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Metrics help service operators understand the health and status of the provided services; as such, metrics are essential for ensuring the reliability and stability of those services.
In practice, metrics are represented by a name, a type, and a measurement - which is often a numerical representation of data. Metrics can tell you simple things like the current CPU usage rate, and they can also represent more complex concepts such as an Apdex score.
There are many metrics that are exposed by your operating system or frameworks (e.g. Kubernetes metrics). These metrics are typically easy to collect. For other components, such as the applications you developed, you may have to add code or other interfaces (such as an agent running on the same host as your application) to expose the metrics that you care about. Exposing metrics is sometimes called instrumentation, the collection of metrics from an endpoint is called scraping.
Once you have started collecting metrics of your system, you now have the basis to defineservice level indicators and service level objectives. Having SLIs and SLOs is critical for efficient alerting and incident remediation. Defining SLIs and SLOs requires time to understand, correlate, and fine-tune relationships between the different kinds of metrics you are capturing.
Metrics is a key capability of Opstrace, the GitLab Observability distribution. Opstrace allows the user to set up Metrics by leveraging Prometheus, Cortex, commodity storage, such as S3, and Grafana. You can get started quickly by pointing your exporters at your Opstrace Prometheus endpoint.
We are working on making observability an integrated experience within GitLab as part of the initial product integration between Opstrace and GitLab.
We plan to deprecate GitLab's previous Metrics capabilities in 14.7 and remove these features in 15.0.
Prior to the acquisition of Opstrace, GitLab Metrics allowed users to view performance metrics by displaying data stored in a Prometheus instance. The Prometheus instance can be set up as a GitLab Managed App or the user can connect a previously configured "external" Prometheus instance. GitLab Metrics also includes dashboards visualizations of metrics.
However, since GitLab’s certificate-based integration with Kubernetes clusters is deprecated, the capability for using GitLab metrics with GitLab Managed Prometheus is also deprecated. Furthermore, with the acquisition of Opstrace, we are consolidating on a single user experience. We will deprecate the external Prometheus experience, together with the metrics dashboard visualization capability. For users that want to bring their own pre-configured and operational Prometheus, they can forward the metrics to Opstrace once Opstrace has been integrated with GitLab. Note: This deprecation does not include deprecating alerts for Prometheus for GitLab Incident Management.