Getting Started Part 2

Becoming Familiar With The UI

This portion of the guide will walk you through the various views of the UI from the dashboard to the view of individual nodes.

If you’ve not yet familiarized yourself with the terminology in Red Skull, you should visit Red Skull Terminology to do so now. It will be useful in key portions of this part of the guide.

The Dashboard

Clicking on the Dashboard link takes you to an operational overview of your Sentinel cluster. It should look something like this: dashboard screenshot .

Info Boxes

The boxes at the top of the screen are designed to be seen and understood across a room. If you see red, you have a problem. The info boxes display a metric name and its value. For example if you have pods with an error condition the “Pods With Errors” box will be red and have the number of pods with errors listed in it.

Error States

The intent of this view is to provide an at-a-glance window into any error states or warning your cluster may have. Any pods with errors will cause the Pod Error box to be red and will list the number of pods with errors.

Below the info boxes is a list of pods (if any) with errors. These errors are broken up into categories identifying the specific error found. A pod may have multiple errors thus it may be present in multiple tabs. As a result the total on the left, “All Errors”, may not match what you get if you sum the other numbers.

errors view screenshot .

By clicking each error name you are presented with list of pods and some brief information about them, which have that error. You are also presented with some descriptive text about what the error is and how you can fix it - either inside or outside of Red Skull. If you click on the pod name you are taken to the Pod View

Constellation View

This view shows you the stat of the constellation cluster. It Shows you how many pods and nodes are under management as well as memory. It shows you the breakout of your pods by memory size and information on each sentinel in the cluster.

Available actions from here are to add a pod to be managed and add a sentinel to the cluster. The name of this view will be changing once the new term for the ‘cluster of sentinels’ is determined.

Pods Listing

The pods view will provide a table of all known and managed pods in this constellation cluster. The table is filterable, sortable, and paginated. You can decide the number of entries to display per page as well as sort by column and filter by name. If you click on the pod name you are taken to the Pod View

pods view screenshot .

It is important to understand when this view is loaded Red Skull is actively querying the sentinels for the data. Loading this immediately after starting Red Skull or during heavy cluster changes can result in it having slightly “stale” data if you have hundreds of pods to ask about.

Pod View

By clicking on link to a given pod you are presented with the information Red Skull knows about the pod. This includes the standard Sentinel bits such as the current master, any connected slaves, the quorum, etc. but also includes some calculated and audit-style information.

pod view screenshot .

Pod Overview Panel

The primary box runs through a short overview containing the name and the result of a set of health checks:

  • Can the pod fail-over?
  • Does the slave have at least as much memory as the master?
  • Are there enough configured sentinels?
  • Are there enough active sentinels?

In addition you are presented with the connection information and a link to view the current master node, the number of connected slaves, and a memory consumption bar.

Regarding memory consumption, it is a good practice to limit your Redis instances via the maxmemory configuration parameter. This helps prevent a runaway process from taking down your Redis host. Red Skull consults this config variable and uses that to determine how much of the allocated memory is currently in use. It will indicate an warning or error state if you exceed 60% and 80% of the maximum memory setting respectively.

Constellation Panel

To the right of the overview panel is the constellation panel. This panel simply displays the current active sentinels managing this pod.

Actions Panel

On the far right is the pod actions panel. This panel displays buttons which allow you to manage this pod directly. Currently the primary options are to view the master node, add a slave, force fail-over, reset the pod, stop managing the pod.

Under certain circumstances these options may change. For example, if the pod is not able to fail-over the button for that is not visible. If the pod is currently out of balance (doesn’t have enough sentinels), a button for rebalancing the pod will appear.

Connected Slaves Table

The table at the bottom of the view lists and links each connected slave and some replication specific information such as the current offset, the slave’s maximum allowed memory, its promotion priority, and of course its name, IP, and port.

Currently there is a disabled button to remove a slave. In a future release of Red Skull this button will remove the slave and reset the slave list in Sentinel.

Node List

This view shows you a data grid of the known nodes - the masters and the slaves under sentinel’s management. A brief bit of information such as the version, the last startup, used memory, and max memory are displayed. At the top of the page are info boxes displaying the total number of nodes under management as well as the number of nodes with errors. Clicking a node’s name will take you to the Node View.

nodes view screenshot .

Node View

The node view provides you with information about this specific node. As Redis exposes quite a bit of information this page is split into tabs, grouping the information by category.

node view screenshot .

Node Information

The initial tab display essentiallys the same information as is seen in the node table on the Node List. It does add, however, when the information you are viewing was last retrieved. As of this writing it can be up to 90 seconds old if there are no errors in retrieving the data. Otherwise it will turn red so you can easily see the data is old.

Memory

The memory tab shows you the memory information, as one might expect. It details the current maximum memory setting, how much is currently in use and what percentage that represents.

In addition you are presented with the peak memory to aid in broader memory analysis (you see your usage spikes), the amount of memory consumed by the Lua system and scripts which have run, and the system memory Redis has consumed. This latter metric would be the equivalent of “RSS” in Linux. It represents the data set but also any operation overhead such as memory used in replication or disk persistence.

Replication

This tab provides information about connected slaves, the role of the node, and the synchronization state.

Command Stats

This view is essentially a table showing what commands are being called on this node and how much time they have taken in sum as well as on average what each call takes.

This view will automatically scale from microseconds to milliseconds to help your brain understand the data better.

An important understand for this view is that Sentinel issues commands on the Redis nodes as part of understanding them. Additionally, Red Skull runs queries on the nodes. Thus an unused pod will still have commands in this table.

Persistence

This tab shows the current state of persistence. If you are persisting to disk you will see what methods are in use, otherwise it will indicate it to be a “cache” style configuration.

Conclusion

While Red Skull is still quite new, you can see there is already a significant amount of information and capability in the web interface. Be sure to check http://redskull.io periodically to see news and details on new features or improvements in the UI.

In the part three of this series we will cover development of and developing Red Skull itself.