Grafana, data visualization & analytics platform, released the beta version of Grafana 6.0, last week. Grafana 6.0 beta explores new features such as Explore, Grafana Loki, Gauge Panel, New panel editor UX, and Google stackdriver datasource among others.
Grafana is an open source data visualization and monitoring tool that can be used on top of a variety of different data stores but is commonly used together with Graphite, InfluxDB, Elasticsearch, and Logz.io.
Let’s discuss the key highlights in Grafana 6.0 beta.
Explore is a new feature in Grafana 6.0 beta that allows you to create a new interactive debugging workflow and helps integrate metrics and logs. The Prometheus query editor in Explore has improved autocomplete, metric tree selector, and integrations with the Explore table view. This allows easy label filtering and offers useful query hints that can automatically apply functions to your query.
Also, there is no need to switch to other tools for debugging purposes, since Explore allows you to dig deeper into your metrics and logs to find the bug related cause. Grafana’s new logging datasource, called, Loki is also tightly integrated into Explore, enabling you to correlate metrics and logs by viewing them side-by-side. Explore supports splitting the view, allowing you to easily compare different queries, datasources, metrics and logs.
The log exploration and visualization features in Explore are available in any data source but have been currently implemented only by the new open source log aggregation system from Grafana Lab, called Grafana Loki.
Grafana Loki is a horizontally-scalable, highly-available, and multi-tenant log aggregation system inspired by Prometheus. It is very cost effective as it does not index the contents of the logs but a set of labels for each log stream. The logs from Loki gets queried in a similar way to querying with label selectors in Prometheus. Loki makes use of labels to group log streams which can be made to match up with your Prometheus labels.
New Panel Editor
Grafana beta 6.0 has a new, redesigned UX around editing panels. The new panel editor lets you resize the visualization area in case the user wants more space for queries and options. It also allows you to change visualization (panel type) from within the new panel edit mode, hence, eliminating the need to add a new panel to try out different visualizations.
Azure Monitor Datasource
The Grafana team worked on developing an external plugin for Azure Monitor last year and it is now being moved into Grafana to be one of the built-in datasources. As a core datasource, the Azure Monitor datasource will be getting the alerting support for the official Grafana 6.0 release.
The Azure Monitor datasource integrates four different Azure services with Grafana, namely, Azure Monitor, Azure Log Analytics, Azure Application Insights, and Azure Application Insights Analytics.
- Grafana 6.0 beta comes with a new and separate Gauge panel. Gauge Panel contains a new threshold editor that the team plans to refine and use in other panels.
- Built-in support for Google Stackdriver has been officially released in Grafana 6.0 beta.
- Grafana 6.0 beta comes with newly added support for provisioning alert notifiers from configuration files. This feature allows operators to provision notifiers without using the UI or the API. A new field called uid (string identifier) has been added that the administrator can set themselves.
- The ElasticSearch datasource in Grafana 6.0 beta now supports bucket script pipeline aggregations. This allows it to do per bucket computations such as the difference or ratio between two metrics.
- The color picker has been updated in Grafana to show named colors and primary colors. This will improve accessibility and will make colors more consistent across dashboards.
For more information, check out the official Grafana 6.0 beta release notes.
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