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<title>Exporting Data In Ganglia Format</title>
<center><h1>Exporting Data In Ganglia Format</h1></center>
With the release of Collectl Version 3.3.1, one can now send collectl data directly to
a <a href=http://ganglia.info/>ganglia</a> gmond in binary format using the custom export <i>gexpr.ph</i>. This results
in several benefits for existing users of ganglia:
<li>You can now get the benefit of collecting all the data collectl can generate
at a very low overheard.</li>
<li>Since all collectl instances send this data at the same time, system noise on
clusters running fine-grained parallel jobs is reduced.</li>
<li>You can still log all the data collectl collects locally and only send a subset
to gmond, making it possible to collect far more data than ganglia can handle without
overwhelming the gmetad. This is especially important on large clusters. In fact, if
you choose you can have collectl only send ganglia the core data it currently provide
<li>And finally, you can monitor as frequently as you like and send data to ganglia at a
As of V3.5 of collectl, the <i>experimental</i> status of this capability has been lifted
since enough people are currently using it to verify it works as described.
The following figure shows one possible configuration of a large cluster running ganglia and
is only intended to be illustrative. For complete documentation on how to set up and configure
ganglia see the <a href=http://ganglia.wiki.sourceforge.net/>official wiki</a>.
This configuration assumes one has set up ganglia <i>gmond</i>s in a hierarchy, such that those at
the bottom of the tree collect system statistics and send them up to a higher level
aggregation gmond and ultimately percolate up to the <i>gmetad</i> which writes the data to
a <a href=http://oss.oetiker.ch/rrdtool/>round-robin database</a>.
To use collectl as a data source there are 2 alternatives. In the diagram below at the left
you simply have collectl send data to a local gmond to supplement whatever data it is
already collecting, noting there won't be any way to record any of gmond's data
locally. The diagram at the right would replace all gmonds and have collectl do all the data
collection, optionall logging data locally, and sending data to an aggregation level gmond.
Whatever method you chose you must ensure the gmond(s) are listening on their udp receive
channel and enable the ganglia communications feature in collectl as described
in the following sections. There are probably other hybrid
configurations which are beyond the scope of this document as well as this author.
<tr><td><img src=Ganglia2.jpg></td><td><img src=Ganglia3.jpg></td></tr>
One last component is configuring the rrd to use the metrics being supplied by collectl and
the details of that discussion are beyond the scope of this document as well.
Like any other <a href=Export.html>custom export</a> used by collectl, you tell collectl to
use gexpr with <i>--export gexpr</i> and in addition include the gmond <i>hostname:port</i>
followed by one or more of the standard <a href=Export.html> switches</a>.
There are also 2 more switched unique to gexpr and they are:
<li><b>g</b> - only send <i>core</i> variables to gmond, using the standard names gmond
has predefined graphs for (<i>see the second verification example below</i>).</li>
<li><b>G</b> - send <i>core</i> variables to gmond, using the standard names gmond
has predefined graphs for, <i>but</i> also include any additional variables collected
by collectl and possibly filtered by gexpr's <i>s</i> switch</li>
The following example shows collectl gathering data on many system components but only sending
cpu, disk, memory and network data to a gmond on system <i>gmond</i> using port <i>8108</i>.
It also sends a set of data every 20 seconds while writing the data to a file in plot
format to a local file in /tmp every 5 seconds.
This module also supports sending its output to a multicast address, which is used if
<i>hostname</i> in an address in the range of 126.96.36.199 through 188.8.131.52. To use this
feature you will have to first install
IO::Socket::Multicast</a> which in turn requires the module
be installed as well. Note that both these modules may be updated and so you should verify
you're actually installing the latest one.
collectl -scdfijmntx --export gexpr,gmond:8108,s=cdmn,i=20 -i5 -f /tmp -P
There are 2 ways to make sure everything is working as expected, the first is to make sure you're
using the ganglia export module correctly and to do this you can use the <i>debugging</i> parameter.
Like collectl itself, which has its own debugging variable (see <i>d</i>), the value of this
debugging variable should be interpreted as setting a bit mask, where each bit results in
different behavior. Refer to the header of <i>gexpr</i> for the complete set, noting
the following example uses only 1 bit, namely the one for printing the data being set over the socket.
If for some reason you want to simultaneously disable actually sending the data over the socket
to ganglia use the debugging value of 8 or a combined value of 8. Note that in this latter case
you are still required to supply a socket:port because they will be opened but also realize
you can use just about anything you want since no data is actually sent over it.
collectl -scd --export gexpr,192.168.253.168:2222,d=1
07:32:11.004 Name: cputotals.user Units: percent Val: 0
07:32:11.004 Name: cputotals.nice Units: percent Val: 0
07:32:11.004 Name: cputotals.sys Units: percent Val: 0
07:32:11.004 Name: cputotals.wait Units: percent Val: 0
07:32:11.004 Name: cputotals.irq Units: percent Val: 0
07:32:11.004 Name: cputotals.soft Units: percent Val: 0
07:32:11.004 Name: cputotals.steal Units: percent Val: 0
07:32:11.004 Name: cputotals.idle Units: percent Val: 99
07:32:11.004 Name: ctxint.ctx Units: switches/sec Val: 173
07:32:11.004 Name: ctxint.int Units: intrpts/sec Val: 1031
07:32:11.004 Name: ctxint.proc Units: pcreates/sec Val: 4
07:32:11.004 Name: ctxint.runq Units: runqSize Val: 238
07:32:11.005 Name: disktotals.reads Units: reads/sec Val: 0
07:32:11.005 Name: disktotals.readkbs Units: readkbs/sec Val: 0
07:32:11.005 Name: disktotals.writes Units: writes/sec Val: 0
07:32:11.005 Name: disktotals.writekbs Units: writekbs/sec Val: 0
This second example shows the use of the <i>g</i> option which only sends the
core ganglia data using <i>ganglia</i> variable naming. Also notice a nifty
trick that since we're telling gexpr not to send the data over a socket, we
can use a dummy network address/port and same ourselves some typing. Also
note that since we didn't select memory or network stats, they aren't sent
to ganglia either.
collectl -scd --export gexpr,184.108.40.206:5,d=9,g
05:43:19.003 Name: cpu_user Units: percent Val: 0 TTL: 5 sent
05:43:19.004 Name: cpu_nice Units: percent Val: 0 TTL: 5 sent
05:43:19.004 Name: cpu_system Units: percent Val: 1 TTL: 5 sent
05:43:19.004 Name: cpu_wio Units: percent Val: 0 TTL: 5 sent
05:43:19.004 Name: cpu_idle Units: percent Val: 99 TTL: 5 sent
05:43:19.004 Name: cpu_aidle Units: percent Val: 99 TTL: 5 sent
05:43:19.005 Name: cpu_num Units: CPUs Val: 1 TTL: 5 sent
05:43:19.005 Name: proc_total Units: Load/Procs Val: 141 TTL: 5 sent
05:43:19.005 Name: proc_run Units: Load/Procs Val: 0 TTL: 5 sent
05:43:19.005 Name: load_one Units: Load/Procs Val: 0 TTL: 5 sent
05:43:19.005 Name: load_five Units: Load/Procs Val: 0 TTL: 5 sent
05:43:19.006 Name: load_fifteen Units: Load/Procs Val: 0 TTL: 5 sent
Assuming you're now successfully calling gexpr and can see the output above, it's time to
make sure it is going to the expected gmond. The easiest way to do this is to simply run
the gmond with debugging enabled at a level of at least 2
and make sure it can see the data from collectl, being sure you haven't set a debug level
of 8 in gexpr. If it can see data in gmond (note that only the variable names and not their
values are reported by gmond), you're done. If not, you need to make sure gmond is
correctly listening for udp data and that the port it expects to see data on is in fact the
one gexpr is sending to. If all looks correct, it may be necessary to watch the network
traffic with a tool like udpdump or <a href=http://www.wireshark.org/>wireshark</a>.
This is an example of what you should expect to see, noting that in this case gmond
<i>is</i> still configured to collect its standard metrics, which can be disabled
in gmond.conf since you no longer need these.
gmond -d 2
loaded module: core_metrics
loaded module: cpu_module
loaded module: disk_module
loaded module: load_module
loaded module: mem_module
loaded module: net_module
loaded module: proc_module
loaded module: sys_module
udp_recv_channel mcast_join=NULL mcast_if=NULL port=8108 bind=NULL
tcp_accept_channel bind=NULL port=8109
Processing a metric metadata message from cag-dl585-02.cag
***Allocating metadata packet for host--cag-dl585-02.cag-- and metric --cputotals.user-- ****
saving metadata for metric: cputotals.user host: cag-dl585-02.cag
Processing a metric value message from cag-dl585-02.cag
***Allocating value packet for host--cag-dl585-02.cag-- and metric --cputotals.user-- ****
saving metadata for metric: cputotals.nice host: cag-dl585-02.cag
<table width=100%><tr><td align=right><i>updated Feb 21, 2011</i></td></tr></colgroup></table>