Prometheus vs. Splunk

March 7, 2019

Table of Contents:


  • What is Prometheus?
  • What is Splunk?
  • When to use Hosted Prometheus by MetricFire? 
  • When to use Splunk?
  • Pricing comparison
  • Key takeaways? 


What is Prometheus?


Source: https://prometheus.io/assets/architecture.png


Prometheus is an open-source service monitoring system built around a time series database, able to receive data and store it, in addition to supporting queries, graphs, and in-built alerting. Connecting to target endpoints to request metrics via HTTP, Prometheus provides a multi-dimensional data model wherein metrics can be defined by names and/or tags which identify them as part of a unique time series. Open-source Prometheus metrics have a default retention of 15 days, though with Hosted Prometheus by MetricFire data can be stored for up to 2 years. The Prometheus query language (PromQL) can then be used to explore metrics and draw simple graphs. 


What is Splunk?



Splunk is a paid data monitoring and visualization service that specializes in IoT, security, IT and business analytics. Splunk primarily works with logs, but can assist with changing logs into metrics. 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. The most common input data formats are .csv, and json, though any format is usable. Splunk can create a data input source from any kind of data generation. Splunk also provides customer support.


When to use Hosted Prometheus by MetricFire?


Use Hosted Prometheus when you …

  • need a time-series database monitoring solution.
  • need long-term storage for Prometheus metrics.
  • need to use tags/labels for metrics.
  • need to run alerts across different data sources.
  • want to use and query both Prometheus and Graphite though Grafana all as a part of the same service.


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

  • Prometheus is open source, and free.
  • Business-ready Prometheus as a Service by MetricFire, including Hosted Prometheus, Hosted Graphite AND Grafana, 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


  • Prometheus can provide a dimensional data model where metrics are identified by a metric name and tags with built-in storage, graphing and alerting.
  • Prometheus is open source, and free.
  • 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.


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


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