Amazon CloudWatch vs Grafana

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Amazon CloudWatch

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Amazon CloudWatch vs Grafana: What are the differences?

Both Amazon CloudWatch and Grafana are popular tools used for monitoring and visualization of system metrics and logs. Let's explore the key differences.between the two:

  1. Integration with AWS Services: A key difference is that Amazon CloudWatch is a native AWS service that provides monitoring for various AWS resources, such as EC2 instances, RDS databases, S3 buckets, and more. On the other hand, Grafana is a third-party tool that can be integrated with various data sources, including Amazon CloudWatch.

  2. Data Source Support: Another distinction is that Amazon CloudWatch mainly focuses on collecting and storing metrics and log data from AWS services. It offers a comprehensive set of metrics and insights specifically designed for AWS resources. In contrast, Grafana has a broader range of data source options, including databases, APIs, and other monitoring tools, making it more versatile for non-AWS environments.

  3. Visualization Capabilities: Amazon CloudWatch provides basic visualization capabilities, allowing users to create simple line charts, bar charts, and pie charts. On the other hand, Grafana excels in this area with its extensive collection of visualization options, including advanced graphs, gauges, tables, and heatmap, providing users with more flexibility and customization.

  4. Alerting and Notification: When it comes to alerting and notification, Amazon CloudWatch offers built-in alerting capabilities, allowing users to set alarms based on predefined thresholds and send notifications via various channels. Grafana, however, relies on external tools and plugins to provide alerting, leveraging integrations with services like Slack or email services.

  5. User-Friendly Interface: Amazon CloudWatch has a web-based console that provides an intuitive user interface designed specifically for AWS users. It offers a simplified and consistent experience across different AWS services. Grafana, on the other hand, provides a highly customizable and user-friendly web interface with drag-and-drop features, making it easy to build and design custom dashboards.

  6. Community and Plugin Ecosystem: Amazon CloudWatch benefits from being an AWS service, which means it has a large user base and extensive community support. Grafana, being an open-source tool, also has a vibrant community that actively develops and maintains plugins for various data sources and integrations.

In summary, Amazon CloudWatch is tightly integrated with AWS services and offers native monitoring capabilities, while Grafana is a versatile tool that can be integrated with various data sources and provides extensive visualization options.

Advice on Amazon CloudWatch and Grafana
Susmita Meher
Senior SRE at African Bank · | 4 upvotes · 806.3K views
Needs advice
on
GrafanaGrafanaGraphiteGraphite
and
PrometheusPrometheus

Looking for a tool which can be used for mainly dashboard purposes, but here are the main requirements:

  • Must be able to get custom data from AS400,
  • Able to display automation test results,
  • System monitoring / Nginx API,
  • Able to get data from 3rd parties DB.

Grafana is almost solving all the problems, except AS400 and no database to get automation test results.

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Replies (1)
Sakti Behera
Technical Specialist, Software Engineering at AT&T · | 3 upvotes · 591.7K views
Recommends
on
GrafanaGrafanaPrometheusPrometheus

You can look out for Prometheus Instrumentation (https://prometheus.io/docs/practices/instrumentation/) Client Library available in various languages https://prometheus.io/docs/instrumenting/clientlibs/ to create the custom metric you need for AS4000 and then Grafana can query the newly instrumented metric to show on the dashboard.

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Mat Jovanovic
Head of Cloud at Mats Cloud · | 3 upvotes · 735K views
Needs advice
on
DatadogDatadogGrafanaGrafana
and
PrometheusPrometheus

We're looking for a Monitoring and Logging tool. It has to support AWS (mostly 100% serverless, Lambdas, SNS, SQS, API GW, CloudFront, Autora, etc.), as well as Azure and GCP (for now mostly used as pure IaaS, with a lot of cognitive services, and mostly managed DB). Hopefully, something not as expensive as Datadog or New relic, as our SRE team could support the tool inhouse. At the moment, we primarily use CloudWatch for AWS and Pandora for most on-prem.

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Replies (2)
Recommends
on
DatadogDatadog

I worked with Datadog at least one year and my position is that commercial tools like Datadog are the best option to consolidate and analyze your metrics. Obviously, if you can't pay the tool, the best free options are the mix of Prometheus with their Alert Manager and Grafana to visualize (that are complementary not substitutable). But I think that no use a good tool it's finally more expensive that use a not really good implementation of free tools and you will pay also to maintain its.

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Lucas Rincon
Recommends
on
InstanaInstana

this is quite affordable and provides what you seem to be looking for. you can see a whole thing about the APM space here https://www.apmexperts.com/observability/ranking-the-observability-offerings/

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Needs advice
on
GrafanaGrafana
and
KibanaKibana

From a StackShare Community member: “We need better analytics & insights into our Elasticsearch cluster. Grafana, which ships with advanced support for Elasticsearch, looks great but isn’t officially supported/endorsed by Elastic. Kibana, on the other hand, is made and supported by Elastic. I’m wondering what people suggest in this situation."

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Replies (7)
Recommends
on
GrafanaGrafana
at

For our Predictive Analytics platform, we have used both Grafana and Kibana

Kibana has predictions and ML algorithms support, so if you need them, you may be better off with Kibana . The multi-variate analysis features it provide are very unique (not available in Grafana).

For everything else, definitely Grafana . Especially the number of supported data sources, and plugins clearly makes Grafana a winner (in just visualization and reporting sense). Creating your own plugin is also very easy. The top pros of Grafana (which it does better than Kibana ) are:

  • Creating and organizing visualization panels
  • Templating the panels on dashboards for repetetive tasks
  • Realtime monitoring, filtering of charts based on conditions and variables
  • Export / Import in JSON format (that allows you to version and save your dashboard as part of git)
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Recommends
on
KibanaKibana

I use both Kibana and Grafana on my workplace: Kibana for logging and Grafana for monitoring. Since you already work with Elasticsearch, I think Kibana is the safest choice in terms of ease of use and variety of messages it can manage, while Grafana has still (in my opinion) a strong link to metrics

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Bram Verdonck
Recommends
on
GrafanaGrafana
at

After looking for a way to monitor or at least get a better overview of our infrastructure, we found out that Grafana (which I previously only used in ELK stacks) has a plugin available to fully integrate with Amazon CloudWatch . Which makes it way better for our use-case than the offer of the different competitors (most of them are even paid). There is also a CloudFlare plugin available, the platform we use to serve our DNS requests. Although we are a big fan of https://smashing.github.io/ (previously dashing), for now we are starting with Grafana .

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Recommends
on
KibanaKibana

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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Recommends
on
KibanaKibana

Kibana should be sufficient in this architecture for decent analytics, if stronger metrics is needed then combine with Grafana. Datadog also offers nice overview but there's no need for it in this case unless you need more monitoring and alerting (and more technicalities).

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Recommends
on
GrafanaGrafana

I use Grafana because it is without a doubt the best way to visualize metrics

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Povilas Brilius
PHP Web Developer at GroundIn Software · | 0 upvotes · 611.3K views
Recommends
on
KibanaKibana
at

@Kibana, of course, because @Grafana looks like amateur sort of solution, crammed with query builder grouping aggregates, but in essence, as recommended by CERN - KIbana is the corporate (startup vectored) decision.

Furthermore, @Kibana comes with complexity adhering ELK stack, whereas @InfluxDB + @Grafana & co. recently have become sophisticated development conglomerate instead of advancing towards a understandable installation step by step inheritance.

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Decisions about Amazon CloudWatch and Grafana
Leonardo Henrique da Paixão
Junior QA Tester at SolarMarket · | 2 upvotes · 182K views

I learned a lot from Grafana, especially the issue of data monitoring, as it is easy to use, I learned how to create quick and simple dashboards. InfluxDB, I didn't know any other types of DBMS, I only knew about relational DBMS or not, but the difference was the scalability of both, but with influxDB, I knew how a time series DBMS works and finally, Telegraf, which is from the same company as InfluxDB, as I used the Windows Operating System, Telegraf tools was the first in the industry, in addition, it has complete documentation, facilitating its use, I learned a lot about connections, without having to make scripts to collect the data.

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Leonardo Henrique da Paixão
Junior QA Tester at SolarMarket · | 15 upvotes · 367.4K views

The objective of this work was to develop a system to monitor the materials of a production line using IoT technology. Currently, the process of monitoring and replacing parts depends on manual services. For this, load cells, microcontroller, Broker MQTT, Telegraf, InfluxDB, and Grafana were used. It was implemented in a workflow that had the function of collecting sensor data, storing it in a database, and visualizing it in the form of weight and quantity. With these developed solutions, he hopes to contribute to the logistics area, in the replacement and control of materials.

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Pros of Amazon CloudWatch
Pros of Grafana
  • 76
    Monitor aws resources
  • 46
    Zero setup
  • 30
    Detailed Monitoring
  • 23
    Backed by Amazon
  • 19
    Auto Scaling groups
  • 11
    SNS and autoscaling integrations
  • 5
    Burstable instances metrics (t2 cpu credit balance)
  • 3
    HIPAA/PCI/SOC Compliance-friendly
  • 1
    Native tool for AWS so understand AWS out of the box
  • 89
    Beautiful
  • 68
    Graphs are interactive
  • 57
    Free
  • 56
    Easy
  • 34
    Nicer than the Graphite web interface
  • 26
    Many integrations
  • 18
    Can build dashboards
  • 10
    Easy to specify time window
  • 10
    Can collaborate on dashboards
  • 9
    Dashboards contain number tiles
  • 5
    Open Source
  • 5
    Integration with InfluxDB
  • 5
    Click and drag to zoom in
  • 4
    Authentification and users management
  • 4
    Threshold limits in graphs
  • 3
    Alerts
  • 3
    It is open to cloud watch and many database
  • 3
    Simple and native support to Prometheus
  • 2
    Great community support
  • 2
    You can use this for development to check memcache
  • 2
    You can visualize real time data to put alerts
  • 0
    Grapsh as code
  • 0
    Plugin visualizationa

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Cons of Amazon CloudWatch
Cons of Grafana
  • 2
    Poor Search Capabilities
  • 1
    No interactive query builder

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- No public GitHub repository available -

What is Amazon CloudWatch?

It helps you gain system-wide visibility into resource utilization, application performance, and operational health. It retrieve your monitoring data, view graphs to help take automated action based on the state of your cloud environment.

What is Grafana?

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.

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What are some alternatives to Amazon CloudWatch and Grafana?
Datadog
Datadog is the leading service for cloud-scale monitoring. It is used by IT, operations, and development teams who build and operate applications that run on dynamic or hybrid cloud infrastructure. Start monitoring in minutes with Datadog!
Splunk
It provides the leading platform for Operational Intelligence. Customers use it to search, monitor, analyze and visualize machine data.
New Relic
The world’s best software and DevOps teams rely on New Relic to move faster, make better decisions and create best-in-class digital experiences. If you run software, you need to run New Relic. More than 50% of the Fortune 100 do too.
Prometheus
Prometheus is a systems and service monitoring system. It collects metrics from configured targets at given intervals, evaluates rule expressions, displays the results, and can trigger alerts if some condition is observed to be true.
AWS CloudTrail
With CloudTrail, you can get a history of AWS API calls for your account, including API calls made via the AWS Management Console, AWS SDKs, command line tools, and higher-level AWS services (such as AWS CloudFormation). The AWS API call history produced by CloudTrail enables security analysis, resource change tracking, and compliance auditing. The recorded information includes the identity of the API caller, the time of the API call, the source IP address of the API caller, the request parameters, and the response elements returned by the AWS service.
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