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Kibana vs Splunk

Last Updated : 11 May, 2023
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Kibana is an open-source visualization tool whereas Splunk comes under the category of log management and analysis. Both Kibana and Splunk are tools that have outstanding features. Setting-up Kibana is quite easy whereas setting up Splunk is a complex task. It is not at all easy to choose which one to use as both support features of visualization that are Graph, Histogram, Table, and Heatmap.

What is Kibana?

Kibana is a part of the ELK stack and is an open-source visualization, used for time-series analysis, log analysis, and for monitoring of applications. It has a tool known as Canvas that is used for presentation purposes. With this kind of tool, the user can create slide decks that help in extracting real-time data directly from Elasticsearch. With the features like charts, tables, maps, and other tools in Kibana, real-time data can be viewed.

Key Features

  1. Easy drag-and-drop experience.
  2. Time Series Visual Builder (TSVB)
  3. Numerous measures are there to display the data in the form of a Line chart, area chart, bar chart, heat map, and pie chart.
  4. It has community-driven plugin modules.


  1. It is an open-source tool.
  2. Its setup is quite easy.
  3. It is highly interactive.
  4. Canvas visualization is used to analyze complex data.
  5. It provides real-time data analysis and monitoring.
  6. It has a user-friendly interface and easy-to-use dashboard customization options.
  7. It integrates with other data sources and software tools, making it highly versatile.
  8. It offers different types of visualizations, including tables, maps, and graphs, to analyze data in different ways.
  9. It allows for centralized log management and analysis, making it easier to troubleshoot issues and identify patterns.


  1. Security issues.
  2. It is quite slow. Plugins add-on is also a difficult task.
  3. Debugging option is not available.
  4. It requires a significant amount of hardware resources and may not be suitable for small-scale applications.
  5. It has limited support for data transformation and processing.
  6. It lacks native alerting and notification features, which may require the use of third-party tools.
  7. It has a steeper learning curve for complex queries and analytics.

What is Splunk?

Splunk is one of the famous American software which helps to search, monitor and analyze the data generated by machines. It generates various features such as visualizations, dashboards, alerts, reports, and graphs system. It helps to edit or add new components to the dashboard. Basically, it is used to monitor and search through volumes of data. Solutions are provided which will deliver unified security and observability with the help of this tool.

Key Features

  1. Data visualization.
  2. Performance metrics.
  3. Real-Time Search.
  4. Reporting and Monitoring.


  1. Well-prepared documentation.
  2. Debugging is available.
  3. It is quite fast compared to Kibana.
  4. It provides real-time monitoring of data.
  5. It has a high degree of flexibility.
  6. It can handle huge amounts of data with ease.
  7. It supports a wide range of data formats.


  1. It is licensed and thus charged for use and quite expensive.
  2. It has a complex system to set up.
  3. Its User Interface is not friendly.
  4. It has limited free features.
  5. It requires significant hardware resources.
  6. It has a steep learning curve for new users.
  7. It has limited support for machine learning and advanced analytics.

Difference between Kibana and Splunk

  Kibana Splunk
Market Trends It is new in the market in compare to Splunk. It is well-established software.
Set-Up Set-up is Easy and very flexible with its setup. Set-up is Quite complex and is very powerful with its on-premise/off-premise integration.
Solaris portability It offers a Solaris portability feature. It does not offer Solaris portability feature.
Expenses It is open-source and hence free.  It is licensed and hence charged. It is quite expensive.
Usage It uses Apache Lucene’s syntax. It uses its custom-written Search Processing Language.
Security It offers security but less when compared with Splunk. It offers extra security to users’ data.
Speed It is slow when compared to Splunk. It is fast.
Focus The focus is mainly on monitoring tools. The focus is mainly on log analysis.
Interactive It is highly interactive and its User Interface is quite friendly. It is not as interactive as Kibana.
Debugging Debugging is not available. It provides debugging and troubleshooting support.
Data Formats It allows data formats like JSON and can be integrated with third parties to send data in the desired format. It allows any data format like .csv, log files, JSON, etc. It is quite flexible in integrating with other plugins.
Organizations LinkedIn, Netflix, and StackOverflow are a few organizations that use Kibana. Bosch, Cisco, and Adobe are a few organizations that use Splunk.


Both tools have their own advantages and disadvantages and selecting a tool is completely based on the system and its requirements. Splunk is the better option to choose if the applications that require constant backend support, real-time analysis, and alerts are there. Kibana is the best solution for those organizations that need to use the ELK stack and want powerful analysis in their project.

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