Your team might use a few different tools to monitor various parts of your stack. However, some frustrations can bubble up from notification overload, high costs, scrambling for insights, and managing all these tools.
AppSignal is an easy-to-use monitoring tool with all the features you need to monitor your applications from A-Z. In this article, we'll share how AppSignal helps to unify your monitoring setup, and how we are different from some well-known enterprise options.
There's nothing wrong with using different tools. But if you start to feel like your monitoring is all over the place, it's time to consider consolidation. Here's a list of tools we found our users were using separately before switching to AppSignal:
It starts to add up, doesn't it? And while it might work for some teams, there are a few downsides to this patchwork monitoring strategy. Let's dive in.
When you're patching together multiple tools, you run into some of the issues listed below. Your organization may not encounter all of these pains, but if you recognize some pain points, you might want to take a fresh look at how your team approaches monitoring.
Let's start with the obvious. Paying for multiple services is often more expensive than paying for one. Not only that, you'll have to manage the billing and invoices for multiple tools. AppSignal's pricing is simple and only scales by the throughput you send us. Less invoices, and cheaper too. Our plans start at $19, and we have a relaxed upgrade policy.
Team members come and go. Onboarding developers to a bunch of different tools takes time, and adds extra mental load on new team members. How do they set up alerts? How do they get all the insights they need? Who can provide them with access to a new service?
We made AppSignal easy to learn, with an interface that works exactly how you expect it. Managing access to apps is easy: simply add a user to an existing team, and they'll be able to start debugging.
If you're in the middle of a serious incident, searching through multiple tools for insights is stressful. You'll have multiple tabs open, with alerts coming in from different sources. Simply finding the root cause of something might be difficult.
Not only is it often hard to figure out where to find information, it can also be hard to connect information. Information is always linked together inside AppSignal. From any graph, you can quickly inspect all the errors and performance incidents in a timeframe.
I love the fact that you have the "Time Detective" button on the dashboard I can click on. Then, you can sort of drill down into the next page and see all the queries. From there, you can figure out which transactions were happening and which one's taking a bit longer. The fact that I can just go bang, bang, bang, drill down three, four levels deep, right down to the database query, that is just superb.
By Devan Sabaratnam, the co-founder and CTO of HR Partner.
For incidents, we'll show you what else happened at that point in time, like server metrics and other incidents. Connecting these insights makes the whole debugging experience so much smoother.
You need the right alerts, at the right time. Receiving too many notifications from multiple tools is challenging, often resulting in noisy inboxes and critical alerts being missed. AppSignal makes it easy to set up notifications, and we've got intelligent ways to control the volume of alerts.
Adding multiple tools to your code will impact application performance. Not only this, tools might cause conflicts and not play together nicely. AppSignal has a lightning-fast agent built in Rust, with a low impact on your codebase. Our tool is also tested alongside a range of other tools.
We view the monitoring market in a simple way. On the left, you have single-purpose tools with often great design and usability. On the other side of the spectrum, you have huge enterprise tools, with product development driven by salespeople. Sure, they're powerful tools. But they lack basic usability and suck energy from developers.
AppSignal picks from the best of both worlds. We have a wide range of features, but we obsessively work on improving the developer experience. Great design is at the core of our product.
Focus, focus, focus. Every screen in AppSignal does one thing, and we keep all features straightforward. Our navigation is always accessible. We reuse patterns so that you only have to learn things once, and we stay away from wanting to make any feature too fancy. This is how we pack so much power into an easy-to-use product.
Here's a scenario. You're in a fresh startup where coordination and consolidation are non-issues. Everyone knows what other people are working on, and nothing is set in stone (yet). If there's a problem, you simply find a tool that fixes it, and move on.
Would you want to focus on consolidating your tools? Of course not, it's not a problem yet, and solving problems at the right time is crucial for early teams. Solve something too early or too late, and you're wasting precious time and opportunity.
AppSignal has many powerful features that you can adopt as your needs grow. You can start using us for error tracking in an early stage, before seamlessly moving on to use performance monitoring, custom dashboards, and set up more complicated alerts. We've seen users grow from a few million to a few billion requests, with AppSignal supporting them along the way.
There are a few enterprise-grade tools in the monitoring market with very extensive feature sets. What you also get is a long procurement process, pushy sales teams, expensive upgrades, and a bloated and hard to use product. Many of our customers come from a developer background and don't enjoy buying and using these services. If you want a more down-to-earth approach to doing business, the folks at AppSignal will gladly help you out.
A new customer recently told us "I just don't have the brainpower to figure out New Relic's pricing". We honestly can't figure it out ourselves, which is why we're keeping our pricing as simple as possible. We offer all features in all plans, and you only pay for the number of requests we monitor for you.
Something that often happens at some point is managers choosing to consolidate tools for valid strategic reasons. But before you choose a tool, make sure you talk to your development team. In the end, it's not the CTO or a procurement department that's got to solve bugs in your software. It's the developers that have their eyes on bugs and hands on their keyboards. They need to be happy with the solution you choose.
Let's say you're ready to get rid of some old tools and start using AppSignal. First of all, we're happy you're considering us! Here's a few things you can do to make the transition easier.
You can simply start a free 30-day trial. If you're interested in getting a demo or discussing your use cases before you start, send us a message, and we'll set up a call.
Do you need help, have a feature request or just need someone to rubber duck with? Get in touch with one of our engineers.