NGINX and NGINX Plus Monitoring

Monitor the performance of your NGINX and NGINX Plus web servers with Site24x7's ready-to-install NGINX monitoring plugin integrations. Gain visibility into your NGINX web servers' availability, performance, and usage stats to ensure a seamless experience for your customers.

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NGINX Monitoring

What are NGINX and NGINX Plus?

NGINX is a widely used open-source, lightweight, and high-performance web server that is also used as a reverse proxy, HTTP cache, and load balancer. It was originally written to solve the C10K problem and works on an event-driven asynchronous architecture. NGINX handles requests by running multiple worker processes using threads, each capable of simultaneously running multiple connections. This enables it to process thousands of concurrent requests.

NGINX Plus is a cloud-native, commercially distributed version that combines the capabilities of NGINX Open Source with enterprise-grade features like high availability, active health checks, DNS system discovery, session persistence, and a RESTful API.

Why is NGINX monitoring important?

In addition to being used as a web server, NGINX is often leveraged as a load balancer, reverse proxy, and HTTP cache. Also, due to its highly scalable nature, multiple critical web services often run on it. End users expect a seamless web experience, and it is vital for businesses to provide them with high-performing web applications with little to no downtime. Monitoring NGINX helps admins get insights into the health and performance of NGINX web servers as well as their underlying web infrastructure so they can troubleshoot issues before any start affecting end users.

Monitor NGINX web server performance with Site24x7

Ensure availability and health of your NGINX servers with our NGINX monitoring tool, which helps you identify issues and bottlenecks. Site24x7 supports both open-source NGINX and its enterprise-grade NGINX Plus version through our plugin integrations.

Get insights on critical NGINX performance data

Leverage key metrics, including requests per second and active connections, and ensure high availability and optimal performance of your web applications running on NGINX servers.

Anticipate issues with instant alerts

Get instant notifications every time values cross pre-defined threshold limits and swiftly take preventive or recovery measures.

Derive actionable insights with NGINX logs

Compare and analyze incoming NGINX log data and troubleshoot issues faster with an automatic Site24x7 AppLogs integration.

Create custom dashboards

Assemble data from different parts of your infrastructure with drag-and-drop widgets and build personalized dashboard views.

Get started with NGINX monitoring

  • Supported Platforms:
  • Python Version:
    2.7 & above
  • Linux Agent Version:
    15.0.0 & above

Performance Metrics

NGINX monitoring helps you to stay ahead of issues occuring within NGINX as well as anywhere else in your web infrastructure.

You can track the following metrics with the NGINX plugin integration:

Name Description
Waiting An active connection or a keep-alive connection can be in the Waiting state if there is no active request at the moment.
Reading When a request is received, the connection moves from the waiting state, and the request is counted as Reading. In this state, NGINX server is reading a client request header.
Connections opened It is the rate of connections opened per second. Monitoring connection_opened is critical to know if your reverse proxy or load balancer is optimally processing the requests in a timely manner.
Requests per second It is the number of requests received per second. Monitoring request_per_s helps to alert on spikes or a sudden drop in the incoming web traffic.
Writing After a request is read, it is counted as Writing. The request remains in the Writing state till a response is returned to the client. So while NGINX is waiting for a response from its upstream systems and operating on the response, the request will be in the Writing state.
Connections dropped The connection_dropped is the count of dropped connections. Generally, connections are dropped when a resource limit has been reached.

NGINX Plus, the commercial version of NGINX, reports the basic open source features along with additional metrics. The enterprise version includes advanced activity monitoring and load balancing, in addition to health checks for custom pages and applications.

You can track the following metrics with the NGINX Plus plugin integration:

Name Description
Accepted and Active connections The number of client connections attempted by NGINX is given as connections_accepted. The currently active connections (connections_active) is the same as the reading and writing states combined in open source NGINX.
Handshakes and Failed Handshakes Both NGINX and NGINX Plus are used to terminate encrypted SSL connections, thereby reducing the load on internal servers and certificate costs. Metrics handshakes and handshakes_failed help in understanding the web server's SSL termination and gauge the capacity of hardwares or virtual machines.
Responses 1xx, 2xx, 3xx, 4xx, 5xx The number of responses with HTTP status code types 1xx, 2xx, 3xx, 4xx, and 5xx.
Reused sessions The metric session_reuses gives the total number of SSL session credentials reused across multiple SSL connections.
Requests/Responses by zone backend servers The total number of sessions reused (session_reuses) and the total number of requests received by the zone backend servers gives an idea as to how traffic gets distributed between NGINX servers and zones.
Dropped and Idle connections If a worker fails to obtain a connection for a particular request, then that is listed under connections_dropped. The connections_idle is the same as the waiting state in NGINX, i.e. client connections with zero current requests.

Setup

Prerequisites

  • Ensure that the NGINX or the NGINX Plus server is installed and is up and running.
  • Ensure that the STATUS_URL in the config section is entered correctly.
  • Our Linux server monitoring agent should be installed in the network or on the specific host where the NGINX and NGINX Plus servers are running.
  • While adding a plugin, the plugin name and its folder name should be identical.

Installation

  • Download and install the latest version of the Site24x7 Linux agent in the server where you plan to run the plugin. If it is installed successfully, you will see a Linux server monitor in the Site24x7 Control Panel. This confirms that the agent is able to communicate with our data center.
  • Download the nginx.py or nginxplus.py file from our GitHub repository.
    wget https://raw.githubusercontent.com/site24x7/plugins/master/nginx/nginx.py
    OR
    wget https://raw.githubusercontent.com/site24x7/plugins/master/nginxplus/nginxplus.py
  • By default, the Python path given in the plugin script is #!/usr/bin/python. If you wish to provide an alternate python path, replace the existing one preceded by the shebang character "#!".
  • By default, the plugin will monitor the NGINX or the NGINX Plus instance that is configured on "localhost". Change the value of NGINX_STATUS_URL to change the monitoring configuration. If you have multiple configurations, you can execute them using a single plugin script. Enter the required configuration details in 'nginx.cfg' or 'nginxplus.cfg' found in our GitHub repository.
  • Create a folder with the name 'nginx' or 'nginxplus' under Site24x7 Linux agent plugin directory - /opt/site24x7/monagent/plugins/ and place the 'nginx.py' and nginxplus.py files under their respective folders.

The agent will automatically execute the plugin within five minutes and send performance data to the Site24x7 data center.

Log in to Site24x7 and go to Server > Plugin Integrations > click on the name of the plugin monitor. You will be able to view performance charts and set thresholds for the various performance metrics.

The agent will automatically execute the plugin within five minutes and send performance data to the Site24x7 data center.

Automatic AppLogs integration

The NGINX plugin automatically integrates with AppLogs using the .cfg file. To analyze the metrics with NGINX logs and find the root cause of issues, you can perform configuration changes in the nginx.cfg file.

Example:

  • [nginx]
    plugin_version=1
    heartbeat=true
    nginx_status_url="http://localhost/nginx_status"
    username=None
    password=None
    timeout=60
    logs_enabled = "true"
    log_type_name = "Nginx Logs"
    log_file_path = "/var/log/nginx/access*"

Verify Plugin Output

  • Manually execute the plugin script using the following command and verify its output. For example, for the NGINX plugin:
    python nginx.py

Plugin Contribution

Feel free to contribute to our existing plugin and come up with suggestions or feedback on our Community.

  • Supported Platforms:
  • Python Version: 2.7 & above
  • Linux Agent Version:15.0.0 & above

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