Documentation

Work with Prometheus histograms

Use Flux to query and transform Prometheus histogram metrics stored in InfluxDB.

A histogram samples observations (usually things like request durations or response sizes) and counts them in configurable buckets. It also provides a sum of all observed values.

Prometheus metric types

Example histogram metric in Prometheus data
# HELP example_histogram_duration Duration of given tasks as example histogram metric
# TYPE example_histogram_duration histogram
example_histogram_duration_bucket{le="0.1"} 80
example_histogram_duration_bucket{le="0.25"} 85
example_histogram_duration_bucket{le="0.5"} 85
example_histogram_duration_bucket{le="1"} 87
example_histogram_duration_bucket{le="2.5"} 87
example_histogram_duration_bucket{le="5"} 88
example_histogram_duration_bucket{le="+Inf"} 88
example_histogram_duration_sum 6.833441910000001
example_histogram_duration_count 88

The examples below include example data collected from the InfluxDB OSS 2.x /metrics endpoint and stored in InfluxDB.

Prometheus metric parsing formats

Query structure depends on the Prometheus metric parsing format used to scrape the Prometheus metrics. Select the appropriate metric format version below.

Visualize Prometheus histograms in InfluxDB

InfluxDB does not currently support visualizing Prometheus histogram metrics as a traditional histogram. The existing InfluxDB histogram visualization is not compatible with the format of Prometheus histogram data stored in InfluxDB.

Calculate quantile values from Prometheus histograms

  1. Import the experimental/prometheus package.
  2. Filter results by the prometheus measurement and histogram metric name field.
  3. (Recommended) Use aggregateWindow() to downsample data and optimize the query.
  4. Use prometheus.histogramQuantile() to calculate a specific quantile.
import "experimental/prometheus"

from(bucket: "example-bucket")
    |> start(range: -1h)
    |> filter(fn: (r) => r._measurement == "prometheus")
    |> filter(fn: (r) => r._field == "qc_all_duration_seconds")
    |> aggregateWindow(every: 1m, fn: mean, createEmpty: false)
    |> prometheus.histogramQuantile(quantile: 0.99)
  1. Import the experimental/prometheus package.
  2. Filter results by the histogram metric name measurement.
  3. (Recommended) Use aggregateWindow() to downsample data and optimize the query. Set the createEmpty parameter to false.
  4. Use prometheus.histogramQuantile() to calculate a specific quantile. Specify the metricVersion as 1.
import "experimental/prometheus"

from(bucket: "example-bucket")
    |> start(range: -1h)
    |> filter(fn: (r) => r._measurement == "qc_all_duration_seconds")
    |> aggregateWindow(every: 1m, fn: mean, createEmpty: false)
    |> prometheus.histogramQuantile(quantile: 0.99, metricVersion: 1)
Calculate a quantile from Prometheus histogram metrics

Set createEmpty to false

When using aggregateWindow() to downsample data for prometheus.histogramQuantile, set the createEmpty parameter to false. Empty tables produced from aggregateWindow() result in the following error.

histogramQuantile: unexpected null in the countColumn

Calculate multiple quantiles from Prometheus histograms

  1. Query histogram data using steps 1-2 (optionally 3) from above.
  2. Use union() to union multiple streams of tables that calculate unique quantiles.
import "experimental/prometheus"

data =
    from(bucket: "example-bucket")
        |> start(range: -1h)
        |> filter(fn: (r) => r._measurement == "prometheus")
        |> filter(fn: (r) => r._field == "qc_all_duration_seconds")
        |> aggregateWindow(every: 1m, fn: mean, createEmpty: false)

union(
    tables: [
        data |> prometheus.histogramQuantile(quantile: 0.99),
        data |> prometheus.histogramQuantile(quantile: 0.5),
        data |> prometheus.histogramQuantile(quantile: 0.25),
    ],
)
import "experimental/prometheus"

data =
    from(bucket: "example-bucket")
        |> start(range: -1h)
        |> filter(fn: (r) => r._measurement == "qc_all_duration_seconds")
        |> aggregateWindow(every: 1m, fn: mean, createEmpty: false)

union(
    tables: [
        data |> prometheus.histogramQuantile(quantile: 0.99, metricVersion: 1),
        data |> prometheus.histogramQuantile(quantile: 0.5, metricVersion: 1),
        data |> prometheus.histogramQuantile(quantile: 0.25, metricVersion: 1),
    ],
)
Calculate multiple quantiles from Prometheus histogram metrics

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The future of Flux

Flux is going into maintenance mode. You can continue using it as you currently are without any changes to your code.

Flux is going into maintenance mode and will not be supported in InfluxDB 3.0. This was a decision based on the broad demand for SQL and the continued growth and adoption of InfluxQL. We are continuing to support Flux for users in 1.x and 2.x so you can continue using it with no changes to your code. If you are interested in transitioning to InfluxDB 3.0 and want to future-proof your code, we suggest using InfluxQL.

For information about the future of Flux, see the following: