Observing Your Kubernetes Clusters

Stackdriver now lets you explore monitoring and logging information in your Google Kubernetes Engine clusters and application containers using a single dashboard.

Getting started

  1. From the GCP Console, go to the Stackdriver Monitoring home page, Stackdriver > Monitoring. You can click the following button to go there:

    Go to the Stackdriver Monitoring console

  2. Select the Workspace containing your Google Kubernetes Engine cluster:

    • In most cases, the Workspace is the GCP project containing your Google Kubernetes Engine cluster.
    • You might be prompted to create a Workspace, or you might not see your GCP project in the list of accounts. In that case, you should create a new Workspace using your GCP project. For more information, see Creating a Stackdriver Account.
    • To monitor clusters from multiple projects in the same dashboards, you must create a Workspace that is different from your GCP project(s). For more information, see Monitoring multiple projects.
  3. From the Stackdriver Monitoring console, go to Resources > Kubernetes Beta console. You will see this menu item only if you have clusters using Stackdriver Kubernetes Monitoring.

    Go to the Stackdriver Kubernetes Monitoring Beta Console

    This console shows you only those clusters that use Stackdriver Kubernetes Monitoring. If you don't see any clusters or you don't see all the resources in your clusters, see the Troubleshooting section on this page.

Kubernetes Monitoring dashboard interface

The Kubernetes Monitoring dashboard is divided into several parts, as indicated by the red numbers in the screenshot below:

Kubernetes Tabular View

  1. The dashboard toolbar provides dashboard settings, filtering, and control over the timeline shown underneath it.

  2. The timeline event selector lets you hover over the timeline to reveal summaries of alerting violations. See the Timeline events section below.

  3. The details section lets you choose from one of three viewing tabs: Infrastructure, Workloads, and Services. These viewing tabs are discussed the Viewing tabs section below.

Viewing tabs

The dashboard provides multiple viewing tabs, which organize your cluster information in different ways. The possible viewing tabs are:

  • Infrastructure. Aggregates Kubernetes resources by this hierarchy: Cluster > Node > Pod > Container.

  • Workloads. Aggregates Kubernetes resources by this hierarchy: Cluster > Namespace > Workload > Pod > Container.

  • Services. Aggregates Kubernetes resources by this hierarchy: Cluster > Namespace > Service > Pod > Container.

You can select your viewing mode from the tabs above the details section:

Kubernetes Event Details

The table is sorted to show Kubernetes resources with open incidents first. You can click the expander arrow (▸) in front of each Kubernetes resource to look at any subcomponents of the resource. The following screenshot shows an expanded hierarchy of Kubernetes resources:

Kubernetes Event Details

Each resource name is preceded by an indicator which, if it is red, indicates that incidents have occurred in that resource or in resources lower in the hierarchy. To see the alerting details, click Name. For more details, see the Alerting details section below.

Column definitions

Following are explanations of the columns that appear in the three tabs. The displayed values are based on the selected time range:

  • Name: The label you assigned to the Kubernetes resource.
  • Resource Type: The possible values are Cluster, Container, Namespace, Node, Pod, and Workspace. Container.
  • Ready: The number of node instances available.
  • Incidents: The number of alerting violations.
  • CPU Utilization: The percent utilization compared to the requested CPU resources.
  • Memory Utilization: The percent utilization of requested memory.
  • Total Memory Usage: The amount of memory allocated.

Missing information

It is a known issue in this beta release that certain containers, pods, and workloads might be missing from the tab displays.

If a container does not have limits and requests set for CPU and Memory, then that container and its parent pods and workloads might not be shown in the tab displays. You can check for the existence of pods with kubectl commands such as the following:

kubectl get pods --namespace=[NAMESPACE_ID]

To correct this problem, add limits to the container configuration.

Alerting details

The Kubernetes Monitoring dashboard displays a summary line for each Kubernetes resource by default. To see the details for the resource, click the expander arrow (▸) in front of Kubernetes resource.

If you click the buttons, which are red or green, in front of the entry, a panel with alerting details appears:

Kubernetes Event Details

This details view aggregates incidents, system metrics, and logs within one view.

Timeline events

You can also access the alerting details panel from the timeline event selector at the top of the dashboard. A timeline of incidents gives you a view of alerting violations that happened within the selected time range. If you hover over red areas in the timeline, event cards appear:

Kubernetes Timeline View

Event cards provide more information on each incident displayed in the timeline. If you click on an individual event card, you see the alerting details for the incident in a new panel.


If you don't see any Kubernetes resources in your dashboard, then check the following:

  • Is the correct GCP project selected at the top of the page? If not, use the drop-down menu at the top of the page to select a project. You must select the project whose data you want to see.

  • Does your project have any activity? If you just created your cluster, wait a few minutes for it to populate with data. See Installing Stackdriver Support for details.

  • Is the time range too narrow? You can use the Time menu in the dashboard toolbar at the top of the page to select other time ranges or define a Custom range.

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