Prometheus monitoring and alerting

Prometheus is an open-source systems monitoring and alerting toolkit. Prometheus collects and stores metrics as time series data, i.e. metrics information is stored with the timestamp at which it was recorded, alongside optional key-value pairs called labels.

Users can measure the internal status of a QuestDB instance via an HTTP endpoint exposed by QuestDB at port 9003. This document describes how to enable metrics via this endpoint, how to configure Prometheus to scrape metrics from a QuestDB instance, and how to enable alerting from QuestDB to Prometheus Alertmanager.


Scraping Prometheus metrics from QuestDB#

QuestDB has a /metrics HTTP endpoint on port 9003 to expose Prometheus metrics. Before being able to query metrics, they must be enabled via the metrics.enabled key in server configuration:


When running QuestDB via Docker, port 9003 must be exposed and the metrics configuration can be enabled via the QDB_METRICS_ENABLED environment variable:

docker run \
-p 8812:8812 -p 9000:9000 -p 9003:9003 -p 9009:9009 \
-v "$(pwd):/var/lib/questdb" \

To verify that metrics are being exposed correctly by QuestDB, navigate to http://<questdb_ip>:9003/metrics in a browser, where <questdb_ip> is the IP address of an instance, or execute a basic curl like the following example:

Given QuestDB running at
# TYPE questdb_json_queries_total counter
questdb_json_queries_total 0
# TYPE questdb_memory_tag_MMAP_DEFAULT gauge
questdb_memory_tag_MMAP_DEFAULT 77872
# TYPE questdb_memory_malloc_count gauge
questdb_memory_malloc_count 659
# ...

To configure Prometheus to scrape these metrics, provide the QuestDB instance IP and port 9003 as a target. The following example configuration file questdb.yml assumes there is a running QuestDB instance on localhost ( with port 9003 available:

scrape_interval: 5s
monitor: 'questdb'
- job_name: 'questdb'
scrape_interval: 5s
- targets: ['']

Start Prometheus and pass this configuration on launch:

prometheus --config.file=questdb.yml

Prometheus should be available on and navigating to should show that QuestDB is being scraped successfully:

Prometheus targets tab showing a QuestDB instance status

In the graphing tab of Prometheus (, autocomplete can be used to graph QuestDB-specific metrics which are all prefixed with questdb_:

Prometheus graphing tab showing QuestDB instance metrics on a chart

The following metrics are available:

questdb_commits_totalcounterNumber of total commits of all types (in-order and out-of-order) executed on the database tables.
questdb_o3_commits_totalcounterNumber of total out-of-order (O3) commits executed on the database tables.
questdb_committed_rows_totalcounterNumber of total rows committed to the database tables.
questdb_physically_written_rows_totalcounterNumber of total rows physically written to disk. Greater than committed_rows when out-of-order ingestion is enabled. Write amplification is questdb_physically_written_rows_total / questdb_committed_rows_total.
questdb_rollbacks_totalcounterNumber of total rollbacks executed on the database tables.
questdb_json_queries_totalcounterNumber of total REST API queries, including retries.
questdb_json_queries_completedcounterNumber of successfully executed REST API queries.
questdb_unhandled_errors_totalcounterNumber of total unhandled errors occurred in the database. Such errors usually mean a critical service degradation in one of the database subsystems.
questdb_jvm_major_gc_countcounterNumber of times major JVM garbage collection was triggered.
questdb_jvm_major_gc_timecounterTotal time spent on major JVM garbage collection in milliseconds.
questdb_jvm_minor_gc_countcounterNumber of times minor JVM garbage collection pause was triggered.
questdb_jvm_minor_gc_timecounterTotal time spent on minor JVM garbage collection pauses in milliseconds.
questdb_jvm_unknown_gc_countcounterNumber of times JVM garbage collection of unknown type was triggered. Non-zero values of this metric may be observed only on some, non-mainstream JVM implementations.
questdb_jvm_unknown_gc_timecounterTotal time spent on JVM garbage collection of unknown type in milliseconds. Non-zero values of this metric may be observed only on some, non-mainstream JVM implementations.
questdb_memory_tag_MMAP_DEFAULTgaugeAmount of memory allocated for mmaped files.
questdb_memory_tag_NATIVE_DEFAULTgaugeAmount of allocated untagged native memory.
questdb_memory_tag_MMAP_O3gaugeAmount of memory allocated for O3 mmapped files.
questdb_memory_tag_NATIVE_O3gaugeAmount of memory allocated for O3.
questdb_memory_tag_NATIVE_RECORD_CHAINgaugeAmount of memory allocated for SQL record chains.
questdb_memory_tag_MMAP_TABLE_WRITERgaugeAmount of memory allocated for table writer mmapped files.
questdb_memory_tag_NATIVE_TREE_CHAINgaugeAmount of memory allocated for SQL tree chains.
questdb_memory_tag_MMAP_TABLE_READERgaugeAmount of memory allocated for table reader mmapped files.
questdb_memory_tag_NATIVE_COMPACT_MAPgaugeAmount of memory allocated for SQL compact maps.
questdb_memory_tag_NATIVE_FAST_MAPgaugeAmount of memory allocated for SQL fast maps.
questdb_memory_tag_NATIVE_LONG_LISTgaugeAmount of memory allocated for long lists.
questdb_memory_tag_NATIVE_HTTP_CONNgaugeAmount of memory allocated for HTTP connections.
questdb_memory_tag_NATIVE_PGW_CONNgaugeAmount of memory allocated for PGWire connections.
questdb_memory_tag_MMAP_INDEX_READERgaugeAmount of memory allocated for index reader mmapped files.
questdb_memory_tag_MMAP_INDEX_WRITERgaugeAmount of memory allocated for index writer mmapped files.
questdb_memory_tag_MMAP_INDEX_SLIDERgaugeAmount of memory allocated for indexed column view mmapped files.
questdb_memory_tag_NATIVE_REPLgaugeAmount of memory mapped for replication tasks.
questdb_memory_free_countgaugeNumber of times native memory was freed.
questdb_memory_mem_usedgaugeCurrent amount of allocated native memory.
questdb_memory_malloc_countgaugeNumber of times native memory was allocated.
questdb_memory_realloc_countgaugeNumber of times native memory was reallocated.
questdb_memory_jvm_freegaugeCurrent amount of free Java memory heap in bytes.
questdb_memory_jvm_totalgaugeCurrent size of Java memory heap in bytes.
questdb_memory_jvm_maxgaugeMaximum amount of Java heap memory that can be allocated in bytes.
questdb_json_queries_cachedgaugeNumber of current cached REST API queries.
questdb_pg_wire_select_queries_cachedgaugeNumber of current cached PGWire SELECT queries.
questdb_pg_wire_update_queries_cachedgaugeNumber of current cached PGWire UPDATE queries.

All of the above metrics are volatile, i.e. they're collected since the current database start.

Configuring Prometheus Alertmanager#

QuestDB includes a log writer that sends any message logged at critical level (by default) to Prometheus Alertmanager over a TCP/IP socket connection. To configure this writer, add it to the writers config alongside other log writers. Details on logging configuration can be found on the server configuration documentation.

Alertmanager may be started via Docker with the following command:

docker run -p --name alertmanager

To discover the IP address of this container, run the following command which specifies alertmanager as the container name:

docker inspect -f '{{range.NetworkSettings.Networks}}{{.IPAddress}}{{end}}' alertmanager

To run QuestDB and point it towards Alertmanager for alerting, first create a file ./conf/log.conf with the following contents. in this case is the IP address of the docker container for alertmanager that was discovered by running the docker inspect command above.

# Which writers to enable
# stdout
# Prometheus Alerting

Start up QuestDB in Docker using the following command:

docker run \
-p 9000:9000 -p 8812:8812 -p 9009:9009 -p 9003:9003 \
-v "$(pwd)::/var/lib/questdb" \

When alerts are successfully triggered, QuestDB logs will indicate the sent and received status:

2021-12-14T18:42:54.222967Z I i.q.l.LogAlertSocketWriter Sending: 2021-12-14T18:42:54.122874Z I i.q.l.LogAlertSocketWriter Sending: 2021-12-14T18:42:54.073978Z I i.q.l.LogAlertSocketWriter Received [0] {"status":"success"}
2021-12-14T18:42:54.223377Z I i.q.l.LogAlertSocketWriter Received [0] {"status":"success"}

The template used by QuestDB for alerts is user-configurable and is described in more detail in the server configuration documentation.