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Squadcast vs Grafana Incident Response Management: Optimizing Your Incident Response Workflow

May 9, 2024
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Looking for tools that can help you optimize your Incident Response Workflow?? If there is one thing you could take away from this blog, just remember this:

Squadcast: Unified Incident Management Platform

Squadcast is an incident management platform that unifies On-Call, Incident Management and SRE workflows along with automation. This enables Devops Engineers and SRE teams to foster collaboration across the teams and streamline incident resolution.

Grafana IRM: Incident Response Management within Open Observability Platform

Grafana is an Open-source platform for visualizing time series data, monitoring key metrics and analyzing trends. IRM is a feature within the Grafana platform that focuses on alerting and incident notification based on data visualizations.


For DevOps Engineers and SRE teams, a robust incident management and incident response strategy is crucial. While both Squadcast and Grafana IRM play a role in this, they address distinct aspects of this process.  This blog explores these differences and how they can complement each other. Squadcast is a unified incident management platform that excels at managing the entire incident lifecycle, offering features like on-call scheduling, automated workflows and collaboration tools.  In contrast, Grafana IRM focuses on alerting based on data visualization, monitoring key metrics and analyzing trends to help identify potential issues before they snowball into incidents.  By leveraging both platforms, you can create a comprehensive Incident Management strategy that minimizes downtime and ensures a smooth user experience.

How is Squadcast different from Grafana?

  1. Platform Focus: Squadcast is a dedicated incident management platform which offers a comprehensive suite designed to orchestrate and resolve incidents efficiently. Squadcast includes features like on-call scheduling, automated workflows for repetitive tasks, runbooks, intelligent alert noise reduction and event aggregation features along with Status pages and post-incident reports that capture valuable insights to prevent future occurrences. In contrast,Grafana IRM is a sub-feature within the broader Grafana data observability platform.  While it can trigger alerts based on visualized data and trends, it lacks dedicated IRM functionalities like runbooks and collaboration features.
  2. Rich and Mature AI / ML Ops: Squadcast leverages advanced AI/ML techniques to offer features like Past Incidents, Auto Pause Transient Alerts(APTA) and Intelligent Alert Grouping (IAG). Past Incidents surface similar historical issues, accelerating resolution by providing context, past activity, timing patterns and past solutions. Auto Pause Transient Alerts intelligently detects and suppresses notifications for short-lived alerts that are likely to resolve on their own, reducing alert fatigue. Intelligent Alert Grouping reduces alert fatigue by consolidating similar open incidents, saving your team from distracting information and alert noise. While Grafana IRM offers basic alerting based on data visualizations, it lacks the advanced inbuilt AI/ML capabilities. Grafana Machine Learning offers data analysis and generative AI capabilities, forecasting capacity requirements and identifying anomalous activities. Grafana ML is more designed to investigate your infrastructure telemetry, and gain predictive insights instead of streamlining the incident management workflow.
  3. SRE-Focused Approach: Squadcast is built with an SRE (Site Reliability Engineering) philosophy in mind. This means it prioritizes automation, proactive monitoring, and continuous improvement to ensure reliable and efficient operations. Squadcast's features, such as adding additional responders to an incident, automatically attaching runbooks to incidents and adding stakeholders as incident watchers to keep them updated on any progress on critical incidents automated workflows, runbooks, and post-incident reports, are specifically designed to empower Enterprise SRE teams to manage incidents effectively and prevent future occurrences. In contrast, Grafana IRM has a broader focus on data visualization and alerting. While it can be valuable for SRE teams, it doesn't offer the same level of SRE-centric functionalities as Squadcast.

Feature Comparison

On-Call Management 

Feature Squadcast Grafana IRM
Incident Creation Automated & manual Declare an incident manually
Escalation Policies Advanced escalation policies based on severity & time of day Simple escalation policies to alert contact points based on certain labels
Webforms (Alternative on Live Call Routing) Green check Red cross
Role Based Access Control (RBAC) Green check Red cross
Phone and Email Notifications Green check Green check
Schedules Green check Green check

While both Squadcast and Grafana IRM offer on-call scheduling and notification functionalities, Squadcast provides a comprehensive approach to on-call management. Squadcast allows for both automated and manual incident creation through incident routing options like web forms and live call routing, enforces advanced escalation policies based on severity and time of day. Additionally, Squadcast supports Role-Based Access Control for granular permission management. While both platforms enable phone and email notifications and scheduling, Squadcast's on-call management features ensure a more streamlined and dynamic incident response process.

Incident Response

Feature Squadcast Grafana IRM
Runbooks Green check Red cross
Incident Notes Green check Green check
Incident Watchers Green check Red cross
ChatOps (Slack, MS Teams) Green check Green check

When it comes to fostering collaboration during incidents, Squadcast offers additional functionalities compared to Grafana IRM. While both platforms enable real-time communication through strong ChatOps integrations with tools like Slack and Microsoft Teams and at the same time allow capturing and sharing incident notes, Squadcast empowers devops teams with runbooks, ensuring a consistent response approach and smoother resolution to incidents. Additionally, Squadcast allows assigning incident watchers, keeping them informed on the progress without being primary responders.

AIOps and Intelligent Noise Reduction

Feature Squadcast Grafana IRM
Past Incidents Green check Red cross
Auto Pause Transient Alerts Green check Red cross
Intelligent Alert Grouping Green check Red cross
Key Based Alert Deduplication Green check Red cross
Snooze Notifications Green check Green check
Event Severity Levels Green check Green check

Squadcast takes the lead in intelligent noise reduction and AI-powered features compared to Grafana IRM. While both platforms offer basic functionalities like snooze notifications and event severity levels, Squadcast goes beyond with features like auto-pause for transient alerts (brief spikes unlikely to be real incidents), intelligent alert grouping for a consolidated incident view and key-based alert deduplication to minimize repetitive notifications. Squadcast also leverages past incidents to suppress alerts similar to previously resolved non-issues, further reducing alert fatigue and ensuring teams focus on only the critical issues. These intelligent features within Squadcast empower them to streamline the incident response workflow and minimize wasted time investigating false positives.

SRE & Status Page

Feature Squadcast Grafana IRM
Incident postmortem templates Green check Red cross
SLO Tracker Green check Green check
# of Status Pages Green check Red cross
Status Page Subscribers Green check Red cross

Both Squadcast and Grafana enable SLO tracking, Squadcast sets itself apart with its dedicated focus on SRE workflows. Squadcast allows creating and managing unlimited status pages, a key communication tool for informing users about service availability and potential incidents. In contrast, Grafana IRM lacks status page functionality entirely. This distinction highlights how Squadcast caters to the broader needs of SRE teams, not just monitoring and alerting.


How much does Squadcast cost?

Squadcast provides a clear feature lineup alongside a transparent pricing model with no hidden cost and an option for a free plan for teams of up to 5 users. Paid subscriptions begin at $9 per user per month, offering fundamental incident management and on-call scheduling functionalities. For access to more advanced Digital Operations and AIOps features for noise reduction and event aggregation, teams can choose the Enterprise plan, priced at $21 per user per month.

How much does Grafana IRM Cost?

Grafana IRM comes as a bundle with Grafana Cloud offering. The free tier provides access to IRM for only 3 users. The paid Premium bundle starts at $200 per month for 5 users and the final pricing depends on the usage.

Choosing the right platform

Squadcast and Grafana IRM both play a role in a robust incident response strategy, but they excel in different areas. Squadcast provides a comprehensive solution for managing incidents from start to finish, with features like on-call scheduling, automated workflows, collaboration tools, AI/ML for proactive incident prevention and intelligent noise reduction to minimize alert fatigue. Grafana IRM shines in data visualization and alerting, offering valuable insights that can be integrated with Squadcast for a more holistic IRM strategy.

Ready to experience the difference Squadcast can make? Sign up for your free trial today and see how Squadcast can optimize your incident response workflow, minimize downtime, and ensure a smoother user experience.

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Squadcast is a leader in Incident Management on G2 Squadcast is a leader in Mid-Market IT Service Management (ITSM) Tools on G2 Squadcast is a leader in Americas IT Alerting on G2
Best IT Management Products 2024 Squadcast is a leader in Europe IT Alerting on G2 Squadcast is a leader in Enterprise Incident Management on G2
Users love Squadcast on G2
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