What’s new in the Astro Platform Release, Q1 2024

  • Juliana O'Donohue

Welcome to the latest Astro Platform release — we’re thrilled to introduce enhancements aimed at bolstering governance at scale and across environments, fortifying the security of your data platform, and accelerating innovation. Let’s jump straight into the details!

This first platform release of the year contains a set of features that make the best place to run Airflow even better, by giving you:

  • Governance at scale with new reporting dashboards for comprehensive insights and informed decision making, along with the introduction of the Astro API to ensure seamless operations at scale.
  • Enhanced security with the ability to create custom deployment roles for more granular access permissions, in addition to customer managed workload identity capabilities that minimize security vulnerabilities.
  • Accelerated development cycles with the addition of the GitHub integration to reduce deployment time, foster collaboration, and promote more efficient and secure software processes.

In this blog, we dive into each of these new features and how they can take your data orchestration even further.

As we continue to build and evolve Astro, we’ve found that organizations who reach a certain level of scale and criticality of their use cases require additional features and tighter support for SLAs. You will notice that some of the features we are introducing this quarter are only available on the Enterprise product tier. The biggest driver in creating these new product tiers was to give us a foundation to launch new Enterprise features and support structures that align to business-critical outcomes.

Governance at Scale

We know that Enterprise organizations require comprehensive oversight and control over platform usage. Limited visibility into performance metrics can hinder informed decision-making, posing challenges in cost management and regulatory compliance. Moreover, a lack of automated control means running manual processes that introduce risk, especially as your surface area grows. And so, we’re excited to introduce 2 new features on Astro to address these challenges:

Organizational Dashboards: Actionable Insights Into Platform Data Enterprise

Astro’s new Organizational Dashboards aren’t just about providing data; they empower our users with actionable insights to drive their businesses forward. Astro’s Organizational Dashboards offer you 4 new comprehensive views of your Astro usage, SLAs, deployments, and operations:

  • Astro Detailed Cost Dashboard: Increases transparency by allowing you to break down and understand cost attribution.
  • DAG SLA Dashboard: Ensures compliance with your team’s data contracts, and answers questions like: “Are we out of SLA? How frequently?”
  • Deployment List Dashboard: Identifies opportunities to govern and optimize your platform usage on an organization-wide scale. For example, you can ensure that all deployments are on supported Astro Runtime versions, that teams are only using approved operators, and that unused instances are identified and removed.

Learning Bytes: Reporting — Gain insights into Airflow usage metrics, cost breakdowns, DAG Run and deployment details.

Astro API: Securely Automate Environment Management and Integration at Scale

The Astro API represents a significant step forward in data management, empowering Astro users with a tool for control and automation, mitigating the risks associated with manual processes, and ensuring seamless operations at scale. Notably, the API facilitates efficient provisioning management, enabling programmatic setup and teardown of Astro resources, streamlining operations, and empowering organizations to automate processes for rapid and robust scalability.

Leveraging the API significantly reduces operational overhead, minimizes human error, and ensures consistent operations tailored to dynamic business needs. The Astro API opens doors to a multitude of use cases, such as automatically onboarding new teams, retrieving data to monitor the status of deployments outside of Astro, and flexible integration with custom CI/CD workflows.

Enhanced Security

Evolving cyber threats and increasing data privacy regulations mean that every team is being asked to up-level their security. Today, we’re introducing 2 new features to give you more granular access controls, and easy to set up cloud identity authorization to your data services from Astro:

Custom Deployment Roles: Granular Access Control Aligned to Your Security Requirements Enterprise

With Custom Deployment Roles, organizations have the power to create tailored roles to match their specific needs, ensuring that the right people have access to the functions they need while limiting access to sensitive data and resources. Integrations with Single Sign-On and System for Cross-Domain Identity Management (SCIM) allow for easy user and group management, all while adhering to stringent security protocols.

By eliminating the one-size-fits-all mentality towards permissions, Custom Deployment Roles enable teams to act swiftly within their areas of responsibility, reducing bottlenecks. Simultaneously, this feature eases the migration process for organizations coming from platforms with similar levels of access control, offering a familiar and adaptable permissions structure. This dual benefit allows businesses to overcome the usual challenges of adapting to a new platform while maintaining efficient project contributions and workflows.

Learning Bytes: Custom Deployment Roles — Discover how Astro’s custom role capabilities allow for fine-grained control and governance over deployment access.

Customer Managed Workload Identity: Securely Authorize Data Services from Airflow on Astro

Astro introduces cloud-native customer-managed workload identity on Google Cloud Platform (GCP), in addition to Azure, ensuring secure authorization to customer data services from Airflow on the platform. By leveraging user-owned workload identities, Airflow connections gain access to cloud resources without the need for static or long-lived credentials, reducing security vulnerabilities and ensuring data protection.

Astro allows you to use your workload identity across one or multiple Airflow environments. This streamlined and secure access option drives secure scalability for your management of data services.

Learning Bytes: Customer Workload Managed Identity — Learn how to set up a managed identity on Astro for Google Cloud Platform (GCP), ensuring passwordless authentication and seamless integration with Airflow.

Accelerated Development

We know that manual code deployment processes and siloed workflows impede agility and efficiency, slowing down time-to-market and inhibiting the achievement of business objectives. We’re thrilled to share a hallmark feature we’ve built for Astro developers to accelerate their productivity by streamlining CI/CD for GitHub users.

GitHub Integration: Empower Teams to Focus on Development with Built-In CI/CD

The GitHub Integration is a new feature aimed at streamlining and enhancing CI/CD processes for GitHub users. Instead of manually configuring CI scripts, developers can seamlessly integrate CI/CD best practices directly from the Astro Cloud UI, eliminating the need for manual setup.

When committing code changes to specified branches, Astro automatically deploys them, allowing teams to focus on development without worrying about deployment intricacies. Additionally, Astro’s GitHub integration provides visibility into PR closures, displaying metadata from GitHub within the Astro UI, enhancing collaboration and traceability. This feature will be available in Private Preview to Astro customers on April 17, 2024.


We are excited for our customers to leverage these new features and capabilities on the Astro platform. Astronomer strives to deliver increased reliability, operational efficiency, and simplified workflow management, and powerful development tools, so you can focus on what matters most — your data.

For a more in-depth overview of the latest feature set included within this release, join our upcoming webinar where we’ll explore each new feature in detail, complete with live demos, practical use cases, and more.

If you’re ready to try these new features for yourself, we welcome you to try Astro now with our 14-day free trial.

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