Grafana 8.0 and Grafana Tempo 1.0 Released
June 09, 2021

Grafana Labs announced a series of significant new product updates including the 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.”

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. 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.

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.

Grafana 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.

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.

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