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 - usually collecting metrics with an agent like Collectd or StatsD - and then records and visualizes it.
Functionalities of Graphite:
While Graphite is great for producing analysis reports and providing a database library, and is free and open-source, we do face certain limitations while using it. A few key ones are:
To make up for these shortcomings, a lot of alternative data monitoring services exist and are being heavily used by organizations.
MetricFire is a popular platform that utilizes the open-source data monitoring software to provide a more robust and powerful experience for data analysis. It leverages Graphite, Prometheus and Grafana, three popular tools (more on the other two below) that are used by organizations for their data management tasks. Sign up for a free trial with MetricFire and check out how it looks. You can also book a demo with MetricFire and talk to the team directly.
MetricFire provides a complete infrastructure and application monitoring platform.
Hosted Graphite is one of the services on MetricFire. It expands on all the functionalities of vanilla Graphite by adding a few missing components to it:
MetricFire provides seamless scaling and provides a much more refined Graphite service than the vanilla one does, and at a reasonable price. Business ready Graphite as a service starts at $99/month. It includes Hosted Graphite, Hosted Prometheus and Grafana dashboards for visual rendering of data.
Prometheus, like Graphite, is an open-source service monitoring system. It falls under the Cloud Native Computing Foundation’s ecosystem, alongside popular open-source technologies like Kubernetes. Prometheus is built around providing monitoring for numeric time-series data. It is powerful in terms of being able to provide support for multi-dimensional data collection and querying (using its querying language, PromQL). It sends requests to target points for data collection via HTTP.
Functionalities of Prometheus:
To better control your metrics on Prometheus, MetricFire offers Prometheus as a Service, with some important additional functionalities:
MetricFire's Prometheus as a Service, including Hosted Prometheus, Hosted Graphite and Grafana, starts at US $99/month.
Compared to Graphite, MetricFire's Prometheus has:
Grafana is a popular open-source platform for monitoring and observability. It is flexible for any kind of database and is known for rendering powerful, informative graphs. Its renderings are visually appealing, trackable and utilitarian, which is why Grafana is so widely used by numerous companies.
Grafana is extremely powerful for creating shareable and comprehensible dashboards across team members and provides state-of-the-art metric analysis and data visualization. It is open-source and free.
Grafana Enterprise uses Graphite and Prometheus backends to make the best of the output received from Grafana stack.
Functionalities of Grafana:
MetricFire provides Hosted Grafana with Hosted Prometheus and Hosted Graphite starting at $99/month. It merges the best parts out of all these services and provides business-ready tools. Grafana is a standard with all MetricFire plans due to its:
Splunk is a data monitoring service that works excellently with all machine-generated data. Machine data includes transactions, customer behavior, sensor readings, machine behavior, security threats, fraudulent activity and more.
Splunk is a paid service and can collect data and create powerful dashboards with it.
Functionalities of Splunk:
Splunk data analysis services cost $225/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.
Compared to Graphite:
InfluxDB is another new and upcoming open-source, time-series data monitoring software. It is used as a unified platform for metric analysis, IoT monitoring and analytics. It can monitor and control private and public cloud infrastructures (e.g., PaaS, SaaS, website), application, and database instances and the entire infrastructure including network servers, routers, and switches.
Functionalities of InfluxDB:
Compared to Graphite, it:
Power BI is a data collection software by Microsoft that is spreading in popularity for business intelligence and monitoring services. It is a collection of software services, apps, and connectors that work together to turn unstructured data into visually immersive and interactive insights.
It is robust; the data can be an Excel spreadsheet or a collection of cloud-based/on-premises hybrid data sets.
Functionalities of Power BI:
Power BI is a paid service and has two main pricings:
Compared to Graphite, it:
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 Elastic Stack, and provides features such as data exploration, collaboration, and forecasting on data trends. Different types of data can be processed by Elasticsearch through Logstash which acts as data pipeline, converting the data to an Elasticsearch friendly format.
Elasticsearch has a hosted version available through the open-source project’s website.
Functionalities of Elastic Stack:
Compared to Graphite:
After evaluating all the findings on the best data monitoring services that are being used by organizations today, we can say that Graphite, Prometheus and InfluxDB are the favorites. This is because they are free, open-source, provide customization, and integrate with outside tools. Grafana is open-source and is unmatched when it comes to rendering the most detailed and interactive graphical visualizations of the metrics.
For users who are not able to manage the open source projects on their own, MetricFire is the best solution as it hosts the open source projects on behalf of the customer. MetricFire has no lock-in for data, allowing customers to fall back on their own Graphite, Prometheus or Grafana installations at any time. If you're interested in MetricFire, sign up for our free trial or get us on the phone by booking a demo.
This post is a guest post by our bloggers Vipul Gupta and the Mixster team. Check out their site for more tech news!