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Prometheus: Up & Running by Brian Brazil

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Preface

This book describes in detail how to use the Prometheus monitoring system to monitor, graph, and alert on the performance of your applications and infrastructure. This book is intended for application developers, system administrators, and everyone in between.

Expanding the Known

When it comes to monitoring, knowing that the systems you care about are turned on is important, but that’s not where the real value is. The big wins are in understanding the performance of your systems.

By performance I don’t only mean the response time of and CPU used by each request, but the broader meaning of performance. How many requests to the database are required for each customer order that is processed? Is it time to purchase higher throughput networking equipment? How many machines are your cache misses costing? Are enough of your users interacting with a complex feature in order to justify its continued existence?

These are the sort of questions that a metrics-based monitoring system can help you answer, and beyond that help you dig into why the answer is what it is. I see monitoring as getting insight from throughout your system, from high-level overviews down to the nitty-gritty details that are useful for debugging. A full set of monitoring tools for debugging and analysis includes not only metrics, but also logs, traces, and profiling; but metrics should be your first port of call when you want to answer systems-level questions.

Prometheus encourages you to have instrumentation liberally spread across your systems, from applications all the way down to the bare metal. With instrumentation you can observe how all your subsystems and components are interacting, and convert unknowns into knowns.

Conventions Used in This Book

The following typographical conventions are used in this book:

Italic

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Constant width

Used for program listings, as well as within paragraphs to refer to program elements such as variable or function names, databases, data types, environment variables, statements, and keywords.

Constant width bold

Shows commands or other text that should be typed literally by the user.

Constant width italic

Shows text that should be replaced with user-supplied values or by values determined by context.

Tip

This element signifies a tip or suggestion.

Note

This element signifies a general note.

Warning

This element indicates a warning or caution.

Using Code Examples

Supplemental material (code examples, configuration files, etc.) is available for download at https://github.com/prometheus-up-and-running/examples.

This book is here to help you get your job done. In general, if example code is offered with this book, you may use it in your programs and documentation. You do not need to contact us for permission unless you’re reproducing a significant portion of the code. For example, writing a program that uses several chunks of code from this book does not require permission. Selling or distributing a CD-ROM of examples from O’Reilly books does require permission. Answering a question by citing this book and quoting example code does not require permission. Incorporating a significant amount of example code from this book into your product’s documentation does require permission.

We appreciate, but do not require, attribution. An attribution usually includes the title, author, publisher, and ISBN. For example: “Prometheus: Up & Running by Brian Brazil (O’Reilly). Copyright 2018 Robust Perception Ltd., 978-1-492-03414-8.”

If you feel your use of code examples falls outside fair use or the permission given above, feel free to contact us at .

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Acknowledgments

This book would not have been possible without all the work of the Prometheus team, and the hundreds of contibutors to Prometheus and its ecosystem. A special thanks to Julius Volz, Richard Hartmann, Carl Bergquist, Andrew McMillan, and Greg Stark for providing feedback on initial drafts of this book.

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