Annotations provide a way to mark points on the graph with rich events. When you hover over an annotation you can get event description and event tags. The text field can include links to other systems with more detail.
Grafana v4.6+ comes with a native annotation store and the ability to add annotation events directly from the graph panel or via the HTTP API.
By holding down Ctrl/Cmd+Click. Add tags to the annotation will make it searchable from other dashboards.
Adding regions events
You can also hold down Ctrl/Cmd and select region to create a region annotation.
Built in query
After you added an annotation they will still be visible. This is due to the built in annotation query that exists on all dashboards. This annotation query will fetch all annotation events that originate from the current dashboard and show them on the panel where they where created. This includes alert state history annotations. You can stop annotations from being fetched and drawn by opening the Annotations settings (via Dashboard cogs menu) and modifying the query named
Annotations & Alerts (Built-in).
When you copy a dashboard using the Save As feature it will get a new dashboard id so annotations created on source dashboard will no longer be visible on the copy. You can still show them if you add a new Annotation Query and filter by tags. But this only works if the annotations on the source dashboard had tags to filter by.
Query by tag
You can create new annotation queries that fetch annotations from the native annotation store via the
-- Grafana -- data source and by setting Filter by to
Tags. Specify at least one tag. For example create an annotation query name
outages and specify a tag named
outage. This query will show all annotations you create (from any dashboard or via API) that have the
outage tag. By default, if you add multiple tags in the annotation query, Grafana will only show annotations that have all the tags you supplied. You can invert the behavior by enabling
Match any which means that Grafana will show annotations that contains at least one of the tags you supplied.
In Grafana v5.3+ it’s possible to use template variables in the tag query. So if you have a dashboard showing stats for different services and a template variable that dictates which services to show, you can now use the same template variable in your annotation query to only show annotations for those services.
Querying other data sources
Annotation events are fetched via annotation queries. To add a new annotation query to a dashboard open the dashboard settings menu, then select
Annotations. This will open the dashboard annotations settings view. To create a new annotation query hit the
Specify a name for the annotation query. This name is given to the toggle (checkbox) that will allow you to enable/disable showing annotation events from this query. For example you might have two annotation queries named
Outages. The toggles will allow you to decide what annotations to show.
Annotation query details
The annotation query options are different for each data source.