Monitoring Agent Overview

The monitoring agent is a collectd-based daemon that gathers system and application metrics from virtual machine instances and sends them to Stackdriver Monitoring. By default, the agent collects disk, CPU, network, and process metrics. You can configure the agent to monitor third-party applications to get the full list of agent metrics.

The monitoring agent's metrics are only available with the Stackdriver Premium service tier, but the agent can be installed on VM instances in the Basic tier. You can try out this and other Stackdriver premium features free for 30 days, when you create a new Stackdriver account.

To install the agent, see Installing the Monitoring Agent.


Using the monitoring agent is optional but recommended. Stackdriver Monitoring can access some metrics without the agent, including CPU utilization, some disk traffic metrics, network traffic, and uptime information. Stackdriver Monitoring uses the monitoring agent to access additional system resources and application services in virtual machine (VM) instances. If you want these additional capabilities, you should install the monitoring agent.

After installing the agent, you can monitor supported third-party applications by adding application-specific collectd configurations. See Monitoring Third-party Applications for details.

For a complete list of the metrics you can get with the agent, see Agent metrics.

Supported configurations

The monitoring agent is compatible with the following environments.

Virtual machine instances

You can install the monitoring agent on the following kinds of VM instances. The instances must have external IP addresses:

The following VM instances do not require the Stackdriver Monitoring agent:

  • Google App Engine includes built-in support for Stackdriver Monitoring in the standard and flexible environments.

The Stackdriver Monitoring agent does not support the following VM instances:

Operating systems

The monitoring agent supports the following operating systems on compatible VM instances:

  • Amazon Linux AMI
  • CentOS 7 and 6
  • Debian 8 "Jessie", Debian 7 "Wheezy", and Debian-7-backports
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 and 6
  • Ubuntu LTS 12.04 "Precise", LTS 14.04 "Trusty", LTS 16.04 "Xenial" (only LTS releases are supported)
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2008, Server 2012

Supported applications

You can configure Stackdriver Monitoring to monitor a variety of popular open source software applications. For more information, see Monitoring Third-party Applications.

What's next

  • See Quickstart to monitor a VM instance running an Apache web server. The quickstart includes installing the agent.
  • See Installing Monitoring Agents to install the agent on Google Compute Engine or Amazon EC2 VM instances.

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