Impact of Percona Monitoring and Management “Get Latest” Command Change

percona monitoring and managementIn the first quarter of 2021 (expected late January), Percona is slated to release a version of Percona Monitoring and Management (PMM) v2 that will include all of the critical functionality users of PMM v1 have come to know and love over the years. While PMM v2 has some major improvements over its v1 sibling, PMM v2 has long had this stigma that there wasn’t parity between the versions when it came to features like external services, annotations, MongoDB Explain, and custom collectors per service to name a few. By early 2021, we feel confident that users of PMM v1 will recognize all their beloved functionality they’ve come to rely upon in v1 is now in v2 and so we encourage you to come try it for yourself. While many of the missing features have since been added in, one item to note is that external services will be included in that early 2021 release; as with all external exporters, you’ll still need to create your own graphs, but getting the remainder of this functionality will make just about anything you can squeeze data out of “monitorable”.

So What’s the Big Deal?

We will be modifying our “latest” tag that currently specifies v1.x so that it will now point to v2.x on getting the “latest version”. PMM v1 users have historically just “rerun” their ‘docker run pmm-server’ command to update to the next PMM v1.x version. They could specify the latest version of the pmm-server by saying 

or they’ve had the ability to replace that with 

and get whichever v1.x version is the latest released by Percona (as of this blog posting date, the latest is 1.17.4).  But, when we make PMM v2 “latest” early in 2021, those of you that run the latter command are going to be impacted (both positively and negatively), so we wanted to give you a heads-up now so you can plan accordingly and make the appropriate modifications to your deployment code. 

First the positive news… PMM v2 has some very exciting and useful improvements over PMM v1 and we can’t wait for you to leverage this new functionality including:

  • A complete rewrite of the Query Analytics (QAN) tool, including improved speed, global sparkline hover, filtering, new dimensions to collect data, and rich searching capabilities
  • The Security Threat Tool (STT) so that you not only can monitor database performance but also database security
  • A robust expansion of MongoDB and PostgreSQL support (along with continued improvements for MySQL)
  • Integration with external AlertManager to create and deploy alerting and “integrated alerting” expected by the end of December 2020 providing native alerting inside PMM itself
  • Global and local annotations across nodes and services to highlight key events for correlation

As has been stated in the past, there is no direct upgrade/migration path from PMM v1 to PMM v2 because of the complete re-architecting in PMM v2. In fact, these are basically two separate and distinct applications. So you will need to stand up and install PMM v2 as a brand new system with new clients on your endpoints. Additionally, we do not provide a data migration path to move your historical data to PMM v2. You can, however, choose to run both PMM v1 and PMM v2 on the same host using this approach to ease the transition. 

So, if you are one of those users that leverages the :latest” command to upgrade to the latest PMM version (note: this is not the recommended approach to upgrading your PMM implementation; the recommended Percona approach is to use a specific version number such as “pmm:2.11.1”.), you need to start planning now to ensure a smooth transition to PMM v2. Here’s our recommendation for how to plan for this change now:

  1. Determine if you currently upgrade PMM via docker run -d --name pmm-server percona/pmm-server:latest 
    1. If “no”, you will NOT be impacted by the early 2021 change. We would recommend you develop a plan for moving to PMM v2 in 2021 at your convenience, and then proceed to step #2 below.
    2. If “yes”, you WILL be impacted by the early 2021 change and thus need to create a plan on how to minimize your impact. 
      1. If you are planning to keep the docker run command and move to PMM v2 by early 2021, please continue to bullet #2 below. 
      2. If you will not be ready to move to PMM v2 by early 2021, please disable the above docker run command and implement a temporary, manual approach to upgrading to future PMM v1.x releases. When you are ready to migrate to PMM v2, please proceed to step #2 below.
  2.  Will you require access to historical PMM v1 data after deploying PMM v2?
    1. If “yes”, you will need to run both PMM v1 and PMM v2 in parallel. This approach enables a parallel existence. You will want to keep both instances running in parallel until you no longer require access to PMM v1 data, as defined by your organization’s data retention policy.
    2. If “no”, you can install a clean deployment of PMM v2, accessible from the main Percona Monitoring and Management page. From then forward, we recommend you upgrade using the docker run.../pmm-server:2 command, and upgrades will be performed from the v2.x branch of PMM.

After you upgrade in early 2021, enjoy the move to PMM v2 and please let us know your thoughts on its new features as well as any ideas you have for improvement.

Please note that this does NOT mean that we are “sunsetting” PMM v1 and will no longer support that application. While we are not creating new features for PMM v1, we do continue to maintain it with critical bug fixes as needed as well as support for the product for those customers on a support contract. This maintenance and support will continue until PMM moves to version 3.x at a date to be determined in the future.


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