The Best Tools to Monitor the Health of HAProxy

One way of making sure a network runs at optimal speeds is with the help of HAProxy. This load-balancing solution ensures TCP and HTTP networks have high availability by reallocating resources to improve speed and overall performance. In addition, it achieves optimization by distributing workloads to available servers.

Being a server itself, albeit a software one, a HAProxy too needs monitoring to get the best out of it. Therefore, we will look at the best tools to monitor the health of HAProxy servers.

Here is our list of the best tools to monitor the health of HAProxy:

  1. Datadog A HAProxy health monitoring tool from one of the leaders in the market, it collects a wide array of metrics using AI-powered monitors and gives an in-depth insight into issues that can arise anywhere in the network.
  2. New Relic A cloud-based tool for monitoring HAProxy, it gives real-time insights into everything from websites to applications and servers; it collects data to help keep networks at optimal performance, even when unexpected traffic spikes occur.
  3. ManageEngine A tool that offers auto-discovery of the entire stack, monitors HAProxy health, and ensures the network’s security; it integrates well into any network and brings in other third-party tools for better collaboration.
  4. Site24x7 A tool that has a dedicated plugin for HAProxy health monitoring to collect and analyze and gauge performance; easily integrates into networks and brings the power of the company’s numerous solutions for a complete monitoring experience.
  5. Zabbix A powerful monitoring tool that covers the entire stack; it collects data from all levels using an agent that is small but mighty and powerful enough to give a detailed perspective of each HTTP/TCP connected asset.
  6. Percona An open-sourced HAProxy monitoring tool that offers insight into numerous databases to protect data at all times; it can integrate with other third-party solutions for even more in-depth analysis and monitoring experiences.
  7. Sumo Logic A tool that can extract data from all types of storage solutions and capture errors for better troubleshooting; it uses machine learning to tackle outliers and paint a clearer picture.

What is a HAProxy?

HAProxy is an open-source TCP/HTTP load balancer software and proxy server for TCP and HTTP-based applications. It is an innovative and high-performance solution that runs on Linux, Solaris, and FreeBSD.

HAProxy provides high availability in a server environment by distributing workloads across multiple servers. It helps with the dynamic scaling of infrastructure in a modern network by integrating it into existing networks. It also helps in its security by masking critical servers exposed to the internet.

It is fast and reliable – two critical features in high-traffic networks.

Why do we need to monitor the health of HAProxy?

A HAProxy creates detailed logs, in real-time, that contain data on incoming requests, their assigned routing, and statuses on downstream requests.

It is a critical piece of technology that shows the speed at which, for example, applications work. If a notable slowdown in the performance of such an application is observed, it becomes the administrator’s job to determine what is causing it and how it can be resolved.

Without the data from the HAProxy, it would be taking a leap into the dark as they tried to figure out if the issue was caused by the application itself, the bandwidth allocation, or the backend devices’ performances.

This could be a costly waste of time and resources.

HAProxy monitoring tools help resolve these issues with the help of the logs this load balance and proxy tool produces. In addition, the tools present the data in insightful and comprehendible formats that, in turn, help administrators quickly resolve performance issues.

What are the features of good HAProxy health monitor tools?

Let’s look at some features that make for an excellent HAProxy health monitoring tool:

  • Insightful dashboards The data collected from the HAProxy logs should be presented in dashboards that are easy to understand and, hence, make decisions.
  • Ease of use Any tool, and not just an HAProxy monitoring tool, should be easy to install and use.
  • Real-time monitoring Real-time health monitoring ensures administrators are immediately informed of issues as soon as they occur.
  • Low impact on a network A tool should have a small footprint on the network it is monitoring; the ideal solution would use an agent who communicates with the main application hosted in the cloud (SaaS).
  • Collaboration All stakeholders should be allowed to access and act on real-time reports and troubleshooting.
  • Integration with existing and new solutions Monitoring solutions should seamlessly integrate into the network without any interruption or downtimes.
  • Scalability As businesses grow, the tools they have installed should scale accordingly.
  • Reports and alerts Alerts should be easy to set up and configure; they should also be sent to as many communication methods as possible, including third-party platforms like Slack; reports should be comprehensive, interactive, and shareable.
  • Price The price of the tool should be worth the investment.

The best tools to monitor the health of HAProxy we are about to see have been chosen based on these very same criteria.

The Best Tools to Monitor the Health of HAProxy

Let’s jump right in and have a more detailed look at the best tools to monitor the health of HAProxy:

1. Datadog

Datadog HAProxy dashboard

Datadog is a maker of server and application monitoring tools. It has been one of the most prominent players in the market and offers an HAProxy health monitoring tool that gives an in-depth insight into the load balancer’s performance.

Key Features:

  • Datadog collects, visualizes, and alerts over 180 HAProxy metrics, including latency, rejected connections, HTTP status codes, connect counts, and slow response times.
  • Full-stack monitoring allows for exploring rich data – seamlessly, from front-end to back-end.
  • It monitors HAProxy workloads, requests, client connections, target services, host health, and application performances – in real time.
  • It also identifies load balancing inefficiencies, misconfigurations, and the sources of Amazon AWS cross-AZ (availability Zone) traffic with the live network map.
  • Administrators can investigate critical issues with a real-time service map, AI-powered synthetic monitors to resolve exceptions, code-level errors, and log issues; they can diagnose the root causes faster with infrastructure metrics, traces, logs, synthetic monitors, and accurate user data.
  • They can test hypotheses by overlaying application events onto time-synchronized graphs – and then use webhooks to trigger automatic rollbacks.
  • Datadog has intuitive interfaces that allow for no-code querying; administrators can isolate performance issues by region or service without writing a single line of code.
  • They can troubleshoot issues at the user level by accessing information like their location and browser types.

Try Datadog for FREE for 14 days.

2. New Relic

New Relic HAProxy dashboard

New Relic is another maker of some of the best observability platforms for data monitoring. Its products can monitor and manage websites and applications.

Key Features:

  • New Relic’s instant observability quickstart provides alerts, multiple instance monitoring, and dashboards to detect the health and availability of servers to resolve issues before impacting end-users; it provides a complete view of server health, capacity, and potential latency issues in a single HAProxy dashboard.
  • It monitors HAProxy in real time and allows dashboard views of the full-service stack’s topology – including data pipelines and TCP and HTTP-based applications.
  • The tool’s HAProxy integration collects and sends critical inventory and performance metrics from existing instances which are then aggregated and visualized for insightful decision making and troubleshooting.
  • It handles alerts triggered by latency or errors and visualizes data on front-end and back-end attributes like bytes sent and received per second, front-end statuses, request errors per second, sessions per second, and active servers.
  • Other attributes that can be monitored include request rates and peaks and drops for better management of traffic spikes; comprehensive insights into the entire infrastructure allow for full coverage of front-end and back-end metrics – in real time. But, because the integration is open-source, administrators can also customize the code for specific requirements.

The best thing about this tool is that it is offered as a software as a service (SaaS) – and that it can monitor the health of a HAProxy instance.

Download New Relic for FREE (free forever for a single user).

3. ManageEngine

ManageEngine Applications Manager HAProxy dashboard

ManageEngine is the maker of enterprise soft- and hardware monitoring solutions. They have a wide range of products covering the entire stack – top to bottom. One such product is their Applications Manager, which happens to be one of the best options for HAProxy health monitoring.

Key Features:

  • To begin with, the Applications Manager automatically discovers the entire service topology of the applications – and their data pipelines.
  • It has a HAProxy performance monitoring and tracking that can determine the maximum number of connections the load balancer can handle, thus ensuring the optimal number of concurrent sessions.
  • It also monitors the number of pipes that are concurrently open for easier management of resources and optimal HAProxy performance.
  • Administrators can keep track of their users’ interaction with HAProxy by collecting frontend details like client connections and requests on top of other frontend requests.
  • The tool monitors request and session creation rates over specific time intervals to help gauge peak and slack times to ensure continuous delivery of services even when there is an unanticipated spike in traffic.
  • It ensures the network’s security as a whole by tracking the number of requests that were denied due to security restrictions and triggers alerts in case there is a significant increase in such denials.
  • Applications Manager measures the communication between HAProxy and backend servers to ensure that connection failures during client requests are immediately dealt with; it also tracks retry rates to determine what caused an increase in errors when connection attempts to the servers failed.
  • It monitors the average response times to keep track of latencies and ensure all web applications’ smooth and responsive performance.

Try ManageEngineFREE for 30 days.

4. Site24x7

Site24x7 HAProxy monitoring dashboard

Site24x7 is another web-based provider of performance monitoring solutions for applications, servers, and networks. It offers plugins that help ensure the proper operation and performance of HAProxy instances. It presents monitoring data in easily readable charts and actionable dashboards.

Key Features:

  • Site24x7 offers the capabilities to configure its HAProxy plugin to collect and analyze its metrics for a comprehensive understanding of its performance.
  • It can count and record the total number of errors that occur when clients make requests to the proxy server; it keeps track of the bytes that were successfully sent out and received by the frontend proxies in a set amount of time to gauge performance rates.
  • It also records the total number of requests that are present in process queues and that are currently unassigned.
  • Administrators can see the total number of sessions created per second in the HAProxy setup and the performance charts on numerous other metrics.
  • Perhaps the best thing about this tool is that Site24x7 offers a wide array of monitoring solutions that allow administrators to have a complete perspective of all their servers and applications, which means that they will have control of their entire stack with HAProxy seamlessly integrated into the architecture.

Try Site24x7 FREE for 30 days.

5. Zabbix

Zabbix monitoring dashboard

Zabbix is a powerful open-source monitoring platform for “anything and everything.” According to the company, all it takes is the correct configuration and the tool’s discovery capabilities will automatically register hosts and database servers – with no manual design, required.

Key Features:

  • Zabbix doesn’t require external scripts to collect metrics needed; not even when it contains it in one go for greater efficiency and its bulk data collection capabilities.
  • The tool can be configured to remotely collect metrics by polling the HAProxy Stats Page using an HTTP agent; it has a native agent-loadable module to discover HAProxy servers, monitors their stats, and gather general information.
  • Data collected includes software versions, uptimes, service stats, response times, backend and frontend metrics, statuses, erroneous connection attempts, response errors, unassigned requests, times in queue, re-dispatched requests-per-second, incoming and outgoing traffic, weight, queue metrics, and much more.
  • It then has alerts that can be set up to be triggered whenever the collected data indicates there have been threshold breaches.
  • Finally, Zabbix offers a detailed configuration page that makes it easy for anyone to set up, install, and start monitoring their HAProxy immediately.

Download Zabbix for FREE.

6. Percona

Percona monitoring and mangement PMM Advanced Data Exploration HAProxy

Percona has a monitoring and management tool that can be configured to work with HAProxy. It is a free open-source database monitoring tool that can help users find, fix, and prevent issues with scaling, bottlenecks, and potential outages.

Key Features:

  • Apart from HAProxy, this tool can easily view and monitor numerous databases.
  • Percona is an innovative tool that helps run checks for common database security issues, identify unexpected database queries, track database security scan results, and reduce the risk of data exposure.
  • It allows for third-party integration with tools like Prometheus (including Alert Manager) and Slack – making it ideal for tracking issues and collaborating on their resolution.
  • It helps in visualizing the entire environment – be it local, remote, or cloud-based – and provides historical monitoring, making it possible to debug current issues and identify trends.
  • The company has a well-supported community forum and online help that is helpful – users can even see what the dashboard will look like using the website’s demo, and their documentation is thorough and straightforward.
  • The tool’s agents have a tiny digital footprint, and Percona provides a repository for most Linux distributions.

It also can add HAProxy via Grafana UIs (user interfaces) to present the data in more detailed and flexible dashboards and reports.

Download Percona for FREE.

7. Sumo Logic

Sumo Logic HAProxy dashboard showing visitor stats

Sumo Logic is a cloud-native solution that ensures security, observability, and reliability at scale. It helps reduce downtime by helping with finding, investigating, and resolving customer-impacting issues faster. In addition, it offers real-time alerting and dashboards for all data – including logs, metrics, and traces.

Key Features:

  • Sumo Logic gives insight into proxy server operations by visualizing performance data and client and server responses; administrators get insight into percentages of 4xx and 5xx errors to understand application behavior.
  • It gives insight into frontend and backend sessions, client locations, throughputs, and denials, as well as other data from logs and metrics collected for HAProxy performance monitoring.
  • The tool’s Overview dashboard gives insight into diverse information like backend and frontend HTTP error codes percentages, visitor locations, URLs, client errors, and traffic origin locations by region – all the information an administrator needs to monitor HAProxy easily and allocate resources.
  • They can also track clients’ requests, critical alerts, emergency error alerts, and related information grouped by geographic locations for more straightforward issue resolution.
  • Information provided on the frontend and backend sessions usage percentages can be used to understand active sessions and reallocate HAProxy session limits; meanwhile, insights into client and server responses on HAProxy and network traffic can help identify errors in the server’s configuration.
  • Sumo Logic’s machine learning algorithm can detect outliers in the infrastructure and incoming traffic and the number of errors encountered by the servers.

It also gives deep visibility into the operations of HAProxy servers.

Try Sumo Logic for FREE.

Mission-critical networks need HAProxy

We have seen that an HAProxy server is critical in a comprehensive networking environment, spread across regions, and happens to be the backbone of a business. We have also seen that the best tools to monitor the health of HAProxy help keep the network keep running at an optimal performance level.

It, therefore, goes without saying that any business that needs to keep its mission-critical network running at a healthy level needs to adopt an HAProxy and one of the tools we have seen above.

Let us know what you think – leave us a comment below.