Introduction to Prometheus Monitoring
April 21, 2017 / Sonja Schweigert
Prometheus is open source monitoring software that treats time series data as a data source for generating precise alerts. Now part of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, the project began at SoundCloud in 2012. As SoundCloud moved to a microservices architecture, they found their previous monitoring system inadequate for their needs. After all, alternative monitoring systems at that time were made with virtual machines in mind as opposed to a microservices architecture.
SoundCloud made the decision to develop an operationally simple monitoring system that combined a multidimensional data model, scalable data collection, and a powerful query language. Prometheus was born as a fully open source pet project that became SoundCloud’s monitoring system.
Prometheus is dynamic compared to other, traditional monitoring systems since it was built speciﬁcally for dynamically scheduled containers rather than fixed virtual machines. You’re able to ask simple, powerful questions that would be much more complex to attempt in other monitoring systems. You can receive multi-dimensional responses without the need to create multiple queries and pull the time series data together.
At Weaveworks, we love Prometheus so much that we built a cloud-native version of it within Weave Cloud, our software that allows DevOps teams to connect, monitor, and deploy microservices and containers. This Prometheus as a service software enhances the core components of Prometheus to make a more durable, horizontally scalable, and multi-tenant monitoring system. We are able to do this by expanding on Prometheus’ alerting, access controls, recording rules, and more.
For a deeper understanding of Prometheus and how Weave Cortex expands on its capabilities, download our white paper Application Monitoring with Weave Cortex: Getting the Most out of Prometheus as a Service. You’ll learn about Prometheus’ query language, PromQL, why it uses pull over push, general Prometheus use cases, and Weave Cortex’s features.