Cassandra CQL3 support is coming to Dynatrace

Just like many of our customers, we here at Dynatrace use Apache Cassandra NoSQL databases within our own clusters to store monitoring data in a scalable and fault-tolerant fashion. Of course, Cassandra databases must be monitored just like any other database. While we’ve had this monitoring capability available internally for a while now on our own clusters, for the first time, Cassandra database monitoring is now available to all our customers.

Cassandra database monitoring

To monitor a Java process that uses a Cassandra database service

  1. Select Databases from the navigation menu.
  2. Select Cassandra from the Database vendor list on the left.

    You’ll see a list of one or more Cassandra database services, one for each keyspace that your applications use.
  3. Click a Cassandra service name to access the service’s overview page. Note that the example Cassandra database service below runs on 6 nodes—the entire cluster is displayed here.

    Note: We actually monitor our own Dynatrace clusters with Dynatrace. The example above shows one of our development clusters monitored by another Dynatrace cluster.
  4. To view the underlying database statements, click the View database statements button. As with other database services, you’ll find all the database statements listed at the bottom of the page. In this case, the statements areCQL3 statements executed by the Dynatrace dev cluster.

Apart from using this information to better understand the load and response time characteristics of your Cassandra cluster, you can also use the information to understand where your Cassandra load comes from (this is in fact what we do here at Dynatrace).

You can then drill all the way down to the code level for each individual request.

Enable Cassandra monitoring

Dynatrace OneAgent has had awareness of Cassandra clusters since OneAgent v1.129. This is now enabled by default in new Dynatrace installations. If you’ve been a Dynatrace customer for a while, you may need to manually enable Cassandra cluster awareness at the process-group level.

To manually enable Cassandra monitoring

  1. Select Settings from the navigation menu.
  2. Set the Automatically detect Cassandra clusters switch to the On position.
    Dynatrace will use the Cassandra cluster name to distinguish multiple clusters.

Integration with Dynatrace AI

As it does with all detected database services, Dynatrace baselines every single CQL3 statement on all your Cassandra clusters. This enables Dynatrace artificial intelligence to not only pin down Cassandra as the root cause of failures or performance issues when they occur, it also enables Dynatrace to identify exactly which statements are responsible for which issues and what entities, requests, and lines of code in your service landscape triggered each detected problem.

Availability of Cassandra monitoring

We’re slowly rolling out Cassandra monitoring to our customers. Please contact us via Dynatrace Community if you need to enable Cassandra monitoring in your environment.