Cloud Native / Monitoring / Sponsored

How Oracle Plugs into the Cloud Native Dashboard Grafana

25 Feb 2019 1:23pm, by

Oracle sponsored this post.

Mickey Boxell
Mickey Boxell is a Solutions Architect on the Cloud Native Labs team at Oracle. He is focused on building customer-deployable cloud native/container native solutions to bridge the gap between open source communities and the core Oracle Cloud Infrastructure services. This includes solution tutorials, sample code, technical blog posts all related to the Kubernetes platform.

Developers and enterprises alike are increasingly concerned with vendor lock-in and cloud sprawl. Vendor lock-in has become a major barrier to the adoption of cloud native services due to the lack of standardization across the industry. Companies are reluctant to adopt new technology if it means that they may find themselves unable to migrate from one vendor due to proprietary standards.

At the same time, it has become a challenge to keep track of and manage an ever-growing list of providers and services. Open source software offers to simplify cloud service adoption and management across a distributed environment through its emphasis on portability and interoperability. How cloud providers choose to work with open source technologies, however, matters.

Beyond our deep heritage in open source, Oracle has doubled down with its platinum sponsorship of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation and contributions to the ecosystem. Understanding community as a multiplier for innovation, it seemed obvious to release the Fn Project as a fully open Functions-as-a-Service (FaaS). Following up with the corresponding managed service, Oracle Functions, was the natural next step to provide a complementary cloud path for users.

From our certified and managed Kubernetes service built on open standards, to the cloud native Java microservices framework, Helidon, and the release of the Weblogic Kubernetes operator, Oracle believes in providing more open, cloud native development options to all users.

At the center of all of this DevOps paradigm and practice lies the leading analytics dashboard utility, Grafana. To this end, we are excited to introduce the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Data Source for Grafana. Oracle made its native cloud infrastructure data and metrics from the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Monitoring service accessible via API to analyze and instrument with open source tools.

We chose Grafana, the leading open source platform for analytics and monitoring, because of its popularity in the industry and demand from our users. Grafana is an open-source visualization and alerting tool for time series data. It was designed with a plugin architecture that allows you to capture data across many different sources and visualize it on a single dashboard. This approach addresses the issue of cloud sprawl, by providing users with a consolidated view of resources across providers.

Our Monitoring Service offers out of the box aggregated metrics for Oracle Cloud Infrastructure services and resources. We also make these metrics available from an open API. We worked with Grafana to expose the Monitoring service as a Grafana data source. This means you can visualize Oracle Cloud Infrastructure data in your Grafana instance and use it to create beautiful and useful dashboards.

Using the Plugin

You can find more information about using the solution on the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Data Source for Grafana page on the Grafana Labs site and a Readme with links to detailed installation walkthroughs on the Oracle Cloud Native Labs page.

After setting up identity and access management along with configuring the plugin as a Grafana data source, you can use the query editor to create graphs of your Oracle Cloud Infrastructure resources. Navigate back to the Home Dashboard and click New Dashboard. Choose Graph from the list of available dashboard types. Click Panel Title and then Edit to add metrics to the dashboard. Choose the appropriate Region, Compartment, Namespace, and Metric from the list of available options to create your first graph.

In addition to the query editor, we have also enabled a number of features including dimensions, templating, and custom metrics namespaces. Dimensions can be used to add specificity to your graphs. For instance, you can use them to view metrics at an availability domain level rather than a regional level or filter usage based on a particular virtual machine imageID. Templating enables you to dynamically interact with graphs in order visualize additional information about your environment. Using the query template will create a dynamic list of variables to choose from, allowing for users to quickly switch between regions or compartments or other variables. We also support the creation of custom metrics namespaces, which can be used to ingest data from sources in addition to the native Oracle Cloud Infrastructure resources available by default. For example, an application could be instrumented to gather statistics about individual operations, which could then be pulled into Grafana and visualized.

Conclusion

The Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Data Source for Grafana provides the flexibility to manage Oracle Cloud Infrastructure resources alongside private, public, and hybrid cloud resources from other vendors. It is a demonstration of our continued commitment to provide our users with open source solutions. For more information about Oracle’s contributions to the open source and cloud native space, head over to http://cloudnative.oracle.com/.

The Cloud Native Computing Foundation is a sponsor of The New Stack.

Feature image via Pixabay.

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