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Monitor HAProxy with Datadog

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Last updated: May 9, 2018

This post is part 3 of a 3-part series on HAProxy monitoring. Part 1 evaluates the key metrics emitted by HAProxy, and Part 2 details how to collect metrics from HAProxy.

If you’ve already read our post on accessing HAProxy metrics, you’ve seen that it’s relatively simple to run occasional spot checks using HAProxy’s built-in tools.

To implement ongoing, meaningful monitoring, however, you will need a dedicated system that allows you to store, visualize, and correlate your HAProxy metrics with the rest of your infrastructure. You also need to be alerted when any system starts to misbehave. In this post, we will show you how to use Datadog to capture and monitor HAProxy logs and all the key metrics identified in Part 1 of this series.

Default HAProxy dashboard in Datadog
Built-in HAProxy dashboard in Datadog

Integrating Datadog and HAProxy

Verify HAProxy’s status

Before you begin, you must verify that HAProxy is set to output metrics. To read more about enabling HAProxy statistics, refer to Part 2 of this series.

Simply open a browser to the stats URL listed in haproxy.cfg. You should see something like this:

HAProxy Stats Page

Install the Datadog Agent

The Datadog Agent is open source software that collects and reports metrics from all of your hosts so you can view, monitor, and correlate them on the Datadog platform. Installing the Agent usually requires just a single command. Installation instructions are platform-dependent and can be found here.

As soon as the Datadog Agent is up and running, you should see your host reporting basic system metrics in your Datadog account.

Reporting host in Datadog

Configure the Agent

Next you will need to create an HAProxy configuration file for the Agent. You can find the location of the Agent’s configuration directory for integrations (conf.d) for your OS here. In that directory you will find an haproxy.d subdirectory containing an HAProxy configuration template named conf.yaml.example. Copy this file to conf.yaml. Edit the file to match the username, password, and URL values listed in the stats section of haproxy.cfg.


  - url: http://localhost:9000/haproxy_stats
    username: Username
    password: Password

If you’ve configured HAProxy to report statistics to a Unix socket, you can set url to the socket’s path (e.g., unix:///var/run/haproxy.sock). Run the following command to add the Agent user dd-agent to the haproxy group, so that it will have access to the socket:

gpasswd -a dd-agent haproxy

Save and close the file.

Restart the Agent

Restart the Agent to load your new configuration. The restart command varies somewhat by platform; see the specific commands for your platform here.

Verify the configuration settings

To check that Datadog and HAProxy are properly integrated, execute the Datadog status command. The command for each platform is available here. If the configuration is correct, you will see a section resembling the one below in the status output:

Running Checks
      Total Runs: 1
      Metrics: 80, Total Metrics: 80
      Events: 0, Total Events: 0
      Service Checks: 3, Total Service Checks: 3

The Service Checks in this snippet report the availability of your HAProxy instance. The Metrics and Events figures show that the Agent is reporting monitoring data to your Datadog account.

Turn on the integration

Finally, click the HAProxy Install Integration button inside your Datadog account. The button is located under the Configuration tab in the HAProxy integration settings.

Install the integration

View HAProxy metrics

Once the Agent begins reporting metrics, you will see a comprehensive HAProxy dashboard among your list of available dashboards in Datadog.

The default HAProxy dashboard, as seen at the top of this article, displays the key metrics highlighted in our introduction to HAProxy monitoring.

You can easily create a more comprehensive dashboard to monitor HAProxy as well as your entire web stack by adding additional graphs and metrics from your other systems. For example, you might want to graph HAProxy metrics alongside metrics from your NGINX web servers, or alongside host-level metrics such as memory usage on application servers. To start building a custom dashboard, clone the default HAProxy dashboard by clicking on the gear on the upper right of the dashboard and selecting Clone Dashboard.

Clone dashboard

Capture HAProxy logs

With Datadog’s log management features you can automatically collect HAProxy logs and view them in your Datadog account. This section describes how to configure HAProxy and the Datadog Agent to collect logs, and how to view log data within Datadog.

Configure HAProxy

Below is a sample haproxy.cfg file you can use to configure your HAProxy logging. This file specifies the httplog format, so logs will include expanded information about each request, including status codes, header information, and cookies. (For more information about the HTTP log format, see HAProxy’s log documentation.)

This sample file also shows a load balancer configuration, which we’ll reference below to illustrate the log data generated by HAProxy. This configuration includes a frontend named my-frontend and a backend group named servers, which contains only one server. Note the <MY_IP> placeholder, which should be replaced with the public IP address of your backend server.

    log /dev/log local0
    user haproxy
    group haproxy

    mode               http
    log                global
    option             httplog
    option             dontlognull
    option             redispatch
    retries            3
    timeout connect    10s
    timeout client     300s
    timeout server     300s

frontend my-frontend
    bind *:80
    default_backend servers
    log global

backend servers
    balance roundrobin
    server wp1 <MY_IP>:80 check
    log global
    mode http

listen stats
    bind :9000 # Listen on localhost:9000
    mode http
    stats enable  # Enable stats page
    stats hide-version  # Hide HAProxy version
    stats realm Haproxy\ Statistics  # Title text for popup window
    stats uri /haproxy_stats  # Stats URI
    stats auth Username:Password  # Credentials must match conf.yaml

You can learn more about HAProxy’s configuration file here.

Configure rsyslog

Next, create the file where HAProxy will write logs, and set the proper permissions. If your system uses a logging program other than rsyslog, you’ll need to adjust accordingly:

touch /var/log/haproxy.log
chown syslog:adm /var/log/haproxy.log
chmod 644 /var/log/haproxy.log

The HAProxy installation process should have created a file telling rsyslog where to write HAProxy logs. If your system doesn’t have the file /etc/rsyslog.d/49-haproxy.conf, create it and add these lines:

local0.* /var/log/haproxy.log
& stop

Restart rsyslog so it’s ready to write to the log file. The command to restart differs between systems using upstart and those using systemd. If your system uses systemd as its init system, use

sudo systemctl restart rsyslog

If upstart is your init system, use

sudo service rsyslog start

Configure the Agent

Log collection is disabled in the Agent by default. To enable it, edit the Agent configuration file, datadog.yaml. (The path to the file varies by platform. See the Datadog Agent documentation for more information.) Uncomment the relevant line and set logs_enabled to true:

# Logs agent is disabled by default
logs_enabled: true

Next, edit the configuration that tells the Agent where to find the log data for HAProxy and what metadata to apply. Add the following content to the logs item within haproxy.d/conf.yaml, in the conf.d directory under the Agent’s configuration directory:

 - type: file
   path: /var/log/haproxy.log
   service: my_haproxy_service
   source: haproxy
   sourcecategory: http_web_access

This applies a service name of my_haproxy_service to all the logs generated by this HAProxy instance. It also applies source and sourcecategory tags. The screenshot below shows where this metadata appears in the Log Explorer interface. You can use the Service list in the sidebar to filter log results. Similarly, you can use the search field at the top of the page to filter by tag. See our log management documentation for more information.

Finally, restart HAProxy, then restart the Agent as described in the Agent documentation.

View HAProxy logs

The Log Explorer page in your Datadog account shows logs from all your services that have been configured for log collection. To isolate this service’s logs, click my_haproxy_service under the Service list in the sidebar.

In the image below, the log entry shows metadata about a GET request received by my-frontend and delegated to the servers backend, wp1 service.

HAProxy log explorer

You can filter the logs that you receive by optionally specifying a log level in the global section of haproxy.cfg. For example, you could modify the sample config above to log at the info level by changing those lines to read:

    log /dev/log local0 info

The available log levels are emerg, alert, crit, err, warning, notice, info, and debug. At the debug and notice log levels, you will see log entries created whenever HAProxy fulfills a request. At all levels, your logs will show information about HAProxy starting and shutting down. An example of this type of log entry is shown here:

HAProxy log explorer

You can learn more about HAProxy log configuration here.

Create alerts

Once Datadog is capturing and visualizing your metrics, you will likely want to set up some alerts to be automatically notified of potential issues.

With our outlier detection feature, you can get alerted on the things that matter. For example, you can set an alert if a particular backend is experiencing an increase in latency while the others are operating normally.

Datadog can monitor individual hosts, containers, services, processes—or virtually any combination thereof. For instance, you can monitor all of your HAProxy frontends, backends, or all hosts in a certain availability zone, or even a single metric being reported by all hosts with a specific tag.

You can also use HAProxy log information as a basis for your alerts. See our log monitor documentation for guidance on creating your alerts.

Know more about HAProxy

In this post we’ve walked you through integrating HAProxy with Datadog to visualize your key metrics and logs, and to notify the right team whenever your infrastructure or application shows signs of trouble.

If you’ve followed along using your own Datadog account, you should now have improved visibility into what’s happening in your environment, as well as the ability to create automated alerts tailored to your infrastructure, your usage patterns, and the metrics that are most valuable to your organization.

If you don’t yet have a Datadog account, you can sign up for a and start monitoring HAProxy right away.

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