Grafana is an open-source visualization tool that is commonly used in presenting time-series data. While focused on time-series, Grafana can be used to display many things, as this dashboard by Cameron McCloskey shows:

https://grafana.com/blog/2019/10/29/how-to-set-up-this-next-level-personal-home-dashboard-in-your-kitchen/

But we’re more interested in Grafana as a technical observability system, like this.

With the release of the Scalyr Grafana Plugin, you can add feeds from your Scalyr data to your Grafana dashboards, or use Grafana to centralize many different sources into one place. The Grafana Plugin is open-source, under the Apache License 2.0, and can be found in the Scalyr GitHub repositories. And if you haven’t tried Scalyr yet, try it for free here and see what the difference performance makes in an observability tool.

Pre-reqs

The Scalyr Grafana plugin requires two basic things; an existing Grafana server with write access and a Read Log API key. If you need to install Grafana we suggest you check out the instructions on the Grafana site.

To create an API key, log into Scalyr, and select “API Keys”. 

Create a new Read key, and enter it as the Grafana Pluging README directs.

After setting up the key and the appropriate URL, you’re ready to build your first graph. 

Grafana is a very easy tool to learn and use. There are lots of great tutorials including this video. 

Here’s a short example to get you started using Grafana with Scalyr.

  • Click on Create, select Dashboard
  • Select the Add Query icon
  • From the Query dropdown, choose “Scalyr Grafana Datasource”. This tells Grafana where the data is coming from and where to send the query.
    • A query datasource consists of 4 parts:
      • Function: You are given a list of the function that can be applied to the Facet values. You can find more documentation here.
      • Facet: The name of the event field to be graphed.
      • Label: Label for the query. This is displayed as the series title in the graph legend.
      • Query: Query filter to be used. This field supports Scalyr query syntax.
  • Fill out the fields and click “save.
    For this example, let us graph CPU utilization.
    1. Function > Mean
    2. Facet > value
    3. Label > user
    4. Query > $source=’tsdb’  metric=’proc.stat.cpu_rate’ type=’user’

Ta-da! Now you can add more queries, build new graphs and create dashboards for your own data.

We hope you find the Scalyr Grafana Plugin to be useful. Feel free to check it out and file issues against it on Github. You’ll also find the README.md to be your best source of information, or drop a question or comment into the Scalyr community, LogRunners.

And show us what your amazing dashboards look like.

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