AppDynamics vs Grafana

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AppDynamics vs Grafana: What are the differences?

Introduction

In this markdown, we will provide the key differences between AppDynamics and Grafana, two popular tools used in monitoring and visualization of application performance. Both tools offer powerful features and capabilities, but they differ in several aspects.

  1. Data Sources: One key difference between AppDynamics and Grafana is the source of data they utilize. AppDynamics primarily focuses on gathering performance data directly from applications and infrastructure. It offers a comprehensive set of built-in agents and integrations to collect this data. On the other hand, Grafana is more flexible as it can connect to a wide range of data sources including databases, cloud platforms, and various monitoring systems.

  2. Real-Time Monitoring vs. Historical Analysis: AppDynamics excels in real-time monitoring and provides deep insights into application performance in real-time. It can closely track and analyze transactions as they occur and quickly identify bottlenecks or issues. Grafana, on the other hand, is more suited for historical analysis and visualizing trends over time. It empowers users to create customized dashboards with historical data points and perform in-depth analysis.

  3. Alerting and Notification: AppDynamics offers robust alerting capabilities to notify users about performance issues or anomalies in real-time. It supports configurable thresholds, intelligent baselining, and can send alerts via various channels. Grafana, although primarily a visualization tool, also supports alerting but its capabilities are not as extensive as AppDynamics. Grafana's alerting is more focused on connecting with data sources and triggering alerts based on specific conditions.

  4. Intelligent Analytics: AppDynamics leverages advanced analytics and machine learning techniques to provide intelligent insights into application performance. It can automatically baseline the performance of applications and detect anomalies or deviations from normal behavior. Grafana, on the other hand, doesn't have built-in intelligent analytics capabilities. It relies on the data and metrics provided by connected data sources and displays them in customizable dashboards and graphs.

  5. User Interface and Customization: AppDynamics offers a comprehensive and intuitive user interface with pre-built UI components specifically designed for monitoring and troubleshooting applications. It provides ready-to-use dashboards, topology maps, and transaction flow maps. Grafana, being a highly customizable tool, allows users to create their own dashboards and visualizations using its flexible UI elements. It provides a wide range of plugins and community-driven dashboards for additional customization options.

  6. Licensing and Pricing: Another notable difference is the licensing and pricing models. AppDynamics is a commercial product with a subscription-based pricing model. It offers different tiers and licensing options based on the scale and features required. Grafana, on the other hand, is an open-source tool with a permissive Apache 2.0 license. It can be used and modified freely, making it a cost-effective option for organizations.

In summary, AppDynamics and Grafana differ in their data sources, real-time vs. historical analysis capabilities, alerting and notification features, intelligent analytics, user interface and customization options, as well as licensing and pricing models.

Advice on AppDynamics and Grafana
Susmita Meher
Senior SRE at African Bank · | 4 upvotes · 806.3K views
Needs advice
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Looking for a tool which can be used for mainly dashboard purposes, but here are the main requirements:

  • Must be able to get custom data from AS400,
  • Able to display automation test results,
  • System monitoring / Nginx API,
  • Able to get data from 3rd parties DB.

Grafana is almost solving all the problems, except AS400 and no database to get automation test results.

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Replies (1)
Sakti Behera
Technical Specialist, Software Engineering at AT&T · | 3 upvotes · 591.7K views
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You can look out for Prometheus Instrumentation (https://prometheus.io/docs/practices/instrumentation/) Client Library available in various languages https://prometheus.io/docs/instrumenting/clientlibs/ to create the custom metric you need for AS4000 and then Grafana can query the newly instrumented metric to show on the dashboard.

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Farzeem Diamond Jiwani
Software Engineer at IVP · | 8 upvotes · 1.4M views
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Hey there! We are looking at Datadog, Dynatrace, AppDynamics, and New Relic as options for our web application monitoring.

Current Environment: .NET Core Web app hosted on Microsoft IIS

Future Environment: Web app will be hosted on Microsoft Azure

Tech Stacks: IIS, RabbitMQ, Redis, Microsoft SQL Server

Requirement: Infra Monitoring, APM, Real - User Monitoring (User activity monitoring i.e., time spent on a page, most active page, etc.), Service Tracing, Root Cause Analysis, and Centralized Log Management.

Please advise on the above. Thanks!

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Hi Folks,

I am trying to evaluate Site24x7 against AppDynamics, Dynatrace, and New Relic. Has anyone used Site24X7? If so, what are your opinions on the tool? I know that the license costs are very low compared to other tools in the market. Other than that, are there any major issues anyone has encountered using the tool itself?

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Replies (1)
Lucas Rincon
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what are the most important things you are looking for the tools to do? each has their strong points... are you looking to monitor new tech like containers, k8s, and microservices?

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Mat Jovanovic
Head of Cloud at Mats Cloud · | 3 upvotes · 735K views
Needs advice
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We're looking for a Monitoring and Logging tool. It has to support AWS (mostly 100% serverless, Lambdas, SNS, SQS, API GW, CloudFront, Autora, etc.), as well as Azure and GCP (for now mostly used as pure IaaS, with a lot of cognitive services, and mostly managed DB). Hopefully, something not as expensive as Datadog or New relic, as our SRE team could support the tool inhouse. At the moment, we primarily use CloudWatch for AWS and Pandora for most on-prem.

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Replies (2)
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I worked with Datadog at least one year and my position is that commercial tools like Datadog are the best option to consolidate and analyze your metrics. Obviously, if you can't pay the tool, the best free options are the mix of Prometheus with their Alert Manager and Grafana to visualize (that are complementary not substitutable). But I think that no use a good tool it's finally more expensive that use a not really good implementation of free tools and you will pay also to maintain its.

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Lucas Rincon
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this is quite affordable and provides what you seem to be looking for. you can see a whole thing about the APM space here https://www.apmexperts.com/observability/ranking-the-observability-offerings/

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Needs advice
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
on
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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
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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 · 611.3K views
Recommends
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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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Decisions about AppDynamics and Grafana
Leonardo Henrique da Paixão
Junior QA Tester at SolarMarket · | 2 upvotes · 182K views

I learned a lot from Grafana, especially the issue of data monitoring, as it is easy to use, I learned how to create quick and simple dashboards. InfluxDB, I didn't know any other types of DBMS, I only knew about relational DBMS or not, but the difference was the scalability of both, but with influxDB, I knew how a time series DBMS works and finally, Telegraf, which is from the same company as InfluxDB, as I used the Windows Operating System, Telegraf tools was the first in the industry, in addition, it has complete documentation, facilitating its use, I learned a lot about connections, without having to make scripts to collect the data.

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Leonardo Henrique da Paixão
Junior QA Tester at SolarMarket · | 15 upvotes · 367.4K views

The objective of this work was to develop a system to monitor the materials of a production line using IoT technology. Currently, the process of monitoring and replacing parts depends on manual services. For this, load cells, microcontroller, Broker MQTT, Telegraf, InfluxDB, and Grafana were used. It was implemented in a workflow that had the function of collecting sensor data, storing it in a database, and visualizing it in the form of weight and quantity. With these developed solutions, he hopes to contribute to the logistics area, in the replacement and control of materials.

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Pros of AppDynamics
Pros of Grafana
  • 21
    Deep code visibility
  • 13
    Powerful
  • 8
    Real-Time Visibility
  • 7
    Great visualization
  • 6
    Easy Setup
  • 6
    Comprehensive Coverage of Programming Languages
  • 4
    Deep DB Troubleshooting
  • 3
    Excellent Customer Support
  • 89
    Beautiful
  • 68
    Graphs are interactive
  • 57
    Free
  • 56
    Easy
  • 34
    Nicer than the Graphite web interface
  • 26
    Many integrations
  • 18
    Can build dashboards
  • 10
    Easy to specify time window
  • 10
    Can collaborate on dashboards
  • 9
    Dashboards contain number tiles
  • 5
    Open Source
  • 5
    Integration with InfluxDB
  • 5
    Click and drag to zoom in
  • 4
    Authentification and users management
  • 4
    Threshold limits in graphs
  • 3
    Alerts
  • 3
    It is open to cloud watch and many database
  • 3
    Simple and native support to Prometheus
  • 2
    Great community support
  • 2
    You can use this for development to check memcache
  • 2
    You can visualize real time data to put alerts
  • 0
    Grapsh as code
  • 0
    Plugin visualizationa

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Cons of AppDynamics
Cons of Grafana
  • 5
    Expensive
  • 2
    Poor to non-existent integration with aws services
  • 1
    No interactive query builder

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