Top 10 Open-Source Application Performance Monitoring (APM) Software for Better Visibility

Software applications are key from managing everyday tasks at a firm to scheduling meetings. In fact, every organization and individual requires a software solution that can help streamline various processes. The software solution providers are meant to answer such requirements and demands of every organization that can help better manage tasks, e.g., ERP, CRM software solutions are almost required in every firm or business. These firms and the software solution providers, both cannot risk the requested software solution failure or frequent crashes for which they require a platform that can safely monitor the application and foresee its upcoming failures or risks. Such platforms are known as the Application Performance Monitoring (APM) software solutions. An APM solution is adapted in every software solution provider company and these solutions embed with the software code to provide better visibility and ensure the quality of service (QoS).

Here at LinuxAPT, as part of our Server Management Services, we regularly help our Customers to perform related Server Application Performance Monitoring queries.

In this context, we shall look into the best performing open-source APM software that provides and ensures visibility, security and enhances customer experience.

1. Apache Skywalking

One of the most popular APM software solutions, the Skywalking APM tool by Apache – the software solutions development giants, is an open-source tool that is best for cloud-based solutions, microservices, container-based architectures, and API systems. The tool is also recommended for the distributed teams. Skywalking enables the developers with a list of enhanced and advanced features such as the ability to detect slow services and endpoints, support for numerous programming languages, analysis capabilities capturing service, service instance, and endpoint metrics, performance optimization capabilities, distributed tracing, minimal resource consumption, topology analysis, and mapping, custom dashboard and the list goes on.

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2. Signoz

Signoz is an APM software that is renowned for promptly understanding and detecting the key issues and faults in software. Signoz along with providing efficient means of fault detection also ensures abiding by the GDPR laws for data protection and security. This is because Signoz makes sure that the data stays within the user’s boundary and provides visibility at the same time. The enhanced visibility measures provided in the Signoz also enable the users to get an insight into the pricing and billing which enhances the user's experience and satisfaction. Signoz provides a list of enhanced APM services and capabilities such as the ability to view all the metrics in one window which improves and simplifies issue tracing facility, data filtering capabilities makes it easy to view data of user's choice, advanced integration with OpenTelemetry, for seamless instrumentation process, etc.

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3. Pinpoint

Pinpoint is an APM software solution most acquired and renowned for adapting for large-scale distributed systems. Pinpoint is written in Java and PHP. Pinpoint efficiently analyses and monitors the overall structure of the software deeply understanding the components layout and different linkages, therefore, is highly inspired by Dapper. The efficient APM tool traces transactions across distributed applications. Pinpoint is highly appreciated for its features such as understanding the application’s topology, providing a real-time application monitoring facility, providing code-level visibility to each transaction, assuring minimal impact on the performance, etc.

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4. Stagemonitor

Stagemonitor is an advanced and feature-packed open-source APM tool most preferred for Java server applications. Stagemonitor APM tool is quite popular among GitHub users. It provides a list of efficient tools for simplifying and streamlining production, testing, and performance monitoring related tasks of Java-based software applications. Its list of enhanced features and services includes Stagemonitor’s in-browser widget, capability to analyze requests with Kibana dashboard, gathering and monitoring cluster metrics, availability and wide support for new plugins, etc.

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5. Metrics

Metrics is one of the most powerful APM tools for seamlessly monitoring software applications. The tool measures critical components and their performances in the live production environment. With Metrics, users are provided a detailed full-stack modules visibility and for libraries such as Apache HttpClient, Log4j, Logback, Jetty, Jersey, JDBI, and for backends like Graphite. Different integrated and enabled instruments ensure seamless monitoring and measuring of every dataset and component. Metrics provides a list of capabilities to its users such as the capability to measures the events rate on requests per second basis etc., the ability to present data in form of histograms, timer capability, application health-check monitoring tools, etc.

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6. Scouter

Scouter is the state-of-the-art APM monitoring tool that adapts appdynamics to understand the context of the software application. This means that to monitor and manage a software application most effectively, Scouter adapts the "users utilize the application services, and in return services utilize the resources" rule. With Scouter, different user insights features are provided for analysis, such as active user, recent user, a most recent visitor, etc. Similarly, for services, the tool provides insights like services response time, active service, application profiles, etc. Other insights related to CPU, memory consumption, network usage, Heap, connection pools, are also provided. Java Agent, Host Agent, and MariaDB Agent help identify and acquire data and insights about the JVM profiles and performance.

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7. Hypetrace

Hypertrace, as the name suggests is an efficient and speedy APM platform. With hypertrace, users get fast and better means for observability and distributed tracing giving a detailed insight into software application which helps the DevOps teams and SREs. Hypertrace allows users to seamlessly perform distributed transactions tracing, microservices and native applications monitoring, critical dependencies identification, swift and efficient root cause analysis, and insights, ability to significantly optimize software application and services performance, application architecture visualization abilities, distinct and customizable dashboards for backend, service, and other global dashboards, reports, advanced community support and the list goes on.

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8. AppPerf

AppPerf helps users most easily and efficiently monitor the software application performance. AppPerf supports various languages such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Dockerfile, PLpgSQL, and Ruby. AppPerf offers the easiest mechanism for installation and setting up, however, before setting up AppPerf, users must have Yarn, Node, PostgreSQL, Mailcatcher, etc., installed and properly functioning. AppPerf has a sample account that will allow you to check the application effectively. It will automatically detect the latest applications that are showing data and display them on the Applications page.

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9. Glowroot

Glowroot is a Java APM that is very easy to install. Just download and unzip the zip file, add the path to the application's JVM Argos, and point the browser to the link and see the result.

Here, you will get low overhead which depends on different factors. Low overhead means low microseconds because of the extensive tuning and micro benchmarking of Glowroot. Glowroot helps you gather all the root causes related to app performance and fix the issues in real-time.

Glowroot has many features like continuous profiling, trace capture for errors and slow requests, breakdown and percentile chart for response time, SQL capture, MBean attribute charts and capture, configurable alerting, and many more.

You will also get data on historical rollup with configurable retention, responsive UI, and complete support for async requests. Glowroot is tested on many application servers like TomEE, JBoss EAP, Jetty, Payara, WebLogic, WebSphere, Glassfish, Tomcat, etc.

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10. JavaMelody

If you have a need a comprehensive monitoring solution for JavaEE applications, check out JavaMelody.

JavaMelody was developed to monitor Java or Java EE applications in QA and production environments.

It's a tool that allow you to effectively measure and calculate statistics on the real operation of your application depending on its usage.

It also integrates nicely with Jenkins, and can provide you with charts for information like memory, CPU, system load, head dumps and so on.

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[Need help in fixing Linux System Apache issues? We can help you. ]

This article covers what APM software is all about, its benefits, and the top open-source APM software to help you monitor, troubleshoot, and optimize your apps. In fact, OpenAPM shows you which open source Application Performance Management tools are suitable for your stack. We discussed the best open-source APM tools such as Apache Skywalking, Signoz, Pinpoint, Stagemonitor, Metrics, Scouter, Hypertrace, and AppPerf. 

APM software plays a significant role in making sure the app performance is solid and meets user expectations. It can identify issues and notify you so you can make quick fixes and improve its performance.

Importance of Application Performance Monitoring tools:

  • Speed up your development lifecycle.
  • Perform code audits.
  • Gain an understanding of which features are really being used by your customers.
  • Understand application dependencies.
  • Uncover performance problems.
  • Increase your confidence in the software you release.
  • Monitor the impact of your code changes.
  • User experience monitoring. Sometimes this is known as Real User Monitoring (RUM).
  • Network Monitoring and Network Performance.

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