Monitor NGINX Plus Load Balancing Metrics

Monitor NGINX Plus Load Balancing Metrics

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Published: April 28, 2014

In a short 5 years, NGINX has gone from powering 0 to powering 1 in every 6 of the busiest websites on the Internet. Datadog uses NGINX and chances are, you do too. Datadog is pleased to announce the expansion of our current NGINX monitoring to support the additional features offered through NGINX Plus.

Launched in 2013, NGINX Plus is a fully supported, commercial version of NGINX that offers basic open source modules and additional enterprise-class features. In particular, the premium version provides:

Monitor NGINX Plus metrics in Datadog

Datadog expands the existing NGINX community version plugin to support the new advanced activity monitoring in NGINX Plus. Datadog now collects all metrics exposed by the NGINX Plus status module, including:

  • Connections accepted, dropped, active, idle
  • Bytes sent and received by server zone
  • Number of health checks failed
  • Response counts by status code and upstream server

Find a sample of all NGINX Plus metric names and their tagging structure here.

NGINX connections and upstreams

Tags are the linchpin of monitoring with Datadog. They are used everywhere to navigate data, define graphs, and create alerts easily whether you have 5 or 5,000 servers. With tags you can slice and dice metrics, graphs, alerts and get an inventory of servers to quickly pinpoint the servers you wish to look into.

The new NGINX integration tags all NGINX metrics for you with the correct upstream server and server zone so that you can very easily see how traffic gets distributed between NGINX servers, zones, and individual upstream servers.

For example, in the graph below we are showing active connections per minute, split by upstream server.

NGINX Monitoring

Aggregate, alert on, and graph NGINX Plus metrics

Datadog automatically creates a metric for every combination of upstream pool, upstream server, and server zone. These metrics can be aggregated in order to monitor an entire upstream pool or cluster of upstream pools. Furthermore, metrics from multiple NGINX servers can be aggregated into a single, high-level metric for the entire web service served via NGINX.

You can graph any of these metrics on Datadog dashboards or receive alerts on them via email, PagerDuty, HipChat, Slack or webhooks. Conducting a drilled-down analysis for an event that happened over the last year is a snap, using Datadog’s high-resolution historical data.

Monitor NGINX Plus

Correlate events from other systems with NGINX Plus metrics

You can overlay events from the other + Datadog integrations on top of the NGINX Plus metrics. With a side-by-side view of events and related dashboards of metrics, you can drastically cut the time you spend investigating and correlating events and metrics coming from different parts of your infrastructure.

Monitor NGINX Plus

If you would like to get visibility into your HTTP load balancing as described in this article, first sign up for a NGINX Plus Free Trial. Then try a to instantly gain insight and monitor NGINX Plus metrics. Visit our Datadog NGINX Integration page to learn more about the Datadog NGINX integration.


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