Grafana 6.3 expands Explore, treats enterprise users to live LDAP sync

Data Centres and Planet Earth

Metrics visualisation project Grafana is now available in version 6.3 which comes with additional Explore features and authentication improvements for enterprise users amongst other things.

Explore, the query-focused workflow that was introduced in version 6.0, is now for example able to search and visualise logs stored in Elasticsearch or InfluxDB. For log queries using logging backend Loki as a data source, logs can now be streamed directly to the Explore UI and a show context feature displays log lines surrounding the searched for one.

To help users accessing ranges, the time picker has been simplified. The same goes for the now Panel links dubbed UI for defining panel drill down links. If those are of interest to you, however, you might want to skip straight to one of the bug fix releases (6.3.2 was released some hours ago), since there was an issue leading to crashes in PanelLinks.

The Panel links UI also comes with a new link type called data link, that is able to reference data fields – something panel links can’t. Meanwhile those with a weakness for nice looking visuals can now let Grafana fill their graphs with colour gradients – you have to spend lots of time looking at all of those stats, so why not.

Teams using Grafana Enterprise will benefit from refactoring of the external authentication systems. Thanks to that there is now an option for background synchronisation with LDAP as opposed to only syncing at login time. 

The former can be helpful when users are removed from LDAP groups, since Grafana permissions are automatically updated which leads to a removal from the corresponding team and access restrictions.

The enterprise version comes with support for SAML authentication and can now also sync GitHub teams with those in Grafana when OAuth is set up. On top of that Auth Proxy headers can be fitted with Teams information so that the proxy can be used together with Team Sync. More detailed information can be found in the release notes.