Monday, September 20, 2021

How to monitor your Linux server performance with Netdata

Jack Wallen has created a wonderful Linux performance monitor. It is simple to use, and shows you all the information that you need in one glance. How to install and use Netdata.

Man and woman working at data center

Image: Mark Agnor/ Shutterstock

Every data center administrator understands the importance and necessity of monitoring servers. Administrators need to be aware of what can go wrong and how to fix it. Administrators need to be able to monitor their systems and find the right tools. Linux is rich in such tools. You can throw a stone into an open-source pile of software and you will hit one or more monitors. That’s a good thing considering that each monitor approaches the task in a different way.

SEE: How to deploy an LDA server: From start to finish(TechRepublic Premium).

When you only need the facts, you need them all in a beautiful, user-friendly web-based interface. Where do you look? Netdata is a good option. It’s one of the best at-a-glance performance monitoring tools I’ve ever used. This tool will help you identify performance issues on your Linux servers by monitoring:

  • CPU
  • Load
  • Disk
  • RAM
  • Swap
  • Network
  • Processes
  • idlejitter
  • Interruptions
  • Softirqs
  • Software
  • Entropy
  • Uptime
  • Clock synchronization
  • Ipc semaphores
  • Ipc shared memory

All these monitors are combined in an easy to read dashboard that gives you a quick look at the status of your Linux servers.

Let me show how to install Netdata.

SEE: Kubernetes: A cheat sheet (free PDF)  (TechRepublic)

What you’ll require

To install Netdata, you will need an instance Linux and a sudo user. I will demonstrate it on Ubuntu Server 20.04. However, the process of installing Netdata is identical regardless of the distribution.

How to install Netdata

First, ensure that your server is up-to-date. To do this, log into Ubuntu Server and issue these commands:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade -y

You’ll need to reboot your system if your kernel is updated. 

Next, download and execute the Netdata installer script using the command:

wget https://my-netdata.io/kickstart.sh

Once the download is finished, run the installer by using the command

sudo sh kickstart.sh

The installation will be approved a few times. Please pay close attention to the output of this command. After you have given the final OK, the installation will begin. You can then walk away from the server (the installation will take a few moments). After the installation is complete, the Netdata services are automatically started and activated. If they aren’t, you can manually start and enable Netdata using the following commands:

sudo systemctl start netdata
sudo systemctl enable netdata

How to access Netdata UI

Open a browser on a machine connected to the same network as your datacenter and point it to http://SERVER.19999 The Netdata dashboard should greet you (Figure A.

Figure A

netdataa.jpg

The Netdata dashboard has a simple design and is easy to understand.

Click the Sign In button to create a Netdata Account. This account allows you to monitor all your servers from one convenient, cloud-based interface. If you choose this route, you will be given a command to execute on the Netdata server hosting Netdata. This is:

sudo netdata-claim.sh -token=TOKEN -rooms=ROOMS -url=https://app.netdata.cloud

TOKEN is an individual token, and ROOMS the name of the room that you created when signing up.

Once you have claimed your server, you will be able to access the Netdata dashboard via your Netdata account.

If you don’t wish to sign in, you can simply not click the Sign In button. You can monitor each server individually.

That’s it! You can now install the Netdata Linux server monitoring software. Give this open-source dashboard an opportunity and see if you don’t like it.

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