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Based in Stockholm Grafana laboratoriesThe maker of open source data visualization tools, today kicked off its 10th anniversary celebrations with the launch of Grafana v10, the first major update to 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 ultimately easily share those dashboards with external stakeholders.
“Grafana 10 is truly the culmination of work that has been going on for over a year, with many previously released preview features now maturing to be fully documented, supported and enabled by default. There’s 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 data to resolve incidents faster; and use automation to create more interactive and consistent dashboards,” Mitch Seaman, director of product at Grafana Labs, told VentureBeat ahead of GrafanaCON.
As part of its 10th anniversary celebrations, Grafana Labs is also hosting GrafanaCON local community meetings in more than 20 cities around the world, including Atlanta, Austin, Chicago, New York City, Seattle and San Francisco.
Currently, Grafana has 20 million users with plug-ins for over 150 data sources, both open-source and commercial. According to the company 2023 Observability Survey, 38% of business users said they have more than 7 data sources configured in Grafana. Some of the firm’s clients are Salesforce, JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup and Bloomberg.
What does Grafana 10 bring to the table?
With the release of version 10, Grafana offers users an improved user experience with a more refined onboarding process (better prompts, guided workflows, and updated source selectors in the UI) to get started, as well as three new view to get started include in dashboards: Canvas, Trend and Datagrid.
“The Canvas panel (now generally available) allows you to create incredibly recognizable and personalized visualizations that include real-time data. Some interesting examples are the visualization of the state of factory equipment, superimposed on a diagram of the data itself, or the visualization of traffic between components of a network, superimposed on a familiar “boxes and lines” diagram of the system architecture”. Seaman explained.
The Trend and Datagrid panels target different areas. The former, currently in public preview, allows users to view trends where the x-axis is numeric and not temporal, such as function graphs, rpm/torque curves, supply/demand ratios, and more.
Meanwhile, the latter, which is an experimental product, offers a spreadsheet-like interface that allows users to edit, refine and organize their data within each dashboard for presentation purposes.
Once 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 user experience for observability data so that any developer can jump right in and start connecting data sources, building dashboards, and sharing and extending these assets to teammates,” said Tom Wilkie , CTO of Grafana Labs.
New tools for richer dashboards
In addition to the new visualizations, Grafana Labs is updating the platform’s public dashboard feature to enable knowledge sharing via email (for Pro and Advanced users only) 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 actual database commands where errors occurred, or linking from Traces to applications where they occurred… This kind of correlation was only possible before for our metrics, log and trace data sources, but correlations are now possible for all data sources and an unlimited number of combinations,” Seaman explained.
Additionally, Grafana is adding a second interface focused solely on managing dashboards as code, helping users effortlessly keep everything up-to-date, and a new front-end framework “Scenes” for building dashboard experiences in custom apps.
The Grafana 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 selector into custom applications, where they can include new inputs, drill-downs, tabs, and interactions.
Finally, on the security front, Grafana 10 is adding Private Data Source Connect (PDC) which uses SOCKS over a secure proxy shell to help users 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 remarkable about Grafana’s success is the evolution of visualization capabilities that really blossomed as the Grafana dashboard became ubiquitous. Grafana isn’t just a visualization front-end for IT infrastructure, it monitors all kinds of other environments, from space travel to distributed agricultural tech farms to research projects in academia,” said Torkel Odegaard, the creator of Grafana.
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