How to setup loki and node-exporter with Grafana Cloud Kubernetes integration


I have installed the Grafana agent into my Kubernetes cluster, using the Grafana Cloud Kubernetes integration as recommended in Grafana docs.

The agent is running and I can see the prometheus metrics, but I dont see any logs.

The config file of the integration only has this:

    - name: integrations
        - url: <client>
            cluster: cloud
        filename: /tmp/positions.yaml
        sync_period: 10s

I guess I need to add the scrapper configs for kubernetes.
I checked this guide, and on " Option B. Install the agent and send logs from a Kubernetes cluster", I checked at the script, but in that script the way the agent is deployed is with a DaemonSet while on the Grafana Cloud integration is a deployment.

If I use the Deployment version I guess I would only have logs for node where the agent pod is running, since it requires to mount some volumes on the host. which is not what I want.

This is the same question I have regarding node exporter. I have enabled node exporter on the Kubernetes integration, but I only see one node, which is understandable, since the agent is deployed in a single node.

I don´t understand how is this supposed to work?

Grafana Docs says that the Deployment as DaemonSet is deprecated here and should use the Kubernetes integration, which is what I am using.

Also I read somewhere in the docs that the default Kubernetes integration should keep the prometheus metrics under the free tier limit. But I have around 40k metrics now :confused:

What I am missing?

Thank you.

1 Like

Hey brpaz,

Thanks for your question!

You are correct in that the only way to roll out log collection is to use a DaemonSet. An example manifest that configures logging can be found in the Grafana Agent GitHub repo. Note that promtail has been embedded into the Grafana Agent, so you have the option of using the Grafana Agent or promtail directly.

The same is true of node_exporter. Since an exporter must run on each Node, it too must be rolled out as a DaemonSet. Once again, you can roll it out as a standalone DaemonSet, or use the node_exporter integration hat’s been embedded into the Grafana Agent (and can use this same Agent for logging as well). An example configuration can be found here. Note that this is a Grafana Agent configuration file and not a K8s manifest.

Apologies for the confusion, we are centralizing K8s deployment around Agent Operator which should get formally released in the near future. It currently supports metrics. Logs, traces, and integrations coming soon. It should make configuring these components much simpler.

For your use case, I would recommend an Agent DaemonSet that enables the node_exporter integration and log collection. If you wanted, you could enable metrics scraping of the kubelet and cadvisor endpoints in this DaemonSet as well, being sure to use the host filter config parameter.

If you want to scrape any other Pods in your cluster using this DaemonSet, be sure to use the role: pod kubernetes_sd_config with host_filter enabled. If you want to scrape the API server or use other kubernetes_sd_config types, you should use a separate Deployment for Agent to scrape metrics in your cluster (which the K8s integration does by default). We are also working on some improvements to Agent clustering/scraping service which will also simplify this a bit.

For the metrics usage issue, do you mind pointing me to where it mentions keeping usage under the free tier limit? This should be the case for smaller clusters that are not very heavily loaded. (We should clarify this wherever it says that). For medium-large clusters (4+ nodes) that are running significant workloads, your metric usage will scale with workloads as many of the metrics fan out across Nodes, containers, Pods, etc.

To learn how to control your metrics usage, we have some docs and tools that may be helpful, please see Control Prometheus metrics usage. Using these resources you can tune the defaults to bring your usage down while still keeping the metrics that are important for your use case.

Hope this helps!

Thank you very much for the detailed response.

Yes, I think I am going with your suggestion, of having an Agent as DaemonSet with Loki and Node exporter integrations and keep my agent deployment for Kubernetes metrics.

I managed to reduce the metrics usage by only selecting the metrics on this guide. It´s now under the free tier limit.

It´s on that page that says: " If you followed the steps in Installing Grafana Agent on Kubernetes, your metric usage should be well within free tier limits"

This is somewhat true, but in my cluster, it reduced to around 8k. I can get to 4k by removing one more metric (rest_client_request_duration_seconds_bucket).

Maybe that article on how to reduce metrics usage can somehow be linked on the Kubernetes integration setup in Grafana Cloud.