Query using Grafana

After you have deployed Google Cloud Managed Service for Prometheus, you can query the data sent to the managed service and display the results in charts and dashboards.

This document describes metrics scopes, which determine the data you can query, and how to use Grafana to retrieve and use the data you've collected.

All query interfaces for Managed Service for Prometheus are configured to retrieve data from Monarch using the Cloud Monitoring API. By querying Monarch instead of querying data from local Prometheus servers, you get global monitoring at scale.

Before you begin

If you have not already deployed the managed service, then set up managed collection or self-deployed collection. You can skip this if you're only interested in querying Cloud Monitoring metrics using PromQL.

Configure your environment

To avoid repeatedly entering your project ID or cluster name, perform the following configuration:

  • Configure the command-line tools as follows:

    • Configure the gcloud CLI to refer to the ID of your Google Cloud project:

      gcloud config set project PROJECT_ID
    • Configure the kubectl CLI to use your cluster:

      kubectl config set-cluster CLUSTER_NAME

    For more information about these tools, see the following:

Set up a namespace

Create the NAMESPACE_NAME Kubernetes namespace for resources you create as part of the example application:

kubectl create ns NAMESPACE_NAME

Verify service account credentials

You can skip this section if your Kubernetes cluster has Workload Identity enabled.

When running on GKE, Managed Service for Prometheus automatically retrieves credentials from the environment based on the Compute Engine default service account. The default service account has the necessary permissions, monitoring.metricWriter and monitoring.viewer, by default. If you don't use Workload Identity, and you have previously removed either of those roles from the default node service account, you will have to re-add those missing permissions before continuing.

If you are not running on GKE, see Provide credentials explicitly.

Configure a service account for Workload Identity

You can skip this section if your Kubernetes cluster does not have Workload Identity enabled.

Managed Service for Prometheus captures metric data by using the Cloud Monitoring API. If your cluster is using Workload Identity, you must grant your Kubernetes service account permission to the Monitoring API. This section describes the following:

Create and bind the service account

This step appears in several places in the Managed Service for Prometheus documentation. If you have already performed this step as part of a prior task, then you don't need to repeat it. Skip ahead to Authorize the service account.

The following command sequence creates the gmp-test-sa service account and binds it to the default Kubernetes service account in the NAMESPACE_NAME namespace:

gcloud config set project PROJECT_ID \
gcloud iam service-accounts create gmp-test-sa \
gcloud iam service-accounts add-iam-policy-binding \
  --role roles/iam.workloadIdentityUser \
  --member "serviceAccount:PROJECT_ID.svc.id.goog[NAMESPACE_NAME/default]" \
  gmp-test-sa@PROJECT_ID.iam.gserviceaccount.com \
kubectl annotate serviceaccount \
  --namespace NAMESPACE_NAME \
  default \

If you are using a different GKE namespace or service account, adjust the commands appropriately.

Authorize the service account

Groups of related permissions are collected into roles, and you grant the roles to a principal, in this example, the Google Cloud service account. For more information about Monitoring roles, see Access control.

The following command grants the Google Cloud service account, gmp-test-sa, the Monitoring API roles it needs to read metric data.

If you have already granted the Google Cloud service account a specific role as part of prior task, then you don't need to do it again.

To authorize your service account to read from a multi-project metrics scope, follow these instructions and then see Change the queried project.

gcloud projects add-iam-policy-binding PROJECT_ID \
  --member=serviceAccount:gmp-test-sa@PROJECT_ID.iam.gserviceaccount.com \
  --role=roles/monitoring.viewer \
&& \
gcloud projects add-iam-policy-binding PROJECT_ID \
  --member=serviceAccount:gmp-test-sa@PROJECT_ID.iam.gserviceaccount.com \

Debug your Workload Identity configuration

If you are having trouble getting Workload Identity to work, see the documentation for verifying your Workload Identity setup and the Workload Identity troubleshooting guide.

As typos and partial copy-pastes are the most common sources of errors when configuring Workload Identity, we strongly recommend using the editable variables and clickable copy-paste icons embedded in the code samples in these instructions.

Workload Identity in production environments

The example described in this document binds the Google Cloud service account to the default Kubernetes service account and gives the Google Cloud service account all necessary permissions to use the Monitoring API.

In a production environment, you might want to use a finer-grained approach, with a service account for each component, each with minimal permissions. For more information on configuring service accounts for workload-identity management, see Using Workload Identity.

Queries and metrics scopes

The data you can query is determined by the Cloud Monitoring construct metrics scope, regardless of the method you use to query the data. For example, if you use Grafana to query Managed Service for Prometheus data, then each metrics scope must be configured as a separate data source.

A Monitoring metrics scope is a read-time-only construct that lets you query metric data belonging to multiple Google Cloud projects. Every metrics scope is hosted by a designated Google Cloud project, called the scoping project.

By default, a project is the scoping project for its own metrics scope, and the metrics scope contains the metrics and configuration for that project. A scoping project can have more than one monitored project in its metrics scope, and the metrics and configurations from all the monitored projects in the metrics scope are visible to the scoping project. A monitored project can also belong to more than one metrics scope.

When you query the metrics in a scoping project, and if that scoping project hosts a multi-project metrics scope, you can retrieve data from multiple projects. If your metrics scope contains all your projects, then your queries and rules evaluate globally.

For more information about scoping projects and metrics scope, see Metrics scopes. For information about configuring multi-project metrics scope, see View metrics for multiple projects.

Managed Service for Prometheus data in Cloud Monitoring

The simplest way to verify that your Prometheus data is being exported is to use the Cloud Monitoring Metrics Explorer page in the Google Cloud console, which supports PromQL. For instructions, see Querying using PromQL in Cloud Monitoring.

You can also import your Grafana dashboards into Cloud Monitoring. This enables you to keep using community-created or personal Grafana dashboards without having to configure or deploy a Grafana instance.


Managed Service for Prometheus uses the built-in Prometheus data source for Grafana, meaning that you can keep using any community-created or personal Grafana dashboards without any changes.

Deploy Grafana, if needed

If you don't have a running Grafana deployment in your cluster, then you can create an ephemeral test deployment to experiment with.

To create an ephemeral Grafana deployment, apply the Managed Service for Prometheus grafana.yaml manifest to your cluster, and port-forward the grafana service to your local machine. The following example forwards the service to port 3000.

  1. Apply the grafana.yaml manifest:

    kubectl -n NAMESPACE_NAME apply -f  https://raw.githubusercontent.com/GoogleCloudPlatform/prometheus-engine/6ebc1afa8e609febe8d687bb7fa6bd2375e46db1/examples/grafana.yaml
  2. Port-forward the grafana service to your local machine. This example forwards the service to port 3000:

    kubectl -n NAMESPACE_NAME port-forward svc/grafana 3000

    This command does not return, and while it is running, it reports accesses to the URL.

    You can access Grafana in your browser at the URL http://localhost:3000 with the username:password admin:admin.

Then add a new Prometheus data source to Grafana by doing the following:

  1. Go to your Grafana deployment, for example, by browsing to the URL http://localhost:3000 to reach the Grafana welcome page.

  2. Select Connections from the main Grafana menu, then select Data Sources.

    Adding a data source in Grafana.

  3. Select Add data source, and select Prometheus as the time series database.

    Adding a Prometheus data source.

  4. Give the data source a name, set the URL field to http://localhost:9090, then select Save & Test. You can ignore any errors saying that the data source is not configured correctly.

  5. Copy down the local service URL for your deployment, which will look like the following:


Configure and authenticate the Grafana data source

Google Cloud APIs all require authentication using OAuth2; however, Grafana doesn't support OAuth2 authentication for service accounts used with Prometheus data sources. To use Grafana with Managed Service for Prometheus, you use the data source syncer to generate OAuth2 credentials for your service account and sync them to Grafana through the Grafana data source API.

You must use the data source syncer to configure and authorize Grafana to query data globally. If you don't follow these steps, then Grafana only executes queries against data in the local Prometheus server.

The data source syncer is a command-line interface tool which uses a Kubernetes CronJob to remotely sync configuration values to a given Grafana Prometheus data source. This ensures that your Grafana data source has the following configured correctly:

  • Authentication, done by refreshing an OAuth2 access token periodically
  • The Cloud Monitoring API set as the Prometheus server URL
  • The HTTP method set to GET
  • The Prometheus type and version set to a minimum of 2.40.x
  • The HTTP and Query timeout values set to 2 minutes

The data source syncer uses your cluster's local service account to periodically generate a Google Cloud API access token with the necessary IAM permissions for querying Cloud Monitoring data. As Google Cloud API access tokens have a lifetime of one hour, the data source syncer runs every 30 minutes to ensure you have an uninterrupted authenticated connection between Grafana and the Cloud Monitoring API.

To deploy and run the data source syncer, do the following:

  1. Choose a project, cluster, and namespace to deploy the data source syncer in. We recommend deploying the data source syncer in a cluster belonging to the scoping project of a multi-project metrics scope. The data source syncer uses the configured Google Cloud project as the scoping project.

    Next, make sure you properly configure and authorize the data source syncer:

    Then, determine if you have to further authorize the data source syncer for multi-project querying:

  2. Figure out the URL of your Grafana instance, for example https://yourcompanyname.grafana.net for a Grafana Cloud deployment or http://grafana.NAMESPACE_NAME.svc:3000 for a local instance configured using the test deployment YAML.

    If you deploy Grafana locally and your cluster is configured to secure all in-cluster traffic by using TLS, you need to use https:// in your URL and authenticate using one of the supported TLS authentication options.

  3. Choose the Grafana Prometheus data source that you would like to use for Managed Service for Prometheus, which can be either a new or a pre-existing data source, and then find and write down the data source UID. The data source UID can be found in the last part of the URL when exploring or configuring a data source, for example https://yourcompanyname.grafana.net/connections/datasources/edit/GRAFANA_DATASOURCE_UID. Do not copy the entire datasource URL. Copy only the unique identifier in the URL.

    Locate a data source UID in Grafana.

  4. Set up a Grafana service account by creating the service account and generating a token for the account to use:

    1. In the Grafana navigation sidebar, click Administration > Users and Access > Service Accounts.
    2. Create the service account by clicking Add service account, giving it a name, and granting it the "Admin" role in Grafana.

    3. Click Add service account token.

    4. Set the token expiration set to "No expiration" and click Generate token, then copy the generated token to the clipboard for use as GRAFANA_SERVICE_ACCOUNT_TOKEN in the next step:

      Generate and save a service account token in Grafana.

  5. Set up the following environment variables using the results of the previous steps:

    # These values are required.
    PROJECT_ID=SCOPING_PROJECT_ID # The value from Step 1.
    GRAFANA_API_ENDPOINT=GRAFANA_INSTANCE_URL # The value from step 2. This is a URL.
    DATASOURCE_UIDS=GRAFANA_DATASOURCE_UID # The value from step 3. This is not a URL.
  6. Run the following command to create a CronJob that refreshes the data source on initialization and then every 30 minutes. If you're using Workload Identity, then the value of NAMESPACE_NAME should be the same namespace that you previously bound to the service account.

    curl https://raw.githubusercontent.com/GoogleCloudPlatform/prometheus-engine/v0.12.0/cmd/datasource-syncer/datasource-syncer.yaml \
    | kubectl -n NAMESPACE_NAME apply -f -
  7. Go to your newly configured Grafana data source and verify the Prometheus server URL value starts with https://monitoring.googleapis.com. You might have to refresh the page. Once verified, go to the bottom of the page and select Save & test. You need to select this button at least once to ensure that label autocompletion in Grafana works.

Run queries by using Grafana

You can now create Grafana dashboards and run queries using the configured data source. The following screenshot shows a Grafana chart that displays the up metric:

Grafana chart for the Managed Service for Prometheus up metric.

For information about querying Google Cloud system metrics using PromQL, see PromQL for Cloud Monitoring metrics.

Running the data source syncer outside of GKE

You can skip this section if you are running the data source syncer in a Google Kubernetes Engine cluster. If you are having authentication issues on GKE, see Verify service account credentials.

When running on GKE, the data source syncer automatically retrieves credentials from the environment based on the node's service account or the Workload Identity setup. In non-GKE Kubernetes clusters, credentials must be explicitly provided to the data source syncer by using the GOOGLE_APPLICATION_CREDENTIALS environment variable.

  1. Set the context to your target project:

    gcloud config set project PROJECT_ID
  2. Create a service account:

    gcloud iam service-accounts create gmp-test-sa

    This step creates the service account that you might have already created in the Workload Identity instructions.

  3. Grant the required permissions to the service account:

    gcloud projects add-iam-policy-binding PROJECT_ID \
      --member=serviceAccount:gmp-test-sa@PROJECT_ID.iam.gserviceaccount.com \
      --role=roles/monitoring.viewer \
    && \
    gcloud projects add-iam-policy-binding PROJECT_ID \
      --member=serviceAccount:gmp-test-sa@PROJECT_ID.iam.gserviceaccount.com \

  4. Create and download a key for the service account:

    gcloud iam service-accounts keys create gmp-test-sa-key.json \
  5. Set the key-file path by using the GOOGLE_APPLICATION_CREDENTIALS environment variable.

Authorize the data source syncer to get multi-project monitoring

Managed Service for Prometheus supports multi-project monitoring by using metrics scopes. If your local project is your scoping project, and you have followed the instructions for verifying or configuring a service account for the local project, then multi-project querying should work with no further configuration.

If your local project is not your scoping project, then you need to authorize either the local project's default compute service account or your Workload Identity service account to have monitoring.viewer access to the scoping project. Then pass in the scoping project's ID as the value of the PROJECT_ID environment variable.

If you use the Compute Engine default service account, you can do one of the following:

To grant a service account the permissions needed to access a different Google Cloud project, do the following:

  1. Grant the service account permission to read from the target project you want to query:

    gcloud projects add-iam-policy-binding SCOPING_PROJECT_ID \
      --member=serviceAccount:gmp-test-sa@PROJECT_ID.iam.gserviceaccount.com \
  2. When configuring the data source syncer, pass in the scoping project's ID as the value of the PROJECT_ID environment variable.

Inspect the CronJob

To inspect the CronJob and ensure that all variables are correctly set, run the following command:

kubectl describe cronjob datasource-syncer

To see logs for the Job that initially configures Grafana, run the following command immediately after applying the datasource-syncer.yaml file:

kubectl logs job.batch/datasource-syncer-init


To disable the data source syncer Cronjob, run the following command:

kubectl delete -f https://raw.githubusercontent.com/GoogleCloudPlatform/prometheus-engine/main/cmd/datasource-syncer/datasource-syncer.yaml

Disabling the data source syncer stops updating the linked Grafana with fresh authentication credentials, and as a consequence querying Managed Service for Prometheus no longer works.

API compatibility

The following Prometheus HTTP API endpoints are supported by Managed Service for Prometheus under the URL prefixed by https://monitoring.googleapis.com/v1/projects/PROJECT_ID/location/global/prometheus/api/v1/.

For full documentation, see the Cloud Monitoring API reference documentation.

For information about PromQL compatibility, see PromQL support.

  • The following endpoints are fully supported:

    • /api/v1/query
    • /api/v1/query_range
    • /api/v1/metadata
    • /api/v1/labels
    • /api/v1/query_exemplars
  • The /api/v1/label/<label_name>/values endpoint only works if the __name__ label is provided either by using it as the <label_name> value or by exactly matching on it using a series selector. For example, the following calls are fully supported:

    • /api/v1/label/__name__/values
    • /api/v1/label/__name__/values?match[]={__name__=~".*metricname.*"}
    • /api/v1/label/labelname/values?match[]={__name__="metricname"}

    This limitation causes label_values($label) variable queries in Grafana to fail. Instead, you can use label_values($metric, $label). This type of query is recommended because it avoids fetching values for labels on metrics that are not relevant to the given dashboard.

  • The /api/v1/series endpoint is supported for GET but not POST requests. When you use the data source syncer or frontend proxy, this restriction is managed for you. You can also configure your Prometheus data sources in Grafana to issue only GET requests. The match[] parameter does not support regular expression matching on the __name__ label.

What's next