Agentless v/s Agent-Based Monitoring

What is Agentless Monitoring?

The term Agentless in computing refers to operations where no service, daemon or process needs to run in the background on the machine. Agentless monitoring is performed by either a management server or by another device that has an agent, called a proxy agent. In agentless monitoring, there is no need to install or run a new software related to the task itself. Agentless software generally requires the creation of a user account on the target machine. Agentless programs directly access the files, often remotely, via this user account. Therefore, the created profile must have the necessary access to these files and the software must store the login credentials to access the profile. This access may be promoted through a number of different Internet communication standards like FTP, SMB, TELNET and SSH.

What is Agent-Based Monitoring?

Agent-based monitoring typically involves installing an agent (small executable) on, or alongside the system which we want to monitor. This agent is often supplied by a vendor with a monitoring solution. An agent-based monitoring system automatically collects metrics on the performance and availability of hardware resources, operating systems, middleware, and applications in physical, virtual and cloud environment. Hence we can say that agent-based monitoring is conducted where in-depth monitoring and management is the primary goal.

When to use Agentless Monitoring?

Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) and Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) are a good example for agentless monitoring. WMI is used to monitor and manage Microsoft Windows and other Microsoft software. SNMP is typically used more generically to monitor and manage things like Linux and Unix systems, network and other devices.

Advantages of Agent-based Monitoring

The agent used in agent-based monitoring can be extended beyond its base capabilities. The agent can be used to perform specific actions. In agent-based monitoring, the agent can do more than one things at a time. For example, it can gather the operating system data along with the application specific data.

Advantages of Agentless Monitoring

As we know that no third party agent is required in agentless monitoring. Therefore, there is no need for intrusive and expensive agents to be installed on the monitored devices. This means that managing of the monitoring environment becomes easy.

When to choose what?

1. In terms of Deployment: Agentless Monitoring is easier to deploy as compared to agent-based. In agent-based monitoring, agents need to be deployed on each server.
2. Network Overhead: Agentless monitoring requires additional network traffic as the raw performance data is transported to a remote data collector. Whereas agent-based monitoring is bandwidth efficient because data is collected locally.

In conclusion, We can say that both agent-based and agentless monitoring can satisfy the needs of different users. We encourage you to think about their monitoring requirements to access which options are right for your needs. Some devices don’t allow an agent to be installed, for example, network and storage devices don’t allow anything to be installed. At this time you need agentless monitoring.
There are a lot of monitoring tools available but AppPerfect Agentless Monitor is a new generation of monitoring tools that supports range of monitoring like server monitoring, database monitoring, transaction monitoring, network monitoring, log monitoring etc. At the heart of AppPerfect, Agentless Monitor is a sophisticated rules engine capable of sensing rule violations within seconds and alerting you immediately. If you want to get more details about the tool then click here.

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