Inspecting All The Metrics With VividCortex

Posted by Baron Schwartz on Aug 4, 2015 11:32:00 AM

Someone asked me the other day about some of the more obscure metrics available from a database server’s internals, and wanted access to those. As it happens, we have a feature that lets you see every metric on your systems—yes, every metric, which is typically many thousands, sometimes millions.

First, though, let’s look at what this user was examining. We ship VividCortex with a prebuilt set of templates for graphing popular systems, to reduce time-to-insight as much as possible. (No more Google searching for good graph templates and fighting to get them installed!) They look like this:

Metrics_With_VividCortex

There’s quite a variety of templates, dozens for some kinds of servers that have a lot of metrics to expose. But these prebuilt templates aren’t the best solution in some cases. For example, some of the charts will have scores of metrics, and it can be hard to see them sometimes, especially when some are large and some are small:

Metrics_With_VividCortex_2

We’ve tried a lot of different techniques to make such charts usable, including eliminating metrics from the caption when they’re zero and using logarithmic axes, but the reality is charts cannot display that many metrics. There are always edge cases where it’s basically unusable.

That’s why we built the Metrics dashboard, where you can browse and inspect every single metric on your systems.

Metrics_With_VividCortex_3

This is not a predefined set of metrics, by the way. Our unique time-series database happily accepts, catalogs, indexes, and analyzes anything you send it, and that depends largely on your servers’ workload.

In the screenshot above we’re filtering to some of the common MySQL status metrics using a wildcard, which ends in a *. That’s still a lot of metrics. We can look at the com_* metrics too:

Metrics_With_VividCortex4

Those are the metrics that compose the unusable graph we were looking at before. Now each metric is there in full detail, easy to inspect and correlate visually, without all the complications of being stacked, obliterated by larger metrics, and the like.

From there you can drill into any metric’s details, too. Just click on it.

So if you’re curious about what metrics VividCortex has pulled out of your system and analyzed, this is it: raw access to all the metrics.

Play with it for a while and you’ll understand why we offer prebuilt dashboards :-)

We’re always looking for suggestions and feedback too, so keep it coming!

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