Grafana Labs Adds Free Prometheus Monitoring Tier

Grafana Labs today announced it has added a free tier to its Prometheus monitoring cloud service that enables IT organizations to more easily monitor a fleet of Kubernetes clusters.

Tom Wilkie, vice president of product for Grafana Labs, says the free tier will make it simpler for IT teams to roll out applications spanning multiple Kubernetes clusters.

The forever free plan provides IT teams with access to up to 10,000 Prometheus or Graphite metrics, 50GB log capacity and 14 days of retention for metrics and logs that can be accessed by up to three team members, Wilkie says. That access should be sufficient to monitor 10 Linux servers running a couple of Kubernetes nodes, Wilkie says.

At the same time, Grafana Labs is modifying its paid plan by adding support for five times as many metrics starting at $49 per month. A Grafana Pro edition is also available, and provides access to 15,000 metrics with 13-month retention, up from 3,000 metrics previously offered.

IT teams also get access to 100GB log capacity with 1-month retention, the ability to export reports and PDF files, support for advanced authentication, data source permissions, collaboration dashboards and custom domains.

Adoption of Prometheus has grown alongside Kubernetes, and Wilkie says the open source monitoring platform is gaining traction in other IT environments as well. Prometheus predates Kubernetes and has always been capable of supporting multiple platforms. But the rise of Kubernetes spurred greater adoption by IT teams that appreciated the solution’s capabilities, says Wilkie.

In fact, Wilkie says the Prometheus query language (PromQL) is well on its way to becoming a de facto standard, equivalent to SQL, in IT monitoring tools as proprietary monitoring platforms add support for it. Many of those monitoring tools are also now able to consume data in a format that is native to Prometheus.

Ultimately, Wilkie says Prometheus is driving a democratization of IT monitoring, as more organizations choose open source software. Many organizations have shied away from the use of proprietary monitoring tools for mission-critical applications because of the costs involved. However, as the rise of microservices introduces complexity into application environments, there is a greater need to apply monitoring tools more broadly.

It’s not clear the degree to which Prometheus will supplant existing, proprietary approaches to monitoring IT. Currently, each server requires its own instance of Prometheus, which Grafana Labs addresses by providing a central console through which distributed instances of Prometheus can be more easily employed.

Even as IT environments become more complex, solutions like this will give IT teams more visibility into their IT environments than they previously had.

Mike Vizard

Mike Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist with over 25 years of experience. He also contributed to IT Business Edge, Channel Insider, Baseline and a variety of other IT titles. Previously, Vizard was the editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise as well as Editor-in-Chief for CRN and InfoWorld.

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