With that growth, our processes have had to run to keep up. This is especially true when it comes to how frequently we release new versions of Grafana. Currently we cut:
- a major release once a year (Grafana 9.0 was released in June)
- a minor release every six to eight weeks
- monthly security updates
- weekly patch releases
- ad-hoc security vulnerability patches
Our rate of rolling out Grafana releases has increased by 70% in the last four years, culminating in 65 releases this year — more than one per week!
We’re making Grafana better all the time and we want to get improvements and fixes to you as soon as they are ready. However, this current pace of Grafana releases has created challenges internally and for our users.
For community members and customers who run Grafana OSS or Grafana Enterprise, it takes work to upgrade Grafana frequently. Each upgrade requires learning about the latest changes, and then deploying and testing the new version to make sure it is compatible with your dashboards, alerts, integrations, and custom plugins. For plugin developers, new versions of Grafana sometimes impact their plugins in unexpected ways, requiring changes and updates on their end. For our internal team, Grafana releases take energy that we would otherwise use to improve Grafana, and they leave us limited time to test each release.
Therefore, we’re excited to announce a more predictable Grafana release cadence, which we think will create a better and more valuable experience for everyone involved.
Grafana releases: new monthly schedule
Starting on January 10, 2023, we will move to a monthly Grafana release cycle for self-managed Grafana. Grafana Cloud users will not be affected by this release change because the release process for Cloud will remain seamless and transparent. This allows Grafana Cloud users to continue using the service without any interruptions.
On even-numbered months (February, April, etc.) we will produce a minor version, which will include new features, bug fixes, and security updates. On odd-numbered months (March, May, etc.) we will produce patch releases, which will only include bug fixes and security updates.
We will cut our builds the week prior to releasing to give us more time to validate and prepare for each release internally. This will result in more stable, more reliable high quality releases delivered at predictable intervals, with improved Grafana documentation, Grafana release notes, communication, and support.
Here’s what we expect the next year of Grafana releases to look like. Please note: unforeseen events and circumstances may cause dates to change. We will do our best to inform the community in advance of any schedule changes.
Of course, the move to this new monthly release cycle will not affect our operational and security incident response. We will still maintain our rapid, out-of-band releases for high severity security and feature degradation incidents. And with fewer planned releases per month, we will be able to respond to these unexpected incidents faster, with more resources available to give our customers and community more confidence when addressing these issues.
We hope you will find this new cadence more predictable and less noisy, which should help you smooth out your Grafana update flow and take advantage of the latest features, fixes, and security updates as soon as they are available.
Grafana release freeze (because everyone deserves a holiday)
Before moving to our new Grafana release process, we are freezing releases over the holiday season from December 15, 2022, to January 4, 2023. This does not apply to changes that may be required during the course of an operational or security incident.
Happy holidays from the Grafana team — and come back in the new year to unwrap a new Grafana release!