Note

The documentation you're currently reading is for version 2.3.2. Click here to view documentation for the latest stable version.

System Monitoring

An event-based automation & remediation platform should heal itself, right? Sure - but it’s still important to monitor your system to validate that everything is working as expected. Monitoring is not just about faults either. It can help you understand how much the system is being used, and when you need to scale it out.

These guidelines should help you understand what services, metrics and logs to monitor. They can be implemented using any combination of common monitoring tools.

Note

These monitoring guidelines are just that: guidelines. You will need to modify them to suit your specific environment. They are still a work in progress, and we welcome feedback on ways to improve them, and suggestions for specific monitoring system integration details.

Service Testing

StackStorm does not have one single API endpoint for checking system health. You can make a reasonable assumption about current system status by using the API to execute a simple action, and then checking the response:

## Execute "date -R" using the core.local action:
curl -X POST 'content-type: application/json' -H  'St2-Api-Key: my_api_key' --data-binary '{"action": "core.local", "user": null, "parameters": {"cmd": "date -R"}}' -k https://192.0.2.1/api/v1/executions
{"status": "requested", "start_timestamp": "2016-10-10T01:37:45.937153Z", "log": [{"status": "requested", "timestamp": "2016-10-10T01:37:45.950751Z"}], "parameters": {"cmd": "date -R"}, "runner": {"runner_module": "st2actions.runners.localrunner", "uid": "runner_type:local-shell-cmd", "description": "A runner to execute local actions as a fixed user.", "enabled": true, "runner_parameters": {"sudo": {"default": false, "type": "boolean", "description": "The command will be executed with sudo."}, "env": {"type": "object", "description": "Environment variables which will be available to the command(e.g. key1=val1,key2=val2)"}, "cmd": {"type": "string", "description": "Arbitrary Linux command to be executed on the host."}, "kwarg_op": {"default": "--", "type": "string", "description": "Operator to use in front of keyword args i.e. \"--\" or \"-\"."}, "timeout": {"default": 60, "type": "integer", "description": "Action timeout in seconds. Action will get killed if it doesn't finish in timeout seconds."}, "cwd": {"type": "string", "description": "Working directory where the command will be executed in"}}, "id": "57fa74ad1d41c8249e5664f4", "name": "local-shell-cmd"}, "web_url": "https://ubuntu/#/history/57faf0e91d41c805055a1110/general", "context": {"user": "st2admin"}, "action": {"description": "Action that executes an arbitrary Linux command on the localhost.", "runner_type": "local-shell-cmd", "tags": [], "enabled": true, "pack": "core", "entry_point": "", "notify": {}, "uid": "action:core:local", "parameters": {"cmd": {"required": true, "type": "string", "description": "Arbitrary Linux command to be executed on the remote host(s)."}, "sudo": {"immutable": true}}, "ref": "core.local", "id": "57fa74ae1d41c8249e566509", "name": "local"}, "liveaction": {"runner_info": {}, "parameters": {"cmd": "date -R"}, "action_is_workflow": false, "callback": {}, "action": "core.local", "id": "57faf0e91d41c805055a110f"}, "id": "57faf0e91d41c805055a1110"}

## Check the execution status using the id from above:
$ curl -X GET -H  St2-Api-Key: my_api_key' -k https://192.0.2.1/api/v1/executions/57faf0e91d41c805055a1110
{"status": "succeeded", "start_timestamp": "2016-10-10T01:37:45.937153Z", "log": [{"status": "requested", "timestamp": "2016-10-10T01:37:45.950000Z"}, {"status": "scheduled", "timestamp": "2016-10-10T01:37:46.039000Z"}, {"status": "running", "timestamp": "2016-10-10T01:37:46.157000Z"}, {"status": "succeeded", "timestamp": "2016-10-10T01:37:46.305000Z"}], "parameters": {"cmd": "date -R"}, "runner": {"runner_module": "st2actions.runners.localrunner", "uid": "runner_type:local-shell-cmd", "enabled": true, "name": "local-shell-cmd", "runner_parameters": {"sudo": {"default": false, "type": "boolean", "description": "The command will be executed with sudo."}, "env": {"type": "object", "description": "Environment variables which will be available to the command(e.g. key1=val1,key2=val2)"}, "cmd": {"type": "string", "description": "Arbitrary Linux command to be executed on the host."}, "kwarg_op": {"default": "--", "type": "string", "description": "Operator to use in front of keyword args i.e. \"--\" or \"-\"."}, "timeout": {"default": 60, "type": "integer", "description": "Action timeout in seconds. Action will get killed if it doesn't finish in timeout seconds."}, "cwd": {"type": "string", "description": "Working directory where the command will be executed in"}}, "id": "57fa74ad1d41c8249e5664f4", "description": "A runner to execute local actions as a fixed user."}, "elapsed_seconds": 0.339103, "web_url": "https://ubuntu/#/history/57faf0e91d41c805055a1110/general", "result": {"failed": false, "stderr": "", "return_code": 0, "succeeded": true, "stdout": "Sun, 09 Oct 2016 18:37:46 -0700"}, "context": {"user": "st2admin"}, "action": {"runner_type": "local-shell-cmd", "name": "local", "parameters": {"cmd": {"required": true, "type": "string", "description": "Arbitrary Linux command to be executed on the remote host(s)."}, "sudo": {"immutable": true}}, "tags": [], "enabled": true, "entry_point": "", "notify": {}, "uid": "action:core:local", "pack": "core", "ref": "core.local", "id": "57fa74ae1d41c8249e566509", "description": "Action that executes an arbitrary Linux command on the localhost."}, "liveaction": {"runner_info": {"hostname": "ubuntu", "pid": 1014}, "parameters": {"cmd": "date -R"}, "action_is_workflow": false, "callback": {}, "action": "core.local", "id": "57faf0e91d41c805055a110f"}, "id": "57faf0e91d41c805055a1110", "end_timestamp": "2016-10-10T01:37:46.276256Z"}

Look for failed: false in the result above. This process will exercise the core parts of StackStorm. If it succeeds, then the system is correctly configured and working.

Processes

You can use sudo st2ctl status to get a quick overview of current process status:

$ sudo st2ctl status
##### st2 components status #####
st2actionrunner PID: 1014
st2api PID: 921
st2api PID: 1285
st2stream PID: 922
st2stream PID: 1287
st2auth PID: 912
st2auth PID: 1286
st2garbagecollector PID: 910
st2notifier PID: 916
st2resultstracker PID: 913
st2rulesengine PID: 920
st2sensorcontainer PID: 907
st2chatops is not running.
mistral-server PID: 1031
mistral-api PID: 1006
mistral-api PID: 1228
mistral-api PID: 1231
$

In a distributed system, only some of these processes will be running on each system. In the example here st2chatops is not configured on this system.

Tools such as nagios or check_mk can be used to monitor the process list. Some services spawn more than one process. The exact number will depend upon your system configuration - e.g. st2actionrunner will spawn additional processes on a multi-core system.

Additional processes to monitor:

  • RabbitMQ - rabbitmq-server
  • PostgreSQL - postgres
  • MongoDB - mongod
  • Nginx (if used for web/API frontend) - nginx
  • Postfix/Sendmail (if local mail relay configured)
  • rsyslog/logstash/splunk-agent (if used)

Metrics

Key metrics for StackStorm administrators to watch are the number of running and scheduled actions, and the average execution time. Busy systems will need to scale out the number of st2actionrunner processes.

We recommend storing metrics in a time-series database, such as InfluxDB

MongoDB

MongoDB holds state for all currently scheduled and running actions. Use these queries to monitor current numbers:

  • Scheduled actions: db.live_action_d_b.find({"status":"scheduled"})
  • Running actions: db.live_action_d_b.find({"status":"running"})

Monitor these values over time to detect trends, and abnormal activity. Increasing numbers of scheduled actions may indicate insufficient st2actionrunner capacity. These queues can be monitored using:

mongo st2 --eval \'rs.slaveOk(); db.live_action_d_b.find({\"status\":\"scheduled\"}).count()\' | tail -1
mongo st2 --eval \'rs.slaveOk(); db.live_action_d_b.find({\"status\":\"running\"}).count()\' | tail -1

RabbitMQ

These RabbitMQ queue lengths should be monitored:

  • st2.actionrunner.cancel
  • st2.actionrunner.req
  • st2.actionrunner.work

You can obtain these values using sudo rabbitmqctl list_queues | fgrep st2.actionrunner.

For most systems, these queue lengths should be < 10.

Completed Actions

The StackStorm audit logs record all executed actions, execution time and result. These logs should be stored in a system like Splunk or Elasticsearch that allows for extraction of average run time and execution count.

Interesting metrics to monitor:

  • Completed actions count over time
  • Average execution time - watch for outliers
  • Action frequency by pack, and by individual action

See below for more details on logfile monitoring.

Logs

By default, all StackStorm logs are stored in the /var/log/st2/ directory. See the Configure Logging section for more information about logfile location, configuration and using syslog.

Note

We strongly recommend storing all StackStorm logs in a dedicated log management tool, such as Splunk, Graylog or the ELK stack. You can also see some examples of Logstash configuration and Kibana dashboards here: exchange-misc/logstash.

All log messages include a log level - DEBUG, INFO, WARNING, ERROR, CRITICAL. All messages at WARNING and above should be escalated for investigation.

Most organisations will want to investigate failed action executions. This is an example of a failed execution in the st2actionrunner logs:

2017-03-15 23:53:46,833 70846416 AUDIT base [-] Liveaction completed (liveaction_db={'status': 'failed', 'runner_info': {u'hostname': u'st2vagrant', u'pid': 1199}, 'parameters': {u'cmd': u'foo'}, 'action_is_workflow': False, 'start_timestamp': '2017-03-15 23:53:46.439855+00:00', 'callback': {}, 'notify': None, 'result': {'succeeded': False, 'failed': True, 'return_code': 127, 'stderr': 'bash: foo: command not found', 'stdout': ''}, 'context': {u'user': u'st2admin'}, 'action': u'core.local', 'id': '58c9d40ac4da5f0737cd86f0', 'end_timestamp': '2017-03-15 23:53:46.792152+00:00'})

Note the 'status': 'failed' section.