The top 5 best books on monitoring

Many people’s first stop when improving monitoring is to buy a few great books. Rather than spending your time slogging through Amazon’s search results, let me save you the trouble: here are my top five books on monitoring, in no particular order.

The Art of Monitoring by James Turnbull

The Art of Monitoring has astounding breadth and depth, clocking in at nearly 800 pages. The book is an opinionated one, focusing on monitoring as implemented with Reimann, Graphite, Grafana, collectd, ELK, and more. Alongside the tools, it contains plenty of theory that is absolutely worth reading.

Monitoring With Graphite by Jason Dixon

If you use Graphite/Carbon/Whisper, this should be required reading. Whether you’re trying to scale Graphite, troubleshoot performance, or even if you’re new to it, Monitoring With Graphite is a fantastic resource to have by your side.

Distributed Systems Observability by Cindy Sridharan

What is observability? How is it different from monitoring? Why does it matter? How do I get started? Cindy Sridharan sets out to answer all of these questions and more in this 35-page minibook.

Practical Monitoring by Mike Julian

Full disclosure: The editor of Monitoring Weekly is also the author of this book.

Practical Monitoring is a pragmatic, tool-agnostic book that sets out to answer the question, “My monitoring sucks. What should I do to fix it?”

Effective Monitoring & Alerting by Slawek Ligus

Effective Monitoring & Alerting is another tool-agnostic book that focuses more on monitoring theory and less on “do this, don’t do that.”