Introducing Grafana’s ‘Loki’ (alpha), a scalable HA multi-tenant log aggregator for cloud natives; optimized for Grafana, Prometheus and Kubernetes

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On 11th December, at the KubeCon+CloudNativeCon conference held at Seattle, Graffana labs announced the release of ‘Loki’, which is a horizontally-scalable, highly-available, multi-tenant log aggregation system for cloud natives that was inspired by Prometheus.

As compared to other log aggregation systems, Loki does not index the contents of the logs but rather a set of labels for each log stream. Storing compressed, unstructured logs and only indexing metadata, makes it cost effective as well as easy to operate. Users can seamlessly switch between metrics and logs using the same labels that they are already using with Prometheus. Loki can store Kubernetes Pod logs; metadata such as Pod labels is automatically scraped and indexed.

Features of Loki

  1. Loki is optimized to search, visualize and explore a user’s logs natively in Grafana.
  2. It is optimized for Grafana, Prometheus and Kubernetes. Grafana 6.0 provides a native Loki data source and a new Explore feature that makes logging a first-class citizen in Grafana. Users can streamline instant response, switch between metrics and logs using the same Kubernetes labels that they are already using with Prometheus.
  3. Loki is an open source alpha software with a static binary and no dependencies
  4. Loke can be used outside of Kubernetes. But the team says that their r initial use case is “very much optimized for Kubernetes”. With promtail, all Kubernetes labels for a user’s logs are automatically set up the same way as in Prometheus. It is possible to manually label log streams, and the team will be exploring integrations to make Loki “play well with the wider ecosystem”.

Twitter is buzzing with positive comments for Grafana. Users are pretty excited for this release, complimenting Loki’s cost-effectiveness and ease of use.

Head over to Grafana lab’s official blog to know more about this release. Alternatively, you can check out GitHub for a demo on three ways to try out Loki: using Grafana free hosted demo, running it locally with Docker or building from source.

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