Data configurationConnect your data to Grafana Cloud

Connect your data to Grafana Cloud

Once you’ve created a Grafana Cloud account, the next step is to connect data to your Grafana stack. You can connect to your data using one of three primary methods, depending on what service or database is producing the data and how you want to use Grafana Cloud to work with that data.

Use integrations to monitor your infrastructure

Grafana Cloud offers many integrations to monitor the health and performance of services such as operating systems, databases, Cloud apps, and more. When you deploy an integration, your data will be shipped to your Cloud account, and you’ll get access to pre-configured dashboards and alert rules, tailored to the service you’re scraping. Integrations either deploy Grafana Agent, or connect directly to your SaaS application.

To learn more about integrations, see About integrations.

Install an integration

  1. In your Grafana Cloud stack, click Integrations and Connections.

  2. Search for the name of your service. Some services have both an infrastructure integration and a data source. The type of connection is noted on the bottom of the connection card.

  3. Click on the appropriate tile and follow the instructions.

To view more detailed information on specific integrations, see the integrations reference.

Use data sources to monitor existing databases

Grafana is founded on the premise that you should be able to query, visualize, and alert on your data no matter where it’s stored. Grafana data source connections give you a way to centralize data that is often siloed across platforms and vendors. When you can act on your data in one place, you can build queries across multiple data sources and display the results in dashboards without leaving your Grafana Cloud stack. With any Grafana Cloud account, admins have automatic access to many natively supported data sources as well as many data source plugins created by the open source community.

With an Enterprise license, you have access to even more Grafana-supported data source plugins for many popular data stores, Cloud services, and applications. To learn more about available data source plugins, see the Grafana plugin library.

For more information, see Data sources.

NOTE: You can only install signed plugins in Grafana Cloud. To learn more about signing a plugin, see Sign a plugin.

Install a data source

When you want to connect to a data source that is natively supported by Grafana, you can search for and click the data source in Integrations and Connections and follow the instructions.

NOTE: Only users with the admin role can manage data sources.

If the data source you want to connect to is supported by a community or Enterprise plugin, first install the plugin, then the corresponding data source:

  1. In your Cloud stack, hover over the Configuration (gear) menu and select Plugins.

  2. Use the search field or scroll to find the tile for the plugin that matches your data source.

  3. Click Install via grafana.com.

  4. When you’re directed grafana.com, ensure you’re signed in to your account, and click Install.

  5. Return to the stack where you installed the plugin, sign out, then sign back in.

  6. In the Configuration menu, select Data sources.

  7. Click Add data source and search for the data source for the plugin you installed previously.

  8. Configure your connection.

    Follow the configuration instructions for your plugin in the plugin library.

Ship your data from an existing observability deployment

When you connect your observability data to the Grafana backend and ship your data to Grafana Cloud, you can take advantage of centralized and long-term data storage, aggregated datasets, and secure global access without complicated customizations. You can also deploy Grafana Agent to manage and scale your infrastructure without the need for local storage.

Installing integrations is the easiest way to send your data to Grafana Cloud, but there are other methods that might be more appropriate depending on your local deployment. For example, if you are already collecting observability data with Prometheus, Loki, and Tempo, but want a single place to store, manage, and act on it, you might choose to deploy Grafana Agent manually. Or, depending on your needs, you might want to use a different method, such as Promtail for logs.

Grafana Cloud can store, manage, and scale metrics, logs, and traces in the following formats.

Metrics

Grafana supports Prometheus, Graphite, InfluxDB, and Datadog metrics.

To learn how to ship these metrics, see the following:

Logs

Grafana supports Loki and all other log formats. We highly recommend using Grafana Agent to ship your logs because it can easily scale to multiple Loki instances and makes it easier to enable other, Agent-driven features.

You can use Promtail if your primary need is to use a UI.

To learn how to ship your logs, see the following:

Traces

Grafana Cloud supports Tempo, and most other open source traces formats, including Jaeger, Zipkin, and OpenTelemetry. To learn how to ship traces to Grafana Cloud, see Set up and use tracing.

Next steps

If you’re using integrations, you should have automatic access to dashboards and alert rules. If you’ve used an other method to connect your data to Grafana Cloud, see the following topics to learn how to visualize and alert on that data: