Introducing Grafana 6 

July 4, 2019
Monitoring

Over the past year, we’ve worked to overhaul the way we run Grafana. Our Grafana 6 release is made possible by changes to how we run your Grafana instances. It includes access to the full Grafana HTTP API, and offers several new security updates and features in the UI. 

What’s different

Since last year, each team in Hosted Graphite has their own Grafana instance which is run and managed in a Docker swarm. This allows us to enable multiple data sources, so you can define and query multiple storage backends for your metrics/data. 

This update also permits access to the full Grafana API, and will work with an API key you create in your Grafana instance. 

Added to this, you’ll notice several changes and new features in the Grafana UI. In a nutshell, here’s what’s new:

Gauge Panel:

A new panel, just for gauges!

New Panel Editor UX:

Updated UX and a smoother switch between visualizations

Explore:

A new query based workflow to explore data ad-hoc and troubleshoot.

Named Colors:  

Now included in the color picker.

It's worth noting that this update brings with it some changes to current behaviour:

  • Sharing a dashboard with an unauthenticated user has changed. Sharing dashboards with your logged-in teammates is as easy as ever though – just send them the URL! For unauthenticated users, existing links to dashboards shared with sharing keys will still work, but generating new ones cannot be done within Grafana right now. 
  • Sharing a Dashboard:
  1. Copy a Grafana Sharing Key located here.
  2. Copy, everything after /grafana/ in the dashboard URL - this is the path to the dashboard (e.g: /d/000000001/*)
  3. Append the dashboard path to the sharing key after /grafana/
  4. Paste the sharing link in the address bar to view the dashboard. For example: https://www.hostedgraphite.com/user-id/sharing-key/grafana/d/000000001/*

The Data View drop-down is temporarily missing from the UI. Data views still work as normal, and will continue to function on any graphite render queries, but must be manually appended to the graphite query in the query editor.

  • For example, to get the sumrate view, instead of just using my.metric in your Graphite query, you use my.metric:sumrate instead. We will be updating the default Hosted Graphite data source shortly to make this easier! 

Currently, you'll only be able to define alerts on the Hosted Graphite datasource, using HG notification channels. These are evaluated in our own alerting engine, which is the same as what you're used to. We'll be adding support for these features over time – let us know if there's something in particular you'd like to see! 

As ever, we’d love to know what you think! Email any questions, thoughts, or feedback to help@hostedgraphite.com.



Ciarán Finn

Technical Lead at Hosted Graphite.

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