Customize the structure of process groups

Dynatrace detects which processes are part of the same process groups by means of a default set of detection rules.

You can change the structure of default process groups by modifying the default process-group detection logic in Settings > Processes and containers > Process group detection.

On the Process group detection page you can:

  • Enable/disable specific Process group detection flags. Check the drop-down arrow at the right side of each flag for details.
  • Add your own Process group detection rules, which will override the default ones.
  • Monitor specific processes of a technology which is unknown to Dynatrace by adding Custom process group detection rules.
  • Process group detection settings and rules require a restart of your processes to affect how processes are identified and grouped.
  • Process group detection settings and rules only affect the composition of process groups. If you want to change how a process group is named, you have to use the process group naming rules instead.
  • It's also possible to use host groups to separate clusters into different process groups.

Process group detection rules

  • If none of the above process group detection options works, you can use the environment variable DT_CLUSTER_ID to group all processes that have the same value for this variable. All processes found in a monitoring environment that share the same cluster ID are treated as members of the same process group, and are separated only by the hosts they run on (for example, clusters of Apache web servers that belong together and host the same site). Make sure you set the DT_CLUSTER_ID variable only on a process-by-process basis, not system wide! If you set this variable system-wide, all processes may be grouped into a single process group for monitoring. This is undesirable and unsupported.

  • To identify nodes within a process cluster that run on the same host, use the DT_NODE_ID environment variable. This tells Dynatrace which processes should be taken as separate process group instances.

Limitations

Process-group detection rules only affect processes that can be deep monitored by OneAgent and have the following limitations:

  • They're only effective when OneAgent is installed on your hosts or images.
  • For PaaS integrations configured for application-only monitoring, process-group detection rules are available only with OneAgent v1.149 and above.
  • Advanced detection rules require Dynatrace version 1.123 or higher.

Custom process group detection rules

Within large, dynamic environments, the number of processes running on your hosts can become overwhelming. For this reason, Dynatrace only monitors important process group types (i.e., process groups that are either of a known technology or that consume significant resources).

However, Dynatrace also provides the option of monitoring specific processes that fall into neither of these two categories. This means that you can, if required, monitor processes of a technology type unknown to Dynatrace that don't consume significant resources.

To create such a process group

  1. Go to Settings > Process groups > Process group detection.
  2. In the Custom process group detection rules section, add a new detection rule. Type in the information that OneAgent needs to identify the new process group (Process group type, Executable name, and Executable path). Optionally, you can type in any Command line parameters to further filter the monitored process groups.
  3. After saving your changes, the newly defined custom process group will be automatically detected and monitored across all hosts—even on hosts that are launched following the definition of the custom process group.

Note: Dynatrace automatically assigns names to detected process groups of unrecognized process technologies that consume significant resources. You can also define a detection rule to adapt the names of such process groups based on your needs.

Cloud applications and workload detection

This feature ensures that workloads and cloud applications are detected properly and that process groups don't extend across different containers that are part of your cloud applications or workloads. It's a prerequisite for enabling the Cluster workloads section of the Kubernetes overview page.

As this feature might impact the way Dynatrace detects process groups and services, you can easily find out the effect on your environment and prepare for any migration tasks.

The setting Create a rule based tag... allows you to automatically tag all your process groups and services, which gain new identities after turning on Enable Cloud application and workload detection. The tag will appear as DT-ContainerBoundariesAffected and can be used like any other Automatically applied tag. The purpose of this setting is to help identifying these process groups and services and planning the next steps if needed.
For complex customized environments we recommend creating a rule-based tag first, to get an overview of the services and processes that will get new IDs.

Once your process groups or services gain new IDs, be aware that:

  • Any custom configurations won't be transitioned to the new process group or service. This includes names, monitoring settings, error and anomaly detection settings, etc.
  • Any existing custom alerts, custom charts on dashboards, or filters that are mapped to the overwritten IDs of individual process groups or services will no longer work or display monitoring data.
  • Any integrations with the Dynatrace API where specific process groups or services are queried will need to be updated.

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