Facilitating the Spread of Knowledge and Innovation in Professional Software Development

Write for InfoQ


Choose your language

InfoQ Homepage News Grafana Adds Service Accounts and Improves Debugging Experience

Grafana Adds Service Accounts and Improves Debugging Experience

Grafana Labs has released version 9.5 of Grafana including improvements to Grafana Alerting, service accounts, and improvements to the dashboards. This builds upon the user interface improvements released in version 9.4. Support bundles were also released providing a simpler way to gather and share debugging information about the Grafana stack. AWS has announced support for Grafana 9.4 within their Amazon Managed Grafana service.

The 9.5 release of Grafana introduces service accounts, providing an improved way of running automated workloads. Quynton Johnson, product marketing lead at Grafana Labs, recommends that users migrate their API key to use service accounts and use service accounts going forward instead of API keys. Johnson notes that service accounts are "a more secure and controlled approach to access management". Users of Grafana Enterprise can integrate service accounts with role-based access control. This permits providing fine-grained access control to service accounts.

Service accounts can be used to perform automated tasks such as scheduling reports for delivery on a cadence, setting up an external SAML authentication provider, or authenticating with external applications such as Terraform. Service accounts behave similarly to Grafana users, allowing them to be enabled or disabled and granted permissions. Unlike API keys, service accounts will persist until they are deleted or disabled.

Support bundles provide a means to collect and share information about the Grafana instance to facilitate debugging and troubleshooting. The bundle is a collection of files containing information about the Grafana instance. Currently, they cover areas such as the type and version of the database, authentication configuration, plugins, Grafana instance configuration, and usage statistics. Support bundles can be encrypted at creation time.

Support bundles are enabled via Grafana's configuration file:

# Enable support bundle creation (default: true)
enabled = true
# Only server admins can generate and view support bundles. When set to false, organization admins can generate and view support bundles (default: true)
server_admin_only = true
# If set, bundles will be encrypted with the provided public keys separated by whitespace
public_keys = ""

The release also includes improvements to the Grafana dashboards. There are now more tips and explanations within the UI when creating visualizations, rows, or importing panels. Johnson notes that the release improves the accessibility of the dashboards by adding in accessible key actions in the panel header. Panels also have more concise descriptions and error messages and key actions are linked directly from the header.

Improved panel layout in Grafana

Improved panel layout in Grafana (credit: Grafana Labs)


Grafana Alerting was also improved in the latest release. The improvements include searching for alert rules from multiple data sources, reduced noise from alerts via updated rule settings and notification policies, and direct access to alerts from dashboards.

AWS has also announced support for Grafana version 9.4 within their Amazon Managed Grafana service. This release comes with support for selecting the Grafana version. At the time of release, versions 9.4 and 8.4 are available.

More details about the releases can be found on the Grafana blog or within the release notes.

About the Author

Rate this Article