Running Metricbeat in a Containeredit

Elastic does not provide any official container images for Metricbeat. The examples on this page assume you are using your own Metricbeat container image.

When executing Metricbeat in a container, there are some important things to be aware of if you want to monitor the host machine or other containers. Let’s walk-through some examples using Docker as our container orchestration tool.

Monitoring the Host Machineedit

This example highlights the changes required to make the system module work properly inside of a container. This enables Metricbeat to monitor the host machine from within the container.

sudo docker run \
  --volume=/proc:/hostfs/proc:ro \ 
  --volume=/sys/fs/cgroup:/hostfs/sys/fs/cgroup:ro \ 
  --volume=/:/hostfs:ro \ 
  my/metricbeat:latest -system.hostfs=/hostfs

Metricbeat’s system module collects much of its data through the Linux proc filesystem, which is normally located at /proc. Because containers are isolated as much as possible from the host, the data inside of the container’s /proc is different than the host’s /proc. To account for this, you can mount the host’s /proc filesystem inside of the container and tell Metricbeat to look inside the /hostfs directory when looking for /proc by using the -system.hostfs=/hostfs CLI flag.

If cgroup reporting is enabled for the system process metricset, then you need to mount the host’s cgroup mountpoints within the container. They need to be mounted inside the directory specified by the -system.hostfs CLI flag.

If you want to be able to monitor filesystems from the host by using the system filesystem metricset, then those filesystems need to be mounted inside of the container. They can be mounted at any location.

The system network metricset uses data from /proc/net/dev, or /hostfs/proc/net/dev when using -system.hostfs=/hostfs. The only way to make this file contain the host’s network devices is to use the --net=host flag. This is due to Linux namespacing; simply bind mounting the host’s /proc to /hostfs/proc is not sufficient.

Monitoring a Service in Another Containeredit

Next let’s look at an example of monitoring a containerized service from a Metricbeat container.

sudo docker run \
  --link some-mysql:mysql \ 
  -e MYSQL_PASSWORD=secret \ 

Linking the containers enables Metricbeat access the exposed ports of the mysql container, and it makes the hostname mysql resolvable to Metricbeat.

If you do not want to hardcode certain values into your Metricbeat configuration, then you can pass them into the container either as environment variables or as command line flags to Metricbeat (see the -E CLI flag in Command Line Options).

The mysql module configuration would look like this:

- module: mysql
  metricsets: ["status"]
  hosts: ["mysql:3306"] 
  username: root
  password: ${MYSQL_PASSWORD} 

The mysql hostname will resolve to the some-mysql container’s address.

The MYSQL_PASSWORD variable will be evaluated at startup. If the variable is not set, this will lead to an error at startup.