Grafana vs. Splunk

May 1, 2019

Grafana vs. Splunk


Table of Contents:


  • What is Grafana?
  • What is Splunk?
  • When to use Grafana?
  • When to use Splunk?
  • 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 Splunk?



Splunk is a paid data monitoring and visualization service that has experience in IoT, security, IT and business analytics. Splunk can visualize any machine generated data. Splunk also supports data storage and has both an on premise setup as well as a cloud setup. One of Splunk’s biggest strengths is real-time visualization. Splunk provides support for all kinds of data management issues, from collecting the data, to visualization and analysis. Splunk has a strong customer support team and is ready to assist from the beginning to the end.


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 Splunk?


Use Splunk when you …

  • Want a hosted data collection, monitoring, visualization, analysis and storage service all in one place. 
  • Want to visualize real-time data.
  • Want to create a stored database of important machine generated information.
  • Want to create searchable databases that you can monitor and visualize.


Pricing comparison

  • Grafana is open source, and free.
  • Business-ready Grafana as a Service by Metricfire, including hosted graphite and prometheus services, starts at 99 USD a month.
  • Splunk Enterprise is 225 USD a month.
  • Splunk Free is available for 1 user and up to 500 MB of data per month.
  • Splunk also has volume based pricing and a wide variety of specific products that can be purchased at other prices. 


Key Takeaways


  • Splunk is a one-stop-shop for everything related to data management, and they can be used in a broad range of fields (IoT, IT, security, and business metrics).
  • Splunk is a proprietary service that can’t be used for free.
  • Grafana is an open source visualization tool, where its key strength is visualization and analysis, with a secondary strength of monitoring.
  • Grafana is used together with other tools for storage and for generating metrics.

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

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