Chapter 10. Monitoring performance using RHEL System Roles

As a system administrator, you can use the metrics RHEL System Role to monitor the performance of a system.

10.1. Introduction to the metrics System Role

RHEL System Roles is a collection of Ansible roles and modules that provide a consistent configuration interface to remotely manage multiple RHEL systems. The metrics System Role configures performance analysis services for the local system and, optionally, includes a list of remote systems to be monitored by the local system. The metrics System Role enables you to use pcp to monitor your systems performance without having to configure pcp separately, as the set-up and deployment of pcp is handled by the playbook.

Table 10.1. Metrics system role variables

Role variableDescriptionExample usage

metrics_monitored_hosts

List of remote hosts to be analyzed by the target host. These hosts will have metrics recorded on the target host, so ensure enough disk space exists below /var/log for each host.

metrics_monitored_hosts: ["webserver.example.com", "database.example.com"]

metrics_retention_days

Configures the number of days for performance data retention before deletion.

metrics_retention_days: 14

metrics_graph_service

A boolean flag that enables the host to be set up with services for performance data visualization via pcp and grafana. Set to false by default.

metrics_graph_service: false

metrics_query_service

A boolean flag that enables the host to be set up with time series query services for querying recorded pcp metrics via redis. Set to false by default.

metrics_query_service: false

metrics_provider

Specifies which metrics collector to use to provide metrics. Currently, pcp is the only supported metrics provider.

metrics_provider: "pcp"

Note

For details about the parameters used in metrics_connections and additional information about the metrics System Role, see the /usr/share/ansible/roles/rhel-system-roles.metrics/README.md file.

10.2. Using the metrics System Role to monitor your local system with visualization

This procedure describes how to use the metrics RHEL System Role to monitor your local system while simultaneously provisioning data visualization via grafana.

Prerequisites

  • The Ansible Core package is installed on the control machine.
  • You have the rhel-system-roles package installed on the machine you want to monitor.

Procedure

  1. Configure localhost in the the /etc/ansible/hosts Ansible inventory by adding the following content to the inventory:

    localhost ansible_connection=local
  2. Create an Ansible playbook with the following content:

    ---
    - hosts: localhost
      vars:
        metrics_graph_service: yes
      roles:
        - rhel-system-roles.metrics
  3. Run the Ansible playbook:

    # ansible-playbook name_of_your_playbook.yml
    Note

    Since the metrics_graph_service boolean is set to value="yes", grafana is automatically installed and provisioned with pcp added as a data source.

  4. To view visualization of the metrics being collected on your machine, access the grafana web interface as described in Accessing the Grafana web UI.

10.3. Using the metrics System Role to setup a fleet of individual systems to monitor themselves

This procedure describes how to use the metrics System Role to set up a fleet of machines to monitor themselves.

Prerequisites

  • The Ansible Core package is installed on the control machine.
  • You have the rhel-system-roles package installed on the machine you want to use to run the playbook.

Procedure

  1. Add the name or IP of the machines you wish to monitor via the playbook to the /etc/ansible/hosts Ansible inventory file under an identifying group name enclosed in brackets:

    [remotes]
    webserver.example.com
    database.example.com
  2. Create an Ansible playbook with the following content:

    ---
    - hosts: remotes
      vars:
        metrics_retention_days: 0
      roles:
        - rhel-system-roles.metrics
  3. Run the Ansible playbook:

    # ansible-playbook name_of_your_playbook.yml

10.4. Using the metrics System Role to monitor a fleet of machines centrally via your local machine

This procedure describes how to use the metrics System Role to set up your local machine to centrally monitor a fleet of machines while also provisioning visualization of the data via grafana and querying of the data via redis.

Prerequisites

  • The Ansible Core package is installed on the control machine.
  • You have the rhel-system-roles package installed on the machine you want to use to run the playbook.

Procedure

  1. Create an Ansible playbook with the following content:

    ---
    - hosts: localhost
      vars:
        metrics_graph_service: yes
        metrics_query_service: yes
        metrics_retention_days: 10
        metrics_monitored_hosts: ["database.example.com", "webserver.example.com"]
      roles:
        - rhel-system-roles.metrics
  2. Run the Ansible playbook:

    # ansible-playbook name_of_your_playbook.yml
    Note

    Since the metrics_graph_service and metrics_query_service booleans are set to value="yes", grafana is automatically installed and provisioned with pcp added as a data source with the pcp data recording indexed into redis, allowing the pcp querying language to be used for complex querying of the data.

  3. To view graphical representation of the metrics being collected centrally by your machine and to query the data, access the grafana web interface as described in Accessing the Grafana web UI.

10.5. Setting up authentication while monitoring a system using the metrics System Role

PCP supports the scram-sha-256 authentication mechanism through the Simple Authentication Security Layer (SASL) framework. The metrics RHEL System Role automates the steps to setup authentication using the scram-sha-256 authentication mechanism. This procedure describes how to setup authentication using the metrics RHEL System Role.

Prerequisites

  • The Ansible Core package is installed on the control machine.
  • You have the rhel-system-roles package installed on the machine you want to use to run the playbook.

Procedure

  1. Include the following variables in the Ansible playbook you want to setup authentication for:

    ---
      vars:
        metrics_username: your_username
        metrics_password: your_password
  2. Run the Ansible playbook:

    # ansible-playbook name_of_your_playbook.yml

Verification steps

  • Verify the sasl configuration:

    # pminfo -f -h "pcp://127.0.0.1?username=your_username" disk.dev.read
    Password:
    disk.dev.read
    inst [0 or "sda"] value 19540

10.6. Using the metrics System Role to configure and enable metrics collection for SQL Server

This procedure describes how to use the metrics RHEL System Role to automate the configuration and enabling of metrics collection for Microsoft SQL Server via pcp on your local system.

Prerequisites

  • The Ansible Core package is installed on the control machine.
  • You have the rhel-system-roles package installed on the machine you want to monitor.
  • You have installed Microsoft SQL Server for Red Hat Enterprise Linux and established a 'trusted' connection to an SQL server.
  • You have installed the Microsoft ODBC driver for SQL Server for Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

Procedure

  1. Configure localhost in the the /etc/ansible/hosts Ansible inventory by adding the following content to the inventory:

    localhost ansible_connection=local
  2. Create an Ansible playbook that contains the following content:

    ---
    - hosts: localhost
      roles:
        - role: rhel-system-roles.metrics
          vars:
            metrics_from_mssql: yes
  3. Run the Ansible playbook:

    # ansible-playbook name_of_your_playbook.yml

Verification steps

  • Use the pcp command to verify that SQL Server PMDA agent (mssql) is loaded and running:

    # pcp
    platform: Linux rhel82-2.local 4.18.0-167.el8.x86_64 #1 SMP Sun Dec 15 01:24:23 UTC 2019 x86_64
     hardware: 2 cpus, 1 disk, 1 node, 2770MB RAM
     timezone: PDT+7
     services: pmcd pmproxy
         pmcd: Version 5.0.2-1, 12 agents, 4 clients
         pmda: root pmcd proc pmproxy xfs linux nfsclient mmv kvm mssql
               jbd2 dm
     pmlogger: primary logger: /var/log/pcp/pmlogger/rhel82-2.local/20200326.16.31
         pmie: primary engine: /var/log/pcp/pmie/rhel82-2.local/pmie.log