Dashboards
  • 15 Jun 2022
  • 4 Minutes to read
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Dashboards

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Using dashboards allows you to build pre-defined searches on your data, so important information is just a click away.

You need some domain knowledge to write search queries that get the correct results for your specific applications. If you have the required domain knowledge you can define search queries and share them with co-workers, managers, or even sales and marketing departments.

Dashboards include a range of additional features that are not available in saved searches. The main difference is the ability to define Widget specific search criteria like the query or time range. Dashboards also enable creating multiple tabs for different use cases, displaying the result in full screen mode and as mentioned before, sharing the results with other people.

This guide will take you through the process of creating dashboards and storing information on them. At the end you will have a dashboard with automatically updating information that you can share with anybody or just a subset of people depending on the permissions granted.

dashboardexamplev2.png

How to Use Dashboards

Creating an empty dashboard

Navigate to the Dashboards section using the link in the top menu bar of your Graylog web interface. This page lists all dashboards that you are permitted to view. (More on permissions later). Hit the Create new dashboard button to create a new empty dashboard.

dashboardcreatev2.png
You should now see your new dashboard. Hit the Save as button on the right side of the search bar to save the dashboard.

dashboardsave.png
This will open a modal where you can define a title, summary and description.

dashboardsavedialog.png
The only required information is the title of the new dashboard. Use a specific title that is not too wordy so people can easily understand what to expect from the dashboard. The description can be a bit longer and could contain more detailed information about the displayed data or how it is collected.

Next, we will be adding widgets to the newly created dashboard.

Adding and configuring widgets

You should see your empty dashboard in front of you. Now, let’s add some widgets! You can add search result information to a dashboard with a couple of clicks. Adding widgets to a dashboard works the same way as the main search page does. Have a look at the Widgets page for a more detailed description of different widget types and how to create them.

Widget Specific Search Criteria

As described in the introduction the main difference between dashboards and saved searches is the possibility to define widget specific search crtieria. This includes the time range, search query and stream selection.

These options can be defined using the search bar inside the widget edit modal.

widgeteditmodal.png
While the main search bar still exists, it will only allow you to overwrite the widget specific search. While the widget specific search persists, search options configured with the main search bar will not be saved in the dashboard.

Examples

We strongly recommend reading the Getting Started Guide on basic searches and analysis before you proceed. This will make it easier to follow the upcoming examples. For all the examples, you need to create an empty Aggregation and open the edit modal.

  • Top log sources

    • Example search: *, timeframe: Last 24 hours
    • Select visualization Data Table
    • Add row pivot source
    • Add metric count(source)
    • Select sorting count(source)
    • Save the widget
  • Number of exceptions in a given app today

    • Example search: source:myapp AND Exception, timeframe: Last 24 hours
    • Select visualization Single Number
    • Add metric count()
    • Save the widget
  • Response time chart of a given app

    • Example search: source:myapp2, any timeframe you want
    • Select visualization Single Number
    • Add metric avg(response_time)
    • Save the widget

Results

You should now see widgets on your dashboard.

dashboardexamplev21.png

Export a Search as a Dashboard

The previous sections decribe how to create a dashboard from scratch, but you can also transform an existing search to a dashboard. All you need is to click on the three dots on the right side of the search bar and select the option Export as dashboard. The newly created dashboard is just a draft and you will need to click on the Save as button to create the dashboard permanently.

dashboardexport.png

Widget Cache Times

Widget values are cached in the graylog-server by default. This means that the cost of value computation does not grow with every new device or even a browser tab displaying a dashboard. Some widgets might need to show real-time information (set cache time to 1 second) and some widgets might be updated less often (like Top SSH users this month, cache time 10 minutes) to save expensive computation resources.

Dashboard Permissions

Graylog users in the Admin role are always allowed to view and edit all dashboards. Users in the Reader role are by default not allowed to view or edit any dashboards.

dashboardpermissions.png
Navigate to System -> Roles and create a new role that grants the permissions you wish. You can then assign that new role to any users you wish to give dashboard permissions to in the System -> Users page.

To learn more please refer to user permissions and roles.

That’s it!

Congratulations, you have just gone through the basic principles of Graylog dashboards. Now think about which dashboards to create. We suggest that you:

  • Create dashboards for yourself and your team members
  • Create dashboards to share with your manager
  • Create dashboards to share with the CIO of your company

Consider which information you need access to frequently. What information might your manager or CIO be interested in? Maybe they want to see how the number of exceptions went down or how your team utilized existing hardware better. The sales team could be interested in seeing signup rates in realtime and the marketing team would love you for providing insights into low level KPIs that are just a click away.


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