Just about every professional/business environment needs Storage (as many of you know, more of it) – whether just for emails and correspondence or for far more important performance-critical digital applications, websites, hosted files, file servers, exchange servers or SAN Devices – it would be hard to overstate the importance of storage management and monitoring due to this!
Both smaller networks simply operating from a NAS-storage basis and larger, multi-network environments running multiple SAN devices need proper monitoring.
An untimely outage, failure due to lack of storage, or poor response time due to over-subscription can all cause expensive problems if not downright showstopping failure!
Here is our list of the best storage monitoring and management tools:
- IntelliMagic Vision for SAN – EDITOR'S CHOICE A performance monitor and capacity planning tool for SAN infrastructure that deploys AI automatic detection of performance bottlenecks, capacity constraints and configuration anomalies. Runs as a Cloud Service offering. Request a free demo & quote.
- SolarWinds Storage Resource Monitor – FREE TRIAL A monitoring system that offers real-time monitoring of a range of brands of storage devices and deploys performance and capacity thresholds that trigger alerts if crossed. Runs on Windows Server.
- Site24x7 Storage Monitoring – FREE TRIAL A monitor for networks, servers, and applications that includes storage device monitoring for both on-premises and cloud resources. This is a cloud-based service.
- ManageEngine OpManager + Applications Manager – FREE TRIAL Get on-site storage monitoring functions from OpManager and cloud storage monitoring with Applications Manager. Available for Windows Server and Linux.
- Nagios XI A system monitoring package that can be expanded by plugins to include the monitoring of storage devices. Installs on Linux.
- AppDynamic Storage Performance Monitoring Part of a wider system monitoring service, the storage monitor that includes root cause analysis and capacity planning facilities. This is a cloud-based system.
- PowerAdmin Storage Monitor A disk usage reporter that includes status alerts and capacity planning assistance. Runs on Windows.
- eG Enterprise Storage Monitoring A storage monitor that is part of a full system monitoring service that is delivered from the cloud.
When dealing with managing NAS/SAN storage devices, there's a lot to bear in mind.
Software which can monitor capacity, as well as assist in assigning it to various applications, can save a great deal of time and headache by predicting and being aware of needs early on.
Monitoring hardware for failures and outages helps to keep tabs on the physical health of the ever-important storage devices.
Keeping track of latency can be one of the best indicators of an aging drive or failing device, while also helping to keep tabs on the management of bandwidth use to and from storage devices.
And of course there's over-subscription, a clever but precarious method for making the most out of your network that works very much in the same vein as overbooking flights like airlines tend to practice, but it does come with its risks and software can thankfully help manage those!
Monitoring software needs to be able to keep a close eye on every part of your storage arrangement – whether simple and single systems running as a NAS, or independent SAN devices like tape drives or their ilk, and of course you can't leave LUNs out in the dark!
Especially in larger enterprise setups you've got to have robust LUN monitoring and oversight to be sure that your RAIDs are properly allocated and made full use of.
No matter the make-up of your network storage devices, whether Dell, EMC, HP, WD or others, many tools can poll and monitor these devices and even aggregate device-specific data to help keep you, and your network, up to speed.
The Best Storage Management and Monitoring Tools & Software
Our methodology for selecting storage management systems
We reviewed the market for storage monitoring and management tools and analyzed the options based on the following criteria:
- Systems that can monitor networks storage and peripheral storage devices
- A service that includes performance thresholds for alerts
- A package that provides trend analysis and capacity planning
- Systems that monitor server disks as well as specialist storage devices
- Combination of application and server monitoring
- A free trial or a demo that allows testing and assessment before buying
- Services that offer value for money through cost savings
Below are some of the best options out there for storage monitoring, many of which are paid software suites but do also offer free trials and evaluation versions to make them well worth giving a shot!
IntelliMagic Vision is a multi-vendor SAN performance, capacity, and configuration analytics solution. It combines deep knowledge of storage array performance and capacity with a deep understanding of end-to-end connectivity.
While most performance and capacity management solutions focus on either storage support or fabric support or VMware support, IntelliMagic Vision provides an end-to-end picture of the I/O stack from the VMware through the SAN fabric to the storage arrays.
IntelliMagic integrates topology and embeds the configuration relationships in the user interface for intuitive navigation of the configuration and the performance.
IntelliMagic Vision's AI-driven analytics continuously analyze the performance and configuration health of your multi-vendor SAN environment and automatically identifies issues such as:
- Storage array performance issues such as over-utilized and imbalanced ports and replication delays
- Zoning irregularities such as orphaned ports or hosts with single paths
- Orphaned storage and wasted capacity
- Capacity trending and forecasting
IntelliMagic Vision is interactive and customizable so you can add and edit your favorite reports, start at a 30,000 foot level view and drill down to the most granular level, compare historical data, and more.
- Highly customizable admin dashboard
- Can coordinate storage activities across your environment
- Leverages AI to aid in capacity planning
- Better suited for enterprises and data centers
IntelliMagic Vision for SAN is our top pick for a storage monitoring and management tool because it provides performance alert thresholds that are automatically tuned to the conditions of your organization rather than imposing standard threshold levels that could trip a series of false positive alerts. This system offers access analysis and capacity planning services that let you ensure your storage systems don’t run out of space and can constantly support your enterprise.
OS: Delivered as a SaaS solution
SolarWinds software provides real-time storage monitoring for a range of vendors, all from a slick and comprehensive interface.
The program handles a full range of both virtual and physical storage devices and can even delve through the layers of virtualization to fully expose the actual makeup of a storage setup, which can be quite helpful with how confusing virtualization can get when layered as much as it tends to be!
The software also includes a range of pre-configured alerts and monitoring options, which are also customize-able, to be sure that basic oversight is taken care of right out of the box.
- Supports a wide variety of multi-vendor storage options
- Automatically calculates storage needs for capacity planning
- Integrates well with Solarwinds SAM & VMAN
- Offers a variety of performance monitoring options
- Better suited for SMEs and larger environments
Site24x7 Infrastructure is a system monitoring that is delivered from the cloud. The resources that the service monitors can be on-premises or in the cloud. Each monitored system needs an agent program installed on it in order to be enrolled.
The monitoring service starts by discovering all equipment connected to the monitored network, including storage devices. It is able to monitor NAS, RAIDs, tape libraries, and fabric switches regardless of their manufacturers.
The monitor tracks all resources of the storage device, which includes total capacity and used space. The system also tracks performance issues. If performance levels drop or if capacity approaches exhaustion, the system raises an alert. These alerts can be forwarded as notifications to technicians by SMS, email, voice call, or instant messaging post.
- Flexible cloud-based monitoring option
- Offers a host of out-of-box monitoring options and dashboard templates for storage monitoring
- Allows administrators to view dependencies within the application stack, good for building SLAs and optimizing uptime
- Offers root cause analysis enhanced by AI to fix technical issues faster
- Can unify storage monitoring across multi-cloud environments
- Site24x7 is a feature-rich platform with options that extended beyond databases management, may require time to learn all options and features
Site24x7 Infrastructure costs $9 per month when paid annually.
ManageEngine offers a suite of system monitoring and management tools. Each module can be used as a standalone system but they are all written on a common platform and interconnect, so combining tools provides extra strength. This is the case with OpManager and Applications Manager. These two utilities combine cover all of your system from applications and websites through to servers and network devices.
OpManager was built to supervise network devices and servers. This is a hardware monitoring system that gives you automated performance tracking and status supervision for all storage devices, such as SAN and NAS systems. This tool traces network performance, too, so it can identify if an apparent problem with storage access is really caused by an intermediate device on the path between management software and physical servers.
Storage is not an island and you will be running applications that make constant, repeated access to those NAS and San systems. Applications Manager checks that requested data is delivered up to the application in a timely manner. So, you can head off problems before they become noticeable to users by tracking performance of the entire protocol stack up from Layer 2 to Layer 7. The performance of networks, servers, and storage facilities is no longer just a site infrastructure issue. OpManager and Applications Manager reach out across the internet and check on the availability, delivery speeds, and performance of cloud resources as well. While OpManager checks on connections to cloud storage, Applications Manager constantly monitors cloud storage facilities and watches cloud services and server performance.
OpManager and Applications Manager take care of all monitoring tasks automatically. Both systems include an alert mechanism that lets you know when trouble arises. These alerts can be forwarded to you and your team through email and SMS message. That lets you get on with the job of managing resources without having to sit watching system monitoring consoles.
- Designed to work right away, features over 200 customizable widgets to build unique dashboards and reports
- Leverages autodiscover to find, inventory, and map new devices
- Uses intelligent alerting to reduce false positives and eliminate alert fatigue across larger networks
- Supports email, SMS, and webhook for numerous alerting channels
- Integrates well in the ManageEngine ecosystem with their other products
- Is a feature-rich tool that will require a time investment to properly learn
The software for OpManager and Applications Manager is available for installation on Windows Server and Linux. ManageEngine doesn’t offer a combo of these two services, but buy both and they will slot together. You can put this partnership to the test with a 30-day free trial of OpManager and Applications Manager.
Storage Monitoring with Nagios is a great piece of software that offers a staggering range of flexibility and functionality – mostly due to being highly modular! SAN/NAS and other storage management and monitoring requires additional plugins from the base Nagios software, but once installed Nagios can more than pull its weight in this regard.
Furthermore, as it requires the base Nagios installation, you gain the benefit of having a robust network monitoring suite to begin with!
As far as storage management, though, Nagios covers all the bases you'd want, plus gives a lot of flexibility with plugins and addons to customize or change precisely what, or how, you monitor.
- Open-source transparent tool
- Simple, yet informative interface
- Flexible alerting options support SMS and email
- Robust API backend makes it a great option for developers who want to integrate their own custom applications
- Would like to see additional integrations into more ticketing systems
- Installation can be technical and complex
Free trial, starting at $1,995 and up, some plugins/modules have additional cost/licensing
6. AppDynamics Storage Performance Monitoring
AppDynamics is a very solid “all in one” option that attempts to cover the full range of network-based monitoring and management.
With options for everything from application, transactions, services, nodes, servers, database calls, remove services, and of course storage and even more, the program has a staggering range of tracking.
This does come with the usual caveat – with breadth comes slightly less depth, and although AppDynamics doesn't suffer as much from this as some software options, you may find some more niche or specific features missing or lacking slightly.
- Tailored for large-scale enterprise use
- Excellent dependency mapping and visualizations to help troubleshoot complex application systems
- Includes a free version
- Includes root cause analysis tools
- Priced higher than similar tools on the market
Free trial and demo available, must contact sales for pricing
7. PowerAdmin Storage Monitor
PowerAdmin has a reasonably light-weight and straightforward option that focuses almost exclusively on storage management alone with very few other bells and whistles – which isn't necessarily a bad thing! It scans and catalogs, reports on files, has predictive disk usage, monitoring and alerting, and so forth.
The focus is more on file management as well as device management and would be better used by network environments with a lot of data that needs managing as well as space and some of the device managing options fall a little short, but overall it's a solid option!
- A lightweight tool, takes up very little space and system resources
- Supports testing multiple hosts at the same time
- Uses threshold-based alerting to keep repeat alarms to a minimum
- Must reach out to sales for a quote, pricing not transparent
Free trial, $250 and up with a year of support and maintenance included
8. EG Innovations
EG Innovations has another program that is a bit more of an “all in one” offering that does a good amount of SAN and general network storage monitoring, as well.
The program has a strong focus on reporting and alerting with a heavy amount of analysis on data and storage trends and patterns to aid in early troubleshooting and problem prediction.
It handles all ranges of virtualization and does a great job picking apart all the different virtual layers of even the more complex storage environments.
- Can monitor a wide range of virtual host environments, making this truly suited for larger enterprises or MSPs
- Threshold-based altering can notify when VMs go offline, or become slow due to resource related issues
- Offers root-cause analysis to help technicals solves issues faster, resulting in more uptime
- No freeware version
Free trial, must contact sales for price
Storage Monitoring and Management Tools FAQs
What are some popular storage monitoring tools?
Popular storage monitoring tools include SolarWinds Storage Resource Monitor, Nagios, and Datadog.
Can storage monitoring be performed remotely?
Yes, storage monitoring can be performed remotely, allowing administrators to monitor storage systems from a central location.
How does storage monitoring integrate with other IT monitoring tools?
Storage monitoring can integrate with other IT monitoring tools, such as network monitoring software and application performance monitoring software, to provide a comprehensive view of the IT environment.