Grafana 8.4 gives maintainers a break with mute timings

Grafana Loki

After a somewhat meagre update in December, the Grafana team went full steam ahead and now present version 8.4 of the observability platform, which comes with a few nice new bits of kit to improve accessibility, panels, alerting, and CloudWatch monitoring.

Amongst the highlights of the release is the support for mute timings, a “recurring interval of time when no new notifications for a policy are generated or sent” such as a regular maintenance window (unlike silences, which are only meant to happen once). Starting with v8.4, Grafana’s Alert Panel also features a grouping mechanism, allowing the module to display alerts and the instances connected to them based on labels instead of the corresponding alert rule.

In a bid to make Grafana more accessible, moving panels and making range selections should be possible via keyboard with the introduction of the 8.4 release. The main navigation bar along with some more general components should be easier to navigate by keystroke as well. To make overall cooperation a little simpler, Grafana finally allows the sharing of playlists – a special kind of display made up of a sequence of dashboards long-time users might already be familiar with.

Attentive release note readers will find that keeping an eye on AWS services should become a little easier with Grafana 8.4, as contributors have been busy improving the tool’s CloudWatch integration. Once updated, users should be able to see syntax highlighting and autocompletion proposals when doing metric searches, and track Data Lifecycle Manager as well as ElastiCache Redis and additional host-level metrics.

In terms of panel options, the Grafana team has equipped the bar charts with options to use time on the x-axis, and skip values when there are too many labels on display (!!). Geomaps meanwhile learned to work with tooltips that use data-links across multiple layers. 

The changes just mentioned should be largely accessible to all Grafana users. Teams who have decided to jump onto the commercial Grafana version however get to enjoy some security and performance improvements on top. Amongst other things, the Enterprise variant provides insight into how many queries are saved in the query cache and an option to clear the cache manually if performance is affected.

Admins also have the ability to assign roles to whole teams, assign SAML users different roles in different organisations, and control access to Team and API key functionalities such as adding members or editing keys.

Details are available in the Grafana documentation.