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Kibana vs Rollbar: What are the differences?

What is Kibana? Explore & Visualize Your Data. Kibana is an open source (Apache Licensed), browser based analytics and search dashboard for Elasticsearch. Kibana is a snap to setup and start using. Kibana strives to be easy to get started with, while also being flexible and powerful, just like Elasticsearch.

What is Rollbar? Full-stack error monitoring for developers. Rollbar helps development teams find and fix errors faster. Quickly pinpoint what鈥檚 broken and why. View exceptions from all of your languages, frameworks, platforms & environments in one place. Get context & insights to defeat all errors.

Kibana can be classified as a tool in the "Monitoring Tools" category, while Rollbar is grouped under "Exception Monitoring".

Some of the features offered by Kibana are:

  • Flexible analytics and visualization platform
  • Real-time summary and charting of streaming data
  • Intuitive interface for a variety of users

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

  • Errors get queued, de-duped, grouped and prioritized
  • View detailed stack traces with local variables
  • JavaScript source map support

"Easy to setup" is the top reason why over 76 developers like Kibana, while over 70 developers mention "Consolidates similar errors by impact" as the leading cause for choosing Rollbar.

Kibana is an open source tool with 12.2K GitHub stars and 4.72K GitHub forks. Here's a link to Kibana's open source repository on GitHub.

Airbnb, DigitalOcean, and 9GAG are some of the popular companies that use Kibana, whereas Rollbar is used by CircleCI, InVisionApp, and Tilt. Kibana has a broader approval, being mentioned in 889 company stacks & 453 developers stacks; compared to Rollbar, which is listed in 478 company stacks and 113 developer stacks.

- No public GitHub repository available -

What is Kibana?

Kibana is an open source (Apache Licensed), browser based analytics and search dashboard for Elasticsearch. Kibana is a snap to setup and start using. Kibana strives to be easy to get started with, while also being flexible and powerful, just like Elasticsearch.

What is Rollbar?

Rollbar helps development teams find and fix errors faster. Quickly pinpoint what鈥檚 broken and why. View exceptions from all of your languages, frameworks, platforms & environments in one place. Get context & insights to defeat all errors.
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    What are some alternatives to Kibana and Rollbar?
    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.
    The world's most popular cloud-based log management service delivers application intelligence.
    Centralize and aggregate all your log files for 100% visibility. Use our powerful query language to search through terabytes of log data to discover and analyze important information.
    Splunk Inc. provides the leading platform for Operational Intelligence. Customers use Splunk to search, monitor, analyze and visualize machine data.
    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.
    See all alternatives
    Decisions about Kibana and Rollbar
    StackShare Editors
    StackShare Editors

    One size definitely doesn鈥檛 fit all when it comes to open source monitoring solutions, and executing generally understood best practices in the context of unique distributed systems presents all sorts of problems. Megan Anctil, a senior engineer on the Technical Operations team at Slack gave a talk at an O鈥橰eilly Velocity Conference sharing pain points and lessons learned at wrangling known technologies such as Icinga, Graphite, Grafana, and the Elastic Stack to best fit the company鈥檚 use cases.

    At the time, Slack used a few well-known monitoring tools since it鈥檚 Technical Operations team wasn鈥檛 large enough to build an in-house solution for all of these. Nor did the team think it鈥檚 sustainable to throw money at the problem, given the volume of information processed and the not-insignificant price and rigidity of many vendor solutions. With thousands of servers across multiple regions and millions of metrics and documents being processed and indexed per second, the team had to figure out how to scale these technologies to fit Slack鈥檚 needs.

    On the backend, they experimented with multiple clusters in both Graphite and ELK, distributed Icinga nodes, and more. At the same time, they鈥檝e tried to build usability into Grafana that reflects the team鈥檚 mental models of the system and have found ways to make alerts from Icinga more insightful and actionable.

    See more

    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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    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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    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)
    See more
    Interest over time
    Reviews of Kibana and Rollbar
    Avatar of jontsai
    Jonathan Tsai
    Review ofRollbarRollbar

    Team Rollbar--I LOVE you guys and your wonderful service! This review is far too long overdue.

    Let me save you a bunch of time and make the decision for you. If you're not already using an error tracking platform, you must. If you're deciding between which services to use, just go with Rollbar, and stop deliberating.

    Rollbar is hands-down, THE BEST full-stack application error and exception monitoring/tracking system.

    I was an early user and first started using Rollbar in early 2012 (back when it was still called Suffice it to say, it has completely transformed and leveled-up the way I build and write applications.

    Rollbar is now a must-have for any application I build. TDD? Yeah, could do that, or you can just be more lean and start building, and Rollbar will catch all of your exceptions for you. Large team? Even more so that you need Rollbar, so that you can detect and fix errors before they inconvenience your users.

    Here are the reasons for why I think Rollbar is great:

    • Best thing since sliced bread - For the developers in the late 90's to early 2000's who remember it, just as Firebug and later on Chrome Developer Tools was to JavaScript development, so is Rollbar to development on any stack. Before, with writing JavaScript in Netscape Navigator and Internet Explorer 4.0, all you had to go off of was that there was a JS error and the JS on a page was completely broken. Developers familiar with that old debugging technique will shake their heads today--manual binary search, commenting out parts of code until it started working again--those days are gone. Now, with Rollbar, you can know with certainty what parts of your application, down to the specific line(s) of code, are causing the exception.

    • Rollbar has an exceptional, world-class team. Rollbar is built by engineers, for engineers. I know because I've worked with a few folks at team Rollbar, including the founder/CEO Brian Rue, who has been a mentor and advisor to me at a few startups, and some of my elite former colleagues who were hand-picked to join the Rollbar team. They are extremely talented hackers and engineers.

    • Rollbar scales, an is extremely reliable. We're not just talking Mickey Mouse pretend scale, but they actually do. Guess what? Unlike most of the rest of the web, they're actually NOT primarily an AWS-based stack (yeah, because AWS outages can cause large chunks of the web to fail). Rollbar is in multiple data centers across the world for improved latency, durability/reliability of data.

    • Rollbar is extremely easy to integrate and very well documented. There are modules/agents for just about every stack and programming language. A basic setup takes 5-10 minutes.

    • Rollbar is thoughtful. In the early days of Rollbar, data wasn't scrubbed so potentially you could see sensitive information in the notifications you got. Now, they've significantly improved the reporting agents and UI so that sensitive information can be scrubbed before sending notifications, and additional sensitive/PII fields can be configured in the interface.

    • Rollbar beats the pants off of their competitors. The primary competitors I'm thinking of are Sentry and New Relic. New Relic is more for infrastructure than application, and often, infrastructure smells and problems are code problems. In terms of budgeting or planning IT spend, I would maximize spending on Rollbar and maybe some more basic infrastructure monitoring like hand-rolled Nagios or even Datadog (which also totally rocks, btw) instead of New Relic. As for comparison with Sentry? See next bullet point.

    • Rollbar is an adult, whereas Sentry** is a kid. Sentry came out of Disqus, and was built by designer-engineers. Don't get me wrong--they have good engineers, but not as good as Rollbar's. I don't care if Sentry is more popular atm or if the UI looks better; I want to know that I can have absolute confidence in my error tracking platform and sleep better at night. If error tracking services were facial hair, Rollbar would be a full, lush beard, and Sentry would be the teenage kid with sporadic prickly hairs here and there and some peach fuzz on the side. Rollbar doesn't rate-limit by default, which means you get all of your exception occurrences notified and tracked. It is 4K Ultra HD, if you will. (Though, to help manage costs and temper noise, you can set custom rate limits per API key--this is so powerful!) Sentry rate-limits by default, resulting in "sampling" error tracking which isn't full coverage and leaves you erroneously thinking that your app is in better health than it actually is.

    • Rollbar is "multi-tenant" (similar to GitHub) in the sense that you can have one user account affiliated with multiple organizations and projects. This is a nice added convenience.

    • Rollbar is enterprise-ready and has on-premise deployments.

    As of this review, it's 2016--why aren't you using Rollbar yet? If you're still trying to hand-roll your own error logging system, I would seriously question you or your company's technical competence.

    Review ofRollbarRollbar

    Our team has been testing Rollbar as a possible replacement for Honeybadger and has liked it enough to decide to make the switch! Some of the features that stood out to us:

    • Better UI/UX in general that makes the app feel more comfortable to use

    • Pricing is more affordable (assuming a reasonable number of events per month)

    • Powerful notification settings, letting us set up different issue severity and only receive notifications on what matters most (more signal, less noise)

    • Mute option (another way to cut down on the noise)

    • More logical error grouping (especially for JavaScript errors)

    • More powerful options for auto-resolving and cleaning up old errors

    • Nice "person tracking" functionality to see who is affected by various errors

    • Good asynchronous error reporting options in the Ruby adapter

    • RQL query language for powerful searching (although it's still a little rough around the edges)

    We ran into a few minor annoyances:

    • The gem providing Resque support is developed by a third-party and doesn't seem to get much use (1 watcher and 4 stars as of the time of this review). Honeybadger provides native Resque support in the official Ruby gem.

    • There doesn't seem to be any search functionality on the documentation page.

    • No documentation and a slightly unintuitive workflow for one of the integrations we use.

    Overall, Rollbar looks like a solid service that was easy to set up, easy to use, and has some powerful features for searching through past error data. We're looking forward to making the switch.

    Avatar of MhdSyrwan
    Co-founder/Developer at Ideasstorm
    Review ofRollbarRollbar

    Rollbar became a must for me in post-deployment exception handling and production-related problems debugging.

    Here's a list of features that made Rollbar a lifesaver for me:

    Report anything:

    You can manually report anything you want, this feature helps a lot in debugging production-related bugs. You can also attach a custom payload to be inspected in the dashboard later.


    You can use Rollbar-agent internally in your server to prevent Rollbar from blocking your business logic and routines.You can also use the common background job processors like sidekiq, resque ... etc

    Awesome Documentation

    You have a very rich documentation to read, but actually you'll just need the first 2 paragraphs to go ahead with it!

    Wide set of helpers

    For me as a rails developer i found a lot of helpers related to rails like: Capistrano deployment hooks, ActiveJob integration, Async error reporting and Rails booting error handling.


    You don't need to refresh the page each time to see the new exceptions, everything is real-time !

    Free Trial

    You can use Rollbar for free to try it without getting engaged in any financial operation, and you can also keep using it if your rate is under 5000 report per month.

    Fast Support

    I had a very good experience with their support, they respond in a short time and give flexible solutions.

    Avatar of efridge
    Web Applications Engineer at UWF
    Review ofRollbarRollbar

    Rollbar has been the missing link for us as we transition to more single page apps at our university. We have been using an in-house logging approach on our server side code, but that wasn't helping us keep track of errors that our users were experiencing on client-side apps written in Javascript. Rollbar lets us keep track of these errors and aggregates them for us. It also lets us mark deployment events and sends us a daily digest of errors as they happen. There are other services out there that do this, but Rollbar stood apart as being both professional and affordable.

    The service has been easy to use and reliable. It's very well documented, and was easy to integrate into our stack. Obviously, you only get out of the error messages what you put in. They will log the person's IP, user agent, etc, but you will need to use descriptive log messages to know what's going on and where.

    We are interested in converting some of our APIs over to rollbar as well to try to get a more wholistic view of errors as they happen. This is a very good service and I recommend them.

    Review ofRollbarRollbar

    The guys from Rollbar made very useful error monitoring service.

    We have implemented it in our startup This allowed us to see all errors centrally in one place and now our site has become significantly more stable than it was previously.

    The main advantages of Rollbar:

    1. Reporting all exceptions and errors We just add simple Rollbar code and it catches all unhandled exceptions. Very useful and simple feature, that we use.

    2. Custom error reporting. We add some asserts on the most complex part of the code, to catch potential logic errors at the very beginning.

    3. Real-time log. When you have to test the production. Instant error logging helps save time.

    4. Assign Owner Each error can be assigned to the developer and can be marked as resolved when done. Very useful.

    5. RQL Console The new tool, it allows us to create detail data queries. Very powerful tool for the analysis of problem areas in our code.

    We have a very good experience with Rollbar. I highly recommend this service.

    How developers use Kibana and Rollbar
    Avatar of Alexis Tyler
    Alexis Tyler uses RollbarRollbar

    We've only just added Rollbar but it's shaping up well. Being able to collate all of our errors with stack traces along with the current user and time is going to save more time you could ever imagine as we currently have to troll through docker logs one after each other just to find a single error where as with Rollbar we can easily search and even be alerted when something goes wrong.

    Avatar of uses RollbarRollbar

    At we think it's a no-brainer to use Rollbar: the pricing is a perfect fit for us, we like the different groupings, even the "People" tab where the errors are grouped by user, and many more things! Thanks Rollbar, keep building an awesome product!

    Avatar of Chris Saylor
    Chris Saylor uses RollbarRollbar

    Rollbar handles any unhandled exception, express route error, and any log entry of level warning or error. It notifies our slack ops channel and is integrated with github to allow us to create issues directly from reported errors.

    Avatar of Instacart
    Instacart uses RollbarRollbar

    We use Rollbar for exception tracking. It鈥檚 fantastic. I've used other things, but Rollbar is just really, really fast. Their speed at development is amazing. The features, you can tell it鈥檚 developers building it.

    Avatar of Harsha M Vantagudi
    Harsha M Vantagudi uses RollbarRollbar

    We are in love with Rollbar. Its deep integration into our Slack Channel keeps us updated at all times. We are able to push bug fixes in less than an hour. The pricing is very suitable for us as a Startup

    Avatar of Clarabridge Engage
    Clarabridge Engage uses KibanaKibana

    Used for graphing internal logging data; including metrics related to how fast we serve pages and execute MySQL/ElasticSearch queries.

    Avatar of Wirkn Inc.
    Wirkn Inc. uses KibanaKibana

    Our Kibana instances uses our ElasticSearch search data to help answer any complicated questions we have about our data.

    Avatar of Hevelop
    Hevelop uses KibanaKibana

    Kibana is our tools to query data in Elasticsearch clusters set up as catalog search engine.

    Avatar of Diogo Silva
    Diogo Silva uses KibanaKibana

    Perfect for exploring and visualizing the data available at ElasticSearch

    Avatar of Tongliang Liu
    Tongliang Liu uses KibanaKibana

    Log visualization. Wish it could add built-in alert functionality.

    How much does Kibana cost?
    How much does Rollbar cost?