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Interview with Richard Hartmann, Prometheus team member

“Prometheus changed how the cloud-native world thinks of data ingestion scale and how it labels monitoring & other data”

Gabriela Motroc
© Shutterstock / goodwin_x

Now that Prometheus has emerged from CNCF incubation, the team anticipates even wider adoption. We talked to Richard Hartmann, a Prometheus team member, about the meaning of this graduation, its benefits, the common denominator between Prometheus and Kubernetes and more. 

Prometheus has recently emerged from CNCF incubation. This is already the second graduation this year after Kubernetes broke the ice for incubating CNCF projects.

Since reaching incubation level, Prometheus has had 30 minor and major official releases. As Richard Hartmann, a Prometheus team member, explained in a recent blog post, the following things happened since reaching incubating level:

  • We completely rewrote our storage back-end to support high churn in services
  • We had a large push towards stability, especially with 2.3.2
  • We started a documentation push with a special focus on making Prometheus adoption and joining the community easier

The team anticipates even wider adoption now that Prometheus has graduated. We talked to Richard about the meaning of this graduation, its benefits, the common denominator between Prometheus and Kubernetes and more.

 

JAXenter: Prometheus is CNCF’s second project to graduate, after Kubernetes. What’s going to change for Prometheus now that it has graduated?

Richard Hartmann: Graduation is less about internal changes and more about external perception; the fact that we graduated means we already matured to the point that CNCF is comfortable giving us their stamp of approval. This gives companies adopting cloud-native technologies the confidence that Prometheus is a stable base to build their operations on.

JAXenter: Why should developers add Prometheus to their “toolkits”? What does it have that other monitoring tools don’t?

Even if Prometheus ceased to exist tomorrow, we would already have shaped that cloud-native future.

Richard Hartmann: Prometheus is focused on metrics, the most important type of monitoring data when dealing with large-scale deployments. Our speed, stability, and extremely wide adoption mean that users will find a nice ecosystem to grow into. As Prometheus is built to be fully automated in all aspects, operational overhead becomes marginal once Prometheus has been adopted by a company.

JAXenter: What do Prometheus and Kubernetes have in common? What’s their common denominator?

Richard Hartmann: Both are cloud-native projects and there’s close coordination to ensure perfect interoperability; several Prometheus team members are also on Kubernetes Working Groups. As cloud native, at its core, means “good operating principles adopted to the modern IT landscape,” I would say that the strongest common denominator is our shared passion for smooth and reliable operations.

JAXenter: What is the next peak Prometheus should conquer?

Richard Hartmann: Long-term storage, standardization, and easing the initial learning curve. We are doing a documentation push, are working on standardized drop-in monitoring configurations with Mixins and JSONNET, and have two long-term storages coming from within the Prometheus team: Cortex and Thanos. We are also spinning out the data format Prometheus uses into its own independent standard: OpenMetrics.

SEE ALSO: Power up Prometheus with M3: Uber’s large-scale metrics platform

JAXenter: Would you call Prometheus a DevOps tool?

Richard Hartmann: Amongst many different names, this one would also fit. DevOps is just another angle of having good operating principles adopted to the modern IT landscape.

JAXenter: Does Prometheus play an important role in the cloud-native future?

Richard Hartmann: Absolutely. We already changed how the cloud-native world thinks of data ingestion scale and how it labels monitoring and other data. Even if Prometheus ceased to exist tomorrow, we would already have shaped that cloud-native future. But we’re not planning on slowing down any time soon as you can see in our Dev Summit notes.

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Author
Gabriela Motroc
Gabriela Motroc is editor of JAXenter.com and JAX Magazine. Before working at Software & Support Media Group, she studied International Communication Management at the Hague University of Applied Sciences.

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