Prometheus is a time series database, meaning it’s optimized to store and work with data organized in time order. It includes in it’s single binary:

  • Database engine
  • Collector
  • Simple web-based user interface

This allows you to collect and manage data with fewer tools and less complexity than other solutions.

Data Collection

End-points normally expose metrics to Prometheus by making a web page available that it can poll. This is done by including a instrumentation library (provided by Prometheus) or simply adding a listener on a high-level port that spits out some text when asked.

For systems that don’t support Prometheus natively, there are a few add-on services to translate. These are called ’exporters’ and translate things such as SNMP into a web format Prometheus can ingest.


You can also alert on the data collected. This is through the Alert Manager, a second package that works closely with Prometheus.


You still need a dashboard tool like Grafana to handle visualizations, but you can get started quite quickly with just Prometheus.

Last modified June 15, 2023: Anthias Pages Creation (437d903)