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It's not clear to me what you're looking for. Most monitoring systems log to a general purpose database, so can't you query against that database when you want to analyze your data?

I admit I do very little systems/network administration work, so maybe there's something I'm missing.

Those monitoring systems use some backends, sure. RRD/Whisper, SQL databases, some even use NoSQLs. But all those are abstractions on inappropriate level with regard to monitoring. You can't do stream processing on those. You can't do processing in real time. The only viable operation is to query historic data; even then, it's hardly doable.

Also, you say I can query against such database. But does the monitoring system allow me to query that database? I have no documentation for it. Most of the time I can't easily fill events generated out of that back to the database. And at last, current so-called "state of the art" monitoring systems don't facilitate running custom queries, so I would need to write something totally external just to run the query.

Graylog2 and Riemann go a little in this way, but they stopped way, way too soon to be an answer to current state of monitoring systems.

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