Grafana

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Grafana is an open-source, general purpose dashboard and graph composer, which runs as a web application. It supports graphite, InfluxDB or opentsdb as backends.

Installation

Install the grafana package.

After that you can Enable and start the grafana service and access the application on localhost, e.g.: http://127.0.0.1:3000 . The default username is admin and password admin to access the web frontend.

Example usage

Influxdb installation

One often used backend is InfluxDB. Enable and start the influxdb service. The web interface is available at http://localhost:8083/

Aggregate data

In case of scaleable server monitoring in combination with Grafana and InfluxDB, one could choose software like collectd or statsd. More generally any measurement data can be aggregated with InfluxDB and displayed with Grafana. There are modules and libraries for several programming languages to interact with InfluxDB and one could even store data with a simple http post command using the program curl.

Herefore, create a database named example:

curl -G http://localhost:8086/query --data-urlencode "q=CREATE DATABASE example"

Post data into the example database:

curl -i -XPOST 'http://localhost:8086/write?db=example' --data-binary 'cpu_load_short,host=server01,region=us-west value=0.64 1434055562000000000'

Creating Grafana dashboard

  • Before creating a dashboard, we have to add a data source. So first click on Data sources in the left menu and then on Add new.
  • Name can be something like influxdb and the type should be set to InfluxDB 0.9. In this example, the url for the Http settings is http://localhost:8086. Note that the port is not the same as the one of the web interface! Database name corresponds to the one earlier choosen, e.g. example. If not changed, username and password are root.
  • Click on Test connection to see everything is working and then on Save.
  • Next, back at the front page, click Home in the left-upper corner and then on New.
  • Now this might be a bit counter-intuitive, but to add a new dashboard you have to hover and click over the little green box on the left side and then, for example, choose: Add panel and Graph.
  • Click on the title of the new graph and select Edit.
  • In the graph settings in Metrics choose influxdb as data source in the lower-right corner.
  • Create a query by selecting your aggregated data. Click on select measurement which is located beside FROM. In the dropdown menu should appear a list of "tables" in your database, e.g. the table named localhost. If no suggestions comes up, your connection to InfluxDB might be broken or no data has been aggregated yet.
  • Beside the bold text SELECT click on value and choose for example the measurement data uptime.
  • To save changes, click Back to dashboard, then the floppy disc icon.

See also