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LibreNMS vs Prometheus: What are the differences?

Key Differences between LibreNMS and Prometheus


LibreNMS and Prometheus are both popular network monitoring tools that provide valuable insights into network performance. However, there are key differences that set them apart.

  1. Data Collection Method: LibreNMS primarily uses SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol) to collect data from network devices. It supports various SNMP versions and can fetch a wide range of metrics. On the other hand, Prometheus uses its own exporter model, where exporters need to be installed on the devices to scrape data. Prometheus also supports additional data collection methods like SNMP, but its primary focus is on the exporter model.

  2. Data Storage: LibreNMS stores collected data in a traditional relational database (such as MySQL or PostgreSQL) for long-term retention. It provides efficient querying capabilities for historical data analysis. Meanwhile, Prometheus uses a time-series database specifically designed for monitoring purposes. This database is optimized for scalability and efficient querying of time-series data.

  3. Dynamic Service Discovery: Prometheus has built-in support for dynamic service discovery, allowing it to automatically discover and monitor new services without manual configuration. It can discover services through a variety of methods such as DNS, Kubernetes, or file-based configurations. On the other hand, LibreNMS relies on manual configuration to add new devices to the monitoring system.

  4. Alerting: Prometheus offers a powerful built-in alerting system that allows users to define alert rules based on specific metrics. It supports various notification methods like email, PagerDuty, or Slack for alert delivery. LibreNMS also has an alerting system, but it relies on external tools like Nagios or Icinga for alerting functionality.

  5. Metrics and Visualization: LibreNMS provides comprehensive built-in network analytics with various graphs and charts to visualize device and network performance. Its interface includes a wide range of predefined metrics and dashboards. Prometheus, on the other hand, focuses on time-series data and allows users to define custom metrics with its flexible query language (PromQL). It provides a basic web interface for visualization but encourages integration with external visualization tools like Grafana.

  6. Community Support: Both LibreNMS and Prometheus have active and supportive communities, providing a wealth of resources, documentation, and community-developed plugins or exporters. However, Prometheus has gained significant popularity and has a larger community presence, which leads to faster development, regular updates, and a wider range of integrations.

In summary, LibreNMS primarily uses SNMP for data collection, stores data in a traditional database, relies on manual device configuration, offers alerting through external tools, provides predefined metrics and visualization, and has an active community. Prometheus uses its exporter model for data collection, uses a time-series database, supports dynamic service discovery, offers a built-in alerting system, allows custom metrics and visualization, and has a larger and more active community.

Advice on LibreNMS and Prometheus
Susmita Meher
Senior SRE at African Bank · | 4 upvotes · 796.5K views
Needs advice

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 · 581.8K views

You can look out for Prometheus Instrumentation ( Client Library available in various languages 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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Sunil Chaudhari
Needs advice

Hi, We have a situation, where we are using Prometheus to get system metrics from PCF (Pivotal Cloud Foundry) platform. We send that as time-series data to Cortex via a Prometheus server and built a dashboard using Grafana. There is another pipeline where we need to read metrics from a Linux server using Metricbeat, CPU, memory, and Disk. That will be sent to Elasticsearch and Grafana will pull and show the data in a dashboard.

Is it OK to use Metricbeat for Linux server or can we use Prometheus?

What is the difference in system metrics sent by Metricbeat and Prometheus node exporters?

Regards, Sunil.

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Replies (2)
Matthew Rothstein

If you're already using Prometheus for your system metrics, then it seems like standing up Elasticsearch just for Linux host monitoring is excessive. The node_exporter is probably sufficient if you'e looking for standard system metrics.

Another thing to consider is that Metricbeat / ELK use a push model for metrics delivery, whereas Prometheus pulls metrics from each node it is monitoring. Depending on how you manage your network security, opting for one solution over two may make things simpler.

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Hi Sunil! Unfortunately, I don´t have much experience with Metricbeat so I can´t advise on the diffs with Prometheus...for Linux server, I encourage you to use Prometheus node exporter and for PCF, I would recommend using the instana tile ( Let me know if you have further questions! Regards Jose

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Mat Jovanovic
Head of Cloud at Mats Cloud · | 3 upvotes · 725.4K views
Needs advice

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)
Lucas Rincon

this is quite affordable and provides what you seem to be looking for. you can see a whole thing about the APM space here

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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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Pros of LibreNMS
Pros of Prometheus
    Be the first to leave a pro
    • 47
      Powerful easy to use monitoring
    • 38
      Flexible query language
    • 32
      Dimensional data model
    • 27
    • 23
      Active and responsive community
    • 22
      Extensive integrations
    • 19
      Easy to setup
    • 12
      Beautiful Model and Query language
    • 7
      Easy to extend
    • 6
    • 3
      Written in Go
    • 2
      Good for experimentation
    • 1
      Easy for monitoring

    Sign up to add or upvote prosMake informed product decisions

    Cons of LibreNMS
    Cons of Prometheus
      Be the first to leave a con
      • 12
        Just for metrics
      • 6
        Bad UI
      • 6
        Needs monitoring to access metrics endpoints
      • 4
        Not easy to configure and use
      • 3
        Supports only active agents
      • 2
        Written in Go
      • 2
        TLS is quite difficult to understand
      • 2
        Requires multiple applications and tools
      • 1
        Single point of failure

      Sign up to add or upvote consMake informed product decisions

      What is LibreNMS?

      It is an auto-discovering PHP/MySQL/SNMP based network monitoring which includes support for a wide range of network hardware and operating systems including Cisco, Linux, FreeBSD, Juniper, Brocade, Foundry, HP and many more.

      What is 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.

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

      What companies use LibreNMS?
      What companies use Prometheus?
      See which teams inside your own company are using LibreNMS or Prometheus.
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      What tools integrate with LibreNMS?
      What tools integrate with Prometheus?

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      Blog Posts

      Dec 8 2020 at 5:50PM


      May 21 2020 at 12:02AM

      Rancher Labs

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