Tools for Monitoring Resources
To scale an application and provide a reliable service, you need to understand how the application behaves when it is deployed. You can examine application performance in a Kubernetes cluster by examining the containers, pods, services, and the characteristics of the overall cluster. Kubernetes provides detailed information about an application's resource usage at each of these levels. This information allows you to evaluate your application's performance and where bottlenecks can be removed to improve overall performance.
Resource metrics pipeline
The resource metrics pipeline provides a limited set of metrics related to
cluster components such as the
Horizontal Pod Autoscaler
controller, as well as the
kubectl top utility.
These metrics are collected by the lightweight, short-term, in-memory
are exposed via the
metrics-server discovers all nodes on the cluster and
queries each node's
kubelet for CPU and
memory usage. The kubelet acts as a bridge between the Kubernetes master and
the nodes, managing the pods and containers running on a machine. The kubelet
translates each pod into its constituent containers and fetches individual
container usage statistics from the container runtime through the container
runtime interface. If you use a container runtime that uses Linux cgroups and
namespaces to implement containers, and the container runtime does not publish
usage statistics, then the kubelet can look up those statistics directly
(using code from cAdvisor).
No matter how those statistics arrive, the kubelet then exposes the aggregated pod
resource usage statistics through the metrics-server Resource Metrics API.
This API is served at
/metrics/resource/v1beta1 on the kubelet's authenticated and
Full metrics pipeline
A full metrics pipeline gives you access to richer metrics. Kubernetes can
respond to these metrics by automatically scaling or adapting the cluster
based on its current state, using mechanisms such as the Horizontal Pod
Autoscaler. The monitoring pipeline fetches metrics from the kubelet and
then exposes them to Kubernetes via an adapter by implementing either the
Kubernetes is designed to work with OpenMetrics, which is one of the CNCF Observability and Analysis - Monitoring Projects, built upon and carefully extending Prometheus exposition format in almost 100% backwards-compatible ways.
If you glance over at the CNCF Landscape, you can see a number of monitoring projects that can work with Kubernetes by scraping metric data and using that to help you observe your cluster. It is up to you to select the tool or tools that suit your needs. The CNCF landscape for observability and analytics includes a mix of open-source software, paid-for software-as-a-service, and other commercial products.
When you design and implement a full metrics pipeline you can make that monitoring data available back to Kubernetes. For example, a HorizontalPodAutoscaler can use the processed metrics to work out how many Pods to run for a component of your workload.
Integration of a full metrics pipeline into your Kubernetes implementation is outside the scope of Kubernetes documentation because of the very wide scope of possible solutions.
The choice of monitoring platform depends heavily on your needs, budget, and technical resources. Kubernetes does not recommend any specific metrics pipeline; many options are available. Your monitoring system should be capable of handling the OpenMetrics metrics transmission standard, and needs to chosen to best fit in to your overall design and deployment of your infrastructure platform.
Learn about additional debugging tools, including: