Grafana Open Source Alternatives

Top 15 Grafana Alternatives [Open Source] 2024

Grafana has become a popular open source analytics and monitoring solution since its release in 2015. However, as needs grow and technology advances, new open source alternatives have emerged that aim to complement or even replace Grafana. This article explores the top 15 open source Grafana alternatives to consider in 2024.

Overview of Grafana

Before diving into the alternatives, let’s briefly recap what Grafana does.

Grafana is an open source analytics and interactive visualization platform. It allows you to query, visualize, alert on, and understand metrics from various data sources such as Prometheus, Elasticsearch, InfluxDB, PostgreSQL etc. Key features include:

  • Customizable dashboards
  • Annotations
  • Alerting
  • Plugin ecosystem

Grafana continues to be widely used for monitoring infrastructures and applications. However, there are scenarios where an alternative solution may be preferred.

Grafana Alternatives Comparison

Top 15 open source Grafana alternatives

1. Metrictank

Metrictank is a timeseries database focused on high volume metrics storage and efficient analysis. It was created by the original developer of Grafana and aims to be a cheaper, faster alternative to Graphite/InfluxDB.

Key features:

  • Specifically built for high volume timeseries workloads
  • Efficient compression and data structures optimized for fast queries
  • Horizontal scalability through sharding
  • Retention policies to automatically roll up data

2. VictoriaMetrics

VictoriaMetrics is a fast, scalable open source time series database and Grafana alternative. It can be used for machine monitoring, analytics, IoT sensors, DevOps etc.

Key highlights:

  • Supports PromQL for querying and dashboarding
  • High performance even with petabyte scale data
  • Cost efficient saves up to 7-10x on hardware
  • Easy-to-use, single small executable
  • Natively integrates with Grafana
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3. Redash

Redash is an open source platform for data teams to query and visualize data easily. It integrates with databases like PostgreSQL, MySQL, Graphite, Presto, and more.

Why consider Redash:

  • Fully customizable dashboards based on SQL queries
  • Alerts, scheduled reports, and public sharing capabilities
  • Integrates with authentication providers (LDAP, OAuth etc)
  • Additional data sources beyond Grafana’s
  • Options to track query usage and API access

4. Kibana

Kibana is a popular open source analytics and visualization platform designed to operate with Elasticsearch. It provides dashboards, queries, and logs/metrics analysis.

Key reasons to evaluate Kibana:

  • Powerful analytics and visualizations out of the box
  • Flexible interface to slice and dice data on the fly
  • Customizable dashboards and reports
  • Easily explore related content through machine learning
  • Integrated alerting and reporting features

5. Netdata

Netdata is a real time performance monitoring solution that visualizes metrics from systems and applications. It is an open source Grafana alternative focused on infrastructure monitoring.

Notable Netdata features:

  • 1 second granularity for all metrics
  • Minimal CPU and RAM footprint
  • Automatic health monitoring and alerts
  • Anomaly detection using machine learning
  • Custom dashboards and Reusable templates
  • Hundreds of preconfigured collectors available

6. Apache Superset (formerly Superset)

Apache Superset is a modern data exploration and visualization platform. It is enterprise ready yet offers intuitive visualizations and rapid fire analysis.

What sets Apache Superset apart:

  • Connects to SQL databases like Postgres, MySQL and more
  • Rich set of data visualizations with granular control
  • Secure platform with authentication integrations
  • Fast loading dashboards with caching capabilities
  • Integrates seamlessly with major BI tools

7. Cabot

Cabot is an open source, self hosted infrastructure monitoring platform designed to alert and notify. It provides Grafana like features in a simpler package focused on notifications.

Reasons to try Cabot:

  • Web interface to easily check statuses
  • Flexible alert delivery (email, Slack, PagerDuty)
  • Customizable health checks using any scripting language
  • Notification schedules and blackout windows
  • Automatic Elasticsearch metrics collection

8. Chronograf

Chronograf is InfluxData’s open source web application providing tools to visualize your monitoring data and easily create alert rules.

Key Chronograf features:

  • Customized dashboards for metrics
  • Traffic volume and anomaly detection
  • Template defined visualizations
  • Kapacitor integration for threshold based alerts
  • Write data back to InfluxDB or DataDog
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9. Zabbix

Zabbix is a free open source monitoring tool for real time infrastructure and application monitoring. It has been around for decades and offers extensive alerting and visualization capabilities.

Consider Zabbix for:

  • Monitoring servers, networks, apps, services, and cloud environments
  • Automatic discovery, availability checks, and auto registration
  • Customizable dashboards and reports
  • Alerting, notifications, and workflow automation
  • Low overhead and built-in scalability

10. Panopticon

Panopticon is a cross platform tool for visualizing real time data streams and historical databases. It excels at monitoring IT infrastructure and financial data feeds.

Notable highlights of Panopticon:

  • Specialized for real time data visualization
  • Interactive, fast graphics
  • Scripting and extensions for custom functionality
  • Client API libraries for multiple platforms
  • Used across Wall Street and by emergency responders

11. Dashy

Dashy is a lightweight customizable web UI focused on server self hosted services management. Think of it like your own customizable browser start page for logging into web apps, services, and tools.

Dashy features:

  • Modern aesthetic that’s fast and responsive
  • Easily monitor status of hundreds of web apps or services
  • Personalized widgets, icons, themes etc
  • Mobile friendly interface with offline mode
  • Secure authentication through LDAP, OAuth etc
  • Extensible with additional displays like analytics

12. Glances

Glances is a system cross platform monitoring tool written in Python. It gives live views of critical system metrics in terminal or web interface.

Key reasons to check out Glances:

  • Minimal dependences runs anywhere Python runs
  • Hundreds of system metrics available
  • Easy to extend stats with plugins
  • Available for Linux, Windows, MacOS
  • Can output to CSV, InfluxDB, Elasticsearch etc

13. Stagemonitor

Stagemonitor is an open source monitoring solution designed specifically for Java server applications. It can visualize metrics, traces, logs, and alterting.

Key capabilities:

  • Application performance metrics with calls path visualization
  • Error rate tracking with anomaly detection
  • Logging search and analytics
  • Alerting based on thresholds
  • Easy debugging with request traces

14. Grafana Loki

Grafana Loki is an open source log aggregation system designed to work nicely with Grafana for visualizations. It is horizontally scalable and cost efficient.

Why consider Grafana Loki:

  • Made by Grafana developers specifically for metrics
  • Super fast searches for log data
  • High availability with no single point of failure
  • Handles massive amounts of log data
  • Intuitive labeling for queries
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15. Reaction Commerce

Reaction Commerce is an open source real time reactive dashboard and visualization platform focused on retail/eCommerce data.

Key features:

  • Modern visualization platform tailored to retail data
  • Real time tracking of storefront data
  • Customizable dashboards and reports
  • Integrates POS, inventory, orders, products, etc
  • Extension capability to tap custom data sources

Key takeaways when evaluating Grafana alternatives

When assessing alternatives to Grafana, consider factors like:

  • Features needed visualization, annotations, alerting etc
  • Data sources to integrate like Prometheus, InfluxDB etc
  • Scalability needs now and in future
  • Available time and resources for management
  • Learning curve and ease of use
  • Availability of support resources & documentation

The 15 platforms highlighted above represent just some of the open source options available today that may meet your specific needs or priorities better than Grafana in certain use cases.

Conclusion

Grafana continues leading the industry for metric analytics and monitoring dashboards. But alternative open source options are catching up and innovating rapidly. Solutions like VictoriaMetrics offer Grafana compatible experiences while tools like Chronograf or Cabot provide simpler alert focused setups. As needs grow, evaluating specific “Grafana alternatives” can help uncover the right fit.

FAQs

Is Grafana still a top choice for open source data visualization and monitoring?

Yes, Grafana remains extremely popular given its active development, comprehensive features, vibrant community and ecosystem. It will stay a top choice for many, though some specific use cases may be better met with an alternative tool.

What are the most popular open source alternatives to Grafana?

Based on usage and growth, some of the top open source Grafana alternatives are VictoriaMetrics, Metrictank, Kibana, Chronograf and Netdata. All have strong communities while offering distinct capabilities.

Can tools like Metrictank fully replace Grafana?

Metrictank serves specific high volume timeseries data needs better than Grafana. But Grafana has broader functionality like alerting, annotations and an ecosystem of plugins. The tools can be complementary rather than outright replacements.

How difficult is migrating from Grafana to something like Redash?

Transition complexity depends on factors like scale of usage, customization needs and team familiarity with the platforms. But open alternatives like Redash, Apache Superset and Kibana provide accessibility rather than steep learning curves.

What do most Grafana alternatives have in common?

Most alternatives offer timeseries data visualization, dashboard customization and monitoring capabilities that rival Grafana. They differ in aspects like data sources, scalability needs, speed, ancillary features and integrations. Evaluating tradeoffs is key.

MK Usmaan