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Enterprise Open source

Zipkin data source

Grafana ships with built-in support for Zipkin, an open source, distributed tracing system.

For instructions on how to add a data source to Grafana, refer to the administration documentation. Only users with the organization administrator role can add data sources. Administrators can also configure the data source via YAML with Grafana’s provisioning system.

Once you’ve added the Zipkin data source, you can configure it so that your Grafana instance’s users can create queries in its query editor when they build dashboards and use Explore.

Configure the data source

To access the data source configuration page:

  1. Hover the cursor over the Configuration (gear) icon.
  2. Select Data Sources.
  3. Select the Zipkin data source.

Set the data source’s basic configuration options carefully:

NameSets the name you use to refer to the data source in panels and queries.
DefaultDefines whether this data source is pre-selected for new panels.
URLSets the URL of the Zipkin instance, such as http://localhost:9411.
Basic AuthEnables basic authentication for the Zipkin data source.
UserDefines the user name for basic authentication.
PasswordDefines the password for basic authentication.

Configure trace to logs

Note: Available in Grafana v7.4 and higher.

The Trace to logs section configures the trace to logs feature. Select a target data source, limited to Loki and Splunk [logs] data sources, and which tags to use in the logs query.

Data sourceSets the target data source.
TagsDefines the tags to use in the logs query. Default is 'cluster', 'hostname', 'namespace', 'pod'.
Map tag namesEnables configuring how Jaeger tag names map to logs label names. For example, map to service.
Span start time shiftShifts the start time for the logs query based on the span start time. To extend to the past, use a negative value. Use time interval units like 5s, 1m, 3h. Default is 0.
Span end time shiftShifts the end time for the logs query based on the span end time. Use time interval units. Default is 0.
Filter by Trace IDToggles whether to append the trace ID to the logs query.
Filter by Span IDToggles whether to append the span ID to the logs query.

Configure trace to metrics

Note: This feature is behind the traceToMetrics feature toggle.

The Trace to metrics section configures the trace to metrics feature.

Use the settings to select the target Prometheus data source, and create any desired linked queries.

Setting nameDescription
Data sourceDefines the target data source.
TagsDefines the tags used in linked queries. The key sets the span attribute name, and the optional value sets the corresponding metric label name. For example, you can map k8s.pod to pod. To interpolate these tags into queries, use the $__tags keyword.

Each linked query consists of:

  • Link Label: (Optional) Descriptive label for the linked query.
  • Query: The query ran when navigating from a trace to the metrics data source. Interpolate tags using the $__tags keyword. For example, when you configure the query requests_total{$__tags}with the tags k8s.pod=pod and cluster, the result looks like requests_total{pod="nginx-554b9", cluster="us-east-1"}.

Enable Node Graph

The Node Graph setting enables the beta Node Graph visualization, which is disabled by default.

Once enabled, Grafana displays the Node Graph after loading the trace view.

Configure the span bar label

The Span bar label section helps you display additional information in the span bar row.

You can choose one of three options:

NoneAdds nothing to the span bar row.
Duration(Default) Displays the span duration on the span bar row.
TagDisplays the span tag on the span bar row. You must also specify which tag key to use to get the tag value, such as span.kind.

Query traces

You can query and display traces from Zipkin via Explore.

This topic explains configuration and queries specific to the Zipkin data source. For general documentation on querying data sources in Grafana, see Query and transform data.

Screenshot of the Zipkin query editor
Screenshot of the Zipkin query editor

To query by trace ID, enter it.

Screenshot of the Zipkin query editor with trace selector expanded
Screenshot of the Zipkin query editor with trace selector expanded

To select a particular trace from all traces logged in the time range you have selected in Explore, you can also query by trace selector. The trace selector has three levels of nesting:

  • The service you’re interested in.
  • Particular operation, part of the selected service
  • Specific trace in which the selected operation occurred, represented by the root operation name and trace duration

View data mapping in the trace UI

You can view Zipkin annotations in the trace view as logs with annotation value displayed under the annotation key.

Upload a JSON trace file

You can upload a JSON file that contains a single trace and visualize it. If the file has multiple traces, Grafana visualizes its first trace.

Screenshot of the Zipkin data source in explore with upload selected
Screenshot of the Zipkin data source in explore with upload selected

Trace JSON example

    "traceId": "efe9cb8857f68c8f",
    "parentId": "efe9cb8857f68c8f",
    "id": "8608dc6ce5cafe8e",
    "kind": "SERVER",
    "name": "get /api",
    "timestamp": 1627975249601797,
    "duration": 23457,
    "localEndpoint": { "serviceName": "backend", "ipv4": "", "port": 9000 },
    "tags": {
      "http.method": "GET",
      "http.path": "/api",
      "jaxrs.resource.class": "Resource",
      "jaxrs.resource.method": "printDate"
    "shared": true

You can link to a Zipkin trace from logs in Loki or Splunk by configuring a derived field with an internal link.

For details, refer to Derived fields section of the Loki data source documentation.