My home monitoring setup

Over the past few months I’ve started to reassemble a home server. I managed to get a great server board with 2 Xeon E5’s and 128GB of ECC RAM (b/c why not?) and spent Saturday breaking in the hard drives, setting everything up to be nice and encrypted and so on.

One of the things I like to have at home is a decent monitoring system. I’ve toyed with Prometheus before but never really used it. I like its design and the PromQL language so I figured I’d set it up. It never hurts to be familiar with it since it’s likely I’ll encounter it in the wild at some point.

However, when you have a nice and pristine server you kinda don’t want to end up throwing binaries and cnfiguration all over it. So I figured I would try this with containers this time around. Though Docker is not super awesome just yet at actually containing stuff they provide the filesystem level isolation I wanted. Since I needed multiple containers I figured Compose sounds like a good way to do this. Besides, using one new system to set up a bunch of other new ones, how hard could it be?

Ended up spending most of the day on it but managed to get it to all play together. It took some digging, especially because Compose does some things for you a simple docker run doesn’t. Because of that you can easily get very confused when reading the documentation assuming that one concept would apply to the other.

Now that I have it all figured out though I have a setup I very much like. Safe for needing to backup the Prometheus data I can spin this stack up anywhere else too just as quickly and get going, which is really nice.

If you want to take a look, you can find the config and the docker-compose.yml file right here. And yes, I still use Puppet to manage those few configuration files and ensure everything ends up in the right place.

One great thing I ran into… my stupid home router doesn’t do SNMP very well. Once it gets busy with more network traffic it doesn’t only stop responding to SNMP queries at all, it doesn’t even update its packet counters etc. So I guess the next project is going to be replacing my router :).