1.3. About Metrics Storage Nodes

Collecting metrics and generating alerts can be resource-intensive. It results in near-constant write operations on the backend database. That creates a natural threshold for the number of metrics that can be collected (30,000 per minute) before encountering performance degradation.
The natural threshold of 30,000 metrics per minute is based on internal performance testing. This threshold varies depending on system resources and overall load.
JBoss ON uses two databases to store its information. One is a central relational database (PostgreSQL or Oracle) which stores all configuration about the JBoss ON servers and agents, all resource inventory data, resource configuration, and other data. The other database is a distributes database (a cluster of storage nodes) which stores all numeric monitoring data — in other words, all collected metrics.
The metrics storage node can be installed on its own dedicated machine, which can significantly improve write performance to the database (and, therefore, improve monitoring performance):
  • Dedicated CPU
  • More available physical memory
  • Faster disks
  • More disk space
These are the same performance considerations as installing the relational database on a separate machine from the JBoss ON server. By using two databases, it is also possible to move write-intensive and resource-intensive metrics storage away from resource-intensive configuration data, such as drift snapshots and bundle configuration.
Additionally, the distributed database can be expanded, with multiple nodes in a cluster. This ability to add additional nodes according to load is a crucial management tool for administrators. Rather than encountering that hardware-driven limit of 30,000 metrics collected per minute, additional nodes can be added to improve performance.
The storage node cluster is created and managed by JBoss ON (which also minimizes the metrics storage node management overhead). A storage node is installed on a system, using the rhqctl install --storage command. The storage node always requires a companion agent.