Grafana 8.0 GA
June 9, 2021
Labs made a series of significant new product updates at the
GrafanaCONline community conference, including the highly anticipated
general availability of Grafana 8.0 and Grafana Tempo 1.0.
The latest product updates include enhanced visualizations, such as
streaming panels, a brand new unified alerting system, the addition of
Grafana Tempo distributed tracing to Grafana Cloud, and much more.
“More than three-quarters of a million organizations are actively using
the Grafana platform to monitor and visualize everything from their
personal smart home devices to crucial business application data. The
project maintainers have been hard at work over the past year to develop
new features that make the platform more scalable and easier to use for
everyone,” said Torkel Ödegaard, creator of the Grafana project and
Co-founder and CGO at Grafana Labs. “Grafana 8.0 focuses on new ways for
users to build powerful visualizations, easily monitor and alert on
their systems to rapidly respond to changes, and reduce the
infrastructure necessary to run their Grafana deployments.”
Maximum Traces, Minimal Overhead
Many organizations have struggled with implementing distributed tracing
and correlating it with the other pillars of observability, metrics and
logs. The introduction of Grafana Tempo 1.0 aims to simplify this
process without the need for third-party tools and infrastructure. First
announced in October 2020 at ObservabilityCON, Grafana Tempo is an
easy-to-operate, high-scale, and cost-effective distributed tracing
backend built to help users manage their traces with minimal
infrastructure investment, only requiring object storage to operate.
Unlike existing tracing backends, Grafana Tempo is able to rapidly scale
and reduces the need to sample traces, allowing you to guarantee every
request is backed by a trace. Grafana Tempo can be used with any open
source tracing protocol such as Jaeger, Zipkin, and OpenTelemetry. In
addition to Tempo 1.0, Grafana Labs also announced the general
availability of Grafana Cloud Traces, which integrates traces with
metrics, logs, and dashboards in the company’s fully managed Grafana
Cloud observability stack. Users can analyze up to 50GB of traces at no
cost in the free tier of Grafana Cloud.
With Grafana Tempo, users are able to dive deeper into their
observability data and pinpoint specific traces in order to answer
questions like: “Why was this customer’s query slow?” “An intermittent
bug showed up again. Can I see the exact trace?” By discovering traces
through logs and exemplars, and storing the traces by ID in Tempo,
organizations gain more visibility into their applications while
simultaneously reducing their infrastructure spend.
New Unified Alerting
Leading the list of features introduced in Grafana 8.0 is the brand new
unified alerting system, which unifies Prometheus alerting and Grafana
alerting, allowing you to view and edit Grafana alerts and view
Prometheus alerts in the same user interface. This provides a common
experience around alerting for all Grafana users and data sources —
whether you’re using the open source version or the Enterprise and Cloud
stacks from Grafana Labs. The new notification system, which is built on
Prometheus Alertmanager, brings grouping, deduping and silencing of
notifications and more advanced message templates.
New and Improved visualizations
8.0 features many new visualizations, including state timeline, status
history, bar chart, and histograms. The new Library panels feature allow
you to save and reuse panels across many dashboards. On top of this, 8.0
boasts improved startup and graph rendering performance thanks to a
massive reduction in initial download size and graph rendering time. The
performance improvements are key for the new built-in low latency and
high frequency streaming capabilities.
Enterprise-ready Security & Scalability
Grafana Labs also introduced highly requested features in Grafana
Enterprise, which is tailored for large organizations operating at high
scale. The new fine-grained access control allows users to add or remove
detailed permissions from Viewer, Editor, and Admin roles to make sure
everyone in the organization has the appropriate level of access.
Additionally, Grafana Enterprise will now cache the results of backend
data source queries, eliminating unnecessary duplicate queries and
reducing dashboard load times — as well as costs. Finally, Grafana
Enterprise users now have improved reporting capabilities, such as
exporting Table Panels as .csv files as well as including live dashboard
links in reporting emails to showcase your data live in Grafana.