For example, limit alerts to only severe deviations from baseline thresholds for specific metrics if you know they aren’t as critical as other metrics. You can also set a schedule for custom reports based on your needs.
With Zabbix, you can create custom reports using the Zabbix API. And instead of constantly checking incoming metrics for potential problems, Zabbix will automatically detect issues in incoming data based on smart or custom thresholds and alert you. Zabbix can also be configured to send messages (or notify others with customized notifications based on their role), escalate issues based on service levels, or automatically fix problems, depending on your organization’s specific needs.
When it comes to application and infrastructure mapping, SAM and Zabbix offer customization options. In SAM, you can create maps using geographic or schematic visualizations on a global, regional, or departmental scale, including limiting your map to a building or a floor. Further, customize it to show only specific element types or statuses. With Zabbix, you can create multi-level maps, nested maps, and linkages between various map elements.
Other Features and General Comparison
Nothing is more critical than security—and both SAM and Zabbix are up to the task. Featuring strong encryption, several authentication methods (including LDAP, SAML, single sign-on (SSO), HTTP, and multi-factor authentication), and a flexible user permission schema, Zabbix is a built to be a secure and safe solution for your data. For additional security, encrypt information and store it in an external vault. Similarly, SolarWinds takes security seriously. The Orion® Platform offers HTTPS, FIPS, SQL-encrypted SSL, CSRF, HSTS, session timeouts, and automated account lockouts after 10 failed login attempts for 15 minutes.
SAM and Zabbix effortlessly scale alongside you as your organization grows and your infrastructure expands. Both can be installed within minutes and offer distributed monitoring to scale your business and collect data remotely without worrying whether your software will keep pace.
While Zabbix is a free, open-source solution, it’s worth noting 70% of those who purchased SAM (TechValidate survey of 57 users of SAM, 2015) realized their return on investment (ROI) in under six months, and 18% of SAM users ((TechValidate survey of 57 users of SAM, 2015) realized ROI in less than a month. Plus, pick between node-based and component-based licensing to select the best-suited option for your organization.
Choosing SolarWinds vs. Zabbix
Both SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor (SAM) and Zabbix are excellent solutions for IT professionals who need to monitor their servers and applications. With the help of SAM or Zabbix, you can quickly detect, diagnose, and resolve application or server problems causing poor performance. Whether you have a few servers and applications or thousands of applications and several servers globally, you’ll be able to more quickly and thoroughly monitor your servers and applications, minimize downtime, and provide a better end-user experience. Get started with a free trial of SAM today.
*Prices As of June 2022
Product specifications and other information set forth herein have either been made accessible by suppliers, manufacturers, publications, or gathered from publicly available sources as of the date of this document. Although measures are taken to ensure the accuracy of the information, SolarWinds makes no representations or warranties as to the completeness or accuracy of the information and shall incur no liability for any errors or omissions.