It was developed in 2018 at Amixr, which was previously the name of the tool as well. Grafana Labs acquired Amixr in 2021 and then launched the tool on Grafana Cloud.
It integrates with your monitoring system so that when something abnormal is detected, alerts are triggered and sent to Grafana OnCall. Then alerts are grouped and routed according to customizable rules such as escalation steps, on-call rotations, and user notification settings.
Key features of the tool include the ability to create and manage on-call schedules through your calendar, alerting through popular apps, centralized view of alerts, alert grouping, automatic escalation chains, and support for open source monitoring systems like Grafana, Grafana Mimir, Prometheus, Alertmanager, Zabbix, and more.
According to Grafana Labs, before the solution was open-source, not all companies were able to make use of it, for reasons like security requirements, legal issues around sensitive data, or limited connectivity.
With it now being open-source, companies can install and manage it themselves, which enables them to use it without worrying about those issues.
“We wanted to make OnCall open source as soon as we felt it was ready for users to run it themselves easily and reliably,” said Matvey Kukuy, project co-creator and senior engineering manager at Grafana Labs. “We feel it’s ready now.”