What is our primary use case?
It's for monitoring our infrastructure. They have some databases and some applications running Java. There are some Kubernetes and old Kubernetes deployments. The company wanted to visualize the logs and send some application sys logs. This is the main utilization.
It's a web application, Tomcat application, Java application, and database application. They are the main focus for collecting the application or system logs.
What is most valuable?
There is no agent to install. There are many dashboards also.
There is an active community where you can gather a lot of information about how the solution works. I come from Splunk. If I compare it with Splunk, Splunk has its own SPL, for example. You can play with the dashboard. There is some advantages in common with SPL. Visualization and collecting logs it's similar. However, Grafana is trying to cover many types of open-source infrastructure. This is why I appreciate Grafana versus, for example, Splunk.
The initial setup is not difficult.
It is a stable, reliable product.
What needs improvement?
They are doing well in terms of improvements they're making. They progressed much in dashboarding. However, it's very, very complicated when you start to understand how you make dashboards. You need to figure out how you collect and source your logs, for example. In the area of documentation, they must do a better job. Splunk documentation is much more organized than Grafana. Since it's open-source, you have to test your infrastructure more. You need to really understand it before you install it.
It would be helpful if they simplified the data source.
For how long have I used the solution?
I've used the solution for about a year.
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What do I think about the stability of the solution?
It is a stable solution. There are no bugs or glitches and it doesn't crash or freeze. It's reliable.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
You have to plan. You have a certain number or gigabit of logs that you can index. You also have a limited number of series. For users, I don't remember if we had any issues adding users. However, there is a cost per the size of the logs or the number of series. Scaling will drive costs up. Right now, our IT and development team is on the product. They are encouraging other departments to try it out.
How are customer service and support?
The department where we worked has used support. We had to collaborate with Grafana since sometimes we were applying some solution that was not working. The logs were not coming and there were some errors. We had to open tickets and deal with the supplier to resolve the issues.
From my experience, when dealing with Splunk, for example, it's a big company and sometimes I have to deal with people that have no knowledge. However, with Grafana, we don't have that issue. They are good.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
In one company, they asked me to play with Grafana and Prometheus. I've used them both.
I've used Splunk as well. It's not an open-source product.
How was the initial setup?
It is very easy to set up the solution. It's not overly complex or difficult.
It's a couple of months before you start. For example, for a company that doesn't have any experience, they need to take time to understand it, especially if they only have a sys admin and not a senior person.
In our case, we did a lot of testing and installed it on a virtual machine. You do have a couple of months to play with it before you decide to go into production.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
We have a license. The pricing varies. It depends on the number of metrics that you want to ingest per day.
What other advice do I have?
We are a customer and end-user.
If you use this product for the first time, I would encourage you to try some sort of live demo. Go to see the product in action and understand how it works, and test it. To install it in the cloud, you can have a free license at the start or a limited license for some events. You can try to play with the product and create some dashboarding to ingest some logs.
You don't have to install the whole thing as it's complicated to install the whole product, and you need many machines, CPUs, and memory. It's a good idea to try it out in a small way to see if it fits your needs or if you like it.
I'd rate the solution eight out of ten. I had a good experience testing the solution.
This is a good solution for companies that are using, for example, open source or Linux options for all the tools or those coming from the world of open source.
Which deployment model are you using for this solution?
If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?
Amazon Web Services (AWS)
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.