Reliable Insights

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Extracting labels from legacy metric names

When metrics come from another system they often don’t have labels. metric_relabel_configs offers one way around that.

 

Let’s say that you were using a legacy system that produces metrics for JVM memory that looked like:

memory_pools_PS_Eden_Space_committed
memory_pools_PS_Eden_Space_max
memory_pools_PS_Eden_Space_used
memory_pools_PS_Old_Gen_committed
memory_pools_PS_Old_Gen_max
memory_pools_PS_Old_Gen_used
memory_pools_PS_Survivor_Space_committed
memory_pools_PS_Survivor_Space_max
memory_pools_PS_Survivor_Space_used

It looks like PS_Eden_SpacePS_Old_Gen and PS_Survivor_Space would make sense as labels, and a unit would also be helpful.

While it’d be best to have the metrics correct in the first place (in this case by using the Java client’s DefaultExports), that’s not always possible. What we can do instead is use metric_relabel_configs to extract the label and adjust the metric name. As you’ll recall, metric_relabel_configs are applied after the scrape.

scrape_configs:
  job_name: my_job
  # Usual fields go here to specify targets.
  metric_relabel_configs:
  - source_labels: [__name__]
    regex: '(memory_pools)_(.*)_(\w+)'
    replacement: '${2}'
    target_label: pool
  - source_labels: [__name__]
    regex: '(memory_pools)_(.*)_(\w+)'
    replacement: '${1}_${3}_bytes'
    target_label: __name__

__name__ is the special label which contains the metric name. As we happen to know the units are bytes, we can also add that in. This will create the metrics:

memory_pools_committed_bytes{pool="PS_Eden_Space"}
memory_pools_max_bytes{pool="PS_Eden_Space"}
memory_pools_used_bytes{pool="PS_Eden_Space"}
memory_pools_committed_bytes{pool="PS_Old_Gen"}
memory_pools_max_bytes{pool="PS_Old_Gen"}
memory_pools_used_bytes{pool="PS_Old_Gen"}
memory_pools_committed_bytes{pool="PS_Survivor_Space"}
memory_pools_max_bytes{pool="PS_Survivor_Space"}
memory_pools_used_bytes{pool="PS_Survivor_Space"}

Much better!

 

Unsure what makes a good label? Contact us.

Brian BrazilExtracting labels from legacy metric names
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