Login to your SignalFx account then click the INTEGRATIONS menu item.
Press the SFx SMARTAGENT icon then the SETUP tab.
Follow the installation instructions then navigate to the INFRASTRUCTURE tab
Clicking the Host link will take you to a view of your EC2 instance’s resource utilization.
That’s all there is to it; now you can fire alerts when bad things happen on your EC2 instance.
Learn Signal Analog
Learn Signal Analog by doing. Signal Analog is a tool for generating SignalFx dashboards. It’s a Nike open source project on GitHub. My team is migrating from New Relic to SignalFx, and we have opted to use Signal Analog to create our SignalFx resources.
I ran these commands to add the signal_analog package to my project.
Let the fun begin. I decided to start by creating a grouped dashboard with this example. The dashboards.py file was added to my learning-signal-analog directory. I then narrowed the code down to represent a single dashboard.
Learning SignalFx can be overwhelming. There are a multitude of ways to integrate it with your applications. Choice overload can quickly set in, to combat that I like to narrow in on a fundamental problem first. I would like to monitor a PostgreSQL database. The following content will walk through my journey to do so.
It’s an operational intelligence tool designed to observe your systems.
The SignalFx agent collects metrics and sends them to their servers. The metrics are made of the following metric types.
Counters are a straightforward metric that only takes integer values. They can count things like the number of errors that have occurred.
Cumulative counters are scoped to the lifetime of a process or an application. The number of database calls since PostgreSQL started would be a cumulative counter.
Gauges measure values over time. The percentage of memory a PostgreSQL server is using is an example of a gauge. The database memory fluctuates, and the gauge metric captures that fluctuation over time.
Use metadata to filter, find, and aggregate the metrics you want to chart or alert on. An example would be an environment key-value pair.
The environment metadata will allow you to search by the environment within SignalFx.
Charts provide visualization of the metrics you send to SignalFx. A chart that shows the percentage of memory helps you decide when it’s time to upgrade said memory.
Dashboards allow you to group charts so you can get the big picture. We can group them within dashboard groups. We can’t learn SignalFx without talking about dashboards.
Built-In – Used to provide default dashboards for integrations like PostgreSQL
Custom – Any custom dashboards you create
User – Primarily used for isolated experimentation and visualization
Detectors and Alerts
Detectors consist of events, alerts, and notifications. They can trigger alerts and notifications based on conditions. It’s possible to chain detectors by triggering additional events and notifications after a detector fires an event.
I’ve chosen to instrument a Postgresql server and the container it lives in. These are technologies I’m comfortable with and can get up and running quickly. Using familiar technologies will allow me to learn SignalFx more effectively.