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Monitoring with Prometheus and Grafana

Prometheus is an open-source monitoring and alerting system. When used along with Grafana, you can create a dynamic dashboard for monitoring ingress into our Kubernetes cluster.

Deployment

This guide will focus on deploying Prometheus and Grafana alongside Ambassador Edge Stack in Kubernetes using the Prometheus Operator.

Note: Both Prometheus and Grafana can be deployed as standalone applications outside of Kubernetes. This process is well-documented within the website and docs within their respective projects.

Ambassador Edge Stack

Ambassador Edge Stack makes it easy to output Envoy-generated statistics to Prometheus. For the remainder of this guide, it is assumed that you have installed and configured Ambassador Edge Stack into your Kubernetes cluster, and that it is possible for you to modify the global configuration of the Ambassador Edge Stack deployment.

Starting with Ambassador Edge Stack 0.71.0, Prometheus can scrape stats/metrics directly from Envoy's /metrics endpoint, removing the need to configure Ambassador Edge Stack to output stats to StatsD.

The /metrics endpoint can be accessed internally via the Ambassador Edge Stack admin port (default 8877):

shell
http(s)://ambassador:8877/metrics

or externally by creating a Mapping similar to below:

yaml
---
apiVersion: getambassador.io/v2
kind: Mapping
metadata:
name: metrics
spec:
prefix: /metrics
rewrite: ""
service: localhost:8877

Note: Since /metrics in an endpoint on Ambassador Edge Stack itself, the service field can just reference the admin port on localhost.

Using the cluster_tag setting

The metrics that Prometheus scrapes from Ambassador Edge Stack are keyed using the name of the Envoy cluster that is handling traffic for a given Mapping. The name of a given cluster is generated by Ambassador Edge Stack and, as such, is not necessarily terribly readable.

You can set the cluster_tag attribute within a Mapping to specify a prefix for the generated cluster name, to help manage metrics.

Prometheus Operator with standard YAML

In this section, we will deploy the Prometheus Operator using the standard YAML files. Alternatively, you can install it with Helm if you prefer.

  1. Deploy the Prometheus Operator

    To deploy the Prometheus Operator, you can clone the repository and follow the instructions in the README, or simply apply the published YAML with kubectl.

    shell
    kubectl apply -f https://raw.githubusercontent.com/coreos/prometheus-operator/master/bundle.yaml

    Note: The YAML assumes Kubernetes 1.16 and above. If running a lower version, you will need to run the following command to install the CRDs with the right API version:

    shell
    curl -sL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/coreos/prometheus-operator/master/bundle.yaml \
    | sed 's|apiVersion: apiextensions.k8s.io/v1|apiVersion: apiextensions.k8s.io/v1beta1|' \
    | sed 's|jsonPath|JSONPath|' \
    | kubectl apply -f -
  2. Deploy Prometheus by creating a Prometheus CRD

    First, create RBAC resources for your Prometheus instance

    shell
    kubectl apply -f https://www.getambassador.io/yaml/monitoring/prometheus-rbac.yaml

    Then, copy the YAML below, and save it in a file called prometheus.yaml

    yaml
    ---
    apiVersion: v1
    kind: Service
    metadata:
    name: prometheus
    spec:
    type: ClusterIP
    ports:
    - name: web
    port: 9090
    protocol: TCP
    targetPort: 9090
    selector:
    prometheus: prometheus
    ---
    apiVersion: monitoring.coreos.com/v1
    kind: Prometheus
    metadata:
    name: prometheus
    spec:
    ruleSelector:
    matchLabels:
    app: prometheus-operator
    serviceAccountName: prometheus
    serviceMonitorSelector:
    matchLabels:
    app: ambassador
    resources:
    requests:
    memory: 400Mi
    shell
    kubectl apply -f prometheus.yaml
  1. Create a ServiceMonitor

    Finally, we need to tell Prometheus where to scrape metrics from. The Prometheus Operator easily manages this using a ServiceMonitor CRD. To tell Prometheus to scrape metrics from Ambassador Edge Stack's /metrics endpoint, copy the following YAML to a file called ambassador-monitor.yaml, and apply it with kubectl.

    If you are running an Ambassador Edge Stack version higher than 0.71.0 and want to scrape metrics directly from the /metrics endpoint of Ambassador Edge Stack running in the ambassador namespace:

    yaml
    ---
    apiVersion: monitoring.coreos.com/v1
    kind: ServiceMonitor
    metadata:
    name: ambassador-monitor
    labels:
    app: ambassador
    spec:
    namespaceSelector:
    matchNames:
    - ambassador
    selector:
    matchLabels:
    service: ambassador-admin
    endpoints:
    - port: ambassador-admin

Prometheus is now configured to gather metrics from Ambassador Edge Stack.

Prometheus Operator with Helm

In this section, we will deploy the Prometheus Operator using Helm. Alternatively, you can install it with kubectl YAML if you prefer.

The default Helm Chart will install Prometheus and configure it to monitor your Kubernetes cluster.

This section will focus on setting up Prometheus to scrape stats from Ambassador Edge Stack. Configuration of the Helm Chart and analysis of stats from other cluster components is outside of the scope of this documentation.

  1. Install the Prometheus Operator from the helm chart

    shell
    helm install -n prometheus stable/prometheus-operator
  2. Create a ServiceMonitor

    The Prometheus Operator Helm chart creates a Prometheus instance that is looking for ServiceMonitors with label: release=prometheus.

    If you are running an Ambassador Edge Stack version higher than 0.71.0 and want to scrape metrics directly from the /metrics endpoint of Ambassador Edge Stack running in the default namespace:

    yaml
    ---
    apiVersion: monitoring.coreos.com/v1
    kind: ServiceMonitor
    metadata:
    name: ambassador-monitor
    namespace: monitoring
    labels:
    release: prometheus
    spec:
    namespaceSelector:
    matchNames:
    - default
    selector:
    matchLabels:
    service: ambassador-admin
    endpoints:
    - port: ambassador-admin

    If you are scraping metrics from a statsd-sink deployment:

    yaml
    ---
    apiVersion: monitoring.coreos.com/v1
    kind: ServiceMonitor
    metadata:
    name: statsd-monitor
    namespace: monitoring
    labels:
    release: prometheus
    spec:
    namespaceSelector:
    matchNames:
    - default
    selector:
    matchLabels:
    service: statsd-sink
    endpoints:
    - port: prometheus-metrics

Prometheus is now configured to gather metrics from Ambassador Edge Stack.

Prometheus Operator CRDs

The Prometheus Operator creates a series of Kubernetes Custom Resource Definitions (CRDs) for managing Prometheus in Kubernetes.

Custom Resource DefinitionDescription
AlertManagerAn AlertManager handles alerts sent by the Prometheus server.
PrometheusRuleRegisters altering and reporting rules with Prometheus.
PrometheusCreates a Prometheus instance.
ServiceMonitorTells Prometheus where to scrape metrics from.

CoreOS has published a full API reference to these different CRDs.

Grafana

Grafana is an open-source graphing tool for plotting data points. Grafana allows you to create dynamic dashboards for monitoring your ingress traffic stats collected from Prometheus.

We have published a sample dashboard you can use for monitoring your ingress traffic. Since the stats from the /metrics and /stats endpoints are different, you will see a section in the dashboard for each use case.

Note: If you deployed the Prometheus Operator via the Helm Chart, a Grafana dashboard is created by default. You can use this dashboard or set grafana.enabled: false and follow the instructions below.

To deploy Grafana behind Ambassador Edge Stack: replace {{AMBASSADOR_IP}} with the IP address or DNS name of your Ambassador Edge Stack service, copy the YAML below, and apply it with kubectl:

Note: If you forgot how to get the value of your AMBASSADOR_IP or have not set-up DNS, you can get the IP by using the kubectl get services -n ambassador command, and select the External-IP of your Ambassador Edge Stack LoadBalancer service.

yaml
---
kind: Deployment
apiVersion: apps/v1
metadata:
name: grafana
labels:
app: grafana
component: core
spec:
replicas: 1
selector:
matchLabels:
app: grafana
component: core
template:
metadata:
creationTimestamp: null
labels:
app: grafana
component: core
annotations:
sidecar.istio.io/inject: 'false'
spec:
volumes:
- name: data
emptyDir: {}
containers:
- name: grafana
image: 'grafana/grafana:6.4.3'
ports:
- containerPort: 3000
protocol: TCP
env:
- name: GF_SERVER_ROOT_URL
value: {{ SCHEME }}://{{ AMBASSADOR_IP }}/grafana
- name: GRAFANA_PORT
value: '3000'
- name: GF_AUTH_BASIC_ENABLED
value: 'false'
- name: GF_AUTH_ANONYMOUS_ENABLED
value: 'true'
- name: GF_AUTH_ANONYMOUS_ORG_ROLE
value: Admin
- name: GF_PATHS_DATA
value: /data/grafana
resources:
requests:
cpu: 10m
volumeMounts:
- name: data
mountPath: /data/grafana
readinessProbe:
httpGet:
path: /api/health
port: 3000
scheme: HTTP
timeoutSeconds: 1
periodSeconds: 10
successThreshold: 1
failureThreshold: 3
imagePullPolicy: IfNotPresent
restartPolicy: Always
---
apiVersion: v1
kind: Service
metadata:
name: grafana
spec:
ports:
- port: 80
targetPort: 3000
selector:
app: grafana
component: core

Now, create a service and Mapping to expose Grafana behind Ambassador Edge Stack:

Note: Don't forget to replace {{GRAFANA_NAMESPACE}} with the namespace you deployed Grafana to. In our example we used the default namespace, so for this example you would change it to grafana.default or just grafana.

yaml
---
apiVersion: getambassador.io/v2
kind: Mapping
metadata:
name: grafana
spec:
prefix: /grafana/
service: grafana.{{GRAFANA_NAMESPACE}}

Now, access Grafana by going to {AMBASSADOR_IP}/grafana/ and logging in with username: admin : password: admin.

Before you can import the Ambassador Edge Stack dashboard. You need to add a data source. From the Grafana home page, select Create your first data source. Now, select 'Prometheus'. In the URL section, type in http://prometheus.default:9090. We deployed prometheus to the default namespace in our example, but if you deployed it to a different namespace, make sure to replace default with your namespace. Press Save & Test to confirm that the data source works.

Import the provided dashboard by clicking the plus sign in the left side-bar, clicking Import in the top left, and entering the dashboard ID(13758).

From here, select the Prometheus data source we created from the Prometheus drop down menu, and select import to finish adding the dashboard.

In the dashboard we just added, you should now be able to view graphs in the Ambassador Edge Stack Metrics Endpoint tab.

Viewing stats/metrics

Above, you have created an environment where Ambassador Edge Stack is handling ingress traffic, Prometheus is scraping and collecting statistics from Envoy, and Grafana is displaying these statistics in a dashboard.

You can easily view a sample of these statistics via the Grafana dashboard at {AMBASSADOR_IP}/grafana/ and logging in with the credentials above.

The example dashboard you installed above displays 'top line' statistics about the API response codes, number of connections, connection length, and number of registered services.

To view the full set of stats available to Prometheus you can access the Prometheus UI by running:

shell
kubectl port-forward service/prometheus 9090

and going to http://localhost:9090/ from a web browser

In the UI, click the dropdown and see all of the stats Prometheus is able to scrape from Ambassador Edge Stack.

The Prometheus data model is, at its core, time-series based. Therefore, it makes it easy to represent rates, averages, peaks, minimums, and histograms. Review the Prometheus documentation for a full reference on how to work with this data model.


Additional install options

StatsD Exporter: Output statistics to Ambassador Edge Stack

If running a pre-0.71.0 version of Ambassador Edge Stack, you will need to configure Envoy to output stats to a separate collector before being scraped by Prometheus. You will use the Prometheus StatsD Exporter to do this.

  1. Deploy the StatsD Exporter in the default namespace

    shell
    kubectl apply -f https://www.getambassador.io/yaml/monitoring/statsd-sink.yaml
  2. Configure Ambassador Edge Stack to output statistics to statsd

    In the Ambassador Edge Stack deployment, add the STATSD_ENABLED and STATSD_HOST environment variables to tell Ambassador Edge Stack where to output stats.

    yaml
    ...
    env:
    - name: AMBASSADOR_NAMESPACE
    valueFrom:
    fieldRef:
    fieldPath: metadata.namespace
    - name: STATSD_ENABLED
    value: "true"
    - name: STATSD_HOST
    value: "statsd-sink.default.svc.cluster.local"
    ...

Ambassador Edge Stack is now configured to output statistics to the Prometheus StatsD exporter.

ServiceMonitor

If you are scraping metrics from a statsd-sink deployment, you will configure the ServiceMonitor to scrape from that deployment.

yaml
---
apiVersion: monitoring.coreos.com/v1
kind: ServiceMonitor
metadata:
name: statsd-monitor
labels:
app: ambassador
spec:
namespaceSelector:
matchNames:
- default
selector:
matchLabels:
service: statsd-sink
endpoints:
- port: prometheus-metrics

Dashboard

Now that you have metrics scraping from StatsD You can use this version of the dashboard (ID: 4698) configured to work with metrics scraped from StatsD or the metrics Endpoint. You can configure it the same way as the previous dashboard. Adding the prometheus data source is also required, so if you did not add that yet, make sure to configure it before adding the dashboard.