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Keptn Metrics

The Keptn metrics component allows you to define any type of metric from multiple instances of any type of data source in your Kubernetes cluster. You may have deployment tools like Argo, Flux, KEDA, HPA, or Keptn that need observability data to make automated decisions such as whether a rollout is good, or whether to scale up or down.

Your observability data may come from multiple observability solutions -- Prometheus, Thanos, Cortex, Dynatrace, Datadog and others -- or may be data that comes directly from your cloud provider such as AWS, Google, or Azure. The Keptn Metrics Server unifies and standardizes access to all this data. Minimal configuration is required because Keptn hooks directly into Kubernetes primitives.

The Keptn metrics feature integrates metrics from any number of metrics providers into a single set of metrics. This makes it easier to use than the Kubernetes metric server, which requires that you maintain point-to-point integrations from each source -- Argo Rollouts, Flux, KEDA, HPA, etc. Each has plugins but it is difficult to maintain them, especially if you are using multiple tools, multiple observability platforms, and multiple instances of some tools or observability platforms.

Using this exercise

This exercise runs on a kind cluster that you set up locally but could be run on any Kubernetes cluster.

  1. Set up the cluster by creating a local Kubernetes cluster, installing an instance of Prometheus to use as a data source, and installing Keptn on the cluster.
  2. Configure Keptn for your metrics by defining custom resources for each data provider and each piece of data you use.
  3. Run the metrics

If you want to create your own cluster to run this exercise, follow the instructions in Installation.

Set up the cluster

  1. Create the kind cluster:

    kind create cluster
  2. Install and configure Prometheus as your data source

    For this simple exercise, we use on instance of kube-prometheus-stack as our data source. In actual practice, you can use multiple instances of multiple types of data sources to gather your metrics.

    Use the following command sequence to install an instance of Prometheus:

    helm repo add prometheus-community
    helm repo update
    helm install kube-prom-stack prometheus-community/kube-prometheus-stack
  3. Install Keptn on your cluster

    Use the following command sequence to install Keptn on your cluster:

    helm repo add keptn
    helm repo update
    helm upgrade --install keptn keptn/keptn -n keptn-system --create-namespace --wait

    For more details about how to install Keptn, see the Installation Guide.

Expose Prometheus and get an existing metric

Now we need to expose Prometheus and chose an existing metric to use for this exercise.

  1. Use port forwarding to expose prometheus and find a suitable metric:

    kubectl get svc

    This command shows multiple services. Look for the Prometheus UI (the one on port 9090) which should be called prometheus-operated (no typo).

  2. Port forward to access the UI:

    kubectl -n default port-forward svc/prometheus-operated 9090
  3. Go to http://localhost:9090/ and, in the search box, type prometheus_ and select pr. This produces a list of metrics that are defined

  4. For this exercise, we are going to use a single metric. In real practice, you would be defining many metrics. Choose a metric that has a non-zero value. For example:

    prometheus_http_requests_total{code="200", container="prometheus", \
         endpoint="http-web", handler="/-/healthy", instance="", \
         job="kube-prom-stack-kube-prome-prometheus", namespace="default",\
         pod="prometheus-kube-prom-stack-kube-prome-prometheus-0", \

    For a cleaner display, remove some attributes:

    prometheus_http_requests_total{code="200", container="prometheus", \
         endpoint="http-web", handler="/-/healthy", \
         job="kube-prom-stack-kube-prome-prometheus", namespace="default", \

    This is your metric and value as it is stored in Prometheus.

Configure Keptn for your metrics

Now you must tell Keptn about the metrics you are using.j You do this by defining:

  • A KeptnMetricsProvider resource to define the external observability platform you are using as a data source. For this exercise, this is the Prometheus server you installed and exposed above.
  • A KeptnMetric resource to define each metric query you want to pull.

The steps are:

  1. Create a KeptnMetricsProvider resource for the observability platform you are using as a data source. To do this, create a new .yml file with content like the following:

      kind: KeptnMetricsProvider
        name: local-prometheus
        namespace: default
        type: prometheus
        targetServer: "http://prometheus-operated.default.svc.cluster.local:9090/"

    You can specify a virtually unlimited number of providers, including multiple instances of each observability platform. Each one must be assigned a unique name, identified by the type of platform it is and the URL of the target server. If the target server is protected by a Secret, provide information about the token and key.

    Keptn uses the name you assign to reference this data source.

    The targetServer field tells Keptn where to find this data source; in this case, it points to a prometheus API endpoint on port 9090.

    Apply this file with the following command:

    shell kubectl apply -f YOUR-KEPTN-METRIC-PROVIDER.yml

  2. Define your KeptnMetric custom resource for each piece of data you want to pull (in this case, the Prometheus query for the metric you selected).

    This is where you use the Prometheus query from before. Note: The namespaces of KeptnMetricsProvider and KeptnMetric must match.

    kind: KeptnMetric
      name: prometheus-http-requests-total
      namespace: default
        name: local-prometheus
      query: 'prometheus_http_requests_total{code="200", handler="/-/healthy", job="kube-prom-stack-kube-prome-prometheus", namespace="default", service="kube-prom-stack-kube-prome-prometheus"}'
      fetchIntervalSeconds: 10

    This data is pulled and fetched continuously at an interval you specify for each specific bit of data. Data is available through the resource and through the data provider itself, as well as the Kubernetes CLI.

Define KeptnMetric information

The KeptnMetric resource defines the information you want to gather, specified as a query for the particular observability platform you are using. You can define any type of metric from any data source.

In our example, we define two bits of information to retrieve:

  • Number of CPUs, derived from the dev-prometheus data platform
  • availability SLO, derived from the dev-dynatrace data platform

Each of these are configured to fetch data every 10 seconds but you could configure a different fetchIntervalSeconds value for each metric.

Note the following:

  • Populate one YAML file per metric then apply all of them.
  • Each metric is assigned a unique name.
  • The value of the field in the KeptnMetric resource must correspond to the name assigned in the field of a KeptnMetricsProvider resource.
  • Information is fetched in on a continuous basis at a rate specified by the value of the spec.fetchIntervalSeconds field.

View available metrics

Keptn automatically starts pulling the metrics (every fetchIntervalSeconds seconds):

kubectl -n default get keptnmetrics

The above command should show:

NAME                             PROVIDER           QUERY INTERVAL   VALUE
prometheus-http-requests-total   local-prometheus   prometheus_http_requests_total{code="200", handler="/-/healthy", job="kube-prom-stack-kube-prome-prometheus", namespace="default", service="kube-prom-stack-kube-prome-prometheus"}              756

or to retrieve a specific KeptnMetric value:

kubectl -n default get keptnmetric/prometheus-http-requests-total 

Use the following command to view the metrics that are configured in your cluster:

kubectl get KeptnMetrics -A

Run the metrics

As soon as you define your KeptnMetricsProvider and KeptnMetric resources, Keptn begins collecting the metrics you defined. You do not need to do anything else.

Observing the metrics

The metrics can be retrieved through CRs and through the Kubernetes Metric API.

The syntax to retrieve metrics from the CR is:

kubectl get -n <namespace> <metric-name>

The syntax to retrieve metrics through the Kubernetes API is:

kubectl get --raw "/apis/<namespace>/<metric-name>/<metric-name>"

You can also display the metrics graphically using a dashboard such as Grafana.

Learn more

To learn more about the Keptn Metrics Server, see: