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Grafana 9.0 GA

July 20, 2022

Grafana 9.0 features new visualizations and improvements to alerting, and the open source version of Grafana OnCall (already available in Grafana Cloud), a tool for on-call management. The announcement takes place during GrafanaCONline, the virtual community event happening now through June 17, 2022, where over 15,000+ registered attendees will hear from Grafana users at Dish Network, Cisco, KCB Bank of Uganda, Optum, and more.

“Seeing the Grafana community come together to share ideas is a highlight of my year. When I started the Grafana project in December 2013, I couldn’t have imagined that there would be more than 900,000 Grafana installations around the globe,” said Torkel Ödegaard, Co-founder and Chief Grafana Officer at Grafana Labs. “At Grafana Labs, we’re always asking ourselves how we can make observability, monitoring, data visualization, and dashboarding more relevant, powerful, and easy to use, and that has been a huge influence on this 9.0 release. We’ve been continuously releasing and refining these aspects of Grafana, and our new query builders, visualizations, alerting, and security measures are the result of that work.”

Grafana 9.0 highlights

Visual query builders for Prometheus and Grafana Loki: For new users of the popular data sources Prometheus and Grafana Loki, writing and understanding queries can be hard. The visual query builders for these data sources lower the barrier to entry, so anyone can compose, understand, and learn how to use the underlying query languages.

Dashboard previews and title search: The previews provide an overview of all available dashboards and help you quickly identify the dashboard you need. You can also opt in to a new feature that allows you to search for terms in dashboard and panel titles.

New navigation bar features: Expand the navigation bar for a better overview of Grafana’s features and your installed integrations. You can opt in to access your starred dashboards directly from the navigation bar.
Modernized heatmap panel: The new and improved heatmap panel is multiple orders of magnitude faster than its predecessor, and is capable of rendering multiple time series with thousands of data points each. Additionally, it introduces support for exemplars (traces) overlay and Prometheus sparse histograms.

Alerting improvements: In Grafana 8.0, an overhauled alerting system was introduced as an opt-in feature. The new system unified Prometheus alerting and Grafana alerting in the same user interface for viewing and editing, and provided a common experience for all Grafana users across open source, Enterprise, and Cloud. This alerting system is now the default in 9.0, and with that change comes considerable improvements to UX and documentation.

Envelope encryption as default: Grafana now offers by default envelope encryption for secrets in the database, adding a layer of indirection to the encryption process via a set of keys called data encryption keys (DEKs).

Grafana 9.0 is now available to both open source and Grafana Enterprise users, and Grafana Cloud users are getting automatically upgraded. To learn more about Grafana 9.0, read the release blog.

Grafana OnCall now available as open source

Grafana OnCall was launched on Grafana Cloud late last year to enable DevOps and site reliability engineering (SRE) teams to integrate on-call management into their existing Grafana deployments, alerting sources, and monitoring tools. Monitoring incident response from a central view helps users resolve incidents faster. “Integrating on-call scheduling and paging into Grafana is a really exciting move by Grafana Labs,” said Nathan Bellowe, Staff Software Engineer at The Trade Desk. “Getting on-call notifications and paging integrated closer to the dashboards and data that help developers diagnose and resolve issues will greatly improve on-call workflows. From an administrative standpoint there is also a lot of promise — managing complicated on-call scheduling with different time zones, teams, and systems can quickly become overwhelming. The flexible scheduling integrations with other systems, along with a standalone scheduler, could be extremely useful.”

But not every organization could use this Cloud-based solution, due to security requirements, legal issues around sensitive data, limited connectivity, and other reasons. So Grafana Labs has open sourced Grafana OnCall for self-managed and on-premises installations. “We wanted to make OnCall open source as soon as we felt it was ready for users to run it themselves easily and reliably,” said project co-creator and Grafana Labs Senior Engineering Manager Matvey Kukuy. “We feel it’s ready now.”

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