Unlike a regular SQL server, PostgreSQL comes with its own unique set of capabilities and challenges. This means you’ll want a monitoring tool that can specifically cater to PostgreSQL and all of its features.
Here’s our list of seven of the best PostgreSQL monitoring tools:
- SolarWinds Database Performance Monitor (FREE TRIAL) – A close second to Datadog, DPM provides detailed monitoring and proactive automation.
- PRTG Network Monitor – Comes with a specific PostgreSQL sensor and is ideal for those who need additional monitoring.
- Datadog APM – Best all-around PostgreSQL monitor with quick deployment and out-of-the-box insights.
- AppOptics APM – Includes both permanence monitoring and optimization utilities.
- ManageEngine Applications Manager – Can manage and monitor multiple RDBMSs and servers.
- SQL Sentry – Dedicated to managing SQL environments. Features configuration and deployment tools.
- ClusterControl – Available both as a free and paid tool.
The best PostgreSQL monitoring tools
At a close number two on our list, SolarWinds Database Performance Monitor (DPM) is a SaaS tool designed to help you monitor virtually any database, including PostgreSQL. Since DPM lives in the cloud, there are no components to update and no central server that needs configuration.
Getting the data collector installed only takes a few minutes and can be deployed either manually, or en masse via a script. Once deployed, the agent is designed to auto-discover all databases and networked resources by utilizing traffic monitoring and system view inspections.
All data that moves between the agent and your dashboard uses both in-flight and at-rest encryption to ensure the least amount of intrusiveness while maintaining the best possible operational security.
Issues such as throughput, high latency, file locks, and index utilization can all be detected and even automatically fixed through the DPM platform. Through a simple dashboard, you can toggle from a global view to a line-by-line code view of your queries and tables in just a few clicks.
DPM has a broad set of analysis tools that give you the flexibility to get as granular as you need to be. SolarWinds DPM can also classify and monitor multi-dimensional data on processes, users, databases, and queries, on top of tracking resource consumption such as CPU and disk usage.
Advanced analysis techniques like queuing theory and regression analysis can be applied to data right from the reporting dashboard to provide deep insights into the relationships between hardware resources and specific queries. You can test out SolarWinds Database Performance Monitor completely free through a 14-day trial.
Paessler PRTG is a well-known network monitoring tool that can be installed on a wide variety of applications and servers. What most people don’t know is that PRTG has specifically built-in sensors to monitor PostgreSQL databases.
The sensor can measure the execution time on an entire request including details like connection buildup, disconnections, transactions handled, and query execution. Through the dashboard, you can run queries and view additional information such as the number of rows that were addressed by the query, as well as show defined values sorted by individual channels.
Server host metrics like temperature, CPU usage, disk I/O, and uptime are also captured and recorded by the PRTG sensor. You can easily set thresholds and conditions around these metrics to either execute an automated script or send out an alert. These alerts can be sent via email, SMS, or push notifications to both Android and iOS devices.
Just like Datadog, PRTG gives you the option to increase your scope of monitoring beyond just PostgreSQL. This makes PRTG an ideal choice if you think you’ll need an additional application or server monitoring down the road.
Pricing for PRTG varies and is closely tied to how many requests a sensor receives, as well as how many sensors are deployed throughout an organization. Pricing for PRTG starts at $1600 (£1,284) for 500 sensors, but you can try out PRTG for free through a 30-day trial.
Datadog APM has been growing rapidly over the years and is becoming known for its easy to use interfaces and extensive reporting capabilities. While Datadog can support the monitoring of many applications, it’s one of the only few platforms that have a dedicated PostgreSQL integration that supports PostgreSQL queries.
After installing the agent and assigning the necessary permissions you can begin monitoring the health and performance of your database. By default, all of your metrics come prepopulated in an out-of-the-box PostgreSQL screen board. This page displays locks, replication delays, or the result of any PostgreSQL query you want to view.
To get even further insights into your PostgreSQL environments, code-level performance with distributed tracing can be charted and monitored through the Datadog APM. This APM is bundled with the same agent for installation earlier and is fairly simple to set up.
Datadog uses auto-instrumentation which helps speed up the trace collection process from well-known frameworks and libraries. If you want to use custom traces you can easily tag parts of your own code so you can follow the path of each and every request.
Setting up PostgreSQL alerts in Datadog is quick and intuitive. Multiple alerts can be configured and then toggled on or off depending on your needs. Default service alerts include error rate, throughput, and latency monitoring, but can be completely customized around any service of query you’d like.
Automated alerts help put you in a proactive state to identify issues before they become company-wide hassles. You can configure alerts to notify you if a certain amount of dead rows have accumulated, or if replication delay increases beyond a certain threshold.
If you have a team working in your PostgreSQL environment you can route specific alerts to certain team members or groups depending on if it’s maintenance related, emergency-related, or informational.
The platform also streamlines your monitoring efforts. If you ever decide there are other applications you want to monitor, Datadog likely has an agent for it. You can test out Datadog to start monitoring your PostgreSQL through a 14-day free trial.
AppOptics APM provides a combination of cloud-based PostgreSQL monitoring and distributed tracing. With AppOptics you can have both a proactive and reactive troubleshooting tool at your disposal for investigating issues in your PostgreSQL databases.
Like a few of our top choices, AppOptics APM comes with customized sensors, dashboards, and reports specifically for PostgreSQL or Postgre relational databases. When you’re not tending to alerts or fixing problems in your system, you can use AppOptics to increase the performance of your database by analyzing collected data and creating more efficient queries.
There’s an entire section of AppOptics dedicated to increasing PostgreSQL performance that focuses on each query individually. Through trace analysis, you can quickly identify poor performing queries. AppOptics automatically runs traces and examines slow-performing queries in an attempt to find solutions and bring those to your attention.
Metrics like resource consumption can also be tuned and optimized through separate built-in tools located under the infrastructure monitoring section. This area of AppOptics helps paint a picture of your database from a hardware perspective.
Here you can chart and see roughly what your baseline utilization is, and identify areas where you may need to add more physical or virtual resources to keep up with growing demand.
If you’re interested in testing out AppOptics, you test all of its features for free through a 14-day trial.
If it connects to a network, chances are ManageEngine Applications Manager can monitor it, and PostgreSQL servers are no exception. ManageEngine has been well known in the app monitoring space for quite some time, and its experience in database management really shows in complex PostgreSQL environments.
ManageEngine uses a customized PostgreSQL agent that installs directly on the server itself to pull insights into the dashboard. The installation of the agent only takes a few minutes, and as soon as it is completed data begins to populate your backend dashboard.
On the surface, ManageEngine collects raw data such as resource utilization, cache hits, disk usage, and buffer statistics, but it also goes a step further.
The platform takes this information and creates an overall health report that scores the overall wellness of the PostgreSQL database. ManageEngine reads between the lines by uncovering issues like idle locks, which are the true cause of long wait times and slow queries.
As complex databases change over time, keeping a pulse on your overall performance can be difficult. To help aid in the long term tracking of your PostgreSQL health, ManageEngine comes with the option to set dynamic performance baselines. These baselines keep in proportion with your traffic and allow the system to detect anomalous behavior.
This feature is especially useful for identifying long term gradual performance degradation. You can test-drive the full version of ManageEngine Applications Manager free with a 30-day trial.
SQL Sentry is a database management and monitoring tool that is completely focused on database performance and the overall health of SQL environments.
Installing the SQL Sentry agent only takes a few clicks, and is as simple as establishing an ODBC connection on your server. Once installed and authenticated, a new connection type will appear in your SQL Sentry dashboard under the PATROL Console.
Right away insights will begin to populate the fully customizable backend of the agent. Dashboards are fully customizable and feature a ‘jump to’ navigation that makes drilling down from the top view to the query level fast and intuitive.
High impact SQL queries and spiked resources will immediately stand out on the main timeline dashboard. Here you can click and drag to zoom in for further detail, or select a timeframe and analyze the query details from a minute-by-minute perspective.
If you find certain queries to be causing trouble you can opt to automate response based on specific conditions. These are called ‘Advisory Conditions’ in SQL Sentry and give you the flexibility to kill tasks, run scripts, or terminate processes based on conditions such as a threshold, T-SQL query, or any combination of values.
Pricing comes in two tiers, plus one dedicated for Azure SQL Database. The Essential version covers 1-10 licenses and starts at $600.00 (£464.32) per instance. At $1500.00 (£1160.80) per instance, the premium edition has no limitation on the number of licenses you can have and includes additional features such as event chain management and advanced disk forecasting.
15-day free trials are available for all versions of SQL Sentry.
Last on our list is ClusterControl, which combines PostgreSQL database monitoring with deployment automation. If you find yourself deploying multiple instances of PostgreSQL databases, ClusterControl can automatically deploy and configure these for you on the fly.
The automatic configuration works by setting up your template through an interactive wizard. This step-by-step process ensures that all settings are covered before deployment.
Through a single dashboard, you can view the activity and status of all your database instances through a single pane of glass. While most monitors only cover simple metrics like CPU and wait times, ClusterControl takes it a step further and incorporates full database life-cycle management into its platform.
Preconfigured report tabs allow you to toggle between insights quickly without having to spend the time making a dashboard from templates or manual queries. Insights like largest databases, top queries, alarms, and database growth can all be cycled through completely out of the box.
Cluster Control comes in three tiers, Free, Advanced, and Enterprise. While the free version can provide basic monitoring and insights, most businesses will need at least the Advanced plan for load balance, notifications, and performance management. ricing for Cluster Control is currently not publicly available, but a quote can be requested on its pricing page.
Choosing a PostgreSQL Monitoring Tool
PostgreSQL is one of the most complex types of SQL databases you can manage, so which of these seven tools is best for your company?
If you’re a medium to a large-sized company where PostgreSQL uptime is your number one priority, Datadog DPM is the best option. Datadog is incredibly fast to get started with and the entire platform feels intuitive from the start.
For organizations that are looking for PostgreSQL monitoring, but might want to also monitor other servers, PRTG Network Monitor will give you the flexibility to scale monitoring solutions to other servers and applications with relative ease.
How do you monitor your PostgreSQL databases? Do you find PostgreSQL to be more difficult to handle than other databases? Let us know in the comments below.