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Migrate from Cortex to Grafana Mimir

This document guides an operator through the process of migrating a deployment of Cortex to Grafana Mimir. It includes an overview of the steps required for any environment, and specific instructions for environments deployed with Jsonnet and environments deployed with Helm.

Grafana Mimir 2.0.0 includes significant changes that simplify the deployment and continued operation of a horizontally scalable, multi-tenant time series database with long-term storage.

The changes focus on making Grafana Mimir easier to run out of the box, including:

  • Removing configuration parameters that don’t require tuning
  • Renaming some parameters so that they’re more easily understood
  • Updating the default values of some existing parameters

The mimirtool automates configuration conversion. It provides a simple migration by generating Mimir configuration from Cortex configuration.

Before you begin

  • Ensure that you are running either Cortex 1.10.X or Cortex 1.11.X.

    If you are running an older version of Cortex, upgrade to 1.11.1 before proceeding with the migration.

  • Ensure you have installed Cortex alerting and recording rules as well as Cortex dashboards.

    The monitoring mixin has both alerting and recording rules to install in either Prometheus or Cortex as well as dashboards to install in Grafana. To download a prebuilt ZIP file that contains the alerting and recording rules, refer to Release Cortex-jsonnet 1.11.0.

    To upload rules to the ruler using mimirtool, refer to mimirtool rules. To import the dashboards into Grafana, refer to Import dashboard.

Notable changes

Note: For full list of changes, refer to the project CHANGELOG.

  • The Grafana Mimir HTTP server defaults to listening on port 8080; Cortex defaults to listening on port 80. To maintain port 80 as the listening port, set -server.http-listen-port=80.

  • Grafana Mimir uses anonymous as the default tenant ID when -auth.multitenancy=false. Cortex uses fake as the default tenant ID when -auth.enabled=false. Use -auth.no-auth-tenant=fake when -auth.multitenancy=false to match the Cortex default tenant ID.

  • Grafana Mimir removes the legacy HTTP prefixes deprecated in Cortex.

    • Query endpoints

      LegacyCurrent
      /<legacy-http-prefix>/api/v1/query<prometheus-http-prefix>/api/v1/query
      /<legacy-http-prefix>/api/v1/query_range<prometheus-http-prefix>/api/v1/query_range
      /<legacy-http-prefix>/api/v1/query_exemplars<prometheus-http-prefix>/api/v1/query_exemplars
      /<legacy-http-prefix>/api/v1/series<prometheus-http-prefix>/api/v1/series
      /<legacy-http-prefix>/api/v1/labels<prometheus-http-prefix>/api/v1/labels
      /<legacy-http-prefix>/api/v1/label/{name}/values<prometheus-http-prefix>/api/v1/label/{name}/values
      /<legacy-http-prefix>/api/v1/metadata<prometheus-http-prefix>/api/v1/metadata
      /<legacy-http-prefix>/api/v1/read<prometheus-http-prefix>/api/v1/read
      /<legacy-http-prefix>/api/v1/cardinality/label_names<prometheus-http-prefix>/api/v1/cardinality/label_names
      /<legacy-http-prefix>/api/v1/cardinality/label_values<prometheus-http-prefix>/api/v1/cardinality/label_values
      /api/prom/user_stats/api/v1/user_stats
    • Distributor endpoints

      Legacy endpointCurrent
      /<legacy-http-prefix>/push/api/v1/push
      /all_user_stats/distributor/all_user_stats
      /ha-tracker/distributor/ha_tracker
    • Ingester endpoints

      LegacyCurrent
      /ring/ingester/ring
      /shutdown/ingester/shutdown
      /flush/ingester/flush
      /push/ingester/push
    • Ruler endpoints

      LegacyCurrent
      /<legacy-http-prefix>/api/v1/rules<prometheus-http-prefix>/api/v1/rules
      /<legacy-http-prefix>/api/v1/alerts<prometheus-http-prefix>/api/v1/alerts
      /<legacy-http-prefix>/rules<prometheus-http-prefix>/config/v1/rules
      /<legacy-http-prefix>/rules/{namespace}<prometheus-http-prefix>/config/v1/rules/{namespace}
      /<legacy-http-prefix>/rules/{namespace}/{groupName}<prometheus-http-prefix>/config/v1/rules/{namespace}/{groupName}
      /<legacy-http-prefix>/rules/{namespace}<prometheus-http-prefix>/config/v1/rules/{namespace}
      /<legacy-http-prefix>/rules/{namespace}/{groupName}<prometheus-http-prefix>/config/v1/rules/{namespace}/{groupName}
      /<legacy-http-prefix>/rules/{namespace}<prometheus-http-prefix>/config/v1/rules/{namespace}
      /ruler_ring/ruler/ring
    • Alertmanager endpoints

      LegacyCurrent
      /<legacy-http-prefix>/alertmanager
      /status/multitenant_alertmanager/status

Generating configuration for Grafana Mimir

mimirtool provides a command for converting Cortex configuration to Mimir configuration that you can use to update both flags and configuration files.

Install mimirtool

To install Mimirtool, download the appropriate binary from the latest release for your operating system and architecture and make it executable.

Alternatively, use a command line tool such as curl to download mimirtool. For example, for Linux with the AMD64 architecture, use the following command:

curl -fLo mimirtool https://github.com/grafana/mimir/releases/latest/download/mimirtool-linux-amd64
chmod +x mimirtool

Use mimirtool

The mimirtool config convert command converts Cortex 1.11 configuration files to Grafana Mimir 2.3 configuration files. It removes any configuration parameters that are no longer available in Grafana Mimir, and it renames configuration parameters that have a new name. If you have explicitly set configuration parameters to a value matching the Cortex default, by default, mimirtool config convert doesn’t update the value. To have mimirtool config convert update explicitly set values from the Cortex defaults to the new Grafana Mimir defaults, provide the --update-defaults flag. Refer to convert for more information on using mimirtool for configuration conversion.

Migrating to Grafana Mimir using Jsonnet

Grafana Mimir has a Jsonnet library that replaces the existing Cortex Jsonnet library and updated monitoring mixin.

Migrate to Grafana Mimir video

The following video shows you how to migrate to Grafana Mimir using Jsonnet.


Migrate to Grafana Mimir instructions

The following instructions describe how to migrate to Grafana Mimir using Jsonnet.

To install the updated libraries using jsonnet-bundler, run the following commands:

jb install github.com/grafana/mimir/operations/mimir@main
jb install github.com/grafana/mimir/operations/mimir-mixin@main

To deploy the updated Jsonnet:

  1. Install the updated monitoring mixin.

    a. Add the dashboards to Grafana. The dashboards replace your Cortex dashboards and continue to work for monitoring Cortex deployments.

    Note: Resource dashboards are now enabled by default and require additional metrics sources. To understand the required metrics sources, refer to Additional resources metrics.

    b. Install the recording and alerting rules into the ruler or a Prometheus server.

  2. Replace the import of the Cortex Jsonnet library with the Mimir Jsonnet library. For example:

    import 'github.com/grafana/mimir/operations/mimir/mimir.libsonnet'
    
  3. Remove the cortex_ prefix from any member keys of the <MIMIR>._config object. For example, cortex_compactor_disk_data_size becomes compactor_disk_data_size.

  4. If you are using the Cortex defaults, set the server HTTP port to 80. The new Mimir default is 8080. For example:

    (import 'github.com/grafana/mimir/operations/mimir/mimir.libsonnet') {
      _config+: {
        server_http.port: 80,
      },
    }
    
  5. For each component, use mimirtool to update the configured arguments. To extract the flags for each component, refer to Extracting flags from Jsonnet.

  6. Apply the updated Jsonnet

To verify that the cluster is operating correctly, use the monitoring mixin dashboards.

Migrating to Grafana Mimir using Helm

You can migrate to the Grafana Mimir Helm chart (grafana/mimir-distributed v3.1.0) from the Cortex Helm chart (cortex-helm/cortex v1.7.0).

Before you begin

  • Ensure that you are running the v1.7.0 release of the Cortex Helm chart.

  • Ensure that you are running ingesters using a Kubernetes StatefulSet.

  • Install yq v4.

    In the values.yaml file:

    ingester:
      statefulSet:
        enabled: true
    

    The ingester needs storage capacity for write-ahead-logging (WAL) and to create blocks for uploading. The WAL was optional in Cortex with chunks, but not optional in Mimir. A StatefulSet is the most convenient way to make sure that each Pod gets a storage volume.

To migrate to the Grafana Mimir Helm chart:

  1. Install the updated monitoring mixin.

    a. Add the dashboards to Grafana. The dashboards replace your Cortex dashboards and continue to work for monitoring Cortex deployments.

    Note: Resource dashboards are now enabled by default and require additional metrics sources. To understand the required metrics sources, refer to Additional resources metrics.

    b. Install the recording and alerting rules into the ruler or a Prometheus server.

  2. Run the following command to add the Grafana Helm chart repository:

    helm repo add grafana https://grafana.github.io/helm-charts
    
  3. Convert the Cortex configuration in your values.yaml file.

    a. Extract the Cortex configuration and write the output to the cortex.yaml file.

    yq '.config' <VALUES YAML FILE> > cortex.yaml
    

    b. Use mimirtool to update the configuration.

    mimirtool config convert --yaml-file cortex.yaml --yaml-out mimir.yaml
    

    c. Clean up the generated YAML configuration.

    You have to remove some fields that are generated by mimirtool config convert or are coming from old configuration, because the mimir-distributed Helm chart has already set the default value for them. Use the following script to clean up those fields:

    yq -i 'del(.activity_tracker.filepath,.alertmanager.data_dir,.compactor.data_dir,.frontend_worker.frontend_address,.ingester.ring.tokens_file_path,.ruler.alertmanager_url,.ruler.rule_path,.runtime_config.file)' mimir.yaml
    

    d. At the top level of your custom Helm values file, put the updated configuration under the mimir.structuredConfig key.

    Note: The mimir.structuredConfig field, which is added in v3.0.0, allows you to override a specific configuration without needing to rewrite the whole block string literal, such as in mimir.config.

    In your Helm values file:

    mimir:
      structuredConfig: <CONFIGURATION FILE CONTENTS>
    

    Example:

    mimir:
      structuredConfig:
        ingester:
          ring:
            num_tokens: 512
    

    e. Set the ingester podManagementPolicy to "OrderedReady". The Grafana Mimir chart prefers "Parallel" for faster scale up, but this field is immutable on an existing StatefulSet.

    In your values.yaml file:

    ingester:
      podManagementPolicy: "OrderedReady"
    

    f. Set the nameOverride parameter to cortex. This configuration parameter ensures that resources have the same names as those created by the Cortex Helm chart and ensures Kubernetes performs a rolling upgrade of existing resources instead of creating new resources.

    In your values.yaml file:

    nameOverride: "cortex"
    

    g. Disable MinIO. The Grafana Mimir Helm chart enables MinIO by default for convenience during first time install. If you are migrating from Cortex and have your existing object storage you must disable MinIO in Grafana Mimir Helm chart custom values.yaml.

    In your values.yaml file:

    minio:
      enabled: false
    
  4. Run the Helm upgrade with the Grafana Mimir chart.

    Note: The name of the release must match your Cortex Helm chart release.

    helm upgrade <RELEASE> grafana/mimir-distributed [-n <NAMESPACE>]
    

To verify that the cluster is operating correctly, use the monitoring mixin dashboards.