Monitoring multiple MySQL instances with Munin

I've been using Munin for its resource graphing capabilities. I especially like the fact that you can group servers together and watch a common metric (let's say system load) across all servers in a group -- something that is hard to achieve with other similar tools such as Cacti and Ganglia.

I did have the need to monitor multiple MySQL instances running on the same server. I am using mysql-sandbox to launch and manage these instances. I haven't found any pointers on how to use Munin to monitor several MySQL instances, so I rolled my own solution.

First of all, here is my scenario:
  • server running Ubuntu 9.04 64-bit
  • N+1 MySQL instances installed as sandboxes rooted in /mysql/m0, /mysql/m1,..., /mysql/mN
  • munin-node package version 1.2.6-8ubuntu3 (installed via 'apt-get install munin-node')
Step 1

Locate mysql_* plugins already installed by the munin-node package in /usr/share/munin/plugins. I have 5 such plugins: mysql_bytes, mysql_isam_space_, mysql_queries, mysql_slowqueries and mysql_threads. I don't use ISAM, so I am ignoring mysql_isam_space_.

Step 2

Make a copy of each plugin for each MySQL instance you want to monitor. I know this contradicts the DRY principle, but I just wanted something quick that worked. The alternative is to modify the plugins and add extra parameters so they refer to specific MySQL instances.

For example, I made N + 1 copies of mysql_bytes and called them mysql_m0_bytes, mysql_m1_bytes,..., mysql_mN_bytes. In each copy, I modified the line "echo 'graph_title MySQL throughput'" to say "echo 'graph_title MySQL throughput for mN'". I did the same for mysql_threads, mysql_queries and mysql_slowqueries. So at the end of this step I have 4 x (N+1) new plugins in /usr/share/munin/plugins.

As I said, the alternative is to modify for example mysql_bytes and add new parameters, e.g. a parameter for the title of the graph. However, I don't know exactly how the plugin is called from within Munin, and I don't want to fiddle with the number and order of parameters it's called with -- which is why I chose the easy way out.

Step 3

Create symlinks in /etc/munin/plugins to the newly created plugins. Example:

ln -s /usr/share/munin/plugins/mysql_m0_bytes /etc/munin/plugins/mysql_m0_bytes

(and similar for all the other plugins).

Step 4

Specify the path to msyqladmin for the newly defined plugins. You do this by editing the plugin configuration file /etc/munin/plugin-conf.d/munin-node.

Here's what I have in this file related to MySQL:

user m0
env.mysqladmin /mysql/m0/my sqladmin

user m1
env.mysqladmin /mysql/m1/my sqladmin

user m2
env.mysqladmin /mysql/m2/my sqladmin

user m3
env.mysqladmin /mysql/m3/my sqladmin

What the above lines say is that for each class of plugins starting with mysql_mN, I want to use the mysqladmin utility for that particular MySQL instance. The way mysql-sandbox works, mysqladmin is actually available per instance as "/mysql/mN/my sqladmin".

Note that the naming convention is important. The syntax of the munin-node plugin configuration file says that the plugin name "May include one wildcard ('*') at the start or end of the plugin-name, but not both, and not in the middle." Trust me, I haven't read this fine print initially, and I named my new plugins something like mysql_bytes_mN, then tried to configure the plugins as mysql_*mN. Pulling hair time ensued.

Step 5

Restart munin-node via 'service munin-node restart'. At this point you're supposed to see the new graphs under the Mysql link corresponding to the munin node where you set all this up. You should see N+1 graphs for each type of plugin (mysql_bytes, mysql_threads, mysql_queries and mysql_slowqueries). The graphs can be easily differentiated by their titles, e.g. 'MySQL throughput for m0' or 'MySQL queries for m1', etc.

One other quick tip: if you want to easily group nodes together, come up with some domain name which doesn't need to correspond to a real DNS domain name. For example, I called my MySQL servers something like in /etc/munin/munin.conf on the Munin server side. This allows me to see the group at a glance, with all the metrics for the nodes in that group shown side by side.

Here's how I defined each node in munin.conf:

 address 192.168.0.N
 use_node_name yes

(where N is 1, 2, etc)


Ju. said…
Hello !

Did you try :

ln -s /usr/share/munin/plugins/mysql_bytes /etc/munin/plugins/mysql_m0_bytes

etc ?
That way you keep one single script but 'symlinked' multiple times, if you glance at the munin snmpd_ plugins that's how it does. And actually they pass informations to the munin node by the symlink name, ex : snmp__if_eth0 symlink of
/usr/share/munin/plugins/snmp__if_ (traffic for the eth0 interface) etc.
Grig Gheorghiu said…
Hi, Ju -- thanks for the tip. No, I haven't tried that, but I'll try it and report back here.

Zhanshan said…
This is extremely useful to me. Thanks a lot for posting this.

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