Cluster Monitoring

Gravity Clusters come with a fully configured and customizable monitoring/alerting system by default. The monitoring stack consists of the following components: Prometheus, Grafana, Alertmanager and Satellite.

These components are automatically included into a Cluster Image built with tele build as a system dependency (see the source on GitHub).

Example Monitoring Dashboard Set Capacity


Prometheus is an open-source Kubernetes native monitoring system and time-series database.

Prometheus uses the following in-cluster services to collect the metrics about the Cluster:


Collected metrics are stored for 30 days.

Prometheus exposes the cluster-internal service prometheus-k8s.monitoring.svc.cluster.local:9090.


Grafana is an open-source metrics analytics and visualization suite.

In Gravity Clusters Grafana uses Prometheus as a data-source. It is preconfigured with several dashboards that provide general information about individual nodes, containers and the overall Cluster health.


When building a Cluster Image, it is possible to add your own dashboards in addition to the ones that ship by default. See Grafana Integration below for details.

Grafana exposes the cluster-internal service grafana.monitoring.svc.cluster.local:3000.


Alertmanager is a Prometheus component that handles alerts sent by Prometheus server and takes care of deduplicating, grouping and routing them to the correct receiver such as email recipient.

Alertmanager exposes the cluster-internal service alertmanager-main.monitoring.svc.cluster.local:9093.


Satellite is an open-source problem detector tool for Kubernetes clusters developed by Gravitational.

Satellite runs on each Gravity Cluster node and executes a multitude of checks continuously assessing the health of the Cluster and the individual nodes. Any issues detected by Satellite will be displayed in the output of the gravity status command.

See Cluster Status for more information.

Grafana Integration

The default Grafana configuration includes two pre-configured dashboards providing machine- and pod-level overview of the installed Cluster. Grafana UI is integrated with Gravity Control Panel. To view dashboards once the Cluster is up and running, navigate to the Cluster's Monitoring page.

In Gravity clusters Grafana is running in anonymous read-only mode which allows anyone logged into Gravity to view existing dashboards but not modify them or create new ones.

Pluggable Dashboards

Your Cluster Image can include its own Grafana dashboards using ConfigMaps.

A custom dashboard ConfigMap should be placed into the monitoring namespace and assigned the special monitoring: dashboard label so it is recognized as a dashboard and loaded during initial Cluster Image installation:

apiVersion: v1
kind: ConfigMap
  name: mydashboard
  namespace: monitoring
    monitoring: dashboard
  mydashboard: |
    { ... dashboard JSON ... }

Dashboard ConfigMap may contain multiple keys with dashboards and key names are not relevant. The monitoring application source on GitHub has an example of a dashboard ConfigMap.


Since the embedded Grafana runs in read-only mode, you can use a separate Grafana instance to create a custom dashboard and then export it as JSON.

Alertmanager Integration

Configuring Alerts Delivery

To configure Alertmanager to send email alerts, you need to create two Gravity resources.

The first resource is called smtp. It defines configuration of SMTP server to use:

kind: smtp
version: v2
  name: smtp
  port: <smtp port>
  username: <username>
  password: <password>

Create the SMTP configuration:

$ gravity resource create smtp.yaml

The second resource is called alerttarget. It defines the alerts email recipient:

kind: alerttarget
version: v2
  name: email-alerts
   # email address of the alerts recipient
  email: [email protected]

Create the target:

$ gravity resource create target.yaml


Currently only a single alerts email recipient is supported.

Configuring Alerts

Defining new alerts is done via a Gravity resource called alert:

kind: alert
version: v2
  name: cpu-alert
  # the alert name
  alert_name: CPUAlert
  # the rule group the alert belongs to
  group_name: test-group
  # the alert expression
  formula: |
    node:cluster_cpu_utilization:ratio * 100 > 80
  # the alert labels
    severity: info
  # the alert annotations
    description: |
      Cluster CPU usage exceeds 80%.


See Alerting Rules documentation for more details about Prometheus alerts.

Create the alert:

$ gravity resource create alert.yaml

View existing alerts:

$ gravity resource get alerts

Remove an alert:

$ gravity resource rm alert cpu-alert

Builtin Alerts

The following table shows the alerts Gravity ships with by default:

Component Alert Description
CPU High CPU usage Triggers a warning, when > 75% used, with > 90% used, triggers a critical error
Memory High memory usage Triggers a warning, when > 80% used, with > 90% used, triggers a critical error
Systemd Overall systemd health Triggers an error when systemd detects a failed service
Systemd Individual systemd unit health Triggers an error when a systemd unit is not loaded/active
Filesystem High disk space usage Triggers a warning, when > 80% used, with > 90% used, triggers a critical error
Filesystem High inode usage Triggers a warning, when > 90% used, with > 95% used, triggers a critical error
System Uptime Triggers a warning when a node's uptime is less than 5min
System Kernel parameters Triggers an error if a parameter is not set. See value matrix for details.
Etcd Etcd instance health Triggers an error when an Etcd master is down longer than 5min
Etcd Etcd latency check Triggers a warning, when follower <-> leader latency exceeds 500ms, then an error when it exceeds 1s over a period of 1min
Docker Docker daemon health Triggers an error when docker daemon is down
Kubernetes Kubernetes node readiness Triggers an error when the node is not ready

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