Web server monitoring with Netdata

Apache HTTP

Challenges of web server monitoring

Web servers are the conductors that help users seamlessly navigate through the complexity of a business’ infrastructure, whether they’re hoping to view a corporate WordPress blog, read documentation on a Jekyll-built static site, or log in to React-based SaaS. Any performance or reliability issues with a user-facing web server causes immediate and noticeable delays, and even worse, errors that result in downtime have enormous and costly downstream effects.

IT, Ops, DevOps, or SRE teams need web server monitoring tools that provide granular information about the volume of connections. For the most part, they don’t want to spend weeks in the deployment and configuration process. They don’t want to incur per-node costs every month and deal with a slow centralized data lake of metrics. And they don’t want to make decisions that affect the performance and reliability of their entire company’s web server infrastructure using metrics with 10-second granularity.

CPU usage monitoring of a web server with Netdata

How Netdata helps you monitor web servers across your infrastructure

Upon installation, and with zero configuration, the Netdata Agent automatically recognizes running web servers like Apache, Nginx, Lighttpd, Tomcat, and more. It collects performance metrics and parses log files for a complete picture, and the Netdata Agent works in any environment, whether that’s web servers running on bare metal, a virtual machine (VM), Docker containers, or orchestrated microservice deployments. It’s also infinitely scalable as metrics are stored on individual nodes, not centralized in a complex data lake.

With Netdata, technical teams dramatically simplify their path to actionable data. Netdata collects and visualizes key web server metrics, such as the volume of requests, active connections, and response times, and updates with interactive visualizations every second. It also enriches dashboards with thousands of metrics about the node, helping teams monitor and identify trends in how their web servers impact their hosts’ uptime and resource utilization. And with a built-in health watchdog and preconfigured alarms, they can get alerts for anomalies without first identifying precise thresholds.

Most businesses don’t have only a single web server. If they’re not using multiple VMs in the cloud, they’re deploying clusters of containers, or entire microservices environments. That’s where Netdata Cloud comes in. With unified multi-node views, composite charts, and custom dashboards, technical teams have every tool and visualization necessary to provide more meaningful answers to the generic “the website is slow” complaints from users. They can answer whether a web server is failing to serve dynamic content, waiting to perform asynchronous tasks due to bottlenecks in available hardware resources, or dropping packets while trying to proxy traffic to a Node.js application running on a separate system. Metric Correlations simplifies this process even further by focusing engineers on only the most relevant charts related to an anomaly.

Key web server performance metrics

  • With zero configuration, view requests/s, connections/s, and bandwidth to see how web servers perform under load, or to diagnose routing issues.
  • Parse Nginx, Apache, and Squid access logs for granular response metrics that immediately reveal errors in dynamic content or proxied applications.
  • Collect per-second metrics on a web server’s CPU/memory/disk utilization, or that of its host, to find system-wide bottlenecks.
A custom dashboard for Nginx web server monitoring

The impact of monitoring web servers in real time

With Netdata, teams of all sizes and skill levels can go from zero web server visibility to thousands of real-time metrics, per node, in a matter of minutes. They can use baseline data to determine normal behavior for a fleet of web servers or use application-specific metrics to discover configuration bottlenecks. And once Netdata is monitoring their web servers, they don’t have to worry about organizing metrics, setting up alarms, or maintaining the monitoring system itself.

By building a foundation of real-time metrics, from every web server, teams can be proactive about the health and performance of their infrastructure. During anomalous events, they can work faster, and with a more rich picture, to discover the root cause. And during optimization efforts, they can see the impact of their work with extreme precision.

Web server monitoring with Netdata

What else can you monitor with Netdata?

Web servers are just the start. Netdata collects metrics from hundreds of hardware/OS endpoints, containers, and applications. All with per-second granularity and zero configuration.

What else can you monitor with Netdata?

Databases are just the start. Netdata collects metrics from hundreds of hardware/OS endpoints, containers, and applications. All with per-second granularity and zero configuration.