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Graphite vs Prometheus

Graphite vs Prometheus

Graphite and Prometheus are time series monitoring systems for monitoring networks, servers, other infrastructure, and applications. Prometheus might be the current trend, but Graphite is still an industry-standard solution.

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Graphite

Graphite is an enterprise-ready monitoring tool that runs on hardware or Cloud infrastructure. Teams use Graphite to track the performance of their websites, applications, systems, business services, and networked servers. Graphite stores numeric time-series data and uses this data to render graphs on demand. It is a push-based monitoring software, meaning that it gathers metrics through data that is already expressed.

The architecture of Graphite has three core components:

Carbon

The primary backend daemon of Graphite. Its primary work is to listen for time series data sent over the common set of allowed protocols. Any data that is sent to Graphite is sent to its carbon and carbon-Relay daemons, which are entitled to receive and manage the data.

Whisper

A fixed-size database purpose to RRD (round-robin-database). It provides fast, reliable storage of numeric data over time. Whisper allows for higher resolution (seconds per point) of recent data to degrade into lower resolutions for long-term retention of historical data.

Graphite Web

A Django web application that uses Cairo to render graphs on-demand. The webapp offers ways to create and display graphs and render metric queries. With Hosted Graphite, we provide simple, insightful dashboards to display your metrics.

Stack of rocks with metrics etched into them

What Can You Monitor?

Metrics are amassed and stored in the whisper, Graphite’s database. With Graphite, businesses can seamlessly keep, monitor, and visualize data, plus it can also send alerts on specific events.

With Graphite, you can monitor:

System Metrics

  • Availability
  • Response time
  • Channel capacity
  • Latency
  • OS loading
  • Disk usage (GB)
  • Disk throughput
  • Disk speed

Application Metrics

  • Runtime application architecture
  • Real user monitoring
  • Business transactions
  • Component monitoring
  • Site clicks and speed
  • Track occurrence
  • Monitoring events and uptime
  • Github activity
Various web services etched into stone tablets

Prometheus

Prometheus is also an open-source monitoring solution for collecting and aggregating metrics as time series data. It uses a pull-based monitoring software meaning that it connects to target endpoints to request metrics via HTTP; the service being monitored is responsible for serving the metrics on request. It was made by SREs for SREs which presumes a higher degree of specialized knowledge.

Components of Prometheus include:

Instance Set Up

Create an instance, run it and maintain it to configure service discovery which will tell Prometheus where to look for the metrics.

Time Series Database

Local on-disk time series database to store ingested metrics grouped into blocks of two hours for 15 days by default.

Graphical Interface

Users explore metrics using the Prometheus query language (PromQL) and draw simple graphs.

Stack of rocks with metrics etched into them

Graphite Is Industry Proven

Graphite’s functions are straightforward. We will even teach it to you.

  • The Graphite query language is simply formatted and easy to pick up for anyone who has done even a little bit of programming.
  • Prometheus is not based on pre-existing language structure requiring time and a high-level skill set to learn.
  • Using Collectd, Diamond, Telegraf, Snap and other agents send Graphite-format metrisc to any central endpoint.
  • Monitor Kubernetes with Graphite using a Snap daemon from inside your Kubernetes cluster.
  • Using Collectd, Diamond, Telegraf, Snap and other agents send Graphite-format metrisc to any central endpoint.
  • Monitor Kubernetes with Graphite using a Snap daemon from inside your Kubernetes cluster.
  • An extensive selection of functions, and hierarchical metrics make monitoring with Graphite simple to pick up and play.
  • Gathering metrics via Prometheus can require modifications to your app or adding data collection infrastructure.
  • Graphite has more agents for collecting network data from SNMP network devices than any other network monitoring tool.
  • Graphite does not breach security standards as it can send metrics directly from an agent rather than having to be installed in your cluster.
  • Most high-profile companies choose Graphite over other monitoring tools, which has lead to a large and varied community.
  • Graphite has better compatibility with other tools and services and a large selection of functions.
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