Best Grafana Alternatives

What is Grafana?

Grafanaopen in new window is an open source analytics and visualization platform that works with many popular databases. It is a powerful and feature-rich tool for creating, exploring, and sharing dashboards with your team.

Grafana

Grafana is commonly used by startups as a quick way to get started with infrastructure and application monitoring. It provides pluggable panels and data sources allowing to easily customize dashboards for your needs.

Grafana allows to visualize metrics, logs, and traces from multiple sources like Prometheus, Loki, Elasticsearch, InfluxDB, Postgres and many more.

You can also create dynamic and reusable dashboards with template variables that appear as dropdowns at the top of the dashboard.

Grafana has a lot of built-in functionality and also provides a large amount of community templates that can improve your overall experience.

However, Grafana requires quite a lot of configuration and the documentation can be a bit overwhelming for beginners. In this article, we explore seven alternatives that can be simpler to use and can provide seamless integration of traces, logs, and metrics.

Uptrace

Uptraceopen in new window allows to build custom dashboards to monitor health and performance of your hosts, containers, services, dababase servers, and more. In seconds, you get actionable insights backed by the combined power of traces, logs, and metrics.

Uptrace

You can just start sending data and Uptrace will automatically create detailed dashboards for the most popular applications such as PostgreSQL, MySQL, Redis, Nginx, Kafka etc.

Like Grafana, Uptrace allows to create dynamic parameterized dashboards that appear as filters at the top of the dashboard.

You can enhance dashboards with monitors that will raise an alarm whenever there is an increase in CPU, memory, disk consumption, or any other metric.

Pros

Kibana

Kibanaopen in new window is an open user interface that lets you visualize your Elasticsearch data and navigate the Elastic Stack.

Kibana

Kibana is written in the JavaScript language which makes it an excellent choice for developers and non-developers alike.

Kibana allows you to search Elasticsearch data for specific events and visualize them using charts, tables, geographical maps, and more.

Just like Grafana, Kibana allows to create dashboards that can be customized for any purposes. It provides anomaly detection and alerting to monitor your applications.

Pros

  • Full stack monitoring.
  • Ability to analyze and search logs.

Cons

  • Low number of dashboards.
  • Must be used with other products from ELK stack.

Cyclotron

Cyclotronopen in new window is a browser-based platform for creating dashboards. It allows you to query and visualize your metrics no matter where they are stored.

Cyclotron

Cyclotron provides standard boilerplate and plumbing, allowing non-programmers to easily create and edit dashboards using customizable components. It has a built-in dashboard editor, and hosts the dashboards directly.

Dashboards are defined declaratively as a JSON document, which contains all the properties required to render the Dashboard.

Cyclotron allows to retrieve data from multiple data sources like Elasticsearch, Graphite, InfluxDB, Prometheus, and more.

Pros

  • Vast range of widgets.

Cons

  • Low number of pre-built dashboards.
  • No built-in interactivity.

Redash

Redashopen in new window is a powerful open source project that allows you to connect and query data sources and visualize them in dashboards. Redash offers integrations with the most popular databases and platforms.

Redash

Redash enables SQL users to explore, query, visualize, and share data from any data sources. Redash also allows you to define conditions and be alerted instantly when your data changes.

Redash is written in Python and provides a web interface in which you can build and share dashboards. It has no extra dependencies.

Redash allows you to choose from a vast amount of visualization options such as graphs, tables, and heatmaps.

Pros

  • More than 35 SQL and NoSQL data sources.
  • Lots of different visualization types.

Cons

  • Requires writing complex SQL queries.

Prometheus

Prometheusopen in new window is an open-source monitoring system with flexible query language and real-time alerting. It records metrics in a time series database using a HTTP pull model.

Prometheus

Prometheus pulls metrics from monitored targets at given intervals allowing you to monitor things like CPU, memory, and disk space usage, and more.

Prometheus offers a powerful query language to query and aggregate metrics, for example, you can select a list of running threads sorted by CPU usage.

You can also configure alerts to be notified when, for example, filesystem usage reaches a certain threshold.

Most Prometheus components are written in Go, making them easy to build and deploy as static binaries. Prometheus has a decentralized architecture making it scalable and fault-tolerant.

Pros

  • Simple setup and deploy.
  • Fast and feature-rich query language.

Cons

  • Limited visualization capabilities. Must be used with Grafana or alternatives.
  • Scaling for high-load can be challenging.

See Prometheus Metricsopen in new window for details.

InfluxDB

InfluxDBopen in new window is a scalable datastore for metrics, events, and real-time analytics. InfluxDB does not replace Grafana, but you can use it as a Grafana datasource.

InfluxDB

InfluxDB is written in Go, supports pluggable extensions, and comes with clients and libraries for most popular programming languages and frameworks.

InfluxDB is schemaless, so you can add new fields on the fly without changing your data model. You can use a powerful query language called InfluxQL to analyze your data in many different ways.

Pros

  • Powerful query language called InfluxQL.
  • Schemaless.

Cons

  • No visualization. Must be used with Grafana or alternatives.
  • Requires learning InfluxQL.
  • Somewhat slower than other timeseries databases.

VictoriaMetrics

VictoriaMetricsopen in new window is fast, cost-effective monitoring solution and time series database.

VictoriaMetrics

VictoriaMetrics can be used as drop-in replacement for Prometheus. For reading the data and evaluating alerting rules, VictoriaMetrics supports PromQL and MetricsQL.

For data ingestion, VictoriaMetrics supports the Prometheus pull model and various push protocols such as Graphite, InfluxDB, OpenTSDB, and more.

metrics data can be both ‘pushed’ to VictoriaMetrics server and ‘pulled’ by the server. When setting up services, you can decide which mode to use.

VictoriaMetrics is written in Go and consists of a single small executable without external dependencies.

Pros

  • Faster and uses less RAM than Prometheus/InfluxDB.
  • PromQL-based query language.
  • Good vertical and horizontal scalability.

Cons

  • No visualization. Must be used with Grafana or alternatives.

Sematext

Sematextopen in new window allows to detect and troubleshoot production & performance issues with logs, metrics, synthetic and real user monitoring.

Sematext

Dashboards and infrastructure metrics (e.g., common databases and NoSQL stores, servers, containers, etc.) come out of the box and can be customized.

Sematext also provides powerful alerting with anomaly detection and scheduling. It provides actionable insights and alerts in real-time, so you can resolve issues in no time.

Pros

Cons

  • Limited query language.
  • No open source version.

DataDog, NewRelic, Instana

DataDog is a popular full-stack monitoring tool that can be used as an alternative to Grafana. See DataDog Competitors and Alternatives for details.

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