Every docker node created on tsuru has a tsuru agent(a.k.a node-container), called big-sibling, running as a container. One of it’s responsibilities is collecting and reporting metrics, such as cpu and memory usage, from both it’s host and other applications and containers running on the same host.

tsuru metrics architecture overview

Overview of all components involved on collecting, ingesting and displaying metrics.

Big-sibling will report metrics to a logstash component, which can be remote or local. This logstash must be configured to output metrics elasticsearch, where they will be stored and where the tsuru dashboard fetches them to display graphics.

The following section will walkthrough the installation and configuration of these components.


You will need a Elasticsearch and a Logstash installed. Installing these components is beyond the scope of the documentation, please refer to their documentation for that.

After having both components installed, we can move on to configuring each one of them.

Configuring bs

We need to configure big-sibling, to send metrics to our logstash.

You should use tsuru node-container-update big-sibling –env NAME=VALUE to define the config values.

The available configs are:

METRICS_INTERVAL is the interval in seconds between metrics collecting and reporting from bs to the metric backend. The default value is 60 seconds.

METRICS_BACKEND is the metric backend. Only ‘logstash’ is supported right now.

Logstash specific configs:

METRICS_LOGSTASH_CLIENT is the client name used to identify who is sending the metric. The default value is tsuru.

METRICS_LOGSTASH_PORT is the Logstash port. The default value is 1984.

METRICS_LOGSTASH_HOST is the Logstash host. The default value is localhost.

Configuring Logstash

tsuru sends data to Logstash using udp protocol and the message is formatted in json. We need to define a custom logstash configuration to be able to parse the metrics sent by big-sibling and send them to our elasticsearch cluster. The following configuration does the job, refer to the logstash documentation for information regarding setting this configuration.

input {
    udp {
        port => 1984

filter {
    json {
        source => "message"

    if "_jsonparsefailure" in [tags] {
        mutate {
            add_field => {
                client => "error"
                metric => "metric_error"

output {
    elasticsearch {
        index => ".measure-%{client}-%{+YYYY.MM.dd}"
        document_type => "%{metric}"
        template => "/etc/logstash/template.json"
        template_name => "tsuru-template"

Where ELASTICSEARCH_HOST must point to your elasticsearch host and ELASTICSEARCH_PORT must point to your elasticsearch port. Refer to the elasticsearch plugin configuration for more information. The file “/etc/logstash/tsuru-template.json” should have the following contents:

    "order": 0,
    "template": ".measure-*",
    "settings": {
        "index.refresh_interval": "5s"
    "mappings": {
        "_default_": {
          "dynamic_templates": [
              "string_fields": {
                "mapping": {
                  "omit_norms": true,
                  "type": "multi_field",
                  "fields": {
                    "raw": {
                      "index": "not_analyzed",
                      "ignore_above": 256,
                      "type": "string"
                    "{name}": {
                      "index": "analyzed",
                      "type": "string"
                "match_mapping_type": "string",
                "match": "*"
          "properties": {
            "geoip": {
              "dynamic": true,
              "path": "full",
              "properties": {
                "location": {
                  "type": "geo_point"
              "type": "object"
            "@version": {
              "index": "not_analyzed",
              "type": "string"
          "_all": {
            "enabled": true
    "aliases": {}

Configuring Elasticsearch

tsuru requires an elasticsearch with groovy dynamic scripting enabled, since elasticsearch v1.4.3, it’s off by default and needs to be explicitly enabled on the config file.

For elasticsearch 2.x, scripting can be enabled by setting the following configuration:

script.engine.groovy.inline.aggs: true
script.engine.groovy.inline.mapping: false false
script.engine.groovy.inline.update: false
script.engine.groovy.inline.plugin: false

For more information, check the elasticsearch scripting docs

Configuring the Dashboard

tsuru-dashboard can be used to show a graphic for each metric by application. This configuration can be set by using some environment variables on the dashboard (if you are running the dashboard as a tsuru application, those can be set by tsuru env-set -a tsuru-dashboard).

ELASTICSEARCH_HOST this environment must point to your elasticsearch host.

ELASTICSEARCH_INDEX this environment must be set to ”.measure-$client”, where $client is the client name configured on big-sibling (defaults to tsuru).

It is also possible to display metrics about other containers (not only tsuru applications), collected by big-sibling (including it’s own metrics). To do so, tsuru dashboard has an environment variable that controls what containers should have their metrics displayed on the Components page.

METRICS_COMPONENTS must contain a list of containers names that will have their metrics displayed. For example: METRICS_COMPONENTS=big-sibling, will display big-sibling container metrics.