Instrument and send data to Grafana Cloud
After 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 when you want to monitor the infrastructure of a service with pre-configured dashboards and alerts, and let Grafana manage the data. To learn more, see Use integrations to monitor your infrastructure.
Use data sources when you want to query, alert on, and visualize service data that remains in your local environment. To learn more, see Use data sources to monitor existing databases
Create custom connections when you want to scale and manage existing observability deployments in Grafana Cloud. For more information, see Ship your observability data from an existing database
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 is 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.
The following topics help you get started with integrations.
|Get started with monitoring using an integration||Walk through a complete example of installing an integration.|
|About integrations||View an overview of how to use integrations.|
|Install an integration||Learn how to install an integration, and how to update or remove it.|
|Integrations reference||View more detailed information on specific integrations.|
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 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:
- In your Cloud stack, click Connections in the left-side menu.
- Use the search field or scroll to find the data source. You can also filter by Data source.
- Click the data source tile.
- Click Install via grafana.com.
- When you’re directed to grafana.com, ensure you’re signed in to your account.
- Select your Grafana instance if needed.
- Click Install plugin.
- Return to the stack where you installed the plugin, sign out, then sign back in.
- Click Connections in the left-side menu.
- Find the data source you want to add and click it.
- Click the create a data source button.
- Configure your connection.
- Click Save & test.
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.
You can ship Prometheus, Graphite, InfluxDB, and Datadog metrics to Grafana Cloud Metrics:
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:
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.
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: