Metrics Plugin Architecture

How DC/OS collects and publishes metrics

Metrics in DC/OS, version 1.12 and newer, are based on Telegraf. Telegraf provides an agent-based service that runs on each master and agent node in a DC/OS cluster. By default, Telegraf gathers metrics from all of the processes running on the same node, processes them, then sends the collected information to a central metrics database.

Telegraf has a plugin-driven architecture. The plugin architecture enables Telegraf to collect information from any supported input plugin and write results to any supported output plugin. The plugins are compiled into the Telegraf binary for execution, and you can selectively enable and customize plugins using configuration file options.

By default, DC/OS enables the following Telegraf plugins:

  1. system input plugin collects information about the node, for example, CPU, memory, and disk usage.
  2. statsd input plugin collects statsd metrics from DC/OS components.
  3. prometheus input plugin collects metrics from DC/OS components and mesos tasks.
  4. mesos input plugin collects metrics about the mesos process itself.
  5. dcos_statsd input plugin starts a new statsd server for each mesos task.
  6. dcos_containers collects resource information about containers from the mesos process.
  7. override plugin is used to add node-level metadata, for example, the cluster name.
  8. dcos_metadata plugin is used to add task-level metadata, for example, the executor name and task name.
  9. dcos_metrics output plugin serves the dcos-metrics JSON API, which is used by the CLI.
  10. prometheus_client output plugin serves metrics in Prometheus format.

When Telegraf starts on a node, it loads a configuration file and the contents of a configuration directory or directories. You can specify the plugins you want to enable by creating a configuration file with the appropriate settings and copying the file into the /var/lib/dcos/telegraf/telegraf.d directory before restarting Telegraf. Only files ending with .conf will be included in the Telegraf configuration. Note: Any mistakes in the configuration files will prevent Telegraf from starting up successfully.

Telegraf abstracts the complexity of collecting metrics from every process running in the cluster by providing a single source for metrics on each node. Telegraf also adds identifying metadata–such as the originating task name–to the metrics it collects to make the metric more human-readable. Without this metadata, metrics for tasks running on Mesos would be difficult to identify by their originating container ID, which is a long random hash.

The DC/OS fork of Telegraf includes technical documentation and sample configurations for each plugin.