What is Netdata?¶
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.
A typical Netdata dashboard, in 1:1 timing. Charts can be panned by dragging them, zoomed in/out with
mouse wheel, an area can be selected for zoom-in with
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
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!
We provide docker images for the most common architectures. These are statistics reported by docker hub:
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:
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.
This is how it works:
|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.||
|Store||Metrics are stored in RAM in a round robin database (ring buffer), using a custom made floating point number for minimal footprint.||
|Check||A lockless independent watchdog is evaluating health checks on the collected metrics, triggers alarms, maintains a health transaction log and dispatches alarm notifications.||
|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.||
|Archive||A lockless independent worker is down-sampling the metrics and pushes them to backend time-series databases.||
|Query||Multiple independent workers are attached to the internal web server, servicing API requests, including data queries.||
The result is a highly efficient, low latency system, supporting multiple readers and one writer on each metric.
This is a high level overview of Netdata feature set and architecture. Click it to interact with it (it has direct links to documentation).
This is what you should expect from Netdata:
- 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
- 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¶
- Sophisticated alerting - comes with hundreds of alarms, out of the box! Supports dynamic thresholds, hysteresis, alarm templates, multiple role-based notification methods.
- Notifications: alerta.io, amazon sns, discordapp.com, email, flock.com, irc, kavenegar.com, messagebird.com, pagerduty.com, prowl, pushbullet.com, pushover.net, rocket.chat, slack.com, smstools3, syslog, telegram.org, twilio.com, web and custom notifications.
- 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.
- Stunning interactive dashboards - mouse, touchpad and touch-screen friendly in 2 themes:
- 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.
Positive and negative values¶
To improve clarity on charts, Netdata dashboards present positive values for metrics representing
received and negative values for metrics representing
Netdata charts showing the bandwidth and packets of a network interface.
received is positive and
sent is negative.
Netdata charts automatically zoom vertically, to visualize the variation of each metric within the visible time-frame.
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 panned by dragging them with the mouse. Charts can be zoomed in/out with
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.
To improve visual anomaly detection across charts, the user can highlight a time-frame (by pressing
mouse selection) on all charts.
A highlighted time-frame can be given by pressing
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.
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:
Netdata is GPLv3+.
Netdata re-distributes other open-source tools and libraries. Please check the third party licenses.