Buy Percona ServicesBuy Now!

Collect PostgreSQL Metrics with Percona Monitoring and Management (PMM)

 | February 9, 2018 |  Posted In: Database Monitoring, Percona Monitoring and Management, PMM, PostgreSQL

PREVIOUS POST
NEXT POST

In this article, we’ll describe how to collect PostgreSQL metrics with Percona Monitoring and Management (PMM).

We designed Percona Monitoring and Management (PMM) to be the best tool for MySQL and MongoDB performance investigation. At the same time, it’s built on mature opensource components: Prometheus’ time series database and Grafana. Starting from PMM 1.4.0. it’s possible to add monitoring for any service supported by Prometheus.

Demo

At this point, we are running exporter, PostgreSQL and the PMM server, but pmm-client on the PostgreSQL server isn’t configured.

Now we configured pmm client and added external exporter.

Let’s assume that you have executed commands above on the localhost. At this point we have several URLs:

We also need to create graphs for our new exporter. This could be done manually (import JSON), or you can import the existing dashboard Postgres_exporter published in the Grafana gallery by number in the catalog:

  1. Go to your PMM server web interface and press on the Grafana icon at the top left corner, then dashboards, the import.
  2. Copy and paste the dashboard ID from the Grafana site to “Grafana.com Dashboard” field, and press load.
  3. In the next dialog, choose Prometheus as a data source and continue.

PostgreSQL performance graphs can be seen at: http://localhost:8080/graph/dashboard/db/postgres_exporter?orgId=1

collect PostgreSQL metrics with Percona Monitoring and Management
PMM PostgreSQL postgres_exporter template

 

PMM-PostgreSQL Demo Under the Hood

To move this configuration to production, we need to understand how this demo works.

PMM Server

First of all, you need an existing PMM Server. You can find details on new server configuration at Deploying Percona Monitoring and Management.

In my demo I’m starting PMM without volumes, and all metrics dropped after using the docker-compose down command. Also, there is no need to use port 8080 for PMM, set it up with SSL support and password in production.

PostgreSQL Setup

I’m modifying the latest default PostgreSQL image to:

Of course, you can use a dedicated PostgreSQL server instead of one running inside a docker-compose sandbox. The only requirement is that the PMM server should be able to connect to this server.

User creation and permissions:

To simplify setup, you can use a superuser account and access pg_catalog directly. To improve security, allow this user to connect only from exporter host.

PMM Client Setup on PostgreSQL Host

You can obtain database-only statistics with just the external exporter, and you can use any host with pmm-client installed. Fortunately, you can also export Linux metrics from the database host.

After installing the pmm-client package, you still need to configure the system. We should point it to the PMM server and register the external exporter (and optionally add the linux:metrics exporter).

It’s important to keep the external exporter job name as “postgresql”, since all existing templates check it. There is a bit of inconsistency here: the first postgresql server is added as external:metrics, but all further servers should be added as external:instances.

The reason is the first command creates the Prometheus job and first instance, and further servers can be added without job creation.

PMM 1.7.0 external:service

Starting from PMM 1.7.0 the setup simplified if exporter located on the same host as pmm-client:

pmm-admin add external:metrics or pmm-admin add external:instances are not required if you are running exporter on the same host as pmm-client.

Exporter Setup

Exporter is a simple HTTP/HTTPS server returning one page. The format is:

As you can see, it’s a self-describing set of counters and string values. The Prometheus time series database built-in to PMM connects to the web server and stores the results on disk. There are multiple exporters available for PostgreSQL. postgres_exporter is listed as a third-party on the official Prometheus website.

You can compile exporter by yourself, or run it inside docker container. This and many other exporters are written in Go and compiled as a static binary so that you can copy the executable from the host with same CPU architecture. For production setups, you probably will run exporter from a database host directly and start the service with systemd.

In order to check network configuration issues, login to pmm-server and use the curl command from above. Do not forget to replace 172.17.0.4:9187 with the appropriate host:port (use the same IP address or DNS name as the pmm-admin add command).

You configure postgres_exporter with a single environment variable:

Make sure that you provide the correct credentials, including the database name.

Run external exporter directly on database server

In order to simplify production setup, you can run exporter directly from the same server as you are using for running PostgreSQL.
This method allows you to use pmm-admin add external:service command recently added to PMM.

Grafana Setup

In the demo, I’ve used Postgres_exporter dashboard. Use the same site and look for other PostgreSQL dashboards if you need more. The exporter provides many parameters, and not all of them are visualized in this dashboard.

For huge installations, you may find that filtering servers by “instance name” is not comfortable. Write your own JSON for the dashboard, or try to use one from demo repository. It’s the same as dashboard 3742, but uses the hostname for filtering and Prometheus job name in the legends.

All entries of instance=~"$instance" get replaced with instance=~"$host:.*".

The modification allows you to switch between PostgreSQL servers with host instead of “instance”, and see CPU and disk details for the current database server instead of the previously selected host.

Notice

This blog post on how to collect PostgreSQL metrics with Percona Monitoring and Management is not an official integration of PostgreSQL and PMM. I’ve tried to describe complex external exporters setup. Instead of PostgreSQL, you can use any other services and exporters with a similar setup, or even create your own exporter and instrument your application. It’s a great thing to see correlations between application activities and other system components like databases, web servers, etc.

PREVIOUS POST
NEXT POST
Nickolay Ihalainen

Nickolay joined Percona in December 2010, after working for several years at what is now the most popular cinema site in Russia. During the time he was there, Nickolay and a small team of developers were responsible for scaling the site into one which now serves over a million unique visitors per day. Prior to that, he worked for several other companies, including NetUp, which provides ISP billing and IPTV solutions, and eHouse, the oldest Russian e-commerce company. Nickolay has a great deal of experience in both systems administration and programming. His experience includes extensive hands-on work with a broad range of technologies, including SQL, MySQL, PHP, C, C++, Python, Java, XML, OS parameter tuning (Linux, Solaris), caching techniques (e.g., memcached), RAID, file systems, SMTP, POP3, Apache, networking and network data formats, and many others. He is an expert in scalability, performance, and system reliability.

Leave a Reply