Graphite does two things:
What Graphite does not do is collect data for you, however there are some tools out there that know how to send data to graphite. Even though it often requires a little code, sending data to Graphite is very simple.
Graphite is an enterprise-scale monitoring tool that runs well on cheap hardware. It was originally designed and written by Chris Davis at Orbitz in 2006 as side project that ultimately grew to be a foundational monitoring tool. In 2008, Orbitz allowed Graphite to be released under the open source Apache 2.0 license. Since then Chris has continued to work on Graphite and has deployed it at other companies including Sears, where it serves as a pillar of the e-commerce monitoring system. Today many large companies use it.
Graphite consists of 3 software components:
Feeding in your data is pretty easy, typically most of the effort is in collecting the data to begin with. As you send datapoints to Carbon, they become immediately available for graphing in the webapp. The webapp offers several ways to create and display graphs including a simple URL API for rendering that makes it easy to embed graphs in other webpages.