Differences Between Agent-Based And Agentless Monitoring

by Sunny Hoi


If you fail to monitor your servers, you risk having the servers crash with no preceding warning. Nearly all organizations start with just one or two servers. Eventually, they advance in number as they expand their revenues and size.

You can’t anticipate hectic IT people to log into each server one-by-one every single day since it would take the entire day for an employee to review server metrics.

Monitoring services are vital to an organization’s stability since it permits one to retain overseeing of server metrics.

The question is which monitoring service one should choose?

This article will not only answer this question but also illustrate the differences between Agent-Based and Agentless monitoring.

Agent-Based Monitoring

Agent-based is an older monitoring service that isn’t deployed nearly as frequently anymore. Agent-based monitoring necessitates software to be installed on every server. The software then collects data and situates it in a central dashboard. The central panel illustrates server metrics for any administrator to examine.

Using agent-based monitoring, you may retrieve all metrics on a server since you possess software that runs on each machine with permissions that permit it to collect data from the local hardware. It provides you significantly more data than you may obtain from agentless monitoring as the software runs on the machine without any foreign ‘probes’ that would contrarily be obstructed by administrators.

The disadvantage to this type of monitoring is that you require software running on the machine itself. This denotes that you require control of it.

Since plenty organizations have transitioned their infrastructures to the cloud, it’s not conceivable for administrators to install software on a local machine.

Innumerable organizations utilize VPS, which signifies that you merely collect data from the local VPS and not the whole physical device.

Agent-based monitoring services are most suitable for small networks that don’t possess any hardware or infrastructure running in the cloud. It’s exemplary for bigger organizations that carry administrators with physical access to the machines if something goes awry.

Agentless Monitoring

Agentless monitoring is the new standard, and it’s ideal for organizations that retain servers, switches, routers, and data centers in the cloud. This type of oversight is typical when you add and eliminate cloud infrastructure freely and hold no defined physical machines. No local software is embroiled. Hence, you are unable to obtain more accurate data you may acquire from agent-based software.

This kind of monitoring is generally adopted because it carries drastically less overhead than agent-based systems. The software polls data from distinct elements using SNMP, a stable and trustworthy protocol that works on nearly any hardware device, and that the majority of IT administrators comprehend. It’s nice for physical and virtual machines like VMware.

Agentless monitoring is considerably simpler to set up. It employs an API, and configurations merely happen in one, central location. After it’s configured, it spiders out to distinctive servers and hardware and collects information from them. You still receive the central dashboard where you may review statistics, but you don’t require to install anything on the third-party server.

One exceptional example of agentless monitoring is Google’s own Googlebot spider. Clearly, Googlebot spiders the web and ranks sites, but what many people aren’t aware of is that it also discovers new servers and collects information from them.

Google deploys its spider to accumulate data from host servers, assess their speed and resources, and even recognize any other hosted sites. It’s one approach Google uses to discover sites that it hasn’t crawled yet.

Agent-Based Monitoring Or Agentless Monitoring?

Agentless monitoring is the new standard since it has considerably fewer resource requirements, but some administrators fancy having local software installed for improved data collection.

If you retain a lot of cloud elements, it’s better to use agentless monitoring as you hold little control of cloud infrastructure.

If you purely have a couple servers in-house, agent-based monitoring tools are adequate, but you might require agentless software in the future.You may still utilize agent-based monitoring as you expand, but it can be burdensome to manage every server with this software installed.

You may still utilize agent-based monitoring as you expand, but it can be burdensome to manage every server with this software installed.

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