Skip to main content

SigNoz - Open-source alternative to AppDynamics

· 7 min read
Ankit Anand

If you're looking for an open-source alternative to AppDynamics, then you're at the right place. SigNoz is a perfect open-source alternative to AppDynamics. SigNoz provides a unified UI for metrics, traces and logs with advanced tagging and filtering capabilities.

cover image

In today's digital economy, more and more companies are shifting to cloud-native and microservice architecture to support global scale and distributed teams. But distributed systems also make it impossible for engineering teams to track how user requests perform across services. Application performance monitoring tools provide the visibility needed to resolve performance issues quickly.

AppDynamics is a great SaaS tool when it comes to application performance monitoring. But there are a few challenges when it comes to enterprise SaaS products, and it's just not a great fit for every company.

Some of the challenges with tools like Appdynamics includes:

  • Vendor lock-in
    AppDynamics provides agents and controllers to collect data from your application. It is not built to natively support open-source standards. It's difficult to migrate or use different tools in such a scenario.

  • Product roadmap dependency
    For any small feature, you are dependent on their roadmap. We think this is an unnecessary restriction for a product which developers use. A product used by developers should be extendible.

  • Costly and non-reliable pricing
    Pricing plans of enterprise tools can sometimes leave you in a lurch with frequent changes.

A relatively newer concept in the field of application performance monitoring is observability. Making a system observable is the pursuit of achieving a state of proactiveness to solve unknown issues. Logs, metrics, and traces are usually considered the three pillars of observability.

Some of the key features of good observability tools are:

  • Metrics, traces, and logs under a single pane of glass
  • Out of the box application metrics
  • Way to go from metrics to traces to find why some issues are happening
  • Seamless flow between metrics, traces & logs — the three pillars of observability
  • Filtering of traces based on different tags and filters
  • Ability to set dynamic thresholds for alerts
  • Transparency in pricing

Why choose an open source alternative to AppDynamics?

APM and observability tools are critical tools in a developer's kit. These tools improve developer efficiency, save bandwidth by resolving issues quickly, and increase developer productivity.

An open source product is always a better choice for any developer tool. Some of the key advantages of open-source developer tools are:

  • Open codebase
    Developers can judge the quality of the code of the tool they want to choose and work with.

  • Extensibility
    If an extra feature or customization is required, developers can build on top of the open-source tool without waiting for the enterprise support team to include their request in the next product cycle.

  • Community support
    One of the best parts about open-source projects is the community. An example is OpenTelemetry, which is becoming the world standard for generating and managing telemetry data in distributed systems.

  • Transparency
    With open-source projects, you know what you're dealing with. There is no black box.

  • On-prem installation
    If your data privacy policies are stringent, you can use open-source tools within your infra with no fear of breaching data privacy laws like GDPR.

But most open-source projects don't provide a great user experience as SaaS products do. It takes a lot of time and effort to get them working, figuring out the long-term storage, etc.

And that's where SigNoz shines. It is very simple to get started, supports multiple tech-stack, and comes with a SaaS-like web user experience.

Key Features of SigNoz - an AppDynamics alternative

Some of our key features which makes SigNoz vastly superior to current open-source products and a great alternative to AppDynamics are:

  • Metrics, traces, and logs under a single pane of glass
  • Correlation of telemetry signals
  • Out of the box application metrics
  • Seamless flow between metrics & traces
  • Filtering based on tags
  • Custom aggregates on filtered traces
  • Detailed Flamegraphs & Gantt charts
  • Infrastructure dashboards
  • Exceptions monitoring
  • Transparent usage Data

Out of box application metrics

Get p90, p99 latencies, RPS, Error rates, and top endpoints for a service out of the box.

SigNoz dashboard showing popular RED metrics
SigNoz UI showing application overview metrics like RPS, 50th/90th/99th Percentile latencies, and Error Rate

Seamless flow between metrics & traces

Found something suspicious in a metric, just click that point in the graph & get details of traces that may be causing the issues. Seamless, Intuitive.

Seamless flow between metrics and traces
Move from metrics to traces at any point of time which needs more analysis

Advanced filters on trace data

Under our traces tab, you can analyze the traces data using filters based on tags, status codes, service names, operation, etc.

Using tags, you can find latency experienced by customers who have customer_type set as premium.

Filters on trace data
Use advanced filters to analyze your trace data

Custom aggregates on filtered traces

Create custom metrics from filtered traces to find metrics of any type of request. Want to find p99 latency of customer_type: premium who are seeing status_code:400. Just set the filters, and you have the graph.

Custom aggregates on filtered traces
Find custom aggregates on filtered traces

Detailed Flamegraphs & Gantt charts

Detailed flamegraph & Gantt charts to find the exact cause of the issue and which underlying requests are causing the problem. Is it a SQL query gone rogue or a Redis operation is causing an issue?

Detailed Flamegraphs & Gantt charts
Spans of a trace visualized with the help of flamegraphs and gantt charts in SigNoz dashboard

Logs Management with advanced log query builder and live tailing

SigNoz provides Logs management with advanced log query builder. You can also monitor your logs in real-time using live tailing.

Logs tab in SigNoz
Logs tab in SigNoz comes equipped with advanced logs query builder and live tailing

Transparent usage Data

You can drill down details of how many events is each application sending or at what granularity so that you can adjust your sampling rate as needed and not get a shock at the end of the month (case with SaaS vendors many times)

Transparent usage data
SigNoz provides usage explorer so that you are always informed about your usage

Natively built to support OpenTelemetry

SigNoz is built to support OpenTelemetry natively. OpenTelemetry is becoming the world standard when it comes to generating and managing telemetry data(logs, metrics, and traces).

Some of the key advantages of using OpenTelemetry are:

  • Reduces performance overhead on your application to generate and manage telemetry data
  • Supports multiple popular programming languages like Java, Javascript, C++, Go, Python, etc.
  • Provides libraries and agents to auto-instrument popular libraries and frameworks requiring minimal changes to your codebase
  • Backed by technology giants like Google, Microsoft, and other big cloud vendors.
  • No vendor lock-in. Freedom to switch to new backend analysis tools by using relevant exporters

Getting started with SigNoz

You can get started with SigNoz using just three commands at your terminal.

git clone -b main https://github.com/SigNoz/signoz.git
cd signoz/deploy/
./install.sh

For detailed instructions, you can visit our documentation.

Deployment Docs

If you liked what you read, then check out our GitHub repo 👇

SigNoz GitHub repo

Our slack community is a great place to get your queries solved instantly and get community support for SigNoz. Link to join 👇

SigNoz slack community


DataDog Alternative
New Relic Alternative
Dynatrace Alternative