Get started with an existing data source
Before you begin
Ensure you have the following:
- A Grafana Cloud account. To create an account, visit Grafana Cloud and click Start for free
- A Grafana Cloud user with the Admin role
- A supported data source
For more details about data sources, see:
Sample data sources
If you do not have an existing data source, review the options below:
The TestData DB data source is installed by default and can be used to generate simulated time series data.
The Grafana Cloud fundamentals tutorial also provides an example Prometheus and Loki data source that you can add to your Grafana Cloud account to query and visualize sample data.
Connect a data source
Log in to Grafana.com to access your Cloud Portal.
Click Launch in the Grafana tile to access your hosted Grafana environment. The first time you log in to Grafana from the Cloud Portal you are automatically taken to a walkthrough where you can explore several options. If this is the first time logging in, please follow the walkthrough otherwise proceed to the next step in this guide.
Click on the triple bar icon next to Home on the top-left of the page to expand the navigation menu.
Click on Connections to browse and create new connections to your data. This page will show many of the core data sources that are installed by default. Try searching for your data source or scroll down the page to locate your data source.
If you found your data source by searching or scrolling the page, move your cursor over the data source card and click to select it.
Once you have clicked on a data source, you will see an overview page with a description of this data source. Locate the blue “Create a data source” button at the top right-hand side of the page. Clicking this button will open the data source configuration page where you can add the details needed for Grafana Cloud to connect to your data source.
If you did not find your data source, you may need to install it to your Grafana Cloud instance from the plugins catalog. Search for your data source in the plugins catalog and click on the Installation to select your Grafana Cloud instance and install it. Allow a few minutes for the hosted Grafana instance to install the plugin and restart, then follow the steps outlined previously to locate the new data source.
Note: Grafana Cloud does not support private or unsigned plugins.
Configure the data source
Once you have selected your data source, you will need to add the necessary details for Grafana Cloud to connect to that environment, such as hostname and/or user credentials. Each data source offers different configuration options. For links to data source-specific documentation, see Data sources or refer to the details provided for the data source on the plugins catalog.
NOTE: Grafana Cloud connects to your data source over the public network. This means that host addresses such as “localhost” or a private network IP address cannot be resolved. Enter the fully qualified domain name or public IP address for the data source to ensure successful communication.
After entering the data source configuration details, use the Save & test button to test connectivity between Grafana Cloud and your data source. If you encounter an issue, please review the data source configuration documentation or open a ticket with the Support team from your Cloud Portal. Provide any error messages or screenshots available for troubleshooting purposes.
Some data sources require user credentials to query the data. Ensure that the user credentials provided in the data source have sufficient permissions to access the data source following the principle of least privilege.
For example, the MySQL data source requires database user credentials. The database user you specify should only be granted SELECT permissions on the specified database and tables you want to query. Grafana does not validate that the query is safe. The query could include any SQL statement. For example, statements like
USE otherdb; and
DROP TABLE user; would be executed. To protect against this we highly recommend you create a specific mysql user with restricted permissions.
Depending on your data source’s network security settings, you may need to add the list of Hosted Grafana source IP addresses to your allowlist. You can find them below in several different format options:
- JSON format: /api/hosted-grafana/source-ips
- Text format: /api/hosted-grafana/source-ips.txt
- DNS lookup:
For more details, see List of source IPs to add to your allowlist
Once the data source has been added and saved successfully, you are ready to build a dashboard or query this data source in Explore. The query language and options will be specific to each data source.
For other options to work with your data in Grafana Cloud, see Connect your data to Grafana Cloud.