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Grafana: select host for a dashboard

InfluxDB is running on a Raspberry Pi in my home network (with separate attached disk), and I installed a Grafana on top of it, to visualize crucial data.

In Grafana it is possible to define a variable for a dashboard and this variable can query the data source and use the returned list of values. Let's say the variable is $host, then the data query can use:

WHERE host =~ /^$host$/

and limit the current dashboard to the selected host. Also the variable will provide a select field at the top of the dashboard, which allows selecting the system one wants to see:

Now usually - according to the documentation - a "SHOW TAG VALUES" in the data source should be sufficient However as it is, this did not work for me, and the query came back empty:

> show tag values from system with key = host

Looks like I'm not the only one with this problem.

 

Luckily there is a way around with another query:

select distinct("host") from (select "host","load1" from system)

The result:

> select distinct("host") from (select "host","load1" from system)
name: system
time distinct
---- --------
0    host1
0    host2
0    host3
0    host4
0    host5
0    host6

Grafana ignores the "time" column and uses the second column for the host list. Voila.

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Monitor additional details in Telegraf with the "Exec" input filter

After installing Telegraf and hooking up everything into InfluxDB, I was missing the status of my backups. Every system here creates encrypted backups every night, and stores them on a central NAS, and off-site. But I want to know statistics about the backups, and see if something is not working.

I'm using Restic for the backups (will blog about this another time). However Telegraf does not support Restic directly, I need a few workarounds. This blog post however is not directly about monitoring the backups, but about how to write your own plugin for Telegraf.

 

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Install Telegraf using Ansible

I have an InfluxDB up and running in my network, and decided to monitor all (well, all possible - the QNAP seems to be a problem) devices. That's quite easy to do by installing Telegraf as a server agent, and add some configuration. Everything is deployed using Ansible, so I can re-use the same Playbook for many devices.

 

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Add InfluxDB settings in Telegraf using Ansible: [WARNING]: The value [...] (type list) in a string field was converted to "[...]" (type string)

I'm in the process of updating my entire home setup, and integrate everything properly. Part of this process is to automate everything, and use Ansible Playbooks to deploy devices and configurations.

Today: install Telegraf and send data to InfluxDB

Along the way something broke, and Ansible doesn't really like me anymore. But let's start at the beginning.

In the Telegraf configuration in "/etc/telegraf/telegraf.conf" one can specify output plugins. One of them (probably the most used one) is "InfluxDB". The InfluxDB instance(s) are specified as a [...] list. In Ansible I somehow need to have this list as a string, and write it into the configuration file. This happens:

TASK [Update telegraf.conf InfluxDB settings] ***************************************************
changed: [localhost] => (item={'section': '[outputs.influxdb]', 'option': 'urls', 'value': ['http://192.168.xxx.xxx:8086'], 'state': 'present'})
[WARNING]: The value ['http://192.168.xxx.xxx:8086'] (type list) in a string field was converted to "['http://192.168.xxx.xxx:8086']" (type string). If this does not look like what you expect, quote the entire value to ensure it does not change.

Looks nasty ...

 

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Move InfluxDB data directory to a SDcard

For my openHAB system I installed InfluxDB (on a separate) Raspberry Pi. The Pi has a 32 GB SDcard, but that is not enough for storing all the data, and that Pi has additional work to do as well. For that reason I also attached a 1 TB disk to the Pi, and mounted it on /data. Now all I have to do is move the InfluxDB data directory to /data.

 

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Google Summer of Code 2020 started

The PostgreSQL Project participates in Google Summer of Code (GSoC) 2020, with 3 projects. After the “Community Bonding” period finished last week, we are now in the active development phase - “Coding” as Google calls it. All three projects make good progress!

 

Performance Farm

The project defined a number of milestones, and evaluated the current database structure. Modifications are required on this front, and will be applied over the following days. Also the structure for sending data from the client to the project server is re-evaluated and modified. The student started with the database design modifications, and also with documenting the changes and terminology used.

 

PL/Java build system

Thanks to the ongoing work setting up the continuous integration, PL/Java's master branch - which will become the 1.6 release - is now getting regular CI builds against several PostgreSQL and Java versions on amd64 Ubuntu and Mac OS X, and the student has moved on to setting up the same for Windows. We had a goal to enable test options in the CI builds that were otherwise impractically strict, and identify ways to filter the output down to a manageable volume which is exposing real issues. Through a combination of fixes to some real PL/Java warnings, and a small state machine now keeping known non-PL/Java ones out of the log, the project now builds -Xcheck:jni clean. The first actual bug found through the students work got fixed before the bonding period ended - the bug had been there for fifteen years.

The later part of the work will involve more straight-up coding, to replace a Maven plugin now used in PL/Java's build that isn't quite suited to the need. The proposal outlined a few reasons for that and the preliminary work has already uncovered more reasons. It was already a goal of that work to improve the signal-to-noise ratio of diagnostics from that plugin, so already solving a similar problem for -Xcheck:jni was a good warmup.

 

WAL-G performance

First 2 weeks are going almost as we planned, the student started working on the first task during the phase of proposals. In the first week he updated his PR and we merged it. The first feature already works. This week he updated it with several improvements (mostly refactorings) and started working on test coverage of the first feature and also making some drafts on the second feature. Now we have discussion about design details of the second feature. I hope it will help to implement it according to the current plan.

 

Thank you to all mentors for the status update!

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Related Projects

The PostgreSQL main website has a new page: "Related Projects".

This page lists the projects which help running and maintaining the PostgreSQL project, the infrastructure, and other things like the translations for press releases. For each project it lists links to the source, as well as information where to send updates, patches, or input.

If you want to get involved in one of the projects, that's your starting point. If a project is missing, please send a note or a patch to pgsql-www.

Many thanks to Jonathan S. Katz for polishing the patch, and making it look nice!

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PostgreSQL Data Types workshop at SCALE18x

SCALE 18x is taking place during the next week, in Pasadena, CA. I will present a 3 hours workshop about PostgreSQL data types on Friday morning.

In order to attend, you need a SCALE registration. No special knowledge is required for the workshop. If you want to follow the exercises, you need a PostgreSQL database installed on your computer.

 

See you there!

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SELECT pg_sleep_until('#800Monies');

Pavlo recently pointed out that the pg_sleep() function in PostgreSQL has two alternatives: pg_sleep_for() and pg_sleep_until().

What do they do?

 

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PostgreSQL @ FOSDEM 2020

The PostgreSQL Project is present with a booth at FOSDEM ever since 2007. Since 2008 we organize a Devroom, since 2013 we have our own PGDay on the Friday before FOSDEM. This year marks the 8th FOSDEM PGDay.

This blog post presents useful information about the PGDay, the booth and Devroom at FOSDEM.

 

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