Grafana allows you to query, visualize, alert on and understand your metrics no matter where they are stored. "

Torkel starts his post by saying “Before Grafana, there was Kibana 3.”. And we still remember the day grafana was first introduced as a simple kibana fork-like that can query graphite in addition to elasticsearch, hence the name. In those days, we had a custom statistics API for our business metrics and an opentsdb for everything else. Grafana was the only tool to join those metrics in the same dashboard. It required a fragile and mostly undocumented way of developing and adding plugins back then, but we did it. Because seeing how a glitch in an infrastructure system is affecting the user experience and the revenues on the same screen is quite priceless.

After those first days, we never really let go. Not a day goes by without checking something in some grafana dashboard. We are using it in systems monitoring, data visualization, interactive maps… Whatever we could label as “data”, grafana is there. And it still renders most of the information necessary for successful operations daily, as well as troubleshooting earlier issues.

But the most important part about grafana is not the technicalities of it, not the variety of data sources it supports nor the simplicity of dashboards but the way it helps to run a data-aware business in general. Even the old-school, generally opinionated, and highly subjective people can’t resist how the data relates to their business when they see it in a concise and easy-to-understand way. And that’s what grafana helps data engineers accomplish.

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