What is Netdata?

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Netdata is distributed, real-time, performance and health monitoring for systems and applications. It is a highly optimized monitoring agent you install on all your systems and containers.

Netdata provides unparalleled insights, in real-time, of everything happening on the systems it runs (including web servers, databases, applications), using highly interactive web dashboards. It can run autonomously, without any third party components, or it can be integrated to existing monitoring tool chains (Prometheus, Graphite, OpenTSDB, Kafka, Grafana, etc).

Netdata is fast and efficient, designed to permanently run on all systems (physical & virtual servers, containers, IoT devices), without disrupting their core function.

Netdata is free, open-source software and it currently runs on Linux, FreeBSD, and macOS.


How it looks

The following animated image, shows the top part of a typical Netdata dashboard.

peek 2018-11-11 02-40

A typical Netdata dashboard, in 1:1 timing. Charts can be panned by dragging them, zoomed in/out with SHIFT + mouse wheel, an area can be selected for zoom-in with SHIFT + mouse selection. Netdata is highly interactive and real-time, optimized to get the work done!

We have a few online demos to experience it live: https://www.netdata.cloud

User base

Netdata is used by hundreds of thousands of users all over the world. Check our GitHub watchers list. You will find people working for Amazon, Atos, Baidu, Cisco Systems, Citrix, Deutsche Telekom, DigitalOcean, Elastic, EPAM Systems, Ericsson, Google, Groupon, Hortonworks, HP, Huawei, IBM, Microsoft, NewRelic, Nvidia, Red Hat, SAP, Selectel, TicketMaster, Vimeo, and many more!

Docker pulls

We provide docker images for the most common architectures. These are statistics reported by docker hub:

netdata/netdata (official) firehol/netdata (deprecated) titpetric/netdata (donated)

Registry

When you install multiple Netdata, they are integrated into one distributed application, via a Netdata registry. This is a web browser feature and it allows us to count the number of unique users and unique Netdata servers installed. The following information comes from the global public Netdata registry we run:

User Base Monitored Servers Sessions Served

in the last 24 hours:
New Users Today New Machines Today Sessions Today

Why Netdata

Netdata has a quite different approach to monitoring.

Netdata is a monitoring agent you install on all your systems. It is:

  • a metrics collector - for system and application metrics (including web servers, databases, containers, etc)
  • a time-series database - all stored in memory (does not touch the disks while it runs)
  • a metrics visualizer - super fast, interactive, modern, optimized for anomaly detection
  • an alarms notification engine - an advanced watchdog for detecting performance and availability issues

All the above, are packaged together in a very flexible, extremely modular, distributed application.

This is how Netdata compares to other monitoring solutions:

Netdata others (open-source and commercial)
High resolution metrics (1s granularity) Low resolution metrics (10s granularity at best)
Monitors everything, thousands of metrics per node Monitor just a few metrics
UI is super fast, optimized for anomaly detection UI is good for just an abstract view
Meaningful presentation, to help you understand the metrics You have to know the metrics before you start
Install and get results immediately Long preparation is required to get any useful results
Use it for troubleshooting performance problems Use them to get statistics of past performance
Kills the console for tracing performance issues The console is always required for troubleshooting
Requires zero dedicated resources Require large dedicated resources

Netdata is open-source, free, super fast, very easy, completely open, extremely efficient, flexible and integrate-able.

It has been designed by SysAdmins, DevOps and Developers for troubleshooting performance problems, not just visualize metrics.

How it works

Netdata is a highly efficient, highly modular, metrics management engine. Its lockless design makes it ideal for concurrent operations on the metrics.

image

This is how it works:

Function Description Documentation
Collect Multiple independent data collection workers are collecting metrics from their sources using the optimal protocol for each application and push the metrics to the database. Each data collection worker has lockless write access to the metrics it collects. collectors
Store Metrics are stored in RAM in a round robin database (ring buffer), using a custom made floating point number for minimal footprint. database
Check A lockless independent watchdog is evaluating health checks on the collected metrics, triggers alarms, maintains a health transaction log and dispatches alarm notifications. health
Stream An lockless independent worker is streaming metrics, in full detail and in real-time, to remote Netdata servers, as soon as they are collected. streaming
Archive A lockless independent worker is down-sampling the metrics and pushes them to backend time-series databases. backends
Query Multiple independent workers are attached to the internal web server, servicing API requests, including data queries. web/api

The result is a highly efficient, low latency system, supporting multiple readers and one writer on each metric.

Infographic

This is a high level overview of Netdata feature set and architecture. Click it to interact with it (it has direct links to documentation).

image

Features

finger-video

This is what you should expect from Netdata:

General

  • 1s granularity - the highest possible resolution for all metrics.
  • Unlimited metrics - collects all the available metrics, the more the better.
  • 1% CPU utilization of a single core - it is super fast, unbelievably optimized.
  • A few MB of RAM - by default it uses 25MB RAM. You size it.
  • Zero disk I/O - while it runs, it does not load or save anything (except error and access logs).
  • Zero configuration - auto-detects everything, it can collect up to 10000 metrics per server out of the box.
  • Zero maintenance - You just run it, it does the rest.
  • Zero dependencies - it is even its own web server, for its static web files and its web API (though its plugins may require additional libraries, depending on the applications monitored).
  • Scales to infinity - you can install it on all your servers, containers, VMs and IoTs. Metrics are not centralized by default, so there is no limit.
  • Several operating modes - Autonomous host monitoring (the default), headless data collector, forwarding proxy, store and forward proxy, central multi-host monitoring, in all possible configurations. Each node may have different metrics retention policy and run with or without health monitoring.

Health Monitoring & Alarms

Integrations

  • time-series dbs - can archive its metrics to Graphite, OpenTSDB, Prometheus, AWS Kinesis, JSON document DBs, in the same or lower resolution (lower: to prevent it from congesting these servers due to the amount of data collected). Netdata also supports Prometheus remote write API which allows storing metrics to Elasticsearch, Gnocchi, InfluxDB, Kafka, PostgreSQL/TimescaleDB, Splunk, VictoriaMetrics and a lot of other storage providers.

Visualization

  • Stunning interactive dashboards - mouse, touchpad and touch-screen friendly in 2 themes: slate (dark) and white.
  • Amazingly fast visualization - responds to all queries in less than 1 ms per metric, even on low-end hardware.
  • Visual anomaly detection - the dashboards are optimized for detecting anomalies visually.
  • Embeddable - its charts can be embedded on your web pages, wikis and blogs. You can even use Atlassian’s Confluence as a monitoring dashboard.
  • Customizable - custom dashboards can be built using simple HTML (no javascript necessary).

Positive and negative values

To improve clarity on charts, Netdata dashboards present positive values for metrics representing read, input, inbound, received and negative values for metrics representing write, output, outbound, sent.

positive-and-negative-values

Netdata charts showing the bandwidth and packets of a network interface. received is positive and sent is negative.

Autoscaled y-axis

Netdata charts automatically zoom vertically, to visualize the variation of each metric within the visible time-frame.

non-zero-based

A zero based stacked chart, automatically switches to an auto-scaled area chart when a single dimension is selected.

Charts are synchronized

Charts on Netdata dashboards are synchronized to each other. There is no master chart. Any chart can be panned or zoomed at any time, and all other charts will follow.

charts-are-synchronized

Charts are panned by dragging them with the mouse. Charts can be zoomed in/out withSHIFT + mouse wheel while the mouse pointer is over a chart.

The visible time-frame (pan and zoom) is propagated from Netdata server to Netdata server, when navigating via the node menu.

Highlighted time-frame

To improve visual anomaly detection across charts, the user can highlight a time-frame (by pressing ALT + mouse selection) on all charts.

highlighted-timeframe

A highlighted time-frame can be given by pressing ALT + mouse selection on any chart. Netdata will highlight the same range on all charts.

Highlighted ranges are propagated from Netdata server to Netdata server, when navigating via the node menu.

What Netdata monitors

Netdata can collect metrics from 200+ popular services and applications, on top of dozens of system-related metrics jocs, such as CPU, memory, disks, filesystems, networking, and more. We call these collectors, and they’re managed by plugins, which support a variety of programming languages, including Go and Python.

Popular collectors include Nginx, Apache, MySQL, statsd, cgroups (containers, Docker, Kubernetes, LXC, and more), Traefik, web server access.log files, and much more.

See the full list of supported collectors.

Netdata’s data collection is extensible, which means you can monitor anything you can get a metric for. You can even write a collector for your custom application using our plugin API.

Community

We welcome contributions. So, feel free to join the team.

To report bugs, or get help, use GitHub Issues.

You can also find Netdata on:

License

Netdata is GPLv3+.

Netdata re-distributes other open-source tools and libraries. Please check the third party licenses.