Updated April 13, 2023
Introduction to Grafana
A visualizing tool with a dashboard that provides a lot of options with graphs to see the data and understand them is called Grafana. It is an open-source tool to view the metrics, do the queries, and get alerts of logs being generated. Charts and graphs are generated from data sources and available through a web browser. Also, it provides plugins so that the tool can be made work in the cloud environment with the storage backup provided. The enterprise support and community support are huge that anyone would love to use Grafana.
Why should we use Grafana?
When someone would require the entire chunk of data to be brought under a single umbrella, Grafana is the tool to be looked upon. It provides customized graphs and charts so that users could view the data in their expected templates and know the variance. The dashboard has different panels that are arranged in grid format and logs are generated from the graphs being drawn. This helps to track the events indirectly and to know the origin and flow of data. The panels in the dashboard are connected to each data source so that they can be tracked and connected to the tool. Results are displayed on the dashboard and can be viewed by the user.
This tool works well in the cloud environment. This is an added advantage along with others as most of us are familiar and happy to connect our servers to the cloud. With Grafana connected in our system, the cloud can do the data collection and its analysis again can be done with the help of some cloud-based tools. Results can be fed to the Grafana dashboard and this result will be presented to the user in the most approachable manner. The user is happy with the result as no physical servers are used and graphs are obtained with huge data from the cloud. This data is presented in the most efficient and organized manner. Also, since Grafana is open source, it helps the users to customize the dashboards as much as they wish and extensive coding is not required.
Grafana dashboards interact with many data sources and this interaction helps the tool to grow and get data from the sources. Also, documentation is provided to be more user-friendly and this documentation helps the beginners to be more acquainted with the dashboards and templates of Grafana. Visualization of system or network metrics is also provided by Grafana.
Importance of Grafana
With the help of dashboards, data is presented in an informative, efficient, and presentable manner. Data visualization is important as data collection and analysis as this step helps the users to know where the data stands let it be for sales or forecasts. Grafana makes the users know the data well.
The dashboards in Grafana can be shared with the team members and this makes them analyze and make changes to the graphs if needed. The platform for sharing appears to be helpful to save time for the team members to analyze the charts. Who doesn’t love a platform with less coding and more options?
Time series data and real-time data can be found fruitful with visualization if we are using Grafana. The dynamic templates with the dashboards help to integrate with other systems and to provide alerts if needed. Also, the logs can be created so that data can be tracked easily if any backlogs happen.
It has an embedded database to store the users’ details and dashboards. This helps the application to stay tuned and work peacefully with less load. All the data and logs are saved in the cloud applications integrated with Grafana. The cloud applications save the data and collaborate with the application to provide better results with the user.
The metrics used by Grafana is CPU or system utilization. Hence, it focuses more on the system usage of data and helps the system to integrate and live with the data. Data search and exploring more options of data does not happen in Grafana as it is not built to do so.
How can we use Grafana?
The initial setup and configuration of Grafana is very easy and can be done by beginners with the help of the documentation provided.
The installation depends on the OS the user has. A port has to be configured for the installation of Grafana. http://localhost:3000/ site has to be selected in the browser as this is the port for Grafana. Log in using admin as username and password. The password can be changed after logging in. the new dashboard can be created and the query can be added directly after logging in. this creates a graph and then save the graph and dashboard. The first dashboard is created.
Panels, dashboards, and most important plugins are offered in Grafana. Plugins help the user to coordinate with other systems and collect the data. Data sources are offered in Grafana so that when the user gives the link for the data source, data is collected from the place and used for charts and graphs. Keyboard shortcuts are also offered in Grafana so that the user can simply do the graphs. Also, users can explore the workflow by looking into the dashboards and checking the graphs and charts.
There is an admin role on the dashboard. Admins can learn about the permissions to be given to the users and the configuration to be set up in the tool. Authentication can be given to the users based on the roles they handle. Provisioning is another aspect admins would love to learn about. Also, if needed, they can work with the command-line interface to set up the application.
What makes Grafana an interesting one to the users is the UI and the interaction the application has with many other tools. This interaction does not happen in many other tools and hence the data collection will become a standstill. But Grafana makes it going healthily.
This is a guide to What is Grafana. Here we discuss an introduction to Grafana, why we use it, how can we use it along with its importance. You can also go through our other related articles to learn more –