Amazon Managed Service for Grafana for dashboarding and visualization (in preview) - AWS Prescriptive Guidance

Amazon Managed Service for Grafana for dashboarding and visualization (in preview)

Important

Amazon Managed Service for Grafana (AMG) is in preview. Features may be added or changed before announcing General Availability. The preview currently supports the following Regions: US East (N. Virginia) and Europe (Ireland).

Amazon Managed Service for Grafana (AMG) can be used to observe and visualize your AWS workloads. AMG helps you visualize and analyze your operational data at scale. Grafana is an open-source analytics platform that helps you query, visualize, alert on, and understand your metrics wherever they are stored. AMG is particularly useful if your organization already uses Grafana for visualization of existing workloads and you want to extend coverage to AWS workloads. You can use AMG with CloudWatch by adding it as a data source, which means that you can create visualizations using CloudWatch metrics. AMG supports AWS Organizations and you can centralize dashboards using CloudWatch metrics from multiple accounts and Regions.

The following table provides the advantages and considerations for using AMG instead of CloudWatch for dashboarding. A hybrid approach might be suitable based on the different requirements of your end users, workloads, and applications.

Create visualizations and dashboards that integrate with data sources supported by AMG and open-source Grafana

AMG helps you create visualizations and dashboards from many different data sources, including CloudWatch metrics. AMG includes a number of built-in data sources that span AWS services, open-source software, and COTS software. For more information about this, see Built-in data sources in the AMG documentation. You can also add support for more data sources by upgrading your workspace to Grafana Enterprise. Grafana also supports data source plugins that allow you to communicate with different external systems. CloudWatch dashboards require a CloudWatch metric or CloudWatch Logs Insights query for data to be displayed display on a CloudWatch dashboard.

Manage access to your dashboarding solution separately from your AWS account access

AMG requires the use of AWS Single Sign-On (AWS SSO) and AWS Organizations for authentication and authorization. This enables you to authenticate users to Grafana by using identity federation that you might already use with AWS SSO or AWS Organizations. However, if you aren’t using AWS SSO or AWS Organizations, then it is set up as a part of the AMG setup process. This might become an issue if your organization has limited the use of AWS SSO or AWS Organizations.

Ingest and access data across multiple accounts and Regions with AWS Organizations integration AMG integrates with AWS Organizations to enable you to read data from AWS sources such as CloudWatch and Amazon ES across all your accounts. This makes it possible to create dashboards that display visualizations using data across your accounts. To automatically enable data access across AWS Organizations, you need to set up your AMG workspace in the AWS Organizations management account. This is not recommended based on AWS Organizations best practices for the management account. In contrast, CloudWatch also supports cross-account, cross-Region dashboards for CloudWatch metrics.
Use advanced visualization widgets and Grafana definitions available in the open-source community Grafana provides a large collection of visualizations that you can use when creating your dashboards. There is also a large library of community-contributed dashboards that you can edit and reuse according to your requirements.
Use dashboards with new and existing Grafana deployments If you already use Grafana, you can import and export dashboards from your Grafana deployments and customize them for use in AMG. AMG allows you to standardize on Grafana as your dashboarding solution.
Advanced setup and configuration for workspaces, permissions, and data sources

AMG enables you to create multiple Grafana workspaces that have their own set of configured data sources, users, and policies. This can help you meet more advanced use case requirements, as well as advanced security configurations. The advanced capabilities might require your teams to grow their experience with Grafana if they don’t already have these skills.