Graphite vs. ELK

July 9, 2019

Table of Contents

  • What is Graphite?
  • What is ELK?
  • When to use Hosted Graphite by MetricFire? 
  • When to use ELK?
  • Pricing comparison
  • Key takeaways? 


What is Graphite?



Graphite is an open source time-series monitoring software that was first released in 2008. It’s a pull-based monitoring software, which means that it collects metrics by taking information that is already being expressed, then records and visualizes it. Graphite usually works together with StatsD or collectd to pull the time-series metrics from an infrastructure. The metrics are then aggregated and stored in Graphite’s database, Whisper. Graphite provides companies with the ability to monitor, store, and visualize data, as well as alert on specific events. Hosted Graphite is available through MetricFire, with Hosted Grafana included in the package. 


What is ELK?



ELK stands for Elasticsearch, logstash and Kibana. The company began with Elasticsearch, which is an open-source search engine for raw data from logs, metrics or web applications. It has a web interface, and can be used for searching, logging, monitoring, and analysis. Kibana is the open source dashboard for visualizing Elasticsearch. Kibana is the interface through which users see their Elasticstack, and provides features such as data exploration, and collaboration, forecasting on data trends. Logstash is the data pipeline that gets data to Elasticsearch in a format that Elasticsearch can handle. This expands the data types that Elasticsearch can process, and allows for more flexibility in parsing or filtering the data. Elasticsearch has a hosted version available through the open-source project’s website. 

When to use Hosted Graphite by MetricFire?


Use Hosted Graphite when you …

  • need time series monitoring for infrastructure.
  • need to visualize data from multiple different sources.
  • need alerting on key events.
  • need a hosted service because your infrastructure is too large to do it by yourself.


When to use ELK?


Use ELK when you …

  • need great searching.
  • need forecasting for data.
  • are already using one part of the ELK stack, making it easy to expand to using the others.


Pricing comparison

  • Graphite is open source, and free.
  • Business-ready Graphite as a Service by MetricFire, including Hosted Prometheus, Hosted Graphite AND Grafana, starts at 99 USD a month.
  • ELK is open source, and free.
  • Hosted ELK is available at the Enterprise level through the open-source project's website.


Key takeaways

  • Graphite can monitor, store, alert and visualize time-series data of all kinds. 
  • Graphite is open source, and free.
  • ELK is a great alternative for people who need fast searching for their data.


Get to know our Hosted Graphite better, and check out how MetricFire can fit into your monitoring environment!


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