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Snowflake data visualization: all the latest features to monitor metrics, enhance security, and more

Snowflake data visualization: all the latest features to monitor metrics, enhance security, and more

6 Jun, 2024 4 min

In 2020, we introduced the Snowflake Enterprise data source plugin for Grafana, allowing users to seamlessly pull data from the Snowflake cloud-based data storage and analytics service into Grafana dashboards. Available for Grafana Enterprise and Grafana Cloud users, it’s a powerful way to not only query and visualize Snowlake data, but to do so alongside other data sources, so you can discover correlations and other meaningful insights within minutes. 

Last year, we also announced the Snowflake dedicated integration for Grafana Cloud, providing two pre-built dashboards — the Snowflake Data Ownership (pictured below) dashboard and Snowflake Overview dashboard — to help users monitor their Snowflake Data Cloud usage and billing metrics. The integration also introduced a set of six Snowflake-related alerts automatically installed into your Grafana Cloud account.

A screenshot of the Snowflake Data Ownership dashboard.

And the progress hasn’t stopped there. In this blog post, we recap some recent updates — from new pre-built dashboards to more robust security options — that further enhance the user experience when visualizing and managing Snowflake metrics within Grafana.

New dashboards and visualizations

With version 1.9 of the Snowflake plugin, we’ve rolled out a new pre-built dashboard called Snowpark Metrics. You can use this dashboard to monitor and analyze metrics for Snowpark, a set of libraries and runtimes that securely deploys and processes Python and other programming languages in Snowflake to build data pipelines, machine learning models, and more.

With the Snowpark Metrics dashboard, you can understand, at a glance, all active functions and procedures within your events table. You can also see and filter the functions being used on a specific database, as well as monitor function, memory, and CPU usage to help identify potential bottlenecks.

A screenshot of the Snowpark Metrics dashboard.

In addition, we’ve released a new Logs dashboard where you can navigate the log messages from the events table. This is useful to debug an escalation alert or to do a deep dive into what’s going on within your system at any given time, using the time filters.

A screenshot of the new Logs dashboard.

Security enhancements

We’ve also been working to provide a richer set of security features for our Snowflake data source plugin. 

You can now, for example, use key pair authentication to add another, more robust security layer beyond basic authentication. To generate public and private keys, we recommend following Snowflake documentation. Also, when using key pair authentication, be sure to update the rsa_public_key in Snowflake and provide the username and unencrypted private key in the data source configuration.

Additionally, you can now use OAuth authentication to pass tokens to Snowflake on behalf of the user logged into Grafana. This feature works with our supported authentication providers

Lastly, the Snowflake plugin now supports Private data source connect (PDC), which enables you to query network-secured data sources from Grafana Cloud. By deploying the PDC agent, you establish a secure link between your VPC or on-premises network and your Grafana Cloud stack, eliminating the need to allowlist a wide range of IP addresses and helping your team more securely (and easily) visualize and alert on your private data. To learn more about PDC, you can reference our technical docs

Custom session parameters and default queries 

Snowflake has parameters that users can set at various levels. These parameters allow you to control the behavior of your account, user sessions, and objects, and they all have default values. Users of the Snowflake data source plugin now have the flexibility to override and customize their session parameters to, for example, increase the client memory limit. 

It’s also now possible to customize the default queries you use when creating a new visualization. This provides a solid starting point when querying data, especially if you tend to query from the same database.

What’s next and how to learn more 

Looking ahead, we’re collaborating with the Snowflake team on a demo dashboard that would allow you to visualize and filter traces — so stay tuned there!

The Snowflake plugin is available for users with a Grafana Cloud account or Grafana Enterprise license. For more information or to get started, check out the Snowflake solutions page and technical documentation

The easiest way to get started with our Enterprise data source plugins is in Grafana Cloud. We have a generous forever-free tier that includes access to Enterprise data sources for 3 active users. If you haven’t already, sign up for free today!