Graphing MySQL performance with Prometheus and Grafana

This post explains how you can quickly start using such trending tools as Prometheus and Grafana for monitoring and graphing of MySQL and system performance.

Update, February 20, 2017: Since this blog post was published, we have released Percona Monitoring and Management (PMM), which is the easiest way to monitor MySQL and MongoDB using Grafana and Prometheus. You can check the PMM documentation for more detail. If you need help, PMM is fully supported under Percona Support. Alternatively, community support is available through the Percona Montoring and Management Forums.

I will try to keep this blog as short as possible, so you can quickly set things up before getting bored. I plan to cover the details in the next few posts. I am going to go through the installation process here in order to get some really useful and good-looking graphs in the end.


PrometheusPrometheus is an open-source service monitoring system and time series database. In short, the quite efficient daemon scrapes metrics from remote machines using HTTP protocol and stores data in the local time-series database. Prometheus provides a simple web interface, a very powerful query language, HTTP API, etc. However, the storage is not designed to be durable for the time being.

The remote machines need to run exporters to expose metrics to Prometheus. We will be using the following two:

GrafanaGrafana is an open source, feature-rich metrics dashboard and graph editor for Graphite, Elasticsearch, OpenTSDB, Prometheus, and InfluxDB. It is a powerful tool for visualizing large-scale measurement data and designed to work with time-series. Grafana supports different types of graphs, allows for a custom representation of individual metrics on the graph and various methods of authentication including LDAP.


Here is a diagram of the setup we are going to use:
Prometheus + Grafana diagram

Prometheus setup

To install on the monitor host.

Get the latest tarball from Github.

Create a simple config:

where is the IP address of the db host we are going to monitor and db1 is its short name. Note, the “alias” label is important here because we rely on it in the predefined dashboards below to get per host graphs.

Start Prometheus in the foreground:

Now we can access Prometheus’ built-in web interface by http://monitor_host:9090

Prometheus web interface
If you look at the Status page from the top menu, you will see that our monitoring targets are down so far. Now let’s setup them – prometheus exporters.

Prometheus exporters setup

Install on the db host. Of course, you can use the same monitor host for the experiment. Obviously, this node must run MySQL.

Download exporters from here and there.

Start node_exporter in foreground:

Unlike node_exporter, mysqld_exporter wants MySQL credentials. Those privileges should be sufficient:

Create .my.cnf and start mysqld_exporter in foreground: