Instance Metrics Overview

Understanding how the NGINX Agent collects and reports metrics


The data that Instance Manager collects can be divided into two categories:

  • System metrics: Data collected about the data plane system, such as CPU and memory usage.
  • Traffic metrics: Data related to processed traffic from sources such as NGINX OSS, NGINX Plus, or NGINX logs.

Metrics are collected every 15 seconds and are published at 60-second intervals.

For the full list of metrics, see the Metrics Catalog Reference

Metrics Collection and Reporting Process

While the NGINX Agent is running on the host, it collects metrics at regular 15-second intervals. Metrics then are downsampled and sent to the Manager server once per minute.

Instance Manager stores historical metrics data in an analytics database. Metrics are aggregated and rolled-up as follows:

  • Data not older than 8 days are stored with best possible resolution (usually 1 min).
  • Data older than 8 days but not older than 30 days are stored with 5 min resolution.
  • Data older than 30 days but not older than 15 months are stored with 1 hour resolution.
  • Data older than 15 months are stored with 1 day resolution.

NGINX Plus Metrics

Enable the NGINX Plus API to collect NGINX Plus metrics by uncommenting the /api/ location section in /etc/nginx/conf.d/default.conf:

# enable /api/ location with appropriate access control in order
# to make use of NGINX Plus API
location /api/ {
    api write=on;
    deny all;


Enable NGINX Stub Status API to collect NGINX metrics in NGINX OSS. A sample Stub Status API configuration is shown below:

server {
    location /api {
        deny all;

NGINX Access Log Metrics

Enable NGINX Access Logging to collect metrics from parsing access logs. A sample Access Log format is shown below:

log_format  main  '$remote_addr - $remote_user [$time_local] "$request" '
                  '$status $body_bytes_sent "$http_referer" '
                  '"$http_user_agent" "$http_x_forwarded_for" '
                  '"$bytes_sent" "$request_length" "$request_time" '
                  '"$gzip_ratio" $server_protocol ';

access_log  /var/log/nginx/access.log  main;


System metrics are collected by the NGINX Agent without requiring the user to perform any additional setup. Additional setup is required to enable collection of NGINX related metrics.