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Cacti vs Prometheus: What are the differences?

Cacti: Cacti stores all of the necessary information to create graphs and populate them with data in a MySQL database. Cacti is a complete network graphing solution designed to harness the power of RRDTool's data storage and graphing functionality. Cacti provides a fast poller, advanced graph templating, multiple data acquisition methods, and user management features out of the box; Prometheus: An open-source service monitoring system and time series database, developed by SoundCloud. 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.

Cacti and Prometheus belong to "Monitoring Tools" category of the tech stack.

Some of the features offered by Cacti are:

  • Unlimited number of graph items can be defined for each graph optionally utilizing CDEFs or data sources from within cacti.
  • Automatic grouping of GPRINT graph items to AREA, STACK, and LINE[1-3] to allow for quick re-sequencing of graph items.
  • Auto-Padding support to make sure graph legend text lines up.

On the other hand, Prometheus provides the following key features:

  • a multi-dimensional data model (timeseries defined by metric name and set of key/value dimensions)
  • a flexible query language to leverage this dimensionality
  • no dependency on distributed storage

"Free" is the primary reason why developers consider Cacti over the competitors, whereas "Powerful easy to use monitoring" was stated as the key factor in picking Prometheus.

Prometheus is an open source tool with 25K GitHub stars and 3.55K GitHub forks. Here's a link to Prometheus's open source repository on GitHub.

Uber Technologies, Soundcloud, and DigitalOcean are some of the popular companies that use Prometheus, whereas Cacti is used by Webedia, Cosmote, and Dek-D. Prometheus has a broader approval, being mentioned in 243 company stacks & 85 developers stacks; compared to Cacti, which is listed in 5 company stacks and 5 developer stacks.

- No public GitHub repository available -

What is Cacti?

Cacti is a complete network graphing solution designed to harness the power of RRDTool's data storage and graphing functionality. Cacti provides a fast poller, advanced graph templating, multiple data acquisition methods, and user management features out of the box.

What is 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.
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    What are some alternatives to Cacti and Prometheus?
    Zabbix
    Zabbix is a mature and effortless enterprise-class open source monitoring solution for network monitoring and application monitoring of millions of metrics.
    Munin
    Munin is a networked resource monitoring tool that can help analyze resource trends and "what just happened to kill our performance?" problems. It is designed to be very plug and play. A default installation provides a lot of graphs with almost no work.
    Cactus
    Cactus makes setting up a website look easy. Choose a template for a blog, portfolio or single page and Cactus generates all files and folders to get you on your way.
    Nagios
    Nagios is a host/service/network monitoring program written in C and released under the GNU General Public License.
    Solarwinds
    Developed by network and systems engineers who know what it takes to manage today's dynamic IT environments, SolarWinds has a deep connection to the IT community.
    See all alternatives
    Decisions about Cacti and Prometheus
    Joseph Irving
    Joseph Irving
    DevOps Engineer at uSwitch · | 4 upvotes · 29.5K views
    atuSwitchuSwitch
    Kubernetes
    Kubernetes
    Prometheus
    Prometheus
    Thanos
    Thanos

    We recently implemented Thanos alongside Prometheus into our Kubernetes clusters, we had previously used a variety of different metrics systems and we wanted to make life simpler for everyone by just picking one.

    Prometheus seemed like an obvious choice due to its powerful querying language, native Kubernetes support and great community. However we found it somewhat lacking when it came to being highly available, something that would be very important if we wanted this to be the single source of all our metrics.

    Thanos came along and solved a lot of these problems. It allowed us to run multiple Prometheis without duplicating metrics, query multiple Prometheus clusters at once, and easily back up data and then query it. Now we have a single place to go if you want to view metrics across all our clusters, with many layers of redundancy to make sure this monitoring solution is as reliable and resilient as we could reasonably make it.

    If you're interested in a bit more detail feel free to check out the blog I wrote on the subject that's linked.

    See more
    Conor Myhrvold
    Conor Myhrvold
    Tech Brand Mgr, Office of CTO at Uber · | 10 upvotes · 571K views
    atUber TechnologiesUber Technologies
    Nagios
    Nagios
    Grafana
    Grafana
    Graphite
    Graphite
    Prometheus
    Prometheus

    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’s 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’s 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
    Raja Subramaniam Mahali
    Raja Subramaniam Mahali
    Sysdig
    Sysdig
    Kubernetes
    Kubernetes
    Prometheus
    Prometheus

    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.

    See more
    Interest over time
    Reviews of Cacti and Prometheus
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    How developers use Cacti and Prometheus
    Avatar of Scrayos UG (haftungsbeschränkt)
    Scrayos UG (haftungsbeschränkt) uses PrometheusPrometheus

    We primarily use Prometheus to gather metrics and statistics to display them in Grafana. Aside from that we poll Prometheus for our orchestration-solution "JCOverseer" to determine, which host is least occupied at the moment.

    Avatar of Tom Staijen
    Tom Staijen uses PrometheusPrometheus

    Gather metrics from systems and applications. Evaluate alerting rules. Alerts are pushed to OpsGenie and Slack.

    Avatar of HyVive
    HyVive uses PrometheusPrometheus

    We primarily use Prometheus to gather metrics and statistics to display them in Grafana.

    Avatar of Roy Olsen
    Roy Olsen uses CactiCacti

    Traditional network traffic monitoring.

    Avatar of Bùi Thanh
    Bùi Thanh uses PrometheusPrometheus
    • Simple operation and easy to deploy.
    Avatar of Roy Olsen
    Roy Olsen uses PrometheusPrometheus

    Predictive monitoring.

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