14 min read
Marcin Grzebieluch

Monitoring Oxla cluster using Prometheus and Grafana

While developing OXLA, we are very concerned about resource utilization. It gets even more important when we are working with multi-node deployments. Finding bugs across multiple machines is not an easy task, especially without proper tooling. This is why we’ve made our database support Prometheus. This is a great tool for development and testing and even better for administration of running clusters. In this article, I’ll show you how to set up Prometheus with Grafana to have basic monitoring of multi-node clusters with visualization.

What you need

● Docker
● Basic docker compose familiarity
● 15 minutes

OXLA setup

To get started, follow these steps:

1. Run the OXLA cluster by following the „Run OXLA in 2 minutes” instruction. This command exposes the required ports to both PostgreSQL (port 5432) and OXLA (port 8080), which supports Prometheus.

$ docker run --rm -it -p 5432:5432 -p 8080:8080 public.ecr.aws/oxla/release:latest

2. Once your OXLA cluster is up and running, use the following Curl to verify that metrics are exposed on localhost: 8080.

$ curl localhost:8080/metrics

Learn more about the details of metrics here.

Prometheus and Grafana setup

Now, we can go straight to our bread and butter – getting OXLA metrics visualized with Grafana! Follow these steps to set up the environment using Docker Compose.

Step 1: Create a Docker Compose Configuration

Create a docker-compose.yml file with the following content:

version: '3.5'


    image: prom/prometheus:v2.43.0
      - 9090:9090
      - ./prometheus_config.yml:/etc/prometheus/prometheus.yml
    image: grafana/grafana:9.4.7
      - 3000:3000
      - GF_INSTALL_PLUGINS=grafana-clock-panel,grafana-simple-json-datasource
      - grafana-storage:/var/lib/grafana
      - ./datasources.yml:/etc/grafana/provisioning/datasources/prometheus.yml

We are starting two services, Grafana and Prometheus, using their official docker images. For each of these, the configuration must be placed in the same directory next to the docker-compose.yml file.

Step 2: Configure the Prometheus

Create a prometheus_config.yml file with the following content:

  scrape_interval: 15s
  scrape_timeout: 10s
  evaluation_interval: 15s
  - follow_redirects: true
    enable_http2: true
    scheme: http
    timeout: 10s
    api_version: v2
    - targets: []
- job_name: prometheus
  honor_timestamps: true
  scrape_interval: 15s
  scrape_timeout: 10s
  metrics_path: /metrics
  scheme: http
  follow_redirects: true
  enable_http2: true
  - targets:
    - [OXLA_IP]:8080

Except for some basic settings for the Prometheus, we need to set up the exact endpoints of our clusters in the targets list. Replace [OXLA_IP] with the actual address of the machine you are running OXLA on.

Step 3: Configure the Grafana Data Sources

To set up Grafana, you must configure two data sources:

  1. Prometheus: on the same Docker network (for a single Compose setup).
  2. OXLA nodes: You can visualize the actual data stored in your cluster and configured as type: Postgres for binary-level protocol compatibility.

Create a datasources.yml file with the following content:

apiVersion: 1

  - name: Prometheus
    type: prometheus
    # Access mode - proxy (server in the UI) or direct (browser in the UI).
    access: proxy
    url: <http://prometheus:9090>
      httpMethod: POST
      manageAlerts: true
      prometheusType: Prometheus
      prometheusVersion: 2.43.0
  - name: Oxla Node 1
    type: postgres
    url: [OXLA_IP]:5432
    user: grafana
      password: 'oxla does not support auth'
      database: default
      sslmode: 'disable' # disable/require/verify-ca/verify-full
      maxOpenConns: 0 # Grafana v5.4+
      maxIdleConns: 2 # Grafana v5.4+
      connMaxLifetime: 14400 # Grafana v5.4+
      postgresVersion: 906 # 903=9.3, 904=9.4, 905=9.5, 906=9.6, 1000=10
      timescaledb: false

Step 4: Run the Monitoring

Execute the following command to start Prometheus and Grafana:

$ docker compose up

Step 5: Verify Grafana Frontend

Ensure that the Grafana frontend is accessible in your browser at localhost:3000.

Setting up the Grafana dashboard

From now on, the only limiting factor is our creativity (and the software we use ;P). FYI – all of the screenshots below were taken on the slight cluster I use for daily development consisting of 3 nodes to make the graphs more interesting.

1. Firstly, let’s log in to Grafana using our definitely safe default credentials:

login: admin
password: admin

2. Create a new dashboard using dashboardCreate New.

3. Add the first panel by selecting Add Panel on the top right and choosing Add new panel.

4. Set the Data source to Prometheus.

5. Choose the metric num_nodes_connected without any additional label filter.

6. Set the Title in Panel options as Connectivity Checks.

7. The panel displays the operational status of the cluster and ensures continuous connectivity across all three nodes. By analyzing charts, you can quickly identify anomalies and downtime. This scenario shows that the node experienced downtime between 23:05 and 23:12.

Some more useful panels

You can enhance the Grafana dashboard by adding two more insightful panels, Memory Usage and Query Handling. Let’s see the following scenario:

  1. Add a Memory Usage Panel:
    ● Add a new panel by selecting the Add panel on the top right and choosing Add new panel.
    ● Set the metric to monitor as oxla_memory_usage_bytes.
    ● Specify Label Filters with the value memory_consumption_total.
    ● Since OXLA reports mem usage in bytes, convert memory usage from bytes to megabytes by clicking + OperationsBinary operationsDivide by scalar. Set the scalar value to 2^20.
  2. Add Queries Per Minute Panel:
    ● Add another panel by selecting the Add panel on the top right and choosing the Add new panel.
    ● Set the metric to monitor as delta(client_sql_queries_total{query_type="INSERT"}[1m]).
    ● This metric calculates the delta of total queries processed in one minute (query_type= "INSERT").

The new dashboard will look something like this:

We can, of course, continue extending our dashboards. I hope you find it useful.

Explore the capabilities of Oxla’s integration with Prometheus and Grafana to gain in-depth insights into your multi-node clusters. It’s quick, easy, and during the beta phase – completely free of charge: Run Oxla in 2 minutes – Oxla Developer Hub. If you find this article interesting, would like to share your thoughts about Oxla, or simply say 'hi,’ feel free to contact us at [email protected].

  • Grafana
  • Prometheus

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