Using Alternative Data Sources For "Traces" Visualizations

  • What Grafana version and what operating system are you using?

Latest version on Grafana cloud free plan

  • What are you trying to achieve?

I would like to implement a Grafana dashboard that shows distributed traces, however the data for the traces will be stored in a SQL-like database (ie. not tempo, zipkin etc) because it is leveraging legacy infrastructure, and we do not have sufficient budget/resources to set up and maintain a separate database system for traces.

  • How are you trying to achieve it?

To start with, I am trying to copy sample JSON trace data from the Grafana docs and import it as inline JSON using the Infinity plugin. However, I can’t find a config that recognizes this data as trace data that the traces panel can show. I’m not sure what additional mappings/steps are needed. Once I understand how to do this, I would like to use a script to generate high volumes of test trace data in order to fine tune the dashboard, then probably write a plugin for Grafana which will send queries to the legacy database and perform any required data transformation to put theb results into the correct JSON format.

  • What happened?

As described, the traces panel reports that it can’t show the data, regardless of how imported (as-is, time series etc.) - I believe I may need to perform a mapping but can’t see where this option is?

  • What did you expect to happen?

Some kind of visual of at least one of the fake distributed traces would show.

  • Can you copy/paste the configuration(s) that you are having problems with?

I don’t have text configs I can add beyond what I’ve described, I pasted the sample JSON data at: Upload a JSON trace file | Grafana documentation

  • Did you receive any errors in the Grafana UI or in related logs? If so, please tell us exactly what they were.

No errors other than the visualization stating unable to display

  • Did you follow any online instructions? If so, what is the URL?

Traces | Grafana documentation (with appropriate alterations to attempt not to use the tempo backend)

Traces visualization support in infinity is coming in 2.1 ( already in main branch if you are interested )