Observability with InfluxDB Cloud in 3 Steps

Ashok Raja
4 min readMar 28, 2021

In this post let see how we can do Obervability using InfluxDB Cloud. For this experiment we are going to use Two x86 and One ARM system.

As a SRE after setting up my Mini Home DataCenter, my first priority is to setup monitoring and have Eyes on my InfraStructure and Services.

My customised Observability Dashboard

Infra

For x86 we have choosen:
2 x emini NUC Mini PC
Compute : i7 8th Gen 8750H (6 Core), 9M Cache, 2.2GHz upto 4.1GHz Turbo
Memory : 16GB RAM
Storage : 1 TB HDD, 1TB Software RAID1 (2 SanDisk
Portable SSD USB3)

For ARM we have chosen:
1 x Raspberry Pi 4
Compute : Quad core Cortex-A72 (ARM v8) 64-bit SoC @ 1.5GHz
Memory : 4GB RAM
Storage : 32B MicroSD, 5TB Segate Portable HDD, 4TB Segate Portale HDD

You can find a more detailed info of this setup in my another post => Building a Micro DataCenter at Home

InfluxDB Cloud 2.0

InfluxDB is a scalable time series database from https://www.influxdata.com. We are going to use their cloud option. We are going with free tier which allows write of 5MB/5 minutes and query of 300MB/4 minutes which is more that enough for our HomeLab setup.

Step 1 : Sign Up

Sign up for the Influx Cloud 2.0 Free accout here => Influx Cloud Get Started

Create a Bucket

Create Agent Config and Generate a API Token

Copy the token and keep it handy for Step-3.

Open the configuration URL which in my case is : https://us-west-2-1.aws.cloud2.influxdata.com/api/v2/telegrafs/074a65d98a3fd000. It will prompt you to download.

Rename the download file from 074a65d98a3fd000telegraf.toml

Copy the telegraf.toml to all the machine using SCP or a any other method of your choice.

Step 2 : Install the Telegraf Agent

Telegraf is an agent written in Go for collecting metrics and writing them into InfluxDBor other possible outputs.

There are native installation methods available for most of the popular Operating Systems like, Ubuntu/Debain, RHEL/Centos, Suse, BSD, Mac and Windows.

But for this post we are going to install telegraf from a Binary Release.

Installing on a x86 Linux

All the steps are run as root user

shell # wget https://dl.influxdata.com/telegraf/releases/telegraf-1.18.0_linux_amd64.tar.gz
tar xf telegraf-1.18.0_linux_amd64.tar.gz
shell # cd telegraf-1.18.0shell # mv usr/bin/telegraf /usr/bin/telegrafshell # mv usr/lib/telegraf/scripts/telegraf.service /etc/systemd/system/telegraf.serviceshell # systemctl daemon-reloadshell # mkdir /etc/telegraf

Installing on a ARM (Raspberry PI4)

shell # wget https://dl.influxdata.com/telegraf/releases/telegraf-1.18.0_linux_armhf.tar.gz
tar xf telegraf-1.18.0_linux_armhf.tar.gz
shell # cd telegraf-1.18.0shell # mv usr/bin/telegraf /usr/bin/telegrafshell # mv usr/lib/telegraf/scripts/telegraf.service /etc/systemd/system/telegraf.serviceshell # systemctl daemon-reloadshell # mkdir /etc/telegraf

Step 3: Configure the Telegraf Agent

Configuration is same for both x86 and ARM based system.

shell # echo "INFLUX_TOKEN=<paste the token copied in Step-1>" > /etc/default/telegrafshell # mv telegraf.toml /etc/telegraf/shell # systemctl start telegraf.service
shell # systemctl status telegraf.service

That’s it you should now see the metrics pouring in and there already a default System Dashboard setup for you already with some cool metrics to Observe.

Default System Dashboard created automatically

Automatically created default System Dashboard

You can get creative from here and create some even cooler dashboard.

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Ashok Raja

I’m a Computer Engineer by profession and a Traveler by heart. I love all things Computers, Travelling, Trekking and Biking.