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Grafana celebrates 10th anniversary, launches v10 with richer dashboards and hardened security

Bynewsmagzines

Jun 13, 2023
Grafana celebrates 10th anniversary, launches v10 with richer dashboards and hardened security

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Stockholm-based Grafana Labs, the creator of open-source data visualization tools, today kicked off its 10th-anniversary celebrations with the launch of Grafana v10, the first major update for its platform in nearly two years.

Announced at the company’s annual GrafanaCON conference, the new release focuses on improving the developer experience with new ways to correlate and visualize data, and eventually share those dashboards easily with external stakeholders.

“Grafana 10 is really the culmination of work that has been ongoing for over a year, with many features that were previously released in preview now maturing to be fully documented, supported, and enabled by default. There are a lot of features here, but the main goals were to make it easier to: get started with Grafana; share your dashboards with the world; correlate your data to resolve incidents faster; and use automation to build more interactive, consistent dashboards,” Mitch Seaman, director of product at Grafana Labs, told VentureBeat ahead of GrafanaCON.

As part of the 10th-anniversary celebrations, Grafana Labs is also hosting GrafanaCON local community meetups in more than 20 cities worldwide, including Atlanta, Austin, Chicago, New York City, Seattle, and San Francisco.

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Currently, Grafana has 20 million users with plugins for more than 150 data sources, both open-source and commercial. According to the company’s 2023 Observability Survey, 38% of enterprise users said they have more than 7 data sources configured in Grafana. Some of the company’s customers are Salesforce, JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup and Bloomberg.

What does Grafana 10 bring to the table?

With the release of version 10, Grafana is giving users an improved user experience with a more fine-tuned onboarding process (better prompts, guided workflows, and updated source pickers in the UI) to get started, as well as three new visualization panels to include in dashboards: Canvas, Trend, and Datagrid.

“The Canvas panel (now generally available) allows you to create incredibly recognizable and custom visualizations that include live data. Some interesting examples are visualizing the status of factory equipment, overlaid on a schematic of the data itself, or visualizing traffic between components in a network, overlaid on a familiar ‘boxes-and-lines’ diagram of your system architecture,” Seaman explained. 

A demo of Canvas Panel

The Trend and Datagrid panels target different areas. The former, currently in public preview, allows users to display trends where the x-axis is numeric and not time, like function graphs, rpm/torque curves, supply/demand relationships, and more.

Meanwhile, the latter, which is an experimental product, offers a spreadsheet-like interface allowing users to edit, fine-tune, and organize their data within each dashboard for presentation purposes. 

Once the dashboards are ready, users also get a new subfolder feature to organize them into folders, categorized by business units, departments, teams, etc.

“Grafana 10 has elevated the developer UX for observability data so any developer can jump right in and get started connecting data sources, creating dashboards, and sharing and extending these resources to teammates,” Tom Wilkie, CTO at Grafana Labs, said

In addition to the new visualizations, Grafana Labs is updating the platform’s public dashboard feature to enable knowledge sharing via email (only for Pro and Advanced users) and adding the ability to correlate data from multiple sources for a unified view of the entire data landscape.

“Some good examples are linking from error logs to the actual database commands where errors occurred, or linking from Traces to applications where they occurred… This kind of correlation was possible before just for our own metrics, logs, and traces data sources, but correlations are now possible for all data sources and an unlimited number of combinations,” Seaman explained.

Further, Grafana is adding a second interface focused solely on managing dashboards as code, helping users keep everything up-to-date effortlessly, and a new “Scenes” front-end framework to build dashboard experiences into custom apps.

Grafana’s product director touted Scenes as one of the most exciting new developments, as it will help users embed dashboard elements like panels, template variables, and the time range picker into custom applications, where they may include new inputs, drill-downs, tabs, and interactions. 

Grafana Scenes
Grafana Scenes

Hardened security

Finally, on the security front, Grafana 10 is adding private data source connect (PDC) that uses SOCKS over a secure shell proxy to help users to query data sources running in private networks from the Grafana Cloud. Previously, this task required opening the network to a range of IP addresses. 

“What’s been remarkable about the success of Grafana is the evolution of the visualization capabilities that have really blossomed as the Grafana dashboard became ubiquitous. Grafana isn’t just a visualization front-end for IT infrastructure, it’s monitoring all kinds of other environments, from space travel to distributed ag-tech farms, to research projects in academia,” Torkel Odegaard, the creator of Grafana, said.

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