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README.md

Tanglebeat

Tanglebeat is a configurable software agent with the primary purpose of collecting IOTA Tangle-related metrics to Prometheus Time Series Database. Historical metrics data later can be retrieved and displayed with such tools as Grafana or directly with Prometheus API.

Tanglebeat can be run in various standalone and distributed configurations to ensure high availability and objectivity of the metrics.

Tanglebeat is a result of experimenting with different approaches to how to measure a Tangle in objective and reliable way.

It was originally developed as standalone project. The site with live metrics can be found at tanglebeat.com

Currently Tanglebeat it is being developed under the umbrella of joined UNIO Project funded by Ecosystem Development Fund of IOTA Foundation.

Contents

Functions

A hub for IRI ZMQ streams

Tanglebeat collects messages from several IRI ZMQ inputs (configurable) and produces one output message stream. The resulting output represents operational state of the part of the network represented by those inputs. Inputs can cover some small cluster of the network or even one node, for example belonging to one operator (or one Economic Cluster in the future). It can also be very wide thus representing network as a whole. For example tanglebeat.com usually listens to up to 50 nodes.

Tanglebeat produces output from incoming data by using some kind of quorum based algorithm. In short: a message is passed to the output only after been received from several different ZMQ sources. Quorum parameter is usually 2 or 3 or more but can also be 1 (in case of single input ZMQ stream)

Output stream is used to calculate metrics. This way metrics reflects the performance and health of the network from the point of view of the cluster being listened to.

ZMQ sources can go down or up, nodes syncing or going out of sync, other nodes restarting and so on. By requiring evidences from several sources Tanglebeat filters out garbage messages which are not propagated by the network or the cluster of nodes.

Applications which rely on IRI ZMQ data may want to use Tanglebeat as ZMQ source independent from any specific IRI node.

Output message stream is exposed for external consumption by other programs (configurable). Find here how to use it.

A collector of ZMQ-based metrics

ZMQ-based metrics are usual metrics like TPS (transactions per second), CTPS (confirmed transactions per scond), Conf.rate (confirmation rate), duration between milestones. Tanglebeat also collects value based metrics such as number of confirmed transfers and value of confirmed transfers.

Tanglebeat exposes all metrics to the Prometheus instance of your choice or even several of them. Prometheus is times series database intended for collections of time series data (timed sequences of floating point numbers). It provides REST API and PromQL formula language to access stored time series data in every practically imaginable way.

Prometheus is often used as a data source for Grafana, a tool to display metrics in user friendly way: charts, gauges and similar.

A collector of non-ZMQ metrics

Some useful IOTA metrics can't be calculated from ZMQ data or it is more practical to collect it in another way. These metrics are submitted to Prometheus as well.

A separate module of Tanglebeat called TBSender does active sending of funds in IOTA ledger and calculates transfer statistics: transfers per hour, average transfer time, interval of expected transfer time and others.

It does it by sending and confirming/promoting few iotas worth transfers from one account to another in the endless loop, along addresses of the same seed. Several seeds (sequences) are used for that in parallel.

  • Transfers Per Hour or TfPH metrics is calculated the following way:

    • (number if confirmed transfers completed in last hour in all sequences) / (average number of active sequences in the last hour)

    Average number of active sequences is used to adjust for possible downtimes.

  • Average transfer time is calculated from transfer statistics.

  • Transfer confirmation time is estimated by taking 25 and 75 percentiles of real transfer confirmations times in the last hour.

  • Network latency. Promotion transactions are sent to the network to promote transfers. Tanglebeat records time when sent transaction returns from one of ZMQ streams back and after averaging collects it as a metrics.

A ZMQ state monitor

Tanglebeat exposes endpoint which returns states of all input ZMQ streams. Thus many nodes can be monitored at once: by up/down status, sync status, tps, ctps and conf. rate and other parameters.

The data on input streams is exposed using /api1/internal_stats/ endpoint

Picture

Tanglebeat consists of two programs: tanglebeat itself and tbsender. The former can be run alone. tbsender is a separate (optional) program which does transfers to calculate non-ZMQ metrics. It sends all necessary data to tanglebeat instance which in turn submits metrics to Prometheus.

Tanglebeat

Repository

  • Directory tanglebeat contains Go package for the executable of main tanglebeat program.
  • Directory tbsender contains Go package for the executable of the tbsender.
  • Directory examples/nano2zmq contains code of nano2zmq program, see Output stream how to use it.
  • Directory examples/readnano contains example how to read output of the Tanglebeat in the form of Nanomsg data stream.
  • Directory lib contains shared packages. Some of them can be used as independent packages in other Go projects
    • lib/confirmer contains library for promotion, reattachment and confirmation of any bundle.
    • lib/multiapi contains library for IOTA API calls performed simultaneously to several nodes with automatic handling of responses. Redundant API calling is handy to ensure robustness of the daemon programs by using several IOTA nodes at once.

Download and install

Download and install Go

You will need Go compiler and environment to compile Tanglebeat binaries on your platform. It is easier than it sounds.
Tanglebeat (except nano2zmq) doesn't have binary dependencies on other packages, it is pure Go program.

To install Go follow the instructions.

Make sure to define GOPATH environment variable to the root where all your Go projects and/or dependencies will land.

The GOPATH directory should contain at least src (for sources) and bin (for executable binaries) subdirectories.

Set PATH to your GOPATH/bin

Download Tanglebeat

To download main tanglebeat package with dependencies run:

go get -d github.com/unioproject/tanglebeat/tanglebeat/tanglebeat

To download tbsender package with dependencies run:

go get -d github.com/unioproject/tanglebeat/tbsender

To download nano2zmq package run:

go get -d github.com/unioproject/tanglebeat/examples/nano2zmq

To download readnano package run:

go get -d github.com/unioproject/tanglebeat/examples/readnano

Compile Tanglebeat binaries

Make directory GOPATH/src/github.com/unioproject/tanglebeat/tanglebeat current and run go install

Make directory GOPATH/src/github.com/unioproject/tanglebeat/tbsender current and run go install

Make directory GOPATH/src/github.com/unioproject/tanglebeat/examples/nano2zmq current and run go install (C dependencies!)

Make directory GOPATH/src/github.com/unioproject/tanglebeat/examples/readnano current and run go install

The above will produce respective executable binaries in GOPATH/bin directory.

Configure and run

Configure and run Tanglebeat instance

It is run with the command: tanglebeat [-cfg <config file>]

Tanglebeat instance is configured via YAML config file. It is expecting tanglebeat.yml in the current directory or in the directory specified by SITE_DATA_DIR environment variable.
It also can be specified with -cfg <config file> command line flag.

Directory examples/config contains example of the config file. Please read instructions right in the file. In most cases you'll only need to adjust ports used by the instance and static list of URI's of IRI ZMQs you want your instance to listen to.

Another important part is quorumToPass parameter. It controls how many evidences from different sources is needed to pass the message to the output. If you run tanglebeat with one input, it must be 1. Otherwise it must be 2 or more. For example if you set it to 5 each fifth message with the same hash will be pushed to the output while messages which, for some reason, are circulating among 4 nodes only will be filtered out.

Configure Prometheus

Note, that Prometheus is needed for Tanglebeat only if you want to store metrics. It is not needed if you use it only as a message hub.

Any Prometheus instance can collect (scrape) metrics from Tanglebeat instance. You need to install one only if you don't have one yet. Otherwise you need:

  • to specify scrape target in the config file of the Prometheus instance.
  • to provide tanglebeat.rules to the Prometheus (only if you run TBSender)

Follow instruction to download and install Prometheus.

Metrics of the Tanglebeat will be exposed to Prometheus with endpoint /metrics on the port, configured in tanglebeat.yml:

webServerPort: 8082

Respective scrape target must be specified in the configuration file of the Prometheus.

Here we also provide tanglebeat.rules file which has to be specified for the Prometheus instance to calculate tfph_adjusted metrics if you want to use TBSender for TfPH metrics. See Prometheus docs.

If you want to display Prometheus metrics, you can install Grafana server by following these instructions.

Configure TBSender

TBSender is run only if you need TfPH and network latency metrics. It is run by command tbsender. TBSender is expecting configuration file tbsender.yml in the current directory or in the directory specified by SITE_DATA_DIR environment variable.

Please find here an example of tbsender.yml

It contains detailed comments of how to set up configuration parameters. In general, you'll need to specify following things to set up the environment of TBSender:

  • Global parameters for sequences: URLs of IRI nodes, API timeouts and similar.

  • Specify sequences. Eeach sequence of addresses is defined by seed and index0 parameters. Sequence of addresses is security level 2 addresses with the seed starting at specified index. TBSender will be sending iotas along those sequences: whole balance of the current address to the next address and so on in a loop.

    Each sequence can override global parameters if needed: nodes, promo strategy, timeouts etc.

Output stream

Output can be enabled/disabled the following way:

iriMsgStream:
    outputEnabled: true
    outputPort: 5500    

If enabled, output stream is exposed using Nanomsg as a transport. It is functionally equivalent to ZMQ and messages are exactly the same format as received from IRI ZMQ.

The following types of IRI ZMQ messages are available from the output Nanomsg stream:

  • tx (transaction)
  • sn (confirmation)
  • lmi (latest milestone changed)
  • lmhs (latest solid milestone hash).

We are using Nanomsg as output for technical reasons (which may become irrelevant in the future). Meanwhile, if you want to stick to ZMQ as as transport, we provide Nanomsg to ZMQ converter.

After compiled (see above), it can be run by the command:

nano2zmq [-from <input nanoimsg URI> [ -to <output ZMQ port> ] ]

By default it reads Nanomsg input tcp://tanglebeat.com:5550 and sends it to the port 5556 as ZMQ stream.

For example nanomsg -from tcp://localhost:5550 will read Nanomsg on 5550 and produce ZMQ output on 5556.

Note that nano2zmq uses this Zero MQ library for Go and so it has binary dependencies with original ZeroMQ version 4.0.1 which must be installed (Tanglebeat itself don't have this dependency).

Metrics exposed to Prometheus

The following metrics are exposed to Prometheus by Tanglebeat. It can be found in Grafana admin frontend when designing charts and panels.

  • tanglebeat_tx_counter_compound counter of tx (transaction) messages. Used to calculate TPS metrics

  • tanglebeat_ctx_counter_compound counter of sn (confirmation) messages. Used to calculate CTPS metrics and confirmation rate.

  • tanglebeat_transfer_volume_counter_prod - counter of transferred amount in iotas.

    It sums up approximately calculated volume of transfer. It is calculated by summing up values of positive transactions in the bundle less transactions which do not move iotas in the bundle, i.e. those address which net sum is 0 (fake transfers) and less assumed transfer to reminder address. The reminder is assumed equal to value of the last transaction in the bundle if it is positive and it does not belong to the fake transfer. Otherwise it is 0.

  • tanglebeat_transfer_counter_prod counter of confimed bundles with positive moved volume of iotas.

  • tanglebeat_miota_price_usd IOTA price as taken form Coincap site

  • tanglebeat_echo_first time in miliseconds when first echo of the transaction, send by TBSender, is seen from ZMQ inout.

  • tanglebeat_echo_last time in seconds when last echo of the transaction, send by TBSender, comes form all ZMQ input.

  • tanglebeat_lm_conf_rate_5min, tanglebeat_lm_conf_rate_10min, tanglebeat_lm_conf_rate_15min,tanglebeat_lm_conf_rate_30min confirmation rate as provided by Luca Moser. Is is based on statistics collected while sending zero value transactions and obeserving it's confirmation.

  • tanglebeat:confirmation_metrics:tfph_adjusted TfPH or Transfers Per Hour metrics. Average number of confirmed transfer one sequence of TBSender was able to make in last 1 hour

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