If you spend a lot of time online then the chances are that you’ve interacted with a website supported by Apache Web Server.
Apache HTTP Server is one of the oldest and most popular web servers in the world, supporting websites like eBay, LinkedIn, and Facebook. Its support for Windows and Unix servers has helped many organizations in cross-platform environments.
In this post we’re going to look at what Apache Web Server is and the best monitoring tools for it.
Here is our list of the best Apache Web Server monitoring tools:
- SolarWinds Apache Monitor with Server & Application Monitor EDITOR’S CHOICE Comprehensive server and application monitoring tool that can monitor key Apache performance metrics with a dedicated module. Download the 30-day free trial.
- Datadog Apache Monitor (FREE TRIAL) A cloud-based application performance monitor that has specific screens for Apache monitoring.
- ManageEngine Applications Manager (FREE TRIAL) Has a dedicated Apache monitoring tool offering agentless performance monitoring on various metrics.
- Paessler PRTG Network Monitor (FREE TRIAL) Autodetects your network structure on install and has over a dozen server monitoring modules for Apache.
- Site24x7 Server Performance Monitoring (FREE TRIAL) A cloud-based monitoring tool for networks, servers, applications, services, and websites that includes Apache Web Server monitoring.
- Dynatrace Monitor and visualize Apache metrics through the context of your web services that run Apache.
- AppDynamics Real-time monitoring solution for identifying bottlenecks with auto-discovery and end-to-end business transaction performance.
- Anturis Has a dedicated Apache module for monitoring key performance metrics.
What is Apache Web Server?
Apache Web Server is an open-source web server managed by the Apache Software Foundation. A web server is a service that sits between a server and a client device. Apache Web Server runs as a piece of software on a server and takes client requests from a user’s web browser. It then sends a response to the request in the form of a webpage. What makes Apache Web Server popular is the range of modules it offers enterprises additional features.
Modules enable customization in the form of additional features. For example, IPv6, FTP, HTTP/2, bandwidth throttling, WebDAV, load balancing, and URL rewriting are just some of the extra features that Apache Web Server has to offer. These features grant you greater control over the experience you provide to the end-user.
To use Apache all you need to do is download the software from the official website. The server software is completely free so you can start improving your website’s service without breaking the bank.
Why is it Important to Monitor Apache Web servers?
Apache Web server is an essential service. It is important to monitor all of your IT infrastructure to ensure that it continues to perform effectively – that applies equally to your Web server.
A Web server is subject to a number of potential hazards. It can become overloaded with too many connection requests. Even without the problem of dealing with the intentional overloading of a DDoS attack, a genuine surge in interest in one of your websites could use up all of the capacity of the Apache Web server.
You also have to pay attention to the host resources that are available to the Web server. Just like any application, Apache Web server needs a certain amount of CPU capacity in order to run. If it is sharing a server with other applications, those processing resources might run short. The same problem can occur with memory and disk space availability.
Monitoring all of these factors usually gives you time to head off problems. Normally, capacity issues don’t hit in an instant – they build. You should select a Web server monitor that includes performance thresholds and set those levels below full capacity for each resource – say at 70 percent of utilization. These thresholds should trigger alerts if they are crossed. That warning gives you enough time to make more resources available to your Web server and prevent it from stalling.
The best Apache Web Server monitoring tools
If you’re currently using Apache Web Server, using a server monitoring tool is vital to providing an excellent experience. Part of the battle of monitoring web servers is having the necessary tools and visibility to address performance concerns.
What criteria did we use when choosing this list of Apache Web Server monitoring tools?
We reviewed the market for Apache Web Server monitoring software and analyzed the options based on the following criteria:
- A system that can watch the load on an Apache Web Server instance
- An alerting mechanism that is triggered by a threshold as capacity on the web Server reaches its limits
- A notification service that will forward alerts to technicians by email or SMS
- Live performance reports including load and response times
- Stored statistics for historical data analysis
- A free trial for a no-cost assessment period or a money-back guarantee
- Value for money judged by the number of functions included set against the price of the package
All of the tools mentioned in this article are excellent choices for overseeing the performance of Apache Web Server.
The SolarWinds Apache Monitor for Server Performance with Server & Application Monitor is an application monitoring tool that can monitor Apache Web Server. The tool monitors Apache Web Server uptime, accesses, traffic, idle workers, availability, CPU load, total access, server request per second, memory, and more to identify performance issues. There is also the option to monitor other pieces of infrastructure that support the web server such as Linux, MySQL, and PHP.
Outside of Apache, the tool offers automatic application and server discovery. Autodiscovery is useful for keeping your network environment updated to make sure that you have complete visibility over what is going on.
The alerts system also offers a high level of support for Apache Web Server monitoring. The alerts system works on a threshold basis and sends alerts if a device or application matches certain performance issues. For example, if the server goes down or the CPU load reaches a problematic level the program will alert you.
SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor starts at a price of $2,995 (£2,382). You can download the 30-day free trial.
The SolarWinds Apache Monitoring Tool that comes with the Server & Application Monitor is our #1 Choice! The dashboard gives you granular details and lets you monitor performance in real-time which is great for troubleshooting issues and diagnosing root-causes of performance issues that arise on the network.
Start 30-day Free Trial: solarwinds.com/server-application-monitor/use-cases/apache-web-server-monitor/
OS: Windows Server 2016 or later
Datadog Apache Monitor tracks the performance of Apache web server implementations and is part of Datadog’s SaaS platform that includes a range of application monitoring tools. The base service of this monitoring system is a real-time display of Apache performance metrics that includes the data throughput of the server and its response times.
Apache cannot work properly if the host is overloaded, so the Apache monitoring system of Datadog also gives you feedback on the performance statuses of the physical server as well. All of the information that the Datadog monitor collects is too much to fit on one screen, so you have the option to customize the dashboard, giving you all of the data that interests you most all in one place.
To get more information on summary displays, you just click on that element in the screen to access a more detailed data view. The Apache monitor of Datadog collects more than 180 different metrics. All of that information is more than any one person can cope with. However, the system sets performance thresholds, so you will be drawn to pertinent information when a particular status becomes a problem.
The APM gives a very deep insight into the performance of Apache. However, to get better information about the server and network performance of your operation, you will need to add on Datadog Infrastructure. A Network Performance module will show you traffic flows and help you improve performance with traffic shaping. A Synthetic Modelling module lets you have a constant check on uptime. It also gives you the capability to run your own tests on elements in your website from external agents that are located around the globe.
Datadog is charged for by subscription and each module has its own pricing structure. The APM is charged per host per month and has an App Analytics add-on available. All of the Datadog modules are available on a 14-day free trial.
ManageEngine Applications Manager is an application monitoring software platform that offers Apache Web Server monitoring. With ManageEngine Applications Manager you can monitor the availability, response time, CPU utilization, Bytes transferred/sec, request details of Apache Web Server, and more. The range of connection metrics supported by the program make sure that you know if there is anything affecting your end-users.
The alerts system included with ManageEngine Applications Manager enables the user to set up thresholds to monitor performance metrics. Alerts are sent via email and SMS so you know when a performance event takes place. Alerts are highly configurable so you can control what activities the tool notifies you about. For example, you can set a threshold for response time so that you receive alerts if the server is slow to respond.
The reports functionality in ManageEngine Applications Manager is another one of the programs strong points. Reports show historical performance data on the Apache Web Server but you can also use machine learning to anticipate future performance trends. Machine learning helps you to plan for the future.
There are three versions of ManageEngine Applications Manager available: Free, Professional, and Enterprise. The Free version supports up to five servers or applications. The Professional version starts at $945 (£751) for 25 monitors, and the Enterprise version starts at $9,595 (£7,632) for 250 monitors. There is also a 30-day free trial version.
Paessler PRTG Network Monitor is an infrastructure monitoring tool that has its own sensor for Apache Web Server. The HTTP Apache ModStatus PerfStats Sensor shows you a range of metrics including CPU load, server uptime, requests per second, bytes per request, number of current busy worker threads, and number of idle worker threads. The sensor shows all of this data in the form of dials which can be viewed as live and historic data.
Once the sensor has been configured the alerts system will let you know if there is an issue that requires your immediate attention. Notifications are available via email, SMS and push notifications. There is also an API that you can use to create your own custom notification scripts.
PRTG Network Monitor is free for enterprises monitoring with less than 100 sensors. If you need more you will have to purchase one of the paid versions. PRTG Network Monitor starts at a price of $1600 (£1,272) for 500 sensors and one server installation up to $10,500 (£8,352) for 5000 sensors and one server installation or $60,000 (£47,727) for 5 server installations and unlimited sensors. There is also a 30-day free trial.
Site24x7 Infrastructure is a cloud-based service that monitors networks, servers, services, applications, and websites. It is able to identify the interdependencies between applications and also the connections between applications and the server resources that support them. The Apache Web Server is one of the applications that Site24x7 Infrastructure is able to monitor.
Out of the box, Site24x7 has general application monitoring capabilities that track such things as server resource usage. This can be enhanced in the case of some products because the Site24x7 system has a number of “integrations” available for them. What Site24x7 refers to as an ‘integration’ is a plugin that expands the capabilities of the tool and there is a free integration available for Apache Web Server.
The Apache Web Server performance metrics that the Site24x7 Infrastructure system observes are collected by an agent that needs to be installed on the host of the Web Server. These are uploaded to the Site24x7 server over a secure connection for processing.
Metrics that Site24x7 infrastructure tracks include uptime, requests per second, busy workers, idle workers, bytes per request, bytes per second, CPU load, and total accesses. While displaying these factors in the system console, Site24x7 also tracks anomalies and places performance thresholds on the metrics that are observed. If a problem is detected, the system raises an alert. System alerts can be forwarded to key staff via SMS, email, instant messaging post, or voice call.
Site24x7 Infrastructure is a subscription service with a price of $9 per month when paid annually. You can experience it on a 30-day free trial.
Dynatrace is an application performance monitoring platform with Apache monitoring capabilities. The tool provides you with a performance dashboard that displays availability, incoming requests, response sizes, busy workers, application version, configuration path, infrastructure changes, and restarts. For example, you can view an Apache Web Server availability graph that shows you when the service last went offline.
A feature called deep process monitoring allows you to take a microscope to the response time of Apache services running within various processes. For instance, you can view a graph that breaks down what services are taking the most time to execute. Services include Apache modules, Database activity, PHP compilation, and PHP execution.
One reason why Dynatrace is a top tool for monitoring Apache Web Server is its anomaly detection engine. The anomaly detection engine automatically detects performance anomalies to identify concerning activity. If an anomaly is detected you will be notified by an alert. The alert will not only highlight that there is a problem but pinpoint the root cause so that you can address it early on.
For top-down visibility through Apache Web Server down to the process level, Dynatrace is an exceptional choice. However, if you want to know the pricing options available for Dynatrace you’ll have to contact the company directly. You can download the 15-day free trial.
AppDynamics is an application performance monitoring which can automatically discover application topology including Apache Web Server. The tool can be used to provide visibility into business transactions. Data monitored by AppDynamics for Apache Web Server includes load, average response time, and errors.
Alerts in AppDynamicsindependently calculate baseline values for KPIs to distinguish poor performance. The calculations are accurate enough to eliminate false positives so you don’t get sent irrelevant or incorrect alarms. From an administrative perspective, this makes sure that you only respond to important alerts.
There are three versions of AppDynamics Application Performance Management available: APM Pro, APM Advanced, and APM Peak. APM Pro is the basic package which includes infrastructure monitoring abilities. APM Advanced also includes visibility into the application stack. Finally, APM Peak offers real-time business performance monitoring, business journeys, and transaction analytics. You can start the 15-day free trial.
Anturis is an application monitoring platform that has its own Apache monitoring tool. The Apache monitor collects metrics such as the number of busy workers, number of idle workers, requests per second, Kbytes served per second, Kbytes per request, CPU usage, and memory consumption.
The tool also monitors network traffic data too (which is useful for detecting common types of cyberattacks like DDOS attacks). These metrics include the number of requests per second, number of bytes served per second, and the average number of bytes per request.
In terms of configuration, Anturis uses both agent-based monitoring and agentless monitoring. You can access the program through a web-based GUI. In the event that you miss any important information here, the program has email alerts to keep you posted about performance issues.
Anturis is available as a free and paid version. The Free version supports up to 5 monitors with email alerts. Paid versions of Anturis start at $10 (£7.95) a month for 10 monitors up to $95 (£75) a month for 100 monitors. You can download the 30-day free trial or check out the pricing here.
Choosing an Apache Web Server Monitoring Tool
By using a tool like Datadog Apache Monitor, (ManageEngine Applications Manager, or SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor you’ll be able to make sure that the response time stays low and avoid any unforeseen performance problems. The better the server’s performance is, the more fulfilling a user experience your visitors will enjoy.
Apache Web Server Monitoring FAQs
What percentage of web servers run Apache?
According to W3Techs, as at March 2021, Apache is the leading Web server system in the world with a 34.2 percent market share. Nginx is in second place with 33.8 percent. The third place is held by Cloudflare Server with 18 percent.
Is Apache Web Server secure?
Apache Web server is reasonably secure but the full strength of its security greatly depends on the way in which it is configured and protected. It is possible for the administrator of an implementation to weaken or strengthen the security of Apache Web server.