Nastel XRay is a cheaper and better option than ELK, Data lakes, Prometheus, and Grafana

Nastel XRay is a hosted, managed alternative to ELK, Prometheus and Grafana

Being able to interrogate data about transactions that take place in your IT applications is critical when you need to ensure performance, availability, security and a desired user experience.

Many companies have considered the two choices that are most often discussed, namely the combination of Prometheus and Grafana, and alternatively, the Elastic Stack. Both of these options offer a pathway to desired outcomes, but with some caveats.

ELK (Elasticsearch, Logstash, and Kibana) also known as the elastic stack. ELK is open source, so the software costs are very low, but the complexity of implementation can be immense. A great mind once said “you end up paying twice as much for what you get for free”, and the experience of many indicates this is true with ELK. The combination of Prometheus and Grafana is a similar story.

These options provide powerful tool sets for log management and data analysis, but powerful tools demand experts to operate, and this is both a cost and process concern. Experts are expensive and translating a data request into a query can be very time consuming. If the data being analysed holds knowledge which is only of value immediately, sometimes the effort can be wasted.

There are alternatives!


One such choice is Nastel XRay which delivers a very cost-effective method of capturing, storing and analysing data in real time.

Key differentiators are:

  • True multi tenancy
  • English-like query language can be used by non-developers
  • Native transaction tracing with automatic computation of latency
  • Understanding of business objectives
  • Much better scaling
  • Can also consume data from Logstash and other ELK stack instrumentation.
  • Can be natively deployed as SaaS and on-prem.
  • Integrated with R language for machine learning.

Unusual patterns or previously identified situations can be identified as signals in the data in real time, allow immediate alerts and actions to be automated. This model allows you to reduce your costs while delivering real-time analysis.

Lower costs, faster results are things we (and you) know you need to consider.


As my colleague said yesterday, “we can say all you want on our website, in blog posts, etc, what REALLY makes a difference in terms of £££ is DOING it in the field, with real customers, that’s where everything gets real. My customer was going full tilt to build a project for testing Prometheus, Grafana,  ELK and Splunk too for leveraging data intelligence until we stopped them. We told them unabashedly : “Gents, we’re sorry but that’s just a dumb strategy, you should be using XRay for that” … sometimes you just have to go balls out with a customer … well, they listened and we delivered.”

In a future post I will discuss how XRay is used for real-time analytics of message payloads to facilitate business decisions and compliance.

I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences in this area. Please comment below or email my directly.

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