Part 2


Our cluster and the apps in it have been pretty much a black box. We've thrown stuff in and then hoped that everything works all right. We're going to use Prometheus to monitor the cluster and Grafana to view the data.

Before we can get started let's look into how Kubernetes applications are managed more easily. Helm uses a packaging format called charts to define the dependencies of an application. Among other things Helm Charts include information for the version of the chart, the requirements of the application such as the Kubernetes version as well as other charts that it may depend on.

Installation instructions are here. After that we can add the official charts repository:

$ helm repo add prometheus-community
$ helm repo add stable

And after that we can install kube-prometheus-stack. By default this would put everything to the default namespace.

$ kubectl create namespace prometheus
$ helm install prometheus-community/kube-prometheus-stack --generate-name --namespace prometheus

This added a lot of stuff to our cluster. You can remove almost everything with helm delete [name] with the name found via the helm list command. Custom resource definitions are left and have to be manually removed if the need arises.

Lets open a way into Grafana so we can see the data.

$ kubectl get po -n prometheus
 NAME                                                              READY   STATUS    RESTARTS   AGE
 kube-prometheus-stack-1602180058-prometheus-node-exporter-nt8cp   1/1     Running   0          53s
 kube-prometheus-stack-1602180058-prometheus-node-exporter-ft7dg   1/1     Running   0          53s
 kube-prometheus-stack-1602-operator-557c9c4f5-wbsqc               2/2     Running   0          53s
 kube-prometheus-stack-1602180058-prometheus-node-exporter-tr7ns   1/1     Running   0          53s
 kube-prometheus-stack-1602180058-kube-state-metrics-55dccdkkz6w   1/1     Running   0          53s
 alertmanager-kube-prometheus-stack-1602-alertmanager-0            2/2     Running   0          35s
 kube-prometheus-stack-1602180058-grafana-59cd48d794-4459m         2/2     Running   0          53s
 prometheus-kube-prometheus-stack-1602-prometheus-0                3/3     Running   1          23s

$ kubectl -n prometheus port-forward kube-prometheus-stack-1602180058-grafana-59cd48d794-4459m  3000
  Forwarding from -> 3000
  Forwarding from [::1]:3000 -> 3000

Access http://localhost:3000 with browser and use the credentials admin / prom-operator. At the top left you can browse different dashboards.

The dashboards are nice but we'd like to know more about the apps we're running as well. Let's add Loki so that we can see logs. To confirm everything works for us let's create a simple application that'll output something to stdout.

Let's run the Redis application from previously We can keep it running as it'll generate a good amount of log output for us.

The Loki Chart includes almost everything:

$ helm repo add loki
$ helm repo update
$ kubectl create namespace loki-stack
  namespace/loki-stack created

$ helm upgrade --install loki --namespace=loki-stack loki/loki-stack

$ kubectl get all -n loki-stack
  NAME                      READY   STATUS    RESTARTS   AGE
  pod/loki-promtail-n2fgs   1/1     Running   0          18m
  pod/loki-promtail-h6xq2   1/1     Running   0          18m
  pod/loki-promtail-8l84g   1/1     Running   0          18m
  pod/loki-0                1/1     Running   0          18m

  NAME                    TYPE        CLUSTER-IP     EXTERNAL-IP   PORT(S)    AGE
  service/loki            ClusterIP   <none>        3100/TCP   18m
  service/loki-headless   ClusterIP   None           <none>        3100/TCP   18m

  daemonset.apps/loki-promtail   3         3         3       3            3           <none>          18m

  NAME                    READY   AGE
  statefulset.apps/loki   1/1     18m

Here we see that Loki is running in port 3100. Open Grafana and go to settings and "Add data source". Choose Loki and then insert the correct URL. From the output above we can guess that the port should be 3100, the namespace is loki-stack and the name of the service is loki. So the answer would be: http://loki.loki-stack:3100. No other fields need to be changed.

Now we can use the Explore tab (compass) to explore the data.

loki app redisapp

The easy way out

There was an easier way for us to install Prometheus with a few clicks. If you have to install it again you can try this:

  1. Open Lens
  2. Right click the cluster icon in the top left and choose "Settings"
  3. Scroll down and under "Features" under "Metrics" you can press "Install"

A great option especially for your local cluster or hobby cluster.


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