Types of infrastructure monitoring
The debate between agent or agentless IT monitoring is common among admins and engineers. There are pros and cons to both approaches, and the most comprehensive strategy would involve a combination of the two.
Agentless monitoring is a popular choice that relies on a variety of protocols such as SNMP, WMI, SSH, NetFlow or others to relay system data and statistics to the monitoring software. These built-in features monitor and manage infrastructure information without additional agents.
Networking devices, servers, flow devices, storage devices, and virtual machines like VMware and Hyper-V are all common components that have agentless monitoring capabilities. A good infrastructure monitoring system can centrally manage agentless component pieces.
Agent-based monitoring is usually designed specifically for a particular platform. As a result, it's capable of collecting and analyzing more data for the system it was programmed to interface with.
While vendor-specific programming results in more in-depth data, it's also proprietary in nature which makes it difficult to migrate to a different platform without data loss. If the components of your infrastructure use agents, you also need to evaluate if your monitoring system is compatible with those systems.