Plugins 〉Wavefront

Data Source


  • Overview
  • Installation
  • Change log
  • Related content

Wavefront Datasource Plugin for Grafana

The Grafana Wavefront plugin allows Grafana users to query and visualize the data they’re collecting directly from Wavefront and easily visualize it alongside any other metric, log, tracing, or other data source. This flexible, single-pane view makes it easier to track system health and debug issues.

What is Wavefront?

Wavefront is a cloud monitoring and analytics tool developed by VMWare. Wavefront is a cloud-hosted service where you send your time-series (metric) data – from CollectD, StatsD, JMX, Ruby’s logger, AWS, or other tools. With Wavefront, users can perform mathematical operations on those series, render charts to see anomalies, track KPIs, and create alerts.

Maximizing your tech stack with Wavefront and Grafana

While on the surface, Grafana and Wavefront may sound similar, many organizations use both Wavefront and Grafana as critical parts of their observability workflows.

Visualize without Moving Data Sources: Grafana’s unique architecture queries data directly where it lives rather than moving it and paying for redundant storage and ingestion.

Compose Panels from Varied Sources With pre-built and custom dashboards, bring data together from many different data sources into a single pane of glass.

Transform and Compute at the User Level: Users can transform data and run various computations on data they see, requiring less data preparation.

Combine, Compute, and Visualize within Panels: Create mixed-datasource panels that display related data from Waveferont and other sources, like Prometheus and InfluxDB.


Table of contents

  1. Features

  2. Configuration

  3. Usage

  1. References


  • Timeseries Visualizations
  • Table Visualizations
  • Heatmap Visualizations
  • Single Stat Visualizations
  • Guided Query Editor
  • Raw WQL Query Editor
  • Annotations for event data
  • Template Variables
  • Ad-Hoc Filters
  • Alerting


Configuring the Wavefront plugin is relatively straightforward. There are only two fields required to complete the configuration: API URL and Token.

  • API URL will be the URL you use to access your wavefront environment. Example:
  • Token will need to be generated from a user account or service account.
    1. To create a user account based token, log into your Wavefront environment, click the cog on the top right corner of the page, click your username (e.g..., select the API Access tab at the top of the user page, then copy an existing key or click generate. 2. To create a service account based token, log into your Wavefront environment, click the cog on the top right corner of the page, click account management, on the left hand navigation select Accounts, Groups, & Roles, click the Service Accounts tab at the top, then click Create New Account. Enter a name for the service account. This can be anything you'd like. Copy the token that is provided under the Tokens section. The last step is to make sure you have the Accounts, Groups, & Roles check box selected under Permissions

Once you have the token, add that to the Token configuration field and you should be set!

The finalized configuration page should look similar to this:



Using the query editor

The Wavefront query editor has two modes: Query Builder & Raw Query. To toggle between them, use the selector in the top right of the query form:


In Query Builder mode, you will presented with 4 choices to make:

  1. What Metric you would like to query?
  2. What aggregation would you like to perform on that metric?
  3. How would you like to filter the results from that metric query?
  4. Would you like to apply any additional functions to the result?

The metric selector is a categorized hierarchy. Select a category, then click again to drill into the subcategories. Repeat this process until you have reached your desired metric.

After selecting a metric, the available filters and filter values will be automatically populated for you.

In Raw Query mode, you will see a single field labeled Query. This allows you to run any WQL query that you desire.

Using Filters

The Wavefront plugin will dynamically query the appropriate filters for each metric.

To add a filter, click the + next to the Filters label on the Wavefront query editor, select which field you would like to filter on, and select a value to filter by.

Using Functions

Functions provide an additional way to aggregate, manipulate, and perform calculations on the metric response data. To view the available functions, click the drop down by the function label on the Query Builder. Based on the function you select, you will be able to perform further actions such as setting a group by field or applying thresholds. Users are able to chain multiple functions together to perform advanced calculations or data manipulations.

Adding a Query Template Variable

  1. To create a new Wavefront template variable for a dashboard, click the settings cog on the top right portion of the dashboard.
  2. Click Variables in the left hand panel.
  3. Click New in the top right corner of the variables page.
  4. Enter a Name and a Label for the template variable you'd like to create. Name is the value you will use inside of queries to reference the template variable. Label is a human friendly name to display for the template variable on the dashboard select panel.
  5. Select the type Query for the type field (it should be selected by default).
  6. Under the Query Options heading, select Wavefront in the Data source drop down.
  7. See Template Variable Query Structure for details on what should be entered into the Query field.
  8. If you would like to filter out any of the returned values from your query, enter a regular expression in the Regex input field.
  9. Apply any sorting preferences you might have by choosing a sort type in the Sort drop down.
  10. After verifying the configuration, click Add to add the template variable, then click Save dashboard on the left hand navigation panel to save your changes.

Template Variable Query Structure

metric lists: metrics: ts(...)

source lists: sources: ts(...)

source tag lists: sourceTags: ts(...)

matching source tag lists: matchingSourceTags: ts(...)

tag name lists: tagNames: ts(...)

tag value lists: tagValues(<tag>): ts(...)


  • The s at the end of each query type is optional

  • Support for all lowercase. You can use tagnames or tagNames, but not TAGNAMES.

  • whitespaces around the : is optional


    Multi-value and Include All option are currently not supported by the Wavefront plugin.

Using Template Variables

After completing the steps to add a new template variable, you're now ready to use the template variable within your dashboard panels to create dynamic visualizations.

  1. Add a new dashboard panel using the panel+ icon in the top right corner of your dashboard.
  2. Select the aggregate you would like to use for your query.
  3. Click the + icon beside Filters label and select the key type that matches your template variable. host= for a host filter, for example.
  4. Type in the name of the template variable you created in the Value input field of the filter.
  5. Save the dashboard.

You should now be able to cycle through different values of your template variable and have your panel dynamically update!

panel using template var

Using Ad-Hoc Filters

To use ad-hoc filters, we must create two template variables. The first one is a helper variable that will be used to select a metric so that add-hoc filters can be populated for that metric name. The other will be the actual ad-hoc filter variable.

NOTICE The helper variable that is required has to be named metriclink. This can be an custom variable with the list of metrics that you'd like to use or a query based variable using the Template Variable Query Structure. If you would like to populate the ad-hoc filter fields with only the values from a single metric, you can hide the metriclink template variable.

After creating the metriclink variable, you can now add the ad-hoc filter by following the same steps detailed in Adding a Query Template Variable. The difference being that you will select Ad Hoc Filters as the Type and no inputs are required for a query.

If you followed the steps correctly, your dashboard should look like so: metriclink

Adding Annotations

  1. To create a new Wavefront annotation for a dashboard, click the settings cog on the top right portion of the dashboard.
  2. Click Annotations in the left hand panel.
  3. Click New in the top right corner of the annotations page.
  4. Enter a name for the annotation (this will be used as the name of the toggle on the dashboard)
  5. Select the Data source of Wavefront
  6. By default, annotations have a limit of 100 alert events that will be returned. In order to change that, set the Limit field to your desired value.
  7. Click Add

Using Annotations

If you followed the steps from Adding Annotations correctly, your dashboard should now have the toggle for alert annotations: annotation

When annotations are toggled on, you should now see the alert events and issues that correlate with a given time period.

If you hover over the bottom of an annotated section of a visualization, a pop-up window will be displayed that shows the alert name and provides a direct link to the alert in Wavefront: annotation_hover

Using Display Name

This plugin uses the Display Name field in the Field tab of the Options panel (available in Grafana v7.0+) to shorten or alter a legend key based on its name, labels, or values. Other datasources use custom alias functionality to modify legend keys, but the Display Name function is a more consistent way to do so. Documentation for the Display Name field option is in the Grafana docs.

Display name altering legend keys


For more information, visit the docs on plugin installation.