Infrastructure monitoring with Netdata

Together, the Netdata Agent and Netdata Cloud create a powerful, infinitely-scalable infrastructure monitoring solution.

The Netdata Agent uses zero-configuration collectors to gather metrics from every application and container instantly, and uses Netdata's distributed data architecture to store metrics locally. Without a slow and troublesome centralized data lake for your infrastructure's metrics, you reduce the resources you need to invest in, and the complexity of, monitoring your infrastructure.

Netdata Cloud unifies monitoring your infrastructure by centralizing the interface you use to query and visualize your nodes' metrics, not the data. By streaming metrics values to your browser, with Netdata Cloud acting as the secure proxy between them, you can monitor your infrastructure using customizable, interactive, and real-time visualizations from any numbe of distributed nodes.

In this quickstart guide, you'll learn how to see key metrics from all your nodes in one interface and build your first dashboard for aggregating like metrics from many distributed nodes. You'll then take a peek into configuring individual nodes and get helpful pointers about collecting all the metrics from every critical application in your infrastructure.

This quickstart assumes you've installed the Netdata Agent on more than one node in your infrastructure, and claimed those nodes to your Space in Netdata Cloud. If you haven't yet, see the Get Netdata doc for details on installation and claiming.

If you want to monitor a Kubernetes cluster with Netdata, see our k8s installation doc for setup details, and then read our guide, Monitor a Kubernetes cluster with Netdata.

See an overview of your infrastructure#

To see all your nodes from a single pane of glass, first sign in to Netdata Cloud. As you navigate to a particular War Room, Netdata Cloud pings each claimed node to start on-demand streaming from your nodes to your browser.

Netdata Cloud then visualizes all these metrics, from any number of distributed nodes, in the War Room's Overview. The Overview features composite charts, which display aggregated metrics from multiple nodes.

The War Room

Netdata Cloud also features the Nodes view, which you can use to configure and see a few key metrics from every node in the War Room, view health status, and more.

The Nodes view

Read more about both features in the infrastructure overview doc.

Drill down to specific nodes#

Both the Overview and Nodes view offer easy access to single-node dashboards for targeted analysis. You can use single-node dashboards in Netdata Cloud to drill down on specific issues, scrub backward in time to investigate historical data, and see like metrics presented meaningfully to help you troubleshoot performance problems.

Read about the process in the infrastructure overview doc, then learn about interacting with dashboards and charts to get the most from all of Netdata's real-time metrics.

Create new dashboards#

You can use Netdata Cloud to create new dashboards that match your infrastructure's topology or help you diagnose complex issues by aggregating correlated charts from any number of nodes. For example, you could monitor the system CPU from every node in your infrastructure on a single dashboard.

An example system CPU
dashboard )

Read more about creating new dashboards for more details about the process and additional tips on best leveraging the feature to help you troubleshoot complex performance problems.

Configure your nodes#

You can configure any node in your infrastructure if you need to, although most users will find the default settings work extremely well for monitoring their infrastructures.

Each node has a configuration file called netdata.conf, which is typically at /etc/netdata/netdata.conf. The best way to edit this file is using the edit-config script, which ensures updates to the Netdata Agent do not overwrite your changes. For example:

cd /etc/netdata
sudo ./edit-config netdata.conf

Our configuration basics doc contains more information about netdata.conf, edit-config, along with simple examples to get you familiar with editing your node's configuration.

After you've learned the basics, you should secure your infrastructure's nodes using one of our recommended methods. These security best practices ensure no untrusted parties gain access to the metrics collected on any of your nodes.

Collect metrics from your systems and applications#

Netdata has 300+ pre-installed collectors that gather thousands of metrics with zero configuration. Collectors search each of your nodes in default locations and ports to find running applications and gather as many metrics as they can without you having to configure them individually.

In fact, Netdata is already collecting thousands of metrics per second from your webservers, databases, containers, and much more, on each node in your infrastructure.

These metrics enrich your Netdata Cloud experience. You can see metrics from systems, containers, and applications in the individual node dashboards, and you can create new dashboards around very specific charts, such as the real-time volume of 503 responses from each of your webserver nodes.

Most collectors work without configuration, but you should read up on how collectors work and how to enable/configure them.

In addition, find detailed information about which system, container, and application metrics you can collect from across your infrastructure with Netdata.

What's next?#

Netdata has many features that help you monitor the health of your nodes and troubleshoot complex performance problems. Once you have a handle on configuration and are collecting all the right metrics, try out some of Netdata's other infrastructure-focused features:

To change how the Netdata Agent runs on each node, dig in to configuration files:

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