Zabbix vs Prometheus – What’s the Difference ? (Pros and Cons). Many organizations use network monitoring solutions to cover essential areas of their business infrastructure, such as their servers, services, databases and revenue collected. Zabbix and Prometheus are efficient tools to help an organization in monitoring their infrastructure.
It is difficult for users new to network monitoring systems to differentiate between Zabbix and Prometheus. From a general point of view, both tools serve the same function, but they do have a few things that set them apart. Before we head main topic of this article Zabbix vs Prometheus – What’s the Difference ? let’s look at the basic concepts behind these tools.
What is Zabbix?
Zabbix is an open source software for monitoring several network parameters, virtual machines, applications, servers, and cloud services. It has a GUI (web based) that allows users to easily interact with their IT environment through customizable dashboards based on network maps, graphs, widgets, etc. Zabbix uses a wide range of databases but does not store data.
Features of Zabbix
- Flexible threshold definition: Provides its users with the ability to define flexible problem thresholds efficiently. These thresholds are called triggers, and developers define them by usually referencing values obtained from the back end database.
- Zabbix API: The Zabbix API feature exposes Zabbix to programmable interfaces for mass manipulations. This feature also provides Zabbix with third party software integration among the list of available customization.
- Highly configurable alerting: This feature allows sending notifications that users easily customize for escalation schedule, recipient, and media type. In addition, these notifications are made meaningful through the use of macro variables.
Pros of Zabbix
- Supports alarm management and settings. With alarm management, you customize multiple alarm methods and templates. Also allows users to set the alarm cycle, level, pause, etc.
Cons of Zabbix
- Zabbix usually collects data using the pull method. Unfortunately, the pull task will often get backlogged when the target machine volume is enormous. As a result, every data collection process is delayed due to Zabbix not being designed to take the weight of numerous nodes.
- The in built housekeeping increases pressure on the database during execution. Because of this, the database consistently needs to be optimized, or users may not have a smooth experience carrying out operations.
Up next with Zabbix vs Prometheus – What’s the Difference ? we introduce Prometheus.
What is Prometheus?
SoundCloud created Prometheus in 2012, an open source system monitoring and alerting software. It collects and stores different metrics as time series data. Time series data means metrics information is held alongside the timestamp of when it was recorded. Large companies generally use Prometheus for SaaS solutions and even cloud technologies.
Features of Prometheus
- PromQL: An abbreviation for Prometheus Querying Language. It is usually the most efficient way to query metrics that are within Prometheus. With PromQL, you also display an expression’s return by a graph.
- Pull model: Prometheus doesn’t make use of separate servers to collect data. Instead, this is done by the pull model feature. This feature helps Prometheus collect time series data efficiently. This process is done by actively retrieving the data through HTTP.
- Visualization: Prometheus offers a lot of graphs and dashboards to its users. This graph is to help them monitor and keep better track of the operations they are carrying out. The only downside is that these graphs are often limited.
- Multidimensional data model: Prometheus stores all data as time series data, and these data usually come with metric names and key/value pairs. This data model helps to identify every data that is collected on Prometheus uniquely.
Pros of Prometheus
- Gives users a broad range of service discovery options to find services and receive metric data. This high discovery feature is because Prometheus is highly compatible with many servers and providers.
- Offers numerous exporters and libraries that developers use to gather application metrics. Most exporters are community developed, so the coverage of Prometheus is extensive.
Cons of Prometheus
- Prometheus offers granular control to its users. While this might seem advantageous, it isn’t because the granularity is limited. Instead, it provides summarized data, which exporters usually scrape.
We have reached the main part of this article blog. Let’s read about Zabbix vs Prometheus – What’s the Difference ?
Differences Between Zabbix and Prometheus
Comes with a lot of pre installed features. These features make it easy to install and set up Zabbix. Even after the installation is done, you don’t need to set up configurations for optimal experience, as the tool is usually adequate as it is.
It isn’t divided into sections. It offers automatic service detection, and it also comes with a wide range of integrations. For example, many services support the Prometheus data collection process, which allows it to pull and push metrics directly.
It uses item keys as its method of pulling data. These item keys are restricted, but they are relatively easy to use. With basic development knowledge, you should be able to use Zabbix item keys effectively.
Prometheus makes use of an internal database for time series. This internal database provides fast connectivity to data. The downside is that this data is only logged for two weeks, so organizations must maintain the data services frequently.
Has a certain limit to its performance and beyond this limit, users will have a laggy experience while trying to carry out operations. Zabbix tends to perform efficiently under 10,000 nodes. Anything beyond this number causes some issues for Zabbix because of the weight. Furthermore, Zabbix and its database are not designed to manage large clusters.
Zabbix offers a web interface that includes a dashboard with flexible settings and provides several approaches to presenting a visual overview of the IT environment. Some of which include graphs, widget based dashboards, network maps, drill down reports, and slideshows. This functionality is present from beginning, so you don’t need to configure or install any other thing.
Prometheus uses a visualization tool known as the Expression Browser. The Expression Browser doesn’t display metrics viewed over a long period of time. Instead, it serves as an exploration console that allows you to query into your database, change a query promptly, and discover the answers to your questions. Also, this tool doesn’t function as a complete monitoring panel. Rather, users use it to execute in depth querying into the stored metrics.
Thank you for reading this article to the end. Let’s conclude Zabbix vs Prometheus – What’s the Difference ? (Pros and Cons)
Zabbix vs Prometheus – What’s the Difference ? (Pros and Cons) Conclusion
Zabbix and Prometheus are both excellent choices regarding network monitoring for several organizations. With both tools, you easily keep track of servers, data collected, and services on the infrastructure of a business. But Zabbix and Prometheus have several features that differentiate one from the other.
This article pointed out a few differences between Zabbix and Prometheus to help beginners better grasp the uniqueness of each tool. For example, Zabbix offers out-of-the-box metrics monitoring and is easy to use, while Prometheus provides a fast internal time series database solution.