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How to migrate existing Grafana dashboards and alerts into Kubernetes Monitoring in Grafana Cloud

How to migrate existing Grafana dashboards and alerts into Kubernetes Monitoring in Grafana Cloud

17 Mar, 2023 4 min

Kubernetes Monitoring in Grafana Cloud is already an observability Swiss Army knife: You can monitor your Kubernetes fleet performance, nodes, pod logs, resource utilization, and overall infrastructure health all in one hosted platform that comes with prebuilt Grafana dashboards to visualize all the important telemetry you need. 

All of this sounds great … but what if you already have Grafana dashboards and alerts that are custom to your fleet and the way you do business? 

This set of three guides will show you how to unify new and existing Grafana dashboards and alerts within the Kubernetes Monitoring solution in Grafana Cloud. By doing so, you will create one dedicated place for monitoring your entire Kubernetes fleet. No more tab switching or confusion; just streamlined infrastructure monitoring in a single view. 

In the end, whether you are just getting started with Kubernetes or integrating years of work into our solution, you will benefit from all the new capabilities we continually roll out to our Kubernetes Monitoring solution, all while having the flexibility to incorporate your own custom content.

Note: You will need Admin access to execute the steps outlined in this document. To learn more read our blog post about role-based access control in Grafana.

Migrating existing Kubernetes alerts to Grafana Cloud

Problem: I have existing Kubernetes alerts. I want to keep using them in the same dedicated place for my whole team to see. 

Step-by-step guide:

  1. Go to Alerts & incidents (bell icon) on the left-hand navigation: 

    Screenshot of left navigation in Grafana Cloud
  2. Pick Alert rules:

    Screenshot of UI for creating alert rules in Grafana Cloud

Now you are in your alerts control center. The only thing you need to do is move an existing alert to your Kubernetes Monitoring namespace.

3. Search for a Prometheus data source:

Screenshot of dropdown for Prometheus data sources in Grafana Cloud.

4. Find your desired alerting group and hit Edit: (Note: You can only transfer Grafana Mimir/Loki alerts.)

Screenshot of UI for editing an alerting group in Grafana Cloud.

5. Scroll to the Namespace and group section and simply change the fields to:

Namespace: integrations-kubernetes

Screenshot of Namespace field for alerts in Grafana Cloud.

Group: kubernetes-resources / kubernetes-apps / kubernetes-system

SCreenshot of dropdown menu for alert groups in Grafana Cloud

You will end up with something like this:

Screenshot of Namespace and Group fields for alerting in Grafana Cloud.

6. Hit Save at the top, and you should receive a happy message:

Screenshot of saved notification for a new alert rule in Grafana Cloud.
  1. Now when you navigate back to the Alerting tab in Kubernetes Monitoring
Screenshot of left-hand navigation menu in Grafana Cloud

Ta-da! You’ll find this new rule group:

Screenshot of Kubernetes Monitoring UI with new rule group highlighted

If it fires, you will also be able to see it here:

Screenshot of Grafana Cloud UI highlighting new alert group firing alerts.

Problem: I want to creating new alerts and move them into Kubernetes Monitoring

Step-by-step guide:

1. Create a new alert rule:

Screenshot of create alert rule button in Grafana Cloud

2. Choose Mimir or Loki alert type:

Screenshot of Mimir or Loki alert in Grafana Cloud

3. Select your Prometheus datasource:

Screenshot of data source dropdown in Grafana Cloud
  1. Follow steps from 4 - 7 from the guide above.

You now have a single pane of glass for all your Kubernetes alerts in Grafana Cloud. Your SREs, developers, and infra admins will see firing alerts in the Cluster navigation, separate from every other non-Kubernetes alerting systems you have set up. The best part is that you don’t even have to recreate your alerts from scratch.

Migrating existing Grafana dashboards for Kubernetes to Grafana Cloud

If you want to reinforce Kubernetes Monitoring as your single source of truth for your infrastructure observability strategy, you can also move existing Grafana dashboards to Kubernetes Monitoring or create new dashboards that will appear alongside prebuilt dashboards in the solution.

Problem: I want to migrate my existing Kubernetes dashboards to Kubernetes Monitoring in Grafana Cloud.

Step-by-step guide:

  1. Find an existing dashboard that you want to move:
Screenshot of navigation in Grafana Cloud
Screenshot of dashboards menu in Grafana Cloud
Screenshot of dashboards UI in Grafana Cloud

2. Open it and go to Dashboard settings:

Screenshot of Kubernetes Monitoring dashboard
Screenshot of dashboards UI in Grafana Cloud
  1. Add a tag kubernetes–integration (no spaces, all lowercase). Then click Add. The result looks like this:
Screenshot of UI showing added tag in Grafana Cloud
  1. Hit Save and you are all set. Go to Dashboards on the Kubernetes Monitoring page
Screenshot of Folder field in Grafana Cloud UI

and you’ll see your dashboard was added to your list:

Screenshot of Kubernetes Monitoring UI with new dashboard highlighted

… and you are done! Now you have a dedicated place for monitoring your Kubernetes fleet that will serve your whole organization. 

Note: Make sure you add an additional tag like Custom K8s so you can track the custom content that you add to the solution. This is needed because every now and then you need to update the solution. When that happens, you’ll have to detach the custom content by moving it out of the Integrations-Kubernetes folder, update the solution, and then reattach them. It is an inconvenience that will soon be fixed.

Learn more about Kubernetes Monitoring in Grafana Cloud

By unifying your existing dashboards within Grafana Cloud, you’re ultimately building a Kubernetes ecosystem that is personalized to your needs and more powerful because of the added out-of-the-box features that our Kubernetes Monitoring solution has to offer. 

To learn more about Kubernetes Monitoring in Grafana Cloud, visit our solutions page or watch our Kubernetes Monitoring out-of-the-box with Grafana Cloud webinar on demand. 

If you’re not already using Grafana Cloud — the easiest way to get started with observability — sign up now for a free 14-day trial of Grafana Cloud Pro, with unlimited metrics, logs, traces, and users, long-term retention, and access to one Enterprise plugin.