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Open Metrics Project Comes to the Cloud Native Computing Foundation

Tuesday Aug 21st 2018 by Sean Michael Kerner

New effort aims to help define a standard format for cloud-native server application metrics.

The Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) is expanding its roster, announcing that it has accepted the Open Metrics project as a Sandbox effort.

The CNCF Sandbox is a place for early-stage projects, and it was first announced in March. The Sandbox replaces what had originally been called the Inception project level.

With Open Metrics, Richard Hartmann, technical architect at SpaceNet, Prometheus team member, and founder of OpenMetrics, aims to bring useful metrics to cloud-native deployments. At its core, Open Metrics is an effort to develop a neutral metrics exposition format.

"OpenMetrics does not limit or define what metrics to send, on purpose," Hartmann told ServerWatch. "What it does do is define an efficient way to transport those metrics over the wire, and a flexible and powerful way to attach information to them: label sets."

Hartmann explained that label sets are arbitrary key-value pairs that can be used to describe data. He added that as opposed to the classic hierarchical data structures, label sets allow for easier and more natural access to monitoring data.

OpenMetrics will work with the Prometheus monitoring project, which is also hosted at the CNCF. Hartmann said Prometheus will adopt OpenMetrics and its libraries will default to emitting data in OpenMetrics format at some point.

"As such, OpenMetrics is expected to completely replace the Prometheus exposition format in all CNCF projects, and beyond, in the medium term," he said.

Prometheus Reaches Key Milestone

Prometheus itself recently hit a major milestone, becoming only the second project at the CNCF to graduate. The only other project that has graduated from CNCF incubation is the Kubernetes container orchestration platform.

Prometheus first joined the CNCF as an incubated project back in May 2016. Hartmann commented that there was not one single challenge in getting to the graduation phase; rather, it was more a process of maturing as a project.

"This involved defining and working by our previously defined governance processes, being security audited, and generally showing that we can maintain feature and code velocity while keeping our community open and friendly," he said.

Looking forward, Hartmann said the Prometheus project will be tackling often-requested features like better docs, improved integration with long-term storage systems, subqueries, and built-in security features.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at ServerWatch and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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