OperationsLoki Canary

Loki Canary

canary

Loki Canary is a standalone app that audits the log capturing performance of Loki.

How it works

block_diagram

Loki Canary writes a log to a file and stores the timestamp in an internal array. The contents look something like this:

1557935669096040040 ppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppp

The relevant part of the log entry is the timestamp; the ps are just filler bytes to make the size of the log configurable.

An agent (like Promtail) should be configured to read the log file and ship it to Loki.

Meanwhile, Loki Canary will open a WebSocket connection to Loki and will tail the logs it creates. When a log is received on the WebSocket, the timestamp in the log message is compared to the internal array.

If the received log is:

  • The next in the array to be received, it is removed from the array and the (current time - log timestamp) is recorded in the response_latency histogram. This is the expected behavior for well behaving logs.
  • Not the next in the array to be received, it is removed from the array, the response time is recorded in the response_latency histogram, and the out_of_order_entries counter is incremented.
  • Not in the array at all, it is checked against a separate list of received logs to either increment the duplicate_entries counter or the unexpected_entries counter.

In the background, Loki Canary also runs a timer which iterates through all of the entries in the internal array. If any of the entries are older than the duration specified by the -wait flag (defaulting to 60s), they are removed from the array and the websocket_missing_entries counter is incremented. An additional query is then made directly to Loki for any missing entries to determine if they are truly missing or only missing from the WebSocket. If missing entries are not found in the direct query, the missing_entries counter is incremented.

Additional Queries

Spot Check

Starting with version 1.6.0, the canary will spot check certain results over time to make sure they are present in Loki, this is helpful for testing the transition of inmemory logs in the ingester to the store to make sure nothing is lost.

-spot-check-interval and -spot-check-max are used to tune this feature, -spot-check-interval will pull a log entry from the stream at this interval and save it in a separate list up to -spot-check-max.

Every -spot-check-query-rate, Loki will be queried for each entry in this list and loki_canary_spot_check_entries_total will be incremented, if a result is missing loki_canary_spot_check_missing_entries_total will be incremented.

The defaults of 15m for spot-check-interval and 4h for spot-check-max means that after 4 hours of running the canary will have a list of 16 entries it will query every minute (default spot-check-query-rate interval is 1m), so be aware of the query load this can put on Loki if you have a lot of canaries.

Metric Test

Starting with version 1.6.0 the canary will run a metric query count_over_time to verify the rate of logs being stored in Loki corresponds to the rate they are being created by the canary.

-metric-test-interval and -metric-test-range are used to tune this feature, but by default every 15m the canary will run a count_over_time instant-query to Loki for a range of 24h.

If the canary has not run for -metric-test-range (24h) the query range is adjusted to the amount of time the canary has been running such that the rate can be calculated since the canary was started.

The canary calculates what the expected count of logs would be for the range (also adjusting this based on canary runtime) and compares the expected result with the actual result returned from Loki. The difference is stored as the value in the gauge loki_canary_metric_test_deviation

It’s expected that there will be some deviation, the method of creating an expected calculation based on the query rate compared to actual query data is imperfect and will lead to a deviation of a few log entries.

It’s not expected for there to be a deviation of more than 3-4 log entries.

Control

Loki Canary responds to two endpoints to allow dynamic suspending/resuming of the canary process. This can be useful if you’d like to quickly disable or reenable the canary. To stop or start the canary issue an HTTP GET request against the /suspend or /resume endpoints.

Installation

Binary

Loki Canary is provided as a pre-compiled binary as part of the Loki Releases on GitHub.

Docker

Loki Canary is also provided as a Docker container image:

# change tag to the most recent release
$ docker pull grafana/loki-canary:2.0.0

Kubernetes

To run on Kubernetes, you can do something simple like:

kubectl run loki-canary --generator=run-pod/v1 --image=grafana/loki-canary:latest --restart=Never --image-pull-policy=IfNotPresent --labels=name=loki-canary -- -addr=loki:3100

Or you can do something more complex like deploy it as a DaemonSet, there is a Tanka setup for this in the production folder, you can import it using jsonnet-bundler:

jb install github.com/grafana/loki-canary/production/ksonnet/loki-canary

Then in your Tanka environment’s main.jsonnet you’ll want something like this:

local loki_canary = import 'loki-canary/loki-canary.libsonnet';

loki_canary {
  loki_canary_args+:: {
    addr: "loki:3100",
    port: 80,
    labelname: "instance",
    interval: "100ms",
    size: 1024,
    wait: "3m",
  },
  _config+:: {
    namespace: "default",
  }
}

Examples

Standalone Pod Implementation of loki-canary

---
apiVersion: v1
kind: Pod
metadata:
  labels:
    app: loki-canary
    name: loki-canary
  name: loki-canary
spec:
  containers:
  - args:
    - -addr=loki:3100
    image: grafana/loki-canary:latest
    imagePullPolicy: IfNotPresent
    name: loki-canary
    resources: {}
---
apiVersion: v1
kind: Service
metadata:
  name: loki-canary
  labels:
    app: loki-canary
spec:
  type: ClusterIP
  selector:
    app: loki-canary
  ports:
  - name: metrics
    protocol: TCP
    port: 3500
    targetPort: 3500

DaemonSet Implementation of loki-canary

---
kind: DaemonSet
apiVersion: extensions/v1beta1
metadata:
  labels:
    app: loki-canary
    name: loki-canary
  name: loki-canary
spec:
  template:
    metadata:
      name: loki-canary
      labels:
        app: loki-canary
    spec:
      containers:
      - args:
        - -addr=loki:3100
        image: grafana/loki-canary:latest
        imagePullPolicy: IfNotPresent
        name: loki-canary
        resources: {}
---
apiVersion: v1
kind: Service
metadata:
  name: loki-canary
  labels:
    app: loki-canary
spec:
  type: ClusterIP
  selector:
    app: loki-canary
  ports:
  - name: metrics
    protocol: TCP
    port: 3500
    targetPort: 3500

From Source

If the other options are not sufficient for your use case, you can compile loki-canary yourself:

# clone the source tree
$ git clone https://github.com/grafana/loki

# build the binary
$ make loki-canary

# (optionally build the container image)
$ make loki-canary-image

Configuration

The address of Loki must be passed in with the -addr flag, and if your Loki server uses TLS, -tls=true must also be provided. Note that using TLS will cause the WebSocket connection to use wss:// instead of ws://.

The -labelname and -labelvalue flags should also be provided, as these are used by Loki Canary to filter the log stream to only process logs for the current instance of the canary. Ensure that the values provided to the flags are unique to each instance of Loki Canary. Grafana Labs' Tanka config accomplishes this by passing in the pod name as the label value.

If Loki Canary reports a high number of unexpected_entries, Loki Canary may not be waiting long enough and the value for the -wait flag should be increased to a larger value than 60s.

Be aware of the relationship between pruneinterval and the interval. For example, with an interval of 10ms (100 logs per second) and a prune interval of 60s, you will write 6000 logs per minute. If those logs were not received over the WebSocket, the canary will attempt to query Loki directly to see if they are completely lost. However the query return is limited to 1000 results so you will not be able to return all the logs even if they did make it to Loki.

Likewise, if you lower the pruneinterval you risk causing a denial of service attack as all your canaries attempt to query for missing logs at whatever your pruneinterval is defined at.

All options:

  -addr string
        The Loki server URL:Port, e.g. loki:3100
  -buckets int
        Number of buckets in the response_latency histogram (default 10)
  -interval duration
        Duration between log entries (default 1s)
  -labelname string
        The label name for this instance of loki-canary to use in the log selector (default "name")
  -labelvalue string
        The unique label value for this instance of loki-canary to use in the log selector (default "loki-canary")
  -metric-test-interval duration
        The interval the metric test query should be run (default 1h0m0s)
  -metric-test-range duration
        The range value [24h] used in the metric test instant-query. Note: this value is truncated to the running time of the canary until this value is reached (default 24h0m0s)
  -pass string
        Loki password
  -port int
        Port which loki-canary should expose metrics (default 3500)
  -pruneinterval duration
        Frequency to check sent vs received logs, also the frequency which queries for missing logs will be dispatched to loki, and the frequency spot check queries are run (default 1m0s)
  -query-timeout duration
        How long to wait for a query response from Loki (default 10s)
  -size int
        Size in bytes of each log line (default 100)
  -spot-check-interval duration
        Interval that a single result will be kept from sent entries and spot-checked against Loki, e.g. 15min default one entry every 15 min will be saved andthen queried again every 15min until spot-check-max is reached (default 15m0s)
  -spot-check-max duration
        How far back to check a spot check entry before dropping it (default 4h0m0s)
  -spot-check-query-rate duration
        Interval that the canary will query Loki for the current list of all spot check entries (default 1m0s)
  -streamname string
        The stream name for this instance of loki-canary to use in the log selector (default "stream")
  -streamvalue string
        The unique stream value for this instance of loki-canary to use in the log selector (default "stdout")
  -tls
        Does the loki connection use TLS?
  -user string
        Loki username
  -version
        Print this builds version information
  -wait duration
        Duration to wait for log entries before reporting them lost (default 1m0s)