Is Graphite still top dog of the TSDB space?

We’re currently in the process of possibly moving away from Graphite as our Grafana backend, as over the past few years it seems that a ton of other TSDB’s have sprung up to take its place as it seems that development on Graphite is sparse and I’ve heard from many sources that the project is essentially dead. However when it comes to usability, we haven’t found anything that matches the ease of use and power of Graphite from a query perspective (server management is less than ideal).
What caught my interest was this quote from the Grafana Hosted Metrics page: “Graphite is still king when it comes to its query capabilities. No other TSDB supports the rich analytics, nested queries, group by functions and transforms that Graphite gives you.” Does this mean that the Hosted Metrics platform runs on open source Graphite for it’s backend? If so, I’m very curious as to how that decision was made, how comfortable the Grafana team is with using an old technology that never even reached a 1.0 release as a backend for their enterprise cloud service, and most of all, have they found a streamlined way to easily manage Graphite clusters?
At this point I’ve spun up and tested some of the popular new TSDB offerings and they’ve all been incredibly underwhelming. So my long winded question is this: Does the Grafana team recommend that their users still continue using Graphite opposed to the other new offerings in this space?



  • Graphite is still king when it comes to ease of use in terms of query language.
  • Graphite is still king when it comes to power of the analytics & transformations you can do
  • Powerful Subqueries
  • Great Grafana query editor


  • Lacks support for tags (Something Grafana Labs team want to address)
  • Python (Something Grafana Labs team want to address by creating a Go port)
  • Tricky to scale (but very doable, also something Grafana Labs team is working on via our Metrictank project)

Does this mean that the Hosted Metrics platform runs on open source Graphite for its backend?

Yes and no. We use the opensource Graphite (specifically graphite-api with some minor changes) for executing all of the transformation and analytics functions, but we have our own custom backend for data storage and clustering. This solves the graphite clustering problem as our stack scales horizontally.

The graphite layer is the current bottleneck in our platform and we are actively working to move all of the graphite functions into our scalable graphite replacement to significantly improve query performance.

Thanks for the information!