Stackdriver

Regarding using Spinnaker Monitoring metrics directly as Stackdriver Monitoring Custom Metrics

As of July 2019, it should be noted that multiple teams running Spinnaker on clusters in GKE have have opted to export metrics to DataDog, Prometheus or other tools rather than using the spinnaker-monitoring daemon to create StackDriver Custom Metrics from the spinnaker-monitoring daemon as described below.

The reason for this is that the spinnaker-monitoring service was not initially designed to run on Stackdriver Monitoring and contains a large number of metrics. Google bills for each of these Custom Metrics individually, which can add substantial cost with the number of metrics present in the daemon. It’s also problematic that installing the default dashboards in the daemon directly into a Stackdriver Monitoring Dashboard requires a manual step of communicating with Google to get access to the Stackdriver Dashboard API (as described below).

Are you saying Spinnaker doesn’t support Stackdriver Logging and/or Monitoring?

No! Spinnaker logs can be captured and searched by Stackdriver Logging with excellent results! Creating your own Stackdriver Custom Metrics from these logs can also be very useful! Stackdriver Logging, Monitoring and Stackdriver Custom Metrics have their place for those running Spinnaker on Google Cloud whether in GCE or GKE.

What we are saying is that using the default spinnaker-monitoring microservices’s metrics directly as Stackdriver Custom Metrics is not advised by multiple members of the community that have tried to go this course with undesirable results. The issues include higher than expected Stackdriver Monitoring charges and Stackdriver Monitoring Dashboards that did not function correctly after installation.

Datadog and Prometheus are used with great success by a much larger portion of the Spinnaker community and are updated frequently, so the general recommendation from the Spinnaker Community would be to go one of those routes and then export specific metrics to Stackdriver Custom Metrics when necessary.

With that said, if you want to try it anyways, below are instructions on how to automatically create Stackdriver Monitoring Custom Metrics from the stackdriver-monitoring daemon.

Using Spinnaker for metric collection using Stackdriver Monitoring directly

There are two ways to use Stackdriver with Spinnaker. The easiest is to configure Spinnaker microservices to push metrics directly into stackdriver. Additionally the Spinnaker Monitoring Daemon can write into Stackdriver for you.

Note that Spinnaker talks to Stackdriver via HTTP so you do not need to install the Stackdriver Agent. Since the Agent is only available on Google Cloud Platform or Amazon Web Services, this means that you can write metrics into Stackdriver regardless of what platform you are running Spinnaker on. You may still want to install a Stackdriver Agent for local machine monitoring or monitoring other services. However, the agent itself does not know about Spinnaker and will not monitor it.

Note that the current integration with Stackdriver is based on using custom metrics. All told there are a few hundred metrics and several thousand time series (exact numbers depend on individual circumstances). Custom metrics are considered a premium stackdriver feature and may incur additional costs depending on your situation. If you are interested in using Stackdriver, please contact us through the Spinnaker Slack channel.

Configure the Spinnaker monitoring daemon for Stackdriver

First, you need a service account with the roles/monitoring.viewer and roles/monitoring.metricWriter roles enabled. If you don’t already have this, run the following commands:

SERVICE_ACCOUNT_NAME=spinnaker-monitoring-account
SERVICE_ACCOUNT_DEST=~/.gcp/gce-monitoring-account.json

gcloud iam service-accounts create \
    $SERVICE_ACCOUNT_NAME \
    --display-name $SERVICE_ACCOUNT_NAME

SA_EMAIL=$(gcloud iam service-accounts list \
    --filter="displayName:$SERVICE_ACCOUNT_NAME" \
    --format='value(email)')

PROJECT=$(gcloud config get-value project)

# permission to read existing configured metrics
gcloud projects add-iam-policy-binding $PROJECT \
    --member serviceAccount:$SA_EMAIL \
    --role roles/monitoring.viewer

# permission to write new metrics
gcloud projects add-iam-policy-binding $PROJECT \
    --member serviceAccount:$SA_EMAIL \
    --role roles/monitoring.metricWriter

mkdir -p $(dirname $SERVICE_ACCOUNT_DEST)

gcloud iam service-accounts keys create $SERVICE_ACCOUNT_DEST \
    --iam-account $SA_EMAIL

Now you have a service account with the correct roles sitting in $SERVICE_ACCOUNT_DEST.

Finally, run the following hal commands to configure Stackdriver:

hal config metric-stores stackdriver edit \
    --credentials-path $SERVICE_ACCOUNT_DEST

hal config metric-stores stackdriver enable

There are further flags that can be provided if you would like to push metrics to a different project, or associate them with a different zone. Please refer to the halyard command reference.

Proceed to install the dashboards

Installing the Stackdriver dashboards

To install the stackdriver dashboards, you need to have the monitoring daemon installed. But you only need it installed while you upload the dashboards. You can do this on a temporary VM.

export STACKDRIVER_API_KEY=<your api key>
sudo apt-get update -y
sudo apt-get install spinnaker-monitoring-daemon -y
sudo apt-get install spinnaker-monitoring-third-party -y
/opt/spinnaker-monitoring/third_party/stackdriver/install.sh --dashboards_only

With your browser, log into app.google.stackdriver.com and select your project. You should be able to see the various Spinnaker dashboards and select from them.                                                                                                        

Caveats

Stackdriver dashboards do not have the ability to manipulate metrics so can only show raw values coming from Spinnaker. In particular, latencies cannot be computed and time values will be in nanoseconds rather than milliseconds or seconds.

If you are using Stackdriver, you may wish to complement it with Datalab for the visualization or to manipulate the data. There are no datalab dashboards provided at present. See the Google DataLab Website for more information.