Amazon CloudWatch vs Kibana

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Amazon CloudWatch

10.2K
7.1K
+ 1
214
Kibana

18K
14.3K
+ 1
257
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Amazon CloudWatch vs Kibana: What are the differences?

What is Amazon CloudWatch? Monitor AWS resources and custom metrics generated by your applications and services. With Amazon CloudWatch, you gain system-wide visibility into resource utilization, application performance, and operational health. Programmatically retrieve your monitoring data, view graphs, and set alarms to help you troubleshoot, spot trends, and take automated action based on the state of your cloud environment.

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.

Amazon CloudWatch can be classified as a tool in the "Cloud Monitoring" category, while Kibana is grouped under "Monitoring Tools".

Some of the features offered by Amazon CloudWatch are:

  • Basic Monitoring for Amazon EC2 instances: ten pre-selected metrics at five-minute frequency, free of charge.
  • Detailed Monitoring for Amazon EC2 instances: seven pre-selected metrics at one-minute frequency, for an additional charge.
  • Amazon EBS volumes: eight pre-selected metrics at five-minute frequency, free of charge.

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

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

"Monitor aws resources" is the primary reason why developers consider Amazon CloudWatch over the competitors, whereas "Easy to setup" was stated as the key factor in picking Kibana.

Kibana is an open source tool with 12.4K GitHub stars and 4.81K 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 Amazon CloudWatch is used by Airbnb, 9GAG, and Asana. Kibana has a broader approval, being mentioned in 907 company stacks & 479 developers stacks; compared to Amazon CloudWatch, which is listed in 721 company stacks and 334 developer stacks.

Advice on Amazon CloudWatch and Kibana
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GrafanaGrafana
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KibanaKibana

From a StackShare Community member: “We need better analytics & insights into our Elasticsearch cluster. Grafana, which ships with advanced support for Elasticsearch, looks great but isn’t officially supported/endorsed by Elastic. Kibana, on the other hand, is made and supported by Elastic. I’m wondering what people suggest in this situation."

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Replies (7)
Recommends
GrafanaGrafana
at

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)
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Recommends
KibanaKibana

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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Bram Verdonck
Recommends
GrafanaGrafana
at

After looking for a way to monitor or at least get a better overview of our infrastructure, we found out that Grafana (which I previously only used in ELK stacks) has a plugin available to fully integrate with Amazon CloudWatch . Which makes it way better for our use-case than the offer of the different competitors (most of them are even paid). There is also a CloudFlare plugin available, the platform we use to serve our DNS requests. Although we are a big fan of https://smashing.github.io/ (previously dashing), for now we are starting with Grafana .

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Recommends
KibanaKibana

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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Recommends
KibanaKibana

Kibana should be sufficient in this architecture for decent analytics, if stronger metrics is needed then combine with Grafana. Datadog also offers nice overview but there's no need for it in this case unless you need more monitoring and alerting (and more technicalities).

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Recommends
GrafanaGrafana

I use Grafana because it is without a doubt the best way to visualize metrics

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Povilas Brilius
PHP Web Developer at GroundIn Software · | 0 upvotes · 460.2K views
Recommends
KibanaKibana
at

@Kibana, of course, because @Grafana looks like amateur sort of solution, crammed with query builder grouping aggregates, but in essence, as recommended by CERN - KIbana is the corporate (startup vectored) decision.

Furthermore, @Kibana comes with complexity adhering ELK stack, whereas @InfluxDB + @Grafana & co. recently have become sophisticated development conglomerate instead of advancing towards a understandable installation step by step inheritance.

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Pros of Amazon CloudWatch
Pros of Kibana
  • 76
    Monitor aws resources
  • 46
    Zero setup
  • 30
    Detailed Monitoring
  • 23
    Backed by Amazon
  • 19
    Auto Scaling groups
  • 11
    SNS and autoscaling integrations
  • 5
    Burstable instances metrics (t2 cpu credit balance)
  • 3
    HIPAA/PCI/SOC Compliance-friendly
  • 1
    Native tool for AWS so understand AWS out of the box
  • 88
    Easy to setup
  • 62
    Free
  • 45
    Can search text
  • 21
    Has pie chart
  • 13
    X-axis is not restricted to timestamp
  • 8
    Easy queries and is a good way to view logs
  • 6
    Supports Plugins
  • 3
    Dev Tools
  • 3
    More "user-friendly"
  • 3
    Can build dashboards
  • 2
    Easy to drill-down
  • 2
    Out-of-Box Dashboards/Analytics for Metrics/Heartbeat
  • 1
    Up and running

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Cons of Amazon CloudWatch
Cons of Kibana
  • 1
    Poor Search Capabilities
  • 6
    Unintuituve
  • 4
    Elasticsearch is huge
  • 3
    Hardweight UI
  • 3
    Works on top of elastic only

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- No public GitHub repository available -

What is Amazon CloudWatch?

It helps you gain system-wide visibility into resource utilization, application performance, and operational health. It retrieve your monitoring data, view graphs to help take automated action based on the state of your cloud environment.

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.

Need advice about which tool to choose?Ask the StackShare community!

What companies use Amazon CloudWatch?
What companies use Kibana?
See which teams inside your own company are using Amazon CloudWatch or Kibana.
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What tools integrate with Amazon CloudWatch?
What tools integrate with Kibana?

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Blog Posts

Jul 9 2019 at 7:22PM

Blue Medora

DockerPostgreSQLNew Relic+8
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May 21 2019 at 12:20AM

Elastic

ElasticsearchKibanaLogstash+4
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GitHubPythonReact+42
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GitHubPythonGit+22
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GitHubDockerAmazon EC2+23
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What are some alternatives to Amazon CloudWatch and Kibana?
Datadog
Datadog is the leading service for cloud-scale monitoring. It is used by IT, operations, and development teams who build and operate applications that run on dynamic or hybrid cloud infrastructure. Start monitoring in minutes with Datadog!
Splunk
It provides the leading platform for Operational Intelligence. Customers use it to search, monitor, analyze and visualize machine data.
New Relic
The world’s best software and DevOps teams rely on New Relic to move faster, make better decisions and create best-in-class digital experiences. If you run software, you need to run New Relic. More than 50% of the Fortune 100 do too.
Prometheus
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.
AWS CloudTrail
With CloudTrail, you can get a history of AWS API calls for your account, including API calls made via the AWS Management Console, AWS SDKs, command line tools, and higher-level AWS services (such as AWS CloudFormation). The AWS API call history produced by CloudTrail enables security analysis, resource change tracking, and compliance auditing. The recorded information includes the identity of the API caller, the time of the API call, the source IP address of the API caller, the request parameters, and the response elements returned by the AWS service.
See all alternatives