Better K8s Prometheus Alerts with Robusta

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Bret is joined by Natan Yellin, the co-founder of to talk Kubernetes and Prometheus monitoring, alerting, and maybe some CPU limit ranting.

Robusta tries to fill the gap left by Kubernetes' own AlertManager which has a very specific and not so helpful way of describing events in your cluster. This makes it hard to diagnose the cause of the event and you're left with Google, StackOverflow and an awful lot of head-scratching. Robusta acts as a proxy between AlertManager and your notification platform of choice.

In the show we talk about what Robusta is, how to deploy it in your clusters, and Natan also details some of the enhancements in their cloud offering that you can layer on top of that, which has a generous free tier.

Streamed live on YouTube on January 5, 2023.

Unedited live recording of this show on YouTube (Ep. #197). Includes demos.

Robusta Website
Robusta on GitHub
KubeCon - Building a Runbook Automation System for Prometheus and Kubernetes
Stop using K8s CPU limits
Recommended Pod Spec
Send Push notifications to your phone
Prometheus AlertManager
Grafana Labs

★Natan Yellin★
Natan on Twitter
Natan on LinkedIn

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  • (00:00) - DDT MAIN
  • (00:04) - Intro
  • (00:53) - In today's episode
  • (02:59) - Main show
  • (03:27) - Introducing Natan
  • (03:53) - Alert fatigue
  • (04:29) - Where did the idea for Robusta come from?
  • (08:16) - Someone has to do the job
  • (09:17) - What does Robusta offer?
  • (10:25) - Proxying the alerts and providing context
  • (11:30) - Saving 10 to 30 minutes
  • (13:48) - The open source Robusta repo
  • (14:10) - The need to de-aggregate event data
  • (15:09) - Example or demo
  • (15:39) - Question about observability for microservices
  • (18:38) - Tip 1 Consider using silences
  • (19:49) - Tip 2 Monitor outcomes
  • (20:23) - Don't ignore alerts because of fatigue
  • (23:13) - Sending to different channels based on priority
  • (24:42) - Question about sending messages to destinations
  • (26:17) - Question
  • (26:49) - Installing Robusta
  • (27:42) - Demo set up commands
  • (27:54) - Questions
  • (28:11) - Demo Kubernetes-specific
  • (29:05) - Multi-cluster question
  • (31:32) - What does the SaaS platform do?
  • (32:44) - Demo with SaaS
  • (33:37) - kubectl not recommended
  • (35:03) - Breaking the glass
  • (38:15) - Question about notifications
  • (40:14) - Getting started
  • (41:24) - CPU limiting
  • (42:15) - Soft limits on CPU in Kubernetes
  • (44:35) - Bret's pod spec
  • (49:22) - Outro

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Creators and Guests

Bret Fisher
Bret Fisher
Cloud native DevOps Dude. Course creator, YouTuber, Podcaster. Docker Captain and CNCF Ambassador. People person who spends too much time in front of a computer.
Beth Fisher
Beth Fisher
Producer of DevOps and Docker Talk podcast since 2019. Assistant producer on Bret Fisher Live show on YouTube. Business and proposal writer by trade.
Cristi Cotovan
Cristi Cotovan
Video editor and educational content producer. Descript and Camtasia coach.
Natan Yellin
Natan Yellin
Open Source Kubernetes monitoring. Based on Prometheus. Best practices built-in. CEO @RobustaDev
Better K8s Prometheus Alerts with Robusta
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