If you’re any kind of systems administrator or app developer, the need to monitor servers and log data is a constant worry. In the cloud era, server monitoring and administration has become an ever greater concern for even the simplest of websites and mobile apps. While Nagios has been the go-to solution for sysadmins for years when it comes to server monitoring, it’s hardly the only option. An up and coming platform called Amon is an excellent alternative that features a light footprint and manages to deliver the same performance as more bloated monitoring programs with far less overhead.
The best thing about Amon isn’t its open source price of free. Rather, it’s the fact that Amon boasts a disturbing amount of monitoring firepower in such a lean package. Amon monitors CPU usage, disk space, RAM usage, bandwidth, error tracking, application logging and more. Using Amon in real world scenarios is about as easy as it gets, as it features a simple, unified UI and dashboard from which to administer all functions. You can easily set up SMS emergency notifications, email notifications and a whole lot more in seconds. Though the software is free to set up and administer yourself, Amon Plus is a managed solution that takes care of the little details for you for just $24.95.
Installing Amon on virtually any Linux or Unix-like server is quite simple. Just punch up a shell terminal and enter
curl install.amon.cx | bash
Yep, that’s it. The aforementioned command works with Debian and Ubuntu, the Redhat’s such as CentOS and Fedora, Mac OS X and any Amazon AMI. As such, it’s quite simple to get up and running. If that one-liner doesn’t do the trick, there are alternative installation methods for setting up Amon on any instance you choose. It’s based on MongoDB and Python, so it’s infinitely portable.
There are just two things you need to keep in mind when running Amon: the amond daemon and the amon web application. When you boot any system equipped with Amon, the amond daemon is launched via
The web app isn’t started by default, however. You’ll need to head to either http://127.0.0.1:2464 or communicate with the daemon via the status, restart, stop and start commands to configure monitoring and view log data.
If you’re in need for a server monitoring solution fueled by Python that provides error reporting based on a JSON API, Amon might just be the platform for you. Their documentation makes setting up the service about as painless as can be. It runs on both your production server and your local PC, all while managing to only chew up about 20 MB of RAM. Like nginx for HTTP engines, Amon is the next generation of server monitoring suites for admins. It’s functional, free and more or less flawless. At the end of the day, there’s no reason not to give it a chance.