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Statistics and monitoring

Ambassador Edge Stack collects many statistics internally, and makes it easy to direct this information to a statistics and monitoring tool of your choice.

As an example, here are some interesting statistics to investigate:

  • upstream_rq_total is the total number of requests that a particular service has received via Ambassador Edge Stack. The rate of change of this value is one basic measure of service utilization, i.e. requests per second.
  • upstream_rq_xx is the total number of requests to which a service responded with a given status code. This value divided by the prior one, taken on a rolling window basis, represents the recent response rate of the service. There are corresponding classes for 2xx, 3xx, 4xx and 5xx counters that can help clarify the nature of responses.
  • upstream_rq_time is a Prometheus histogram or StatsD timer that tracks the latency in milliseconds of a given service from Ambassador Edge Stack's perspective.

Overriding Statistics Names

The optional stats_name element of every CRD that references a service (Mapping, TCPMapping, AuthService, LogService, RateLimitService, and TracingService) can override the name under which cluster statistics are logged (usersvc above). If not set, the default is the service value, with non-alphanumeric characters replaced by underscores:

  • service: foo will just use foo
  • service: foo:8080 will use foo_8080
  • service: http://foo:8080 will use http___foo_8080
  • service: foo.othernamespace will use foo_othernamespace

The last example is worth special mention: a resource in a different namespace than the one in which Ambassador Edge Stack is running will automatically be qualified with the namespace of the resource itself. So, for example, if Ambassador Edge Stack is running in the ambassador namespace, and this Mapping is present in the default namespace:

then the service will be qualified to default-service.default, so the stats_name will be default_service_default rather than simply default_service. To change this behavior, set stats_name explicitly.

Monitoring Statistics

There are several ways to get different statistics out of Ambassador Edge Stack:

  • The :8877/metrics endpoint can be polled for aggregated statistics (in a Prometheus-compatible format). This is our recommended method as both Envoy metrics and Ambassador Edge Stack control plane metrics are collected.
  • Ambassador Edge Stack can push Envoy statistics over the StatsD or DogStatsD protocol.

The Four Golden Signals

The Four Golden Signals are four generally-accepted metrics that are important to monitor for good information about service health:


The time it takes to service a request as a histogram of time taken by individual requests, which can be an effective latency metric. In StatsD, this stat would be expressed as cluster.$name.upstream_rq_time. While in Prometheus format, this metric would be expressed as envoy_cluster_upstream_rq_time_bucket{envoy_cluster_name="$name"}.


The amount of demand being placed on your system as a gauge that shows the number of active outstanding requests, which can be a good proxy for traffic. In StatsD, this stat would be expressed as cluster.$name.upstream_rq_active. While in Prometheus format, this metric would be expressed as envoy_cluster_upstream_rq_active{envoy_cluster_name="$name"}.


The number of failing requests. Some errors (e.g. a request succeeds, but gives the wrong answer) can only be detected by application-specific monitoring; however, many errors can be spotted simply by looking at the HTTP status code of requests. Monitoring it over time can show error rates. In StatsD, cluster.$name.upstream_rq_5xx is a counter of HTTP 5xx responses. While in Prometheus, envoy_cluster_upstream_rq_xx{envoy_response_code_class="5", envoy_cluster_name="$name"} is a counter of HTTP 5xx responses.


The hardest metric to measure, saturation describes how much of the total capability of the system to respond to requests is being used. Fully measuring saturation often requires application-specific monitoring, but looking at the 99th percentile of latency over a short window - perhaps a minute - can often give an early indication of saturation problems.