Alternatives to Grafana logo

Alternatives to Grafana

Kibana, Prometheus, Graphite, Splunk, and NetData are the most popular alternatives and competitors to Grafana.
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What is Grafana and what are its top alternatives?

Grafana is a general purpose dashboard and graph composer. It's focused on providing rich ways to visualize time series metrics, mainly though graphs but supports other ways to visualize data through a pluggable panel architecture. It currently has rich support for for Graphite, InfluxDB and OpenTSDB. But supports other data sources via plugins.
Grafana is a tool in the Monitoring Tools category of a tech stack.
Grafana is an open source tool with 34.1K GitHub stars and 6.8K GitHub forks. Here鈥檚 a link to Grafana's open source repository on GitHub

Top Alternatives of Grafana

Grafana alternatives & related posts

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Tymoteusz Paul
Tymoteusz Paul
Devops guy at X20X Development LTD | 21 upvotes 1.6M views
Vagrant
Vagrant
VirtualBox
VirtualBox
Ansible
Ansible
Elasticsearch
Elasticsearch
Kibana
Kibana
Logstash
Logstash
TeamCity
TeamCity
Jenkins
Jenkins
Slack
Slack
Apache Maven
Apache Maven
Vault
Vault
Git
Git
Docker
Docker
CircleCI
CircleCI
LXC
LXC
Amazon EC2
Amazon EC2

Often enough I have to explain my way of going about setting up a CI/CD pipeline with multiple deployment platforms. Since I am a bit tired of yapping the same every single time, I've decided to write it up and share with the world this way, and send people to read it instead ;). I will explain it on "live-example" of how the Rome got built, basing that current methodology exists only of readme.md and wishes of good luck (as it usually is ;)).

It always starts with an app, whatever it may be and reading the readmes available while Vagrant and VirtualBox is installing and updating. Following that is the first hurdle to go over - convert all the instruction/scripts into Ansible playbook(s), and only stopping when doing a clear vagrant up or vagrant reload we will have a fully working environment. As our Vagrant environment is now functional, it's time to break it! This is the moment to look for how things can be done better (too rigid/too lose versioning? Sloppy environment setup?) and replace them with the right way to do stuff, one that won't bite us in the backside. This is the point, and the best opportunity, to upcycle the existing way of doing dev environment to produce a proper, production-grade product.

I should probably digress here for a moment and explain why. I firmly believe that the way you deploy production is the same way you should deploy develop, shy of few debugging-friendly setting. This way you avoid the discrepancy between how production work vs how development works, which almost always causes major pains in the back of the neck, and with use of proper tools should mean no more work for the developers. That's why we start with Vagrant as developer boxes should be as easy as vagrant up, but the meat of our product lies in Ansible which will do meat of the work and can be applied to almost anything: AWS, bare metal, docker, LXC, in open net, behind vpn - you name it.

We must also give proper consideration to monitoring and logging hoovering at this point. My generic answer here is to grab Elasticsearch, Kibana, and Logstash. While for different use cases there may be better solutions, this one is well battle-tested, performs reasonably and is very easy to scale both vertically (within some limits) and horizontally. Logstash rules are easy to write and are well supported in maintenance through Ansible, which as I've mentioned earlier, are at the very core of things, and creating triggers/reports and alerts based on Elastic and Kibana is generally a breeze, including some quite complex aggregations.

If we are happy with the state of the Ansible it's time to move on and put all those roles and playbooks to work. Namely, we need something to manage our CI/CD pipelines. For me, the choice is obvious: TeamCity. It's modern, robust and unlike most of the light-weight alternatives, it's transparent. What I mean by that is that it doesn't tell you how to do things, doesn't limit your ways to deploy, or test, or package for that matter. Instead, it provides a developer-friendly and rich playground for your pipelines. You can do most the same with Jenkins, but it has a quite dated look and feel to it, while also missing some key functionality that must be brought in via plugins (like quality REST API which comes built-in with TeamCity). It also comes with all the common-handy plugins like Slack or Apache Maven integration.

The exact flow between CI and CD varies too greatly from one application to another to describe, so I will outline a few rules that guide me in it: 1. Make build steps as small as possible. This way when something breaks, we know exactly where, without needing to dig and root around. 2. All security credentials besides development environment must be sources from individual Vault instances. Keys to those containers should exist only on the CI/CD box and accessible by a few people (the less the better). This is pretty self-explanatory, as anything besides dev may contain sensitive data and, at times, be public-facing. Because of that appropriate security must be present. TeamCity shines in this department with excellent secrets-management. 3. Every part of the build chain shall consume and produce artifacts. If it creates nothing, it likely shouldn't be its own build. This way if any issue shows up with any environment or version, all developer has to do it is grab appropriate artifacts to reproduce the issue locally. 4. Deployment builds should be directly tied to specific Git branches/tags. This enables much easier tracking of what caused an issue, including automated identifying and tagging the author (nothing like automated regression testing!).

Speaking of deployments, I generally try to keep it simple but also with a close eye on the wallet. Because of that, I am more than happy with AWS or another cloud provider, but also constantly peeking at the loads and do we get the value of what we are paying for. Often enough the pattern of use is not constantly erratic, but rather has a firm baseline which could be migrated away from the cloud and into bare metal boxes. That is another part where this approach strongly triumphs over the common Docker and CircleCI setup, where you are very much tied in to use cloud providers and getting out is expensive. Here to embrace bare-metal hosting all you need is a help of some container-based self-hosting software, my personal preference is with Proxmox and LXC. Following that all you must write are ansible scripts to manage hardware of Proxmox, similar way as you do for Amazon EC2 (ansible supports both greatly) and you are good to go. One does not exclude another, quite the opposite, as they can live in great synergy and cut your costs dramatically (the heavier your base load, the bigger the savings) while providing production-grade resiliency.

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Tanya Bragin
Tanya Bragin
Product Lead, Observability at Elastic | 10 upvotes 361.8K views
atElasticElastic
Elasticsearch
Elasticsearch
Logstash
Logstash
Kibana
Kibana

ELK Stack (Elasticsearch, Logstash, Kibana) is widely known as the de facto way to centralize logs from operational systems. The assumption is that Elasticsearch (a "search engine") is a good place to put text-based logs for the purposes of free-text search. And indeed, simply searching text-based logs for the word "error" or filtering logs based on a set of a well-known tags is extremely powerful, and is often where most users start.

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related Prometheus posts

Conor Myhrvold
Conor Myhrvold
Tech Brand Mgr, Office of CTO at Uber | 12 upvotes 1.4M views
atUber TechnologiesUber Technologies
Prometheus
Prometheus
Graphite
Graphite
Grafana
Grafana
Nagios
Nagios

Why we spent several years building an open source, large-scale metrics alerting system, M3, built for Prometheus:

By late 2014, all services, infrastructure, and servers at Uber emitted metrics to a Graphite stack that stored them using the Whisper file format in a sharded Carbon cluster. We used Grafana for dashboarding and Nagios for alerting, issuing Graphite threshold checks via source-controlled scripts. While this worked for a while, expanding the Carbon cluster required a manual resharding process and, due to lack of replication, any single node鈥檚 disk failure caused permanent loss of its associated metrics. In short, this solution was not able to meet our needs as the company continued to grow.

To ensure the scalability of Uber鈥檚 metrics backend, we decided to build out a system that provided fault tolerant metrics ingestion, storage, and querying as a managed platform...

https://eng.uber.com/m3/

(GitHub : https://github.com/m3db/m3)

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Raja Subramaniam Mahali
Raja Subramaniam Mahali
Prometheus
Prometheus
Kubernetes
Kubernetes
Sysdig
Sysdig

We have Prometheus as a monitoring engine as a part of our stack which contains Kubernetes cluster, container images and other open source tools. Also, I am aware that Sysdig can be integrated with Prometheus but I really wanted to know whether Sysdig or sysdig+prometheus will make better monitoring solution.

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Graphite logo

Graphite

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A highly scalable real-time graphing system
Graphite logo
Graphite
VS
Grafana logo
Grafana

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Conor Myhrvold
Conor Myhrvold
Tech Brand Mgr, Office of CTO at Uber | 12 upvotes 1.4M views
atUber TechnologiesUber Technologies
Prometheus
Prometheus
Graphite
Graphite
Grafana
Grafana
Nagios
Nagios

Why we spent several years building an open source, large-scale metrics alerting system, M3, built for Prometheus:

By late 2014, all services, infrastructure, and servers at Uber emitted metrics to a Graphite stack that stored them using the Whisper file format in a sharded Carbon cluster. We used Grafana for dashboarding and Nagios for alerting, issuing Graphite threshold checks via source-controlled scripts. While this worked for a while, expanding the Carbon cluster required a manual resharding process and, due to lack of replication, any single node鈥檚 disk failure caused permanent loss of its associated metrics. In short, this solution was not able to meet our needs as the company continued to grow.

To ensure the scalability of Uber鈥檚 metrics backend, we decided to build out a system that provided fault tolerant metrics ingestion, storage, and querying as a managed platform...

https://eng.uber.com/m3/

(GitHub : https://github.com/m3db/m3)

See more
Sentry
Sentry
StatsD
StatsD
Graphite
Graphite
Grafana
Grafana
PagerDuty
PagerDuty
Amazon CloudWatch
Amazon CloudWatch

A huge part of our continuous deployment practices is to have granular alerting and monitoring across the platform. To do this, we run Sentry on-premise, inside our VPCs, for our event alerting, and we run an awesome observability and monitoring system consisting of StatsD, Graphite and Grafana. We have dashboards using this system to monitor our core subsystems so that we can know the health of any given subsystem at any moment. This system ties into our PagerDuty rotation, as well as alerts from some of our Amazon CloudWatch alarms (we鈥檙e looking to migrate all of these to our internal monitoring system soon).

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Splunk logo

Splunk

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Search, monitor, analyze and visualize machine data
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    Splunk
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    Kibana
    Kibana
    Splunk
    Splunk
    Grafana
    Grafana

    I use Kibana because it ships with the ELK stack. I don't find it as powerful as Splunk however it is light years above grepping through log files. We previously used Grafana but found it to be annoying to maintain a separate tool outside of the ELK stack. We were able to get everything we needed from Kibana.

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    New Relic logo

    New Relic

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    SaaS Application Performance Management for Ruby, PHP, .Net, Java, Python, and Node.js Apps.
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    Sebastian G臋bski
    Sebastian G臋bski
    CTO at Shedul/Fresha | 4 upvotes 431.7K views
    atFresha EngineeringFresha Engineering
    CircleCI
    CircleCI
    Jenkins
    Jenkins
    Git
    Git
    GitHub
    GitHub
    New Relic
    New Relic
    AppSignal
    AppSignal
    Sentry
    Sentry
    Logentries
    Logentries

    Regarding Continuous Integration - we've started with something very easy to set up - CircleCI , but with time we're adding more & more complex pipelines - we use Jenkins to configure & run those. It's much more effort, but at some point we had to pay for the flexibility we expected. Our source code version control is Git (which probably doesn't require a rationale these days) and we keep repos in GitHub - since the very beginning & we never considered moving out. Our primary monitoring these days is in New Relic (Ruby & SPA apps) and AppSignal (Elixir apps) - we're considering unifying it in New Relic , but this will require some improvements in Elixir app observability. For error reporting we use Sentry (a very popular choice in this class) & we collect our distributed logs using Logentries (to avoid semi-manual handling here).

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    Jerome Dalbert
    Jerome Dalbert
    Senior Backend Engineer at StackShare | 4 upvotes 160.4K views
    atStackShareStackShare
    Heroku
    Heroku
    New Relic
    New Relic
    Skylight
    Skylight
    Rails
    Rails
    Pingdom
    Pingdom
    Slack
    Slack

    We currently monitor performance with the following tools:

    1. Heroku Metrics: our main app is Hosted on Heroku, so it is the best place to get quick server metrics like memory usage, load averages, or response times.
    2. Good old New Relic for detailed general metrics, including transaction times.
    3. Skylight for more specific Rails Controller#action transaction times. Navigating those timings is much better than with New Relic, as you get a clear full breakdown of everything that happens for a given request.

    Skylight offers better Rails performance insights, so why use New Relic? Because it does frontend monitoring, while Skylight doesn't. Now that we have a separate frontend app though, our frontend engineers are looking into more specialized frontend monitoring solutions.

    Finally, if one of our apps go down, Pingdom alerts us on Slack and texts some of us.

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    Tableau logo

    Tableau

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