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Federating Metrics to a centralized Prometheus Cluster

Red Hat Openshift for AWS (ROSA) comes with two built-in monitoring stacks. ClusterMonitoring and User Workload Monitoring. They are both based on Prometheus, the first targets the Cluster Operator (Red Hat SRE) and the latter targets the Cluster user (you!).

Both provide amazing metrics insights inside the Cluster’s web console, showing overall cluster metrics as well as namespace specific workload metrics, all integrated with your configured IDP.

However the Alert Manager instance is locked down and used to send alerts to the Red Hat SRE team. This means that the customer cannot create alerts for either the cluster resources, or their own workloads. This is being worked on and future versions of ROSA will provide a way for the end user to create alerts for their own workloads.

Until that work is done, the ROSA cluster administrator can deploy a Prometheus instance and configure it to send alerts to themselves. Thankfully with Prometheus’ federated metrics feature and the Prometheus Operator, this can be done in a few simple steps.

This guide is heavily influenced by Tommer Amber’s guide for OCP 4.x.


  1. Make sure the following pre-requisites are met:
  • Helm 3
  • A Red Hat OpenShift for AWS (ROSA) cluster 4.8 or higher

Prepare Environment

  1. Set the following environment variables

    export NAMESPACE=federated-metrics
  2. Create the namespace

    oc new-project $NAMESPACE
  3. Add the MOBB chart repository to your Helm

    helm repo add mobb
  4. Update your repositories

    helm repo update
  5. Use the mobb/operatorhub chart to deploy the needed operators

    helm upgrade -n $NAMESPACE federated-metrics-operators \
    mobb/operatorhub --version 0.1.1 --install \
  6. Wait until the two operators are running

    watch kubectl get pods -n $NAMESPACE
    NAME                                                   READY   STATUS    RESTARTS   AGE
    grafana-operator-controller-manager-775f8d98c9-822h7   2/2     Running   0          7m33s
    operatorhubio-dtb2v                                    1/1     Running   0          8m32s
    prometheus-operator-5cb6844699-t7wfd                   1/1     Running   0          7m29s

Deploy the monitoring stack

  1. Install the mobb/rosa-federated-prometheus Helm Chart

    helm upgrade --install -n $NAMESPACE monitoring \
    --set grafana-cr.basicAuthPassword='mypassword' \
    --set fullnameOverride='monitoring' \
    --version 0.5.3 \

Validate Prometheus

  1. Ensure the new Prometheus instance’s Pods are running

    kubectl get pods -n ${NAMESPACE} -l app=prometheus -o wide

    You should see the following:

    NAME                                 READY   STATUS    RESTARTS   AGE     IP             NODE                                        NOMINATED NODE   READINESS GATES
    prometheus-federation-prometheus-0   3/3     Running   1          7m58s   <none>           <none>
    prometheus-federation-prometheus-1   3/3     Running   1          7m58s   <none>           <none>
  2. Log into the new Prometheus instance

    Fetch the Route:

    kubectl -n ${NAMESPACE} get route prometheus-route

    You should see the following:

    NAME               HOST/PORT                                                                     PATH   SERVICES                   PORT            TERMINATION   WILDCARD

prometheus-route monitoring-prometheus-cr web-proxy reencrypt None

Open the Prometheus Route in your browser (the `HOST/PATH` field from above)

It should take you through authorization and then you should see the Prometheus UI.

1. add `/targets` to the end of the URL to see the list of available targets

![screenshot of prometheus targets screen](./prom-targets.png)

1. Switch out the trailing path to be `graph?g0.range_input=1h&g0.expr=kubelet_running_containers&` to see the graph of the number of running containers fetched from cluster monitoring.

![screenshot of prometheus graph screen](./prom-graph.png)

1. click on **Alerts** in the menu to see our example Alert

### Validate Alert Manager

1. forward a port to Alert Manager

kubectl -n ${NAMESPACE} port-forward svc/monitoring-alertmanager-cr 9093:9093
  1. Browse to http://localhost:9093/#/alerts to see the alert “ExampleAlert”

    Screenshot of Alert Manager

Validate Grafana and Dashboards

  1. Find the Grafana Route

    kubectl get route grafana-route
    NAME            HOST/PORT                                                                PATH   SERVICES          PORT            TERMINATION   WILDCARD

grafana-route / grafana-service grafana-proxy reencrypt None

1. Log into grafana using your cluster's idp

1. Click login and login to Grafana as `admin` with the password you set when doing `helm install`.

1. Click on **Configuration** -> **Datasources** and check that the prometheus data source is loaded.

Sometimes due to Kubernetes resource ordering the Data Source may not be loaded. We can force the Operator to reload it by running `kubectl annotate -n $NAMESPACE federated reroll=true`

1. Click on **Dashboards** -> **Manage** and click on the "Use Method / Cluster" dashboard.

![Screenshot of Grafana USE Dashboard](./grafana-use.png)

## Cleanup

1. Delete the helm release

helm -n $NAMESPACE delete monitoring
  1. Delete the namespace

    kubectl delete namespace $NAMESPACE