Grafana vs. AppDynamics

May 14, 2019

Table of Contents:

  • What is Grafana?
  • What is AppDynamics?
  • When to use Grafana?
  • When to use AppDynamics?
  • Pricing comparison
  • Key takeaways? 


What is Grafana?



Grafana is a visualization tool that allows you to see and analyze all of your metrics in one unified dashboard. Grafana can pull metrics from any source, such as Graphite and Prometheus, display that data, then enable you to annotate and understand the data directly in the dashboard. Grafana dashboards are designed to allow you to visualize information in a ton of ways, from histograms and heatmaps, to world maps. Grafana also has an alerting feature that can communicate with you through Slack, PagerDuty and more. Dashboards can be shared, downloaded or expanded with hundreds of plugins that make analysis easier. Grafana is open source, and Grafana as a Service is available through MetricFire.  


What is AppDynamics?



AppDynamics is an application performance monitoring tool designed to provide real-time detection of anomalies. It can be applied for both cloud or server based apps, and can also be used to see how an app’s performance affects business metrics. AppDynamic’s feature called Business iQ allows you to correlate app performance, user experience, and business outcomes. AppDynamic’s end user monitoring tool allows teams to see a connection between front end and back end performance monitoring. Infrastructure Monitoring allows for visibility into how the infrastructure impacts the app performance. AppDynamic is a proprietary service with three stages of pricing. The first stage is only app performance monitoring, the second stage is full-stack visibility, and the third stage brings in Business iQ. 

When to use Grafana?


Use Grafana when you …

  • need beautiful, simple, annotated graphs. 
  • have multiple sources of metrics or logs and need to see them in one place.
  • need to share your dashboards across the organization.
  • need to reorganize information based on specific team needs.
  • need an easy to use query builder.
  • need alerting for events.


When to use AppDynamics?


Use AppDynamics when you …

  • have an app that needs to be monitored. 
  • are looking for ways to optimize your app. 
  • want to know where the anomalies in your app are.
  • want to identify which anomalies actually affect user experience. 
  • want to be able to trace how much anomalies are costing. 


Pricing comparison

  • Grafana is open source, and free.
  • Business-ready Grafana as a Service by MetricFire, including hosted Graphite and Prometheus, starts at 99 USD a month.
  • AppDynamics has a starting price of 3300 USD per year. 


Key takeaways


  • Grafana can integrate with a huge range of collectors, agents and storage engines.
  • Grafana is open source, and free.
  • AppDynamics is meant for businesses that are defined by their app services.  


Get to know our Grafana as a Service better, and check out how Metricfire can fit into your monitoring environment!


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