Prometheus and InfluxDB are open-source systems that were created to make monitoring app performance easier. That is, assuming you select the option that includes your whole observability scope.

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InfluxDB versus Prometheus (software) comparison chart
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Introduction (from Wikipedia) InfluxDB is an open-source time series database developed by the company InfluxData. Prometheus is a free software application used for event monitoring and alerting. It records real-time metrics in a time series database built using a HTTP pull model, with flexible queries and real-time alerting.
Initial release 24 September 2013 24 November 2012
Stable release 2.4 / 19 August 2022; 19 August 2022 v2.39.1 / 7 October 2022
Repository https://github.com/influxdata/influxdb github.com/prometheus/prometheus
Written in Go Go
Operating system Cross-platform Cross-platform
Type Time series database Time series database
License MIT Apache License 2.0
Website influxdata.com prometheus.io
Data gathering Push-based. Applications must push data to InfluxDB. Pull-based. Prometheus pulls data from the endpoints that are configured for locations where applications log their data.
Plug-ins InfluxDB has fewer extensions and plug-in for other applications. Prometheus has an active community, lots of extensions and works with many other cloud apps.
Query language InfluxQL, a type of SQL. PromQL. Not related to SQL. Arguably easier to use than SQL.
Storage Key-value pairs stored in databases. Use higher disk space compared with Prometheus. Key-value pairs stored in LevelDB.
Scalability The distributed architecture of InfluxDB makes it easier to scale to larger volumes. Prometheus works better for lighter loads. Scaling to high load requires scaling for both databases and the Prometheus server.

What is Prometheus?

Prometheus is a monitoring tool and time-series database that is open source. Prometheus delivers its users with powerful query language, storage, and visualization features. It also includes a number of client libraries for easy interaction. Furthermore, Prometheus can be integrated with a wide range of other systems (for example, Docker, StatsD, MySQL, Consul, etc.).

What is InfluxDB?

InfluxDB is an open-source time-series database created by InfluxData. It is widely used as a monitoring and data analysis system for apps, IoT and Infrastructure. TICK-stack is InfluxDB's own ecosystem made up of four elements: Telegraf, InfluxDB, Chronograf, and Kapacitor. InfluxDB is the foundation of this stack. Its primary goal is to store data, whereas Telegraf collects data, Kapacitor includes tools for real-time data processing (such as alerting), and Chronograf is the system for visualization and interaction with all other elements of the stack.

Comparison between Prometheus Vs InfluxDB

Data Collection

Prometheus

Prometheus is a system that operates on a pull basis. Any application will publish the required metrics, which Prometheus can retrieve at regular intervals. For this purpose, we can modify the configuration in Prometheus. Prometheus effectively promotes app monitoring by using this.

InfluxDB

InfluxDB is a push-based system, which means that it expects data to be actively pushed into it. We require three important parameters to write data to the InfluxDB system, and they are view organization. Check out Buckets and AuthenticationToken.

Data Storage

Prometheus

Both Prometheus and InfluxDB follow key data stores, but they are implemented very differently in each platform. Prometheus uses LevelDB for its indices, and each metric is stored in its own file. Prometheus is primarily used for metrics monitoring and recording.

InfluxDB

For both indices and metric values, InfluxDB employs monolithic data storage. In general, InfluxDB consumes more disc space than Prometheus. InfluxDB is ideal for event logging. So we can choose based on the requirements.

Data Visualization and Dashboard

Prometheus

Prometheus, as a service monitoring system, will use a pull methodology to obtain metrics from specific targets or applications. The target here could be an API server, SQL server, or something else. Grafana can be used by Prometheus to visualize data. This allows us to easily visualize the performance of various metrics.

InfluxDB

We use the pull model to retrieve data from InfluxDB. Dashboards are an excellent source of data visualization, and InfluxDB can connect to them via the Grafana visualization tool. Other well-known tools that provide loT-specific dashboards can be found. InfluxDB will support graphs, histograms, single stats, gauges, tables, and other data visualization techniques.

Plug-in Architecture and Extensibility

Prometheus

Prometheus' major advantage is its large community support, which is based on its CNCF graduate project status. Several applications, particularly cloud-native ones, already include Prometheus support.

InfluxDB

While InfluxDB has many integrations, it does not have as many as Prometheus.

Query Language

Prometheus

Prometheus is PromQL, which is much simpler and has nothing to do with standard SQL syntax. If we need a value of CPU load more significant than 0.5, we can simply type CPU load>0.5 in the Prometheus command prompt.

InfluxDB

InfluxDB uses standard SQL syntax for querying, which is known as InfluxQL. In the Prometheus cell, for example, we can write select * from tbl> where CPU load>0.5. This appears simple for the association with a SQL background, but Prometheus is not complex either.

Community

Prometheus

Prometheus is an open-source project with a large user community that can quickly resolve your concerns. Having a huge network of support is an added advantage because the challenges one is facing are likely to have been faced by someone else in the community.

InfluxDB

InfluxDB, despite being popular, has less community support than Prometheus.

Conclusion‍

Prometheus and InfluxDB are tools that are very similar; the major difference is that they deliver slightly different use cases. Prometheus has a number of features that make it an excellent tool for monitoring metrics, graphing, and alerting.

At the same time, InfluxDB is an event-logging database. When you need to process large amounts of data per time unit, the commercial version of InfluxDB is also a better option. This is due to the fact that commercial InfluxDB can scale horizontally without requiring any further configuration changes. Prometheus competes with the commercial InfluxDB alternative as a service that provides extensive functionality and excellent visualizations via Grafana.

References

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