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Monitoring Spider

Spider being built with microservices, we needed good monitoring dashboards to understand what was going on, and to troubleshoot issues.

We first started with custom Kibana and Grafana dashboards, but it was not possible to get all information or representation that we needed. And it was tough to get the cluster status at one glance.

Dashboards details

So we designed our own monitoring dashboards. And implemented them. There are various dashboards to monitor Spider:

How it works


Monitoring data is collected via different ways:

  • monitor-write service, that collects Spider service stats
  • Elastic filebeat component, that collects logs
  • Elastic metricbeat component, that collects hardware, docker and Kubernetes metrics

The data are exposed through a single monitor-read service.

Some others services like sessions are used directly for specific dashboards.

Metric collection flow


  • The monitor-write service is calling all replicas of all services at regular interval to get their statistics, and save them in their corresponding indices.
  • Metricbeat and Filebeat are writing to their specific indices.
  • Also, Whisperers are sending statuses on their own.

Access to the dashboards


The monitoring dashboards are available by default in Spider installation.
They are deployed under the root endpoint at https://{your domain}/{your proxy}/self-monitoring address.

You need to be authenticated and have authorization to access them.
Thus, being protected, they are exposed alongside the analysis UI.


UI access

You may also access them from the analysis UI with the monitoring icon on the top right.
The icon is visible only if you have access rights to the dashboards.


Access rights

To access Spider monitoring, you need specific rights:

  • Administrative monitoring: access to all dashboards, for people managing the platform.
  • Whisperers monitoring: access to Whisperers status dashboards, for people managing a set of Whisperers.


Common components


All dashboards include the same Spider timeline as for the analysis UI, with zoom, pan, selection... and different flavors. By default, the TCP parsing status flavor is displayed, as it is the main quality indicator of Spider health.

A specific timeline, with different lifespan and flavors exists for UI usage status.



Dashboard includes many charts.

Charts are either:

  • Timed charts, which are plotted over the time in x axis.
  • Aggregated charts, which are plotted against another dimension, such as time spent on each whisperer.

You may zoom in time by clicking and dragging on the charts themselves, to focus on some time range.
All charts as well as time selection in the timeline will be adjusted in consequence.

Visual synchronization

The different charts of each dashboard are synchronized and rendered with the same x axis so that it is easy to correlate the information of each graph.

When moving the mouse over the charts, a tooltip is displayed on each chart with the related data of each chart at this time.



Many grids are visible in the dashboards.

They are reusing the analysis UI component. And allow:

  • Filtering, with syntax highlighting and fields autocompletion.
  • Columns selection and resizing
  • Items sorting
  • Items selection for diff comparison (in JSON)
  • Excel export of the grid

Grids are showing items from two kind of sources:

  • Items grids are showing raw items as they are stored in the store: logs...
  • Aggregated grids are showing and aggregated view on some axis. Ex: count of logs by code.


Detail panel

As for the analysis UI, clicking on any item in a grid opens the linked resource / aggregation in the detail panel.
Most often, only the JSON view is available for now.


The content of each dashboard is explained in the linked pages.