Prometheus Operator creates/configures/manages Prometheus clusters atop Kubernetes
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Latest commit addcad5 Jan 19, 2017 @brancz brancz committed on GitHub Merge pull request #108 from brancz/renamings

Prometheus Operator

Project status: *alpha* Not all planned features are completed. The API, spec, status and other user facing objects are subject to change. We do not support backward-compability for the alpha releases.

The Prometheus Operator for Kubernetes provides easy monitoring definitions for Kubernetes services and deployment and management of Prometheus instances.

Once installed, the Prometheus Operator provides the following features:

  • Create/Destroy: Easily launch a Prometheus instance for your Kubernetes namespace, a specific application or team easily using the Operator.

  • Simple Configuration: Configure the fundamentals of Prometheus like versions, persistence, retention policies, and replicas from a native Kubernetes resource.

  • Target Services via Labels: Automatically generate monitoring target configurations based on familiar Kubernetes label queries; no need to learn a Prometheus specific configuration language.

For an introduction to the Prometheus Operator, see the initial blog post.

Prometheus Operator vs. kube-prometheus

The Prometheus Operator makes the Prometheus configuration Kubernetes native and manages and operates Prometheus and Alertmanager clusters. It is a piece of the puzzle regarding full end-to-end monitoring.

kube-prometheus is a collection of manifests to help getting started with monitoring Kubernetes itself and applications running on top of it.


Version >=0.2.0 of the Prometheus Operator requires a Kubernetes cluster of version >=1.5.0. If you are just starting out with the Prometheus Operator, it is highly recommended to use the latest version.

If you have previously used pre-1.5.0 releases of Kubernetes with the 0.1.0 version of the Prometheus Operator, see the migration section.


The PetSet was deprecated in the 1.5.0 release of Kubernetes in favor of the StatefulSet. As the Prometheus Operator used the PetSet in version 0.1.0, those need to be migrated as we upgrade our Kubernetes cluster as well as the Prometheus Operator.

First the Prometheus Operator needs to be shut down. Once shut down, retrieve the PetSets that were generated by it. You can do so simply by finding all Prometheus and Alertmanager objects created:

kubectl get prometheuses --all-namespaces
kubectl get alertmanagers --all-namespaces

For each Prometheus and Alertmanger object, a respective PetSet with the same name was created in the same namespace. Those PetSets need to be migrated according to the official migration documentation.

Once migrated and on Kubernetes version >=1.5.0, you can start the Prometheus Operator of version >=0.2.0, and the StatefulSet created in the migration will from now on be managed by the Prometheus Operator.

Third party resources

The Operator acts on the following third party resources (TPRs):

  • Prometheus, which defines a desired Prometheus deployment. The Operator ensures at all times that a deployment matching the resource definition is running.

  • ServiceMonitor, which declaratively specifies how groups of services should be monitored. The Operator automatically generates Prometheus scrape configuration based on the definition.

  • Alertmanager, which defines a desired Alertmanager deployment. The Operator ensures at all times that a deployment matching the resource definition is running.


Install the Operator inside a cluster by running the following command:

kubectl apply -f deployment.yaml

To run the Operator outside of a cluster:

hack/ <kubectl cluster name>

The Prometheus Operator collects anonymous usage statistics to help us learning how the software is being used and how we can improve it. To disable collection, run the Operator with the flag -analytics=false