A list of free and open-source Pagerduty alternatives you can explore

Looking for an open-source or free Pagerduty alternative? Here are some of the best alternatives that you can use instead of Pagerduty

Pagerduty is a popular on-call alert dispatcher for digital operations. However, Pagerduty is extremely expensive at almost $35 per user per month and most companies do not want to pay that kind of money for just simply dispatching and escalating production alerts. Also, there hasn’t been any real product innovation at Pagerduty in the last 5years and may not be the best solution in the market if you’re looking to stay ahead of the curve and promote SRE best practices at your company.

We’ll break down some of the features that each open-source/free alternative has to offer along with pricing (if not open-source) and if they have a free trial to test the software out before you buy it.

We’ll also break down some of the major features each alternative has and why we think they are a great alternative to Pagerduty and what additional features you can use on top of incident management to combine some tasks and help you save money on your incident management solution overall.

Here’s a list of Pagerduty Alternatives/Replacements of 2020:

  1. Zenduty(Free)

1. Zenduty

Zenduty is a freemium alternative to Pagerduty that does everything that Pagerduty does(i.e on-call scheduling, alert escalation via SMS/Phone/Slack/MS Teams, Android/iOS Push notifications) and also helps you automate some of the critical steps on the incident response side of stuff. It comes with a Free plan which has on-call scheduling and escalation matrices baked right into it apart from some very deep integrations with Slack, Jira, Microsoft Teams, Statuspage, Zoom, and 100+ alert source integrations like New Relic, Cloudwatch, Nagios, Grafana, Prometheus, etc.

Using context to triage change-triggered incidents | Zenduty Blog

Zenduty’s incident response capabilities are heavily influenced by Google’s SRE practices(deriving a lot of its response orchestration processes from the Google SRE book). Some of the incident response features include(detailed comparisons can be found here):

  1. Custom Incident Roles — Incident Commander, Ops lead, Comms Lead, etc.

2. Cabot

Cabot is a free, open-source, self-hosted infrastructure monitoring platform that provides some of the best features of PagerDuty, Server Density, Pingdom and Nagios without their cost and complexity. However, there hasn’t been any significant contribution to this project since 2018.

It provides a web interface that allows you to monitor services (e.g. “Stage Redis server”, “Production ElasticSearch cluster”) and send telephone, SMS or Hipchat/email alerts to your on-duty team if those services start misbehaving or go down — all without writing a line of code. Best of all, you can use data that you’re already pushing to Graphite/statsd to generate alerts, rather than implementing and maintaining a whole new system of data collectors.

You can alert based on:

  • Metrics from Graphite

3. Openduty

Email, SMS, Phone, Push notifications(thanks Pushover, Prowl)and Slack, HipChat, Rocket.chat are supported at the moment. However, there hasn’t been any significant contribution to this project since 2019.

Openduty is in Beta status, it can be considered stable at the moment, however major structural changes can appear anytime (not affecting the API, or the Notifier structure)

4. Dispatch

Dispatch is an open-source Slack-based incident response tool built by Netflix that helps effectively manage security incidents by deeply integrating with existing tools used throughout an organization (Slack, GSuite, Jira, etc.,) Dispatch leverages the existing familiarity of these tools to provide orchestration instead of introducing another tool. However, Dispatch does not contain any on-call scheduling or escalation features and requires integration with Twilio or other SMS/Call APIs. Incidents are reported manually instead of integrating with monitoring tools that create incident automatically.

This means you can let Dispatch focus on creating resources, assembling participants, sending out notifications, tracking tasks, and assisting with post-incident reviews; allowing you to focus on actually fixing the issue.

5. Response

Response is a Slack-based incident response tool built by Monzo to help reduce the pressure and cognitive burden on engineers during an incident and to make it easy to create information-rich reports for others to learn from. The main processes that Response enables are:

  1. Communicating internally

2. Communicating with customers

3. Clearly defining roles

4. Getting hold of the right people

5. Keeping track of what’s going on

6. Oncall + Iris

Oncall(on-call scheduling) and Iris(incident escalation) are two complementary open-source incident management libraries built by LinkedIn. While on-call manages the on-call schedules, Iris creates the incidents and escalates the incidents to the relevant on-call schedules in Iris. LinkedIn has been using Iris+Oncall for over 4 years now. Although new commits happen every 6–8 months, the project can be considered to be active.

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