Install Prometheus and Grafana

Moving away from Cisco and using Open Networking whitebox switches with Cumulus Linux made me think about performance monitoring. In the past I was a fan of Solarwinds NPM but the traditional SNMP based monitoring is pretty outdated and not standard anymore when using Linux based operating systems. I was exploring different other options and came across Prometheus and Grafana.

This is post about how to install Prometheus and Grafana on a central monitoring server, the next post will be about how to integrate Cumulus Linux switches and report metrics to Prometheus and then visualise them with Grafana.

Let’s start installing Prometheus base packages:

sudo useradd --no-create-home --shell /bin/false prometheus
sudo mkdir /etc/prometheus
sudo mkdir /var/lib/prometheus
sudo chown prometheus:prometheus /etc/prometheus
sudo chown prometheus:prometheus /var/lib/prometheus

cd ~
curl -LO
tar xvf prometheus-2.0.0.linux-amd64.tar.gz
sudo cp prometheus-2.0.0.linux-amd64/prometheus /usr/local/bin/
sudo cp prometheus-2.0.0.linux-amd64/promtool /usr/local/bin/
sudo chown prometheus:prometheus /usr/local/bin/prometheus
sudo chown prometheus:prometheus /usr/local/bin/promtool
sudo cp -r prometheus-2.0.0.linux-amd64/consoles /etc/prometheus
sudo cp -r prometheus-2.0.0.linux-amd64/console_libraries /etc/prometheus
sudo chown -R prometheus:prometheus /etc/prometheus/consoles
sudo chown -R prometheus:prometheus /etc/prometheus/console_libraries
rm -rf prometheus-2.0.0.linux-amd64.tar.gz prometheus-2.0.0.linux-amd64

sudo touch /etc/prometheus/prometheus.yml 
sudo chown prometheus:prometheus /etc/prometheus/prometheus.yml

sudo bash -c 'cat << EOF > /etc/systemd/system/prometheus.service

ExecStart=/usr/local/bin/prometheus \
    --config.file /etc/prometheus/prometheus.yml \
    --storage.tsdb.path /var/lib/prometheus/ \
    --web.console.templates=/etc/prometheus/consoles \


We have now installed the Prometheus base package but to collect metrics you also need to install the Prometheus Node Exporter:

sudo useradd --no-create-home --shell /bin/false node_exporter

cd ~
curl -LO
tar xvf node_exporter-0.15.1.linux-amd64.tar.gz
sudo cp node_exporter-0.15.1.linux-amd64/node_exporter /usr/local/bin
sudo chown node_exporter:node_exporter /usr/local/bin/node_exporter
rm -rf node_exporter-0.15.1.linux-amd64.tar.gz node_exporter-0.15.1.linux-amd64

sudo bash -c 'cat << EOF > /etc/systemd/system/node_exporter.service
Description=Node Exporter



Configure Prometheus and define node_exporter targets:

sudo bash -c 'cat << EOF > /etc/prometheus/prometheus.yml
  scrape_interval: 15s

  - job_name: 'prometheus'
    scrape_interval: 5s
      - targets: ['localhost:9090']
  - job_name: 'node_exporter'
    scrape_interval: 5s
      - targets: ['localhost:9100']  

Start services and access the web console:

sudo systemctl daemon-reload
sudo systemctl start prometheus
sudo systemctl start node_exporter

Access the Prometheus web console via http://localhost:9090:

Under “Status -> Targets” you can check if the services state is up:

Let’s continue by installing Grafana:

curl | sudo apt-key add -
sudo add-apt-repository "deb stretch main"
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install grafana
sudo systemctl start grafana-server
sudo systemctl status grafana-server
sudo systemctl enable grafana-server

Now you can access Grafana via http://localhost:3000/. I would recommend putting a Ngnix reverse proxy in-front for SSL encryption.

In the web console we need to configure the data source and point it to Prometheus. To do that go to “settings” and select “data source”:

You should import the following Prometheus dashboard for Grafana otherwise you need to manually configure your dashboard:

For the install of Prometheus and the Node_Exporter I will write two Ansible roles which I will share later. Read my new post about Network Monitoring with Prometheus and Cumulus Linux!

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