Visualizing ESB Metrics in Grafana Dashboards

Last Updated On November 02, 2017
You are here:

Learn about how you can visualize metrics with ESB pack.

This post is our answer to “Visualizing IBM Integration Bus statistics data using Grafana” article published by IBM earlier this year. We highly recommend reading IBM article first to learn more about their solution and the benefits it brings to the customers. The ESB Pack uses same approach for Microsoft BizTalk BizTalk Server, especially when it is used as enterprise service bus. While IBM uses Graphite to store metrics, ESB Pack offers choices where collected metrics can be stored for visualization. These choices do not include BAM as metric collection is functionally independent from BizTalk Server.

Grafana dashboards are very easy to create without any knowledge of coding. Below is the example dashboard that shows itinerary metrics:

screen-shot-2016-11-17-at-1-10-04-pmThe data shown in this dashboard is self explanatory for everyone who used BizTalk ESB Toolkit:  number of itinerary instances, their durations, failed messages. The last panel on the dashboard shows response time for all external web services that itinerary invoked using BizTalk. This gives operators valuable information about external service level metrics. Moreover, operators can configure thresholds for all the metrics and use alerts feature in Grafana v4.0 to be notified via e-mail, Slack, etc. Please note that operators can easily create dashboards to displays metrics per server, process, etc.

Below are some of the key BizTalk ESB metrics implemented in ESB Pack:

  • itinerary metrics, including the steps
  • service consumption metrics
  • exception management metrics

Our trace agent does not depend on BizTalk. It can be used as replacement for Microsoft AppFabric for Windows Server to collect events from WCF, IIS and Windows workflows. This capability allows combine metrics from BizTalk and services it composes in the same dashboard.

With the above capabilities of data collection, other features of ESB Pack are not primarily focused on the monitoring. The primary focus is improving runtime of ESB Toolkit, design experience and making an itinerary easier to develop, test and operate with the modern DevOps. More details about these features will be in the next post or release notes.