Monitoring with Grafana and it’s top alternatives

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We have multiple Open Source tools for Monitoring data. Since data is something which is vast and really huge. Data monitoring saves the organization time and money. It is basically the process of proactively reviewing and evaluating the data. It helps you measure and track your data using dashboards, alerts and reports.

Grafana is an open source visualization and analytics software.It is a solution for running data analytics, pulling up metrics and monitor our apps with the help of dashboards. Grafana can query, alert on, visualize and explore metrics without considering where the data is. It easily track the user behaviour , application behaviour, frequency of errors present in production or pre-prod environment etc

Prometheus Vs Grafana Monitoring

Grafana is an open-source data visualization tool which is rich in features related to visualization of time-series metrics. Therefore it provides its users with plugins for visualising the data in a simpler form.

Prometheus, on the other hand, is dependent on console templates for visualization. It can graph data but has to be dependent on Grafana for full frameworks like queries and dashboards.

Grafana key features –

  • Alert systems
  • Combine your data
  • Shares Dashboard

Prometheus key features-

  • Flexible query language
  • Multi-dimensional data model
  • Efficient storage

Prometheus main focus is metrics. It exposes standard and custom metrics from an application while monitoring. When it is deployed in a Kubernetes cluster it can discover any pod that is running. And persist any time-series data the application has exposed to its data store. Grafana, on the other hand, does not define what data is exposed and captured.

Grafana makes it remarkably easy to visualize multiple metrics across multiple application stacks on the same screen. In a form of dashboard which you can visit whenever you need. Prometheus can visualize individual metrics as graphs, but does not have the same flexibility as Grafana. 

Monitoring with grafana

Kibana Vs Grafana Monitoring

Grafana and Kibana are two popular open source tools that help users visualize vast amounts of log data.

KIbana is the ‘K’ in the ELK Stack. It is an open source log analysis platform, and provides users with a tool for exploring, visualizing, and building dashboards on top of the log data stored in Elasticsearch clusters. It’s core features include data querying and analysis. Using these queries one can use Kibana’s visualization features which allow users to visualize data in a variety of different ways, using charts, tables, geographical maps and etc.

Grafana majorly focuses on displaying a defined set of metrics in real time. Kibana on other hand focuses on the exploration of available data and the flexibility of extracting metrics from raw log lines.

Kibana focuses on Elasticsearch and doesn’t support any data sources unlike Grafana. However, Kibana offers more functionality for the Elasticseach source, like exploring available data and performing a full-text search on the logs.

Grafana is better in case where you want continuous real-time monitoring metrics. Whereas, Kibana is better suited for log file analysis and full-text search queries.

Grafana Vs Datadog

Datadog is a well-rounded monitoring tool that combines the agent, the storage, the querying, and the dashboard all into one product. It is a paid SaaS tool that provides a range of products for monitoring applications and tech infrastructure.

You need to sign up for a DataDog account and then install DataDog agents on your host. The DataDog agent can be installed on many platforms either directly or as a containerized version. The agent reports events and metrics from the host.

  • If you need an all around tool that can do a little of everything Datadog is the answer.
  • If you are searching for flexibility and the power of monitoring with highly-developed tools then Grafana is what you are looking for.


Written by 

Shivani Sarthi is a Software Consultant at Knoldus Software. She has completed her MCA from BCIIT and Bachelors in Electronic Science from Delhi University. She has a keen interest toward learning new technologies. Her practice area is Devops. When not working, you will find her watching anime or with a book.