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Grafana OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

What is Grafana?

Grafana allows you to query, visualize, alert on and understand your metrics no matter where they are stored. Create, explore, and share dashboards with your team and foster a data driven culture.

Grafana Customers
PayPal, eBay, Staples, Booking.com, Intel, NS1, TED, NetApp, Vimeo, RackSpace, SquareSpace, OpenTable, MediaMath, Fermilab

Grafana Reviews

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Faustine Chisasa
Engineering Supervisor- Corporate Data Solutions and Services at TZ Telecoms. Corporation
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Customizable, flexible, and offers an open-source option

Pros and Cons

  • "Almost any kind of visualization is possible with Grafana and all dashboards are configurable."
  • "It is limited on the reporting type supported, which is important for managerial-level officers who want reports that are either general or specific."

What is our primary use case?

We use Grafana to visualize IT infrastructure monitoring data. We have real-time, historical, and trend data that we can visualize in a flexible manner using Grafana. We use Zabbix to collect, process, and store the data. Zabbix has its own inbuilt visualization widgets, dashboards, and graphs, however, Grafana adds more flexibility. We have integrated Zabbix with Grafana using the Zabbix API which gives access to almost all components of the Zabbix Software.

Our environment is on-premises so we have both Zabbix and Grafana locally installed.

How has it helped my organization?

Grafana has greatly improved the way we visualize monitoring data. Now, every team member from directors, managers, sales representatives, to technical engineers can be granted access to custom dashboards relevant to their line of work.

With the latest Grafana versions, reports can be generated from dashboards to update senior management officers. 

The dashboards are not only intuitive and insightful, but they are also beautiful so it makes monitoring and data visualization more enjoyable.

Since it can easily be integrated with other software, having that important part of data processing taken care of makes technical teams more focused on improving data sources and enriching the data.

What is most valuable?

The ability to create almost all kinds of graphs and visualize any kind of information in an appealing way is extremely useful to us.

The customizability of dashboards and widgets is impressive.

The flexibility in integration with other tools as data sources of data enriching tools has been great.

It is open-source, so it saves a lot on costs and the community is friendly and powerful.

The product can be used to cater to multiple use cases. Almost any kind of visualization is possible with Grafana and all dashboards are configurable.

The ability to import and export dashboards saves us a lot of time for popular systems and dashboards.

What needs improvement?

The lack of native ability to aggregate data from multiple sources could be improved. As it is not a data store, it is challenging to correlate data from multiple data sources. Adding an out-of-box capability to aggregate and correlate different types of data would make Grafana even better.

It is limited on the reporting type supported, which is important for managerial-level officers who want reports that are either general or specific. Improvements in that area would be great.

Machine learning capabilities are still limited. This is an improvement in that area is needed.

Performance improvement when querying and searching textual data would be beneficial.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used the solution for more than a year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

When computing resources are properly optimized Grafana runs in a quite stable manner. As Grafana is an analytics and visualization platform, it is a bit hungry on CPU and Memory usage. When Grafana instances are properly planned and configured, computing resources bottlenecks can be avoided. Our instances haven't given us headaches from the time we set them up. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Grafana is mainly for visualization, so many instances can be set as needed. Grafana can also be configured for high availability for some scenarios like alerting, authentication, and databases.

How are customer service and support?

We haven't bought technical support and haven't dealt with their customer service agents.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We used native dashboards and graphs of another system we use. We use Zabbix for monitoring but we added Grafana to add more visualization flexibility.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward, however, some resource optimization and tuning were needed. We have experienced professionals in tuning OS systems and application resources so it was not too complex for us.

What about the implementation team?

We implemented everything fully in-house. Since we never had a vendor team, we don't know yet the level of expertise they have. The Grafana community has been so helpful in this regard.

What was our ROI?

I can confidently say we have a 100% return on investment. Grafana has greatly enriched our data visualization and analytics. We see the prospect of it appealing even to more senior management. They may not be quite technical, but they appreciate having data nicely visualized so they know what is going on.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

You can choose from the fully open-source or enterprise editions. We chose the open-source and did everything in-house. Thorough planning and performance considerations are important, as the tool can be heavy on memory and computing resources.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We considered Kibana before we chose this solution.

What other advice do I have?

The solution is great and is one of the best in the market for visualization.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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