Easily Scale Your Graphite Deployment

The Graphite database has engineers feeling stuck. Perhaps you’re one of them.

You find yourself collecting metrics that were defined years ago when the system was put in place, likely by someone who is no longer with the company. These pre-aggregations make it necessary to collect more data, which results in increased infrastructure and disk space costs.

Additionally, queries and dashboards that used to load quickly now take forever because you collect far more metrics than you used to—and Graphite wasn’t built for such scale.

There’s a persistent thought that your entire system could become overwhelmed if this continues, which would be extremely costly. According to Gartner, the average cost of IT downtime is $5,600 per minute, ​​which extrapolates to well over $300,000 per hour.


You also know the data you’re storing isn’t truly safe because Graphite has poor to no data redundancy, creating a single point of failure.

The thing is, your organization has invested considerable time and energy into its Graphite deployment and has created hundreds (or even thousands) of dashboards. At this point, a complete replacement seems impossible given the time commitment and steep learning curve required.

The Cost of the Status Quo

Unfortunately, pushing off the deployment of necessary business technology and innovation has a real opportunity cost—often, decreased productivity and efficiency, lost opportunity, and errors caused by outdated processes.

As Bob Iger of The Walt Disney Company famously said, “The riskiest thing we can do is just maintain the status quo.”

Your tech stack needs to evolve over time to handle the growing complexity of your business, and while Graphite was sufficient when your business was small, it struggles to scale as your organization grows.

That’s why at Circonus, we made it easy to extend and breathe new life into your legacy Graphite deployment with IRONdb.

Circonus IRONdb

Circonus IRONdb is a time series database that is a drop-in replacement for Graphite’s Whisper database and supports ingestion from Carbon sources like carbon-relay and carbon-c-relay. Circonus IRONdb supports Graphite-web through a hosted Graphite-web instance. Existing dashboards will seamlessly continue to work if the underlying Graphite datasource endpoint is changed to Circonus.

You can also import legacy data in near zero time – the moment data is received, it’s indexed and immediately available. And Circonus automatically translates legacy Graphite queries into the more performant Circonus Analytics Query Language (CAQL).

In other words, you can finally have your cake and eat it too. Keep all your Graphite dashboards, alerts, queries, and data, while gaining the benefits of a distributed, highly-available, enterprise-grade monitoring platform.

There’s no need to change your queries, learn a new language, or change your dashboards. In fact, there’s no need to change a thing—just keep doing what you do and prepare to be shocked by the noticeable improvement in how quickly things get done.

We’ll even handle the installation and deployment.

When we did this for our client, HBO, the team didn’t even know it had happened. They walked into the office one morning and everything just worked. They were so shocked at the speed their dashboards were loading (up to 200% faster, by the way) that several employees reached out to management to see what had changed.

How to Ensure Data Safety

Not only was the switch fast and painless for HBO, but they also dramatically improved data redundancy and retention, thereby eliminating single-point-of-failure risk.

Circonus operates with data replicated across multiple availability zones and stores multiple copies of data in a cluster of nodes, which overlap data collection so that it’s never in one place. So, in the highly unlikely event that one—or even two—nodes go down, you’re covered.

We also ensure data retention in cases of network instability with our store and forward technology.

Modernize Your Backend, The Simple Way

With Circonus IRONdb, you can easily import everything you love about Graphite in less than 24 hours using our purpose-built tools—and leave the rest behind. You don’t even have to install or deploy it; the Circonus team are active participants in the Graphite ecosystem and will handle everything for you.

Before you know it, you’ll be:

  • Running queries up to 200x faster
  • Reducing operational overhead
  • Customizing alerts, queries, and dashboards
  • Creating custom metrics (at no additional cost)
  • Slicing-and-dicing complex metrics easily with tag-based search and analytics
  • Collecting StatsD, collectd, and any other carbon compatible tech with no effort
  • Immediately indexing your metrics to view in shareable dashboards
  • Making adjustments as your architecture or requirements evolve

It’s quite simply the fastest way to achieve the flexibility, speed, and reliability you need in today’s complex IT environment.

Read our documentation to learn more on how to replace Graphite with Circonus IRONdb.