Choosing the right database is a critical choice when building any software application. All databases have different strengths and weaknesses when it comes to performance, so deciding which database has the most benefits and the most minor downsides for your specific use case and data model is an important decision. Below you will find an overview of the key concepts, architecture, features, use cases, and pricing models of DataBend and Prometheus so you can quickly see how they compare against each other.
The primary purpose of this article is to compare how DataBend and Prometheus perform for workloads involving time series data, not for all possible use cases. Time series data typically presents a unique challenge in terms of database performance. This is due to the high volume of data being written and the query patterns to access that data. This article doesn’t intend to make the case for which database is better; it simply provides an overview of each database so you can make an informed decision.
DataBend vs Prometheus Breakdown
Time series database
DataBend can be run on your own infrastructure or using a managed service. It is designed as a cloud native system and is built to take advantage of many of the services available in cloud providers like AWS, Google Cloud, and Azure.
Prometheus uses a pull-based model where it scrapes metrics from configured targets at given intervals. It stores time series data in a custom, efficient, local storage format, and supports multi-dimensional data collection, querying, and alerting. It can be deployed as a single binary on a server or on a container platform like Kubernetes.
Data analytics, Data warehousing, Real-time analytics, Big data processing
Monitoring, alerting, observability, system metrics, application metrics
Horizontally scalable with support for distributed computing
Prometheus is designed for reliability and can scale vertically (single node with increased resources) or through federation (hierarchical setup where Prometheus servers scrape metrics from other Prometheus servers)
DataBend is an open-source, cloud-native data processing and analytics platform designed to provide high-performance, cost-effective, and scalable solutions for big data workloads. The project is driven by a community of developers, researchers, and industry professionals aiming to create a unified data processing platform that combines batch and streaming processing capabilities with advanced analytical features. DataBend’s flexible architecture allows users to build a wide range of applications, from real-time analytics to large-scale data warehousing.
Prometheus is an open-source monitoring and alerting toolkit initially developed at SoundCloud in 2012. It has since become a widely adopted monitoring solution and a part of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) project. Prometheus focuses on providing real-time insights and alerts for containerized and microservices-based environments. Its primary use case is monitoring infrastructure and applications, with an emphasis on reliability and scalability.
DataBend for Time Series Data
DataBend’s architecture and processing capabilities make it a suitable choice for working with time series data. Its support for both batch and streaming data processing allows users to ingest, store, and analyze time series data at scale. Additionally, DataBend’s integration with Apache Arrow and its powerful query execution framework enable efficient querying and analytics on time series data, making it a versatile choice for applications that require real-time insights and analytics.
Prometheus for Time Series Data
Prometheus is specifically designed for time series data, as its primary focus is on monitoring and alerting based on the state of infrastructure and applications. It uses a pull-based model, where the Prometheus server scrapes metrics from the target systems at regular intervals. This model is suitable for monitoring dynamic environments, as it allows for automatic discovery and monitoring of new instances. However, Prometheus is not intended as a general-purpose time series database and might not be the best choice for high cardinality or long-term data storage.
DataBend Key Concepts
- DataFusion: DataFusion is a core component of DataBend, providing an extensible query execution framework that supports both SQL and DataFrame-based query APIs.
- Ballista: Ballista is a distributed compute platform within DataBend, built on top of DataFusion, that allows for efficient and scalable execution of large-scale data processing tasks.
- Arrow: DataBend leverages Apache Arrow, an in-memory columnar data format, to enable efficient data exchange between components and optimize query performance.
Prometheus Key Concepts
- Metric: A numeric representation of a particular aspect of a system, such as CPU usage or memory consumption.
- Time Series: A collection of data points for a metric, indexed by timestamp.
- Label: A key-value pair that provides metadata and context for a metric, enabling more granular querying and aggregation.
- PromQL: Prometheus uses its own query language called PromQL (Prometheus Query Language) for querying time series data and generating alerts.
DataBend is built on a cloud-native, distributed architecture that supports both NoSQL and SQL-like querying capabilities. Its modular design allows users to choose and combine components based on their specific use case and requirements. The core components of DataBend’s architecture include DataFusion, Ballista, and the storage layer. DataFusion is responsible for query execution and optimization, while Ballista enables distributed computing for large-scale data processing tasks. The storage layer in DataBend can be configured to work with various storage backends, such as object storage or distributed file systems.
Prometheus is a single-server, standalone monitoring system that uses a pull-based approach to collect metrics from target systems. It stores time series data in a custom, highly compressed, on-disk format, optimized for fast querying and low resource usage. The architecture of Prometheus is modular and extensible, with components like exporters, service discovery mechanisms, and integrations with other monitoring systems. As a non-distributed system, it lacks built-in clustering or horizontal scalability, but it supports federation, allowing multiple Prometheus servers to share and aggregate data.
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Unified Batch and Stream Processing
DataBend supports both batch and streaming data processing, enabling users to build a wide range of applications that require real-time or historical data analysis.
Extensible Query Execution
DataBend’s DataFusion component provides a powerful and extensible query execution framework that supports both SQL and DataFrame-based query APIs.
Scalable Distributed Computing
With its Ballista compute platform, DataBend enables efficient and scalable execution of large-scale data processing tasks across a distributed cluster of nodes.
DataBend’s architecture allows users to configure the storage layer to work with various storage backends, providing flexibility and adaptability to different use cases.
Prometheus collects metrics by actively scraping targets, enabling automatic discovery and monitoring of dynamic environments.
The powerful Prometheus Query Language allows for expressive and flexible querying of time series data.
Prometheus supports alerting based on user-defined rules and integrates with various alert management and notification systems.
DataBend Use Cases
DataBend’s support for streaming data processing and its powerful query execution framework make it a suitable choice for building real-time analytics applications, such as log analysis, monitoring, and anomaly detection.
With its scalable distributed computing capabilities and flexible storage options, DataBend can be used to build large-scale data warehouses that can efficiently store and analyze vast amounts of structured and semi-structured data.
DataBend’s ability to handle arge-scale data processing and its support for both batch and streaming data make it an excellent choice for machine learning applications. Users can leverage DataBend to preprocess, transform, and analyze data for feature engineering, model training, and evaluation, enabling them to derive valuable insights and build data-driven machine learning models.
Prometheus Use Cases
Prometheus is widely used for monitoring the health and performance of containerized and microservices-based infrastructure, including Kubernetes and Docker environments.
Application Performance Monitoring (APM)
Prometheus can collect custom application metrics using client libraries and monitor application performance in real-time.
Alerting and Anomaly Detection
Prometheus enables organizations to set up alerts based on specific thresholds or conditions, helping them identify and respond to potential issues or anomalies quickly.
DataBend Pricing Model
As an open-source project, DataBend is freely available for use without any licensing fees or subscription costs. Users can deploy and manage DataBend on their own infrastructure or opt for cloud-based deployment using popular cloud providers. DataBend itself also provides a managed cloud service with free trial credits available.
Prometheus Pricing Model
Prometheus is an open-source project, and there are no licensing fees associated with its use. However, costs can arise from hardware, hosting, and operational expenses when deploying a self-managed Prometheus server. Additionally, several cloud-based managed Prometheus services, such as Grafana Cloud and Weave Cloud, offer different pricing models based on factors like data retention, query rate, and support.
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