The Graphite graphing and monitoring tool is an open source software for monitoring time-series data, and it can be installed on any system, from cheap hardware to cloud. Graphite collects time series data from infrastructure, servers, networks, and applications, and then provides the Graphite graphing UI for analyzing the data. Graphite has been around since 2008, and it has been continuously developing over the past 12 years.
Graphite’s open source community has 5000 Stargazers and 300 contributors. Graphite is also used as a part of the famous Grafana lab’s enterprise offering as the key data source for their Grafana dashboards.
MetricFire is a Hosted Graphite service that allows users to use Graphite without any of the installation and setup. At MetricFire, Graphite is hosted in a web app, so all users need to do is send metrics, then the metrics are visualized directly in Graphite and Grafana. MetricFire’s users can query, visualize, and alert all directly in the platform with both Grafana and Graphite.
Try out Graphite with MetricFire’s free trial and start monitoring your time-series information. You can also book a demo and talk to the MetricFire team directly about how to best apply Graphite at your company.
Graphite is an open source monitoring tool made up of several components that need to be installed and configured separately. Each plays a specific role, and can be interchanged with other technology, if the developer prefers a different tool.
The typical Graphite monitoring stack is set up with these components:
Below is a basic diagram showing how the Graphite architecture is laid out. You can see at the heart of the diagram the Graphite Server, which refers to Carbon, Whisper, Carbon Relay, Carbon Cache, Carbonate, and other components that can be installed from the Graphite-project on Github. Then on the left, are the clients pushing metrics to Carbon, and on the right is the visualization tool.
Graphite requires that the clients being monitored push metrics to the Carbon relay. This means that you have to configure your system to send metrics to Graphite in order for it to collect the information. This is usually done with either StatsD or collectd. These tools collect data and send it over to Graphite, but they each do it in a different way. Check out our resource on comparing StatsD and collectd for further information on how they’re used.
For a more in-depth analysis of the Graphite architecture, take a look at our article called Graphite: Architecture and Concepts. There is also a great resource on the installation and Setup of Graphite on the MetricFire blog.
The Graphite Web UI is the tool that serves as the interface for your Graphite installation, and is also where all of the graphing takes place. Below are some examples of what the Graphite Web UI looks like.
Here is the Graphite Web UI before you’ve loaded in metrics:
Then, after loading in metrics you can see graphs like this:
The Graphite Web UI allows you to do the following things:
The Graphite Web UI is a great tool for graphing metrics and investigating into your metrics database. However, most users of Graphite couple it with Grafana for better long-term monitoring and dashboarding. Read more here about how to use the Graphite Web UI to its fullest in our article on the MetricFire blog. Also, definitely check out how to use Graphite and Grafana here.
Graphite is used to monitor time-series data of all kinds, and is most commonly used for server, network, and application monitoring. You can use Graphite to monitor any information that is produced as a time-series, so some people also use it to monitor website activity, or even electricity consumption. To take a look at some really cool use-cases, check out the following tutorials on the MetricFire blog:
Users find a lot of the same issues with Graphite over and over again. While being a fantastic product, there are some problems that users of the open-source project all agree upon.
MetricFire’s Hosted Graphite solves the problems that currently exist with Graphite.
MetricFire’s Hosted Graphite isn’t Graphite - it has all of the best features of open source Graphite, while improving on the original, and offering a fully serviced hosted platform.
The Graphite graphing and monitoring tool is great for time-series monitoring. It is immensely flexible and can be configured to monitor any data points over time.
To try Hosted Graphite sign up for the MetricFire free trial where you can start monitoring with Graphite and Grafana today. You can also book a demo and talk to the MetricFire team directly about how monitoring with Graphite can be done at your company.