Monitoring is a key aspect of every organization's tech stack and activities as it helps to identify issues and troubleshoot them at the earliest. Also, it ensures you're on top of the performance and availability of different components.
However, the downside is that the monitoring process is time-consuming and effort-centric. So, how do you balance between the benefits and downside of monitoring?
The simple answer – choose the right monitoring tools that will provide the benefits without consuming too many resources.
One such monitoring tool that we will review today is Sematext. We will be looking at its key features, pros, and cons, and finally, wrap with the alternatives to empower you to make an informed decision.
What is Sematext?
Sematext is a comprehensive monitoring tool that gathers information from different logs, applications, user experience, metrics, and even synthetic monitoring tools to detect and troubleshoot issues.
Its flagship product called the Sematext Cloud is the all-in-one monitoring platform that analyzes different aspects of your tech stack and brings them all together to provide relevant insights. It also offers another Sematext Enterprise where you run this Sematext Cloud on your infrastructure and not on the cloud.
In the rest of this article, we will be reviewing Sematext Cloud as the core features don't change in the Enterprise version.
Key Features at a Glance
The key features of Sematext Cloud are:
- Works well on private, public, and hybrid cloud environments.
- Provides a unified view of server and application metrics, logs, and more.
- Sets up alerts on metrics and logs for anomaly detection.
- Centralizes data for quick and detailed analysis.
- Performs a comprehensive root cause analysis for easy troubleshooting.
- Supports automated discovery for logs and metrics.
- It is a lightweight agent that can be easily deployed from anywhere.
- Comes with predefined and customizable monitoring dashboards that provide a bird's eye view of application performance and availability.
- Optimizes resource usage and cost centers.
- Integrates well with most platforms.
- Offers the option to add real-time monitoring, so you can have the same look and feel the experience as your users.
- Checks latency and application availability and drills down into the metrics to identify anomalies and their root causes.
- Sends notifications through emails, webhooks, Slack, and more.
- Supports smart alerts so that you will see fewer false positives.
- Traces transactions to give granular control over all the activities.
Overall, Sematext Cloud is a comprehensive tool that gathers and analyzes information from your entire infrastructure and helps make sense of it all in the broader organization-level as well as localized application-centric contexts.
Pros & Cons of Sematext Cloud
In all, Sematext is a good choice for analyzing data across your infrastructure efficiently and quickly. But with any tool, Sematext also has many shortcomings.
- It is easy to set up.
- A comprehensive monitoring platform to give all the insights you need across the entire infrastructure stack.
- Built-in and customizable dashboards to help find the information you need.
- Centralized log management for contextual information.
- Good filtering and grouping features to sort through your content.
- Integration with more than 75+ turnkey applications.
- Real-time monitoring when needed.
- It doesn't have extensive documentation for older agents like Ubuntu versions earlier than 16.
- You must become an account owner to see the logs.
- The Daily Volume Limit designed to limit costs can impact performance.
- You can't use the same configuration across multiple apps.
- Doesn't have a filtering option for exceptions.
- Integrations with security tools can be better.
Sematext Cloud is a cost-effective log management and analysis tool that gathers logs and metrics from different locations and stores them in a centralized location for detailed analysis.
Specifically, this tool is a good choice when you want to get a comprehensive view of all the applications and devices on your infrastructure to make well-informed decisions.
Moreover, this is a handy tool to query the generated logs as it supports simple queries. You can even store the saved searches, and the same will be displayed as log charts for further analysis.
Another key advantage of this tool is its integration capabilities. Since it uses the popular Elasticsearch API, it integrations well with many data ingestion, visualization, and BI tools. In particular, it fully integrates with Kibana, and this can be a big plus for DevOps teams as it generates custom charts and reports. Its customizable dashboards are another advantage of this tool.
Sematext complies with most industry standards as well, given that it runs on the AWS infrastructure. Further, its log agent is open-source, secure, and lightweight and also supports bulk indexing.
All these features make Sematext Cloud an ideal choice for businesses of all sizes.
Sematext offers four pricing options, and they are explained below.
This pricing option focuses on collecting, saving, and analyzing logs. Though the price depends on the daily log volume, retention period, and other advanced features you would need, it merits to note that there's a free plan if you're an individual or a business that wants to analyze less than 500 MB of logs per day.
The standard plan comes with email alerts, scheduled reporting, and live tail and starts at $50/month for 1 GB of data per day. After that, it increases to $240/month for 5 GB and $475/month for 10 GB of data.
The Pro plan has more advanced features such as webhooks integration, anomaly detection, and log archiving. It starts at $60/month for 1 GB, increases to $250/month for 5 GB, and goes on up to $4500/month for 150 GB/day.
This plan is ideal when you want to monitor hosts and containers. The Free plan supports a maximum of three hosts and retains data for only 30 minutes. The standard plan costs $0.007 per container host per hour. It retains information for one month and monitors five free containers per host.
The Pro plan costs $0.011 per container host per hour. It includes eight containers per host and retains data for two months.
This plan measures user experience, so you can make your applications more appealing for your users.
The Startup plan costs $9 per month, supports up to 25K views per month, and retains data for seven days. If you want to keep data for 15 days, the cost is $12 per month, and for 30 days, it is $15/month, respectively.
The Standard plan comes with reports and email alerts and starts at $19/month for 100k views. This increases to 39/month for 250k views. The Pro plan comes with advanced features such as webhooks integration and anomaly detection and costs $80/month for 100k views/month, $159 for 250k views/month, $229 for 500k views, and $329 for one million views, respectively.
This plan is well-suited for monitoring core web vitals, APIs, user journeys, security of websites, and more. The Pay-As-You-Go plan starts at $2 per HTTP monitor and $7 per browser monitor.
The Standard plan comes with custom metrics, dashboards, and integrations and costs $29/month for 40 HTTP and five browsers and $49/month for 80 HTTP and ten browsers, respectively. The Pro plan offers error handling and console logs and costs $99/month for 100 HTTP and 15 browsers and $199 for 150 HTTP and 25 browsers.
As you can see, Sematext has a plan for all your needs, and you have the option to pick the one that's best suited for your business. This flexibility in pricing adds to Sematext's appeal and high usage.
While Sematext is good, here are some alternatives to consider.
- ManageEngine Log360 – FREE TRIAL This software package for Windows Server collects log messages from endpoints, consolidates them, and then uses them as source data for threat detection. The system records a standard of regular activity per user account and device. It identifies suspicious activity by looking for deviations from regular behavior. The tool also stores logs for compliance auditing. There is a Free edition that is limited to monitoring 25 endpoints. You can get a 30-day free trial of the full Professional edition.
- Datadog – An excellent alternative to Sematext as it gathers data and metrics from apps and services to provide detailed analytics and, through it, a detailed and unified view of your organization's infrastructure. Further, it monitors apps and services to ensure they are available and performing as intended. It also helps IT and Ops teams to build and run applications at scale.
- Splunk – A robust platform that handles vast amounts of data, analyzes them, and provides automation where needed. It leverages the power of machine learning and artificial intelligence to provide breakthrough analytics and advanced capabilities that scale well with your business. Further, they support search across sources and devices for more excellent usability and collaboration.
- Do Status -A full-stack monitoring platform that provides in-depth and clear insights into your tech stack and cloud infrastructure. It offers complete observability into your processes with a focus on improving your end customers' experience. It monitors logs and metrics in real-time, measures their performance, and drills down to the problems accurately. In addition, its advanced error tracking feature captures the backend errors and pinpoints to the root cause.
- Papertrail – A cloud logging and management service that quickly analyzes the state of your infrastructure and troubleshoots the issues rapidly. It not only provides instant visibility into logs but also interprets them in real-time to send the required alerts for mitigation. Further, you can consolidate your logs to diagnose issues and get complete visibility into your entire stack.
- Graylog – A leading log management tool that seamlessly collects log data, analyzes them quickly, and gets the insights you need for informed decision-making. It also identifies and stops threats at the earliest, makes audits simple, reduces the chances of downtime, and simplifies the process of log collection and analysis.
Thus, these are some of the top Sematext alternatives that can help make the most of your logs.
To conclude, Sematext is a comprehensive monitoring tool that collects and analyzes logs and metrics across the entire application stack to provide the information you need for efficient decision-making. In addition, its flexible pricing plans add to its popularity and flexibility.
But like every tool, Sematext also has some shortcomings and may not always offer the features needed for your business. If that's the case, we have presented some alternatives to Sematext, and we hope you can choose the tool that best fits your business requirements.