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Using InfluxDB in Grafana

Grafana ships with very feature rich data source plugin for InfluxDB. Supporting a feature rich query editor, annotation and templating queries.

Adding the data source

  1. Open the side menu by clicking the the Grafana icon in the top header.
  2. In the side menu under the Dashboards link you should find a link named Data Sources.

    NOTE: If this link is missing in the side menu it means that your current user does not have the Admin role for the current organization.

  3. Click the Add new link in the top header.

Name Description
Name The data source name, important that this is the same as in Grafana v1.x if you plan to import old dashboards.
Default Default data source means that it will be pre-selected for new panels.
Url The http protocol, ip and port of you influxdb api (influxdb api port is by default 8086)
Access Proxy = access via Grafana backend, Direct = access directly from browser.
Database Name of your influxdb database
User Name of your database user
Password Database user’s password

Proxy access means that the Grafana backend will proxy all requests from the browser, and send them on to the Data Source. This is useful because it can eliminate CORS (Cross Origin Site Resource) issues, as well as eliminate the need to disseminate authentication details to the Data Source to the browser.

Direct access is still supported because in some cases it may be useful to access a Data Source directly depending on the use case and topology of Grafana, the user, and the Data Source.

Query Editor

You find the InfluxDB editor in the metrics tab in Graph or Singlestat panel’s edit mode. You enter edit mode by clicking the panel title, then edit. The editor allows you to select metrics and tags.

Filter data (WHERE)

To add a tag filter click the plus icon to the right of the WHERE condition. You can remove tag filters by clicking on the tag key and select --remove tag filter--.

Regex matching

You can type in regex patterns for metric names or tag filter values, be sure to wrap the regex pattern in forward slashes (/). Grafana will automatically adjust the filter tag condition to use the InfluxDB regex match condition operator (=~).

Field & Aggregation functions

In the SELECT row you can specify what fields and functions you want to use. If you have a group by time you need an aggregation function. Some functions like derivative require an aggregation function.

The editor tries simplify and unify this part of the query. For example:

The above will generate the following InfluxDB SELECT clause:

SELECT derivative(mean("value"), 10s) /10 AS "REQ/s" FROM ....

Select multiple fields

Use the plus button and select Field > field to add another SELECT clause. You can also specify an asterix * to select all fields.

Group By

To group by a tag click the plus icon at the end of the GROUP BY row. Pick a tag from the dropdown that appears. You can remove the group by by clicking on the tag and then click on the x icon.

Text Editor Mode (RAW)

You can switch to raw query mode by clicking hamburger icon and then Switch editor mode.

If you use Raw Query be sure your query at minimum have WHERE $timeFilter Also please always have a group by time and an aggregation function, otherwise InfluxDB can easily return hundreds of thousands of data points that will hang the browser.

Alias patterns

  • $m = replaced with measurement name
  • $measurement = replaced with measurement name
  • $col = replaced with column name
  • $tag_hostname = replaced with the value of the hostname tag
  • You can also use [[tag_hostname]] pattern replacement syntax

Table query / raw data

You can remove the group by time by clicking on the time part and then the x icon. You can change the option Format As to Table if you want to show raw data in the Table panel.

Templating

You can create a template variable in Grafana and have that variable filled with values from any InfluxDB metric exploration query. You can then use this variable in your InfluxDB metric queries.

For example you can have a variable that contains all values for tag hostname if you specify a query like this in the templating edit view.

SHOW TAG VALUES WITH KEY = "hostname"

You can also create nested variables. For example if you had another variable, for example region. Then you could have the hosts variable only show hosts from the current selected region with a query like this:

SHOW TAG VALUES WITH KEY = "hostname"  WHERE region =~ /$region/

Always use regex values or regex wildcard for All format or multi select format.

Annotations

Annotations allows you to overlay rich event information on top of graphs.

An example query:

SELECT title, description from events WHERE $timeFilter order asc