PromQL is a functional query language that’s meant for use with the Prometheus monitoring tool. In fact, PromQL is short for “Prometheus Query Language.” The point of this language is to make it easy for users to choose and collect time-series data in Prometheus, which can then be displayed in a graph or as tabular data in the browser for this tool.
Before you can get started with PromQL, you’ll need to know the basics about Prometheus, such as how it works and what it’s meant to do. To start, the point of Prometheus is to collect data related to your application so you can easily monitor the metrics you want to track before deciding what improvements you might need to make.
The Prometheus server does this by processing data and storing it on the chosen resource. So once you install this server and define the parameters to use for monitoring, you can start getting the metrics you need to adjust your application for better results.
To view the app data that’s important to you, you need to use PromQL to request an analysis of certain metrics. At that point, the AlertManager that comes with Prometheus will let you create notifications based on your data and send them to your email or other compatible tools.
Note that you can use PromQL to set parameters for the AlertManager to follow. This means you can decide what constitutes a good reason for an immediate alert, and what kind of data doesn’t call for one. After all, the AlertManager for Prometheus is good at grouping, silencing, and routing alerts as needed, and knowing PromQL will allow you to guide this tool so you have some control over the alerts you get about your data.
Like any language, PromQL will take some time to learn well enough to use as you rely on Prometheus for insights into your app—especially considering that this language was created from scratch and has nothing in common with other query languages you might know. You’ll have to first understand how data is stored in this tool, as well as how the metrics are tagged and named.
What Are the Use Cases of PromQL?
The purpose of PromQL is to create queries for metrics within Prometheus. Learning this language will allow you to use this tool to request data that can be displayed in graphs or time series, depending on your preferences.
You can use instant queries to find data from a single point in time or range queries to look at data over a range of time. Either way, you’ll get the metrics you need to figure out how your application is doing when it comes to memory usage, memory utilization, CPU usage, and more. You can also find out what errors have occurred and how often, giving you a chance to pinpoint and fix problems with the app.
Another use case for PromQL is to create alerts within AlertManager. When you know how to query with PromQL, you can specify what you want to be notified of, where you want the alert to go, and which alerts you want to be suppressed.
How MetricFire Can Help!
As you might imagine, PromQL can take some time and effort to get familiar with, which is why there are several tutorials and even courses online that you might choose to use. If you don’t have time to learn what is essentially a different language, using an open-source tool like Prometheus may be difficult. That is unless you have help, through a hosted version that allows you to get all the benefits of this type of program without investing all the time you’d need to learn PromQL.
This is why at MetricFire, we offer a hosted version of Prometheus, with full support from a team that can provide everything from installation and configuration to ongoing updates and maintenance. If you have questions about using Prometheus as you get more familiar with it, our team can assist you to ensure you get the most out of this monitoring tool for your app. We’re available 24/7 to handle any questions or concerns that come up as you get used to PromQL and Prometheus as a whole.
When you’re ready to view the metrics you want to explore, you’ll see them on a Grafana dashboard that’s easy to work with so you get an instant understanding of where your app needs help. Plus, MetricFire will give you access to helpful plugins, such as Kubernetes, that lets you easily use additional open-source tools as you work on monitoring and improving your app.
And once you get started with Prometheus and begin thinking of scaling this tool as you prepare for growth, our team will do the job for you. No matter how much data you need us to store, we’ll keep it long-term and will give you a full export when you request it, as we believe in the importance of all users retaining ownership of their data. Then you can simply apply your data toward app improvements, rather than spending time and energy maintaining a database!
If you’re thinking about learning more about PromQL and Prometheus in general, look into MetricFire. We offer budget-friendly pricing that’s always transparent, as well as a helpful, experienced team that’s ready to answer your questions about monitoring app metrics. Contact MetricFire to book a demo or to start a free trial.