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All-In-One Monitoring Stack#

If you do not have any monitoring infrastructure setup you can following these instructions to setup the entire monitoring stack on your BigBlueButton server.

Monitoring Stack:

  • BigBlueButton exporter
  • Prometheus
  • Grafana

Grafana will be exposed through the system installed Nginx which will act as a TLS termination proxy.


Prerequisites:

  • Docker (you probably have this on your BigBlueButton server)
  • docker-compose (recent version with compose file format version 3.2 support)
  • Nginx (that has TLS configured)

Warning

Follow Docker's official installation instructions instead of installing docker-compose from Ubuntu's official repository since it is outdated and does not support compose file format v3.2 (as of April 29, 2020).

Step-by-step Guide#

1. Create directory#

mkdir ~/bbb-monitoring

2. Copy configuration files#

Copy all the files in extras/all_in_one_monitoring to your server into ~/bbb-monitoring

And replace all the references to example.com with your BigBlueButton domain.

Make sure to replace the exporters Docker image tag to the latest release.

Tip

Docker best practice: pin your docker image to a specific tag to have a reproducible environment. This also makes it easier to check which version you are running and which is the latest release.

Note

You will configure https://example.com/monitoring in step 5: Configure Nginx.

3. Add your secrets#

Get your BBB secret by running:

bbb-conf --secret

Then fill out API_BASE_URL and API_SECRET in ~/bbb-monitoring/bbb_exporter_secrets.env with your details.

Warning

The API base url ends with /api/ (beware of the trailing slash!). bbb-conf --secret will return the base url but not the base API url which has a /api/ appended.

4. Start the services#

cd ~/bbb-monitoring
sudo docker-compose up -d

5. Configure Nginx#

Add the location directive to your Nginx web server (/etc/nginx/sites-available/bigbluebutton) that will proxy traffic to 127.0.0.1:3001.

# BigBlueButton monitoring
location /monitoring/ {
  proxy_pass         http://127.0.0.1:3001/;
  proxy_redirect     default;
  proxy_set_header   X-Forwarded-For   $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;
  client_max_body_size       10m;
  client_body_buffer_size    128k;
  proxy_connect_timeout      90;
  proxy_send_timeout         90;
  proxy_read_timeout         90;
  proxy_buffer_size          4k;
  proxy_buffers              4 32k;
  proxy_busy_buffers_size    64k;
  proxy_temp_file_write_size 64k;
  include    fastcgi_params;
}

Note

If you would like to change the URL you will need to update the docker-compose grafana GF_SERVER_ROOT_URL env variable as well.

Tip

When upgrading BigBlueButton, the upgrade procedure will overwrite the contents of /etc/nginx/sites-available/bigbluebutton thereby causing you to lose access to your metrics. So after the upgrade to BigBlueButton you will need to add the location directive again.

You could also add a separate site configuration, but this will require you to point another domain to the server to do virtual hosting and acquire a separate HTTPS certificate.

6. Setup Grafana#

Login to Grafana (https://example.com/monitoring) in your web browser (admin:admin) and change the password.

Add Prometheus as a data source (Add data source -> Prometheus) and entering the following configuration:

URL: http://localhost:9090

Note

The prometheus DNS entry will be resolved by Docker since Grafana is running within the same Docker network (our docker-compose configuration automates this).

Now it is time to finally import the fancy dashboards. In the left menu click on + icon -> import

In the JSON field copy/paste the contents of extras/dashboards/server_instace_netdata.json Grafana dashboard.

You are done 👏👏!

Warning

You can edit your dashboard as much as you like, but note that you will lose your changes if you will re-import updated versions of the dashboard. So you will have to manually patch the dashboard when we update the dashboard json files in the repository.

Updates#

Follow Installation of BigBlueButton Exporter -> Updates but instead of cd ~/bbb-exporter you will have to cd ~/bbb-monitoring.

Check the releases for the rest of the services (Prometheus, Grafana & node_exporter) on their respected websites for details on the latest Docker image release tag.