InfluxDB (TICK Stack) — Part2

InfluxDB (TICK Stack) — Part2

Source: Nidhinkumar


In the previous post, we have seen what is Time-series database, what is TICK stack, how to install TICK Stack in both local and VM instances, and visualized the system metrics in Chronograf.

In this post, we will write our own plugin which will collect metrics from Youtube


  1. Intro about Telegraf Plugin Architecture

  2. Download GoLang and clone the Telegraf repository

  3. Create a custom Telegraf input plugin to collect Youtube Statistics

  4. Create a dashboard to visualize the Youtube statistics

  5. Create a dropdown menu to change the values dynamically

1. Intro about Telegraf Plugin Architecture

Telegraf is a server-based agent that collects metrics from inputs-applications, databases, message queues, and more.

Telegraf’s plugin driven architecture and lightweight footprint doesn’t require external dependencies like npm, pip, or gem which makes it a popular tool for collecting metrics from a variety of input sources.

Telegraf is a compiled Go executable and all plugins are compiled directly into the build, which means you don’t want to install any plugins

Telegraf Architecture

Most of Telegraf’s input plugin can be grouped into the following like below

Metrics from common open-source data infrastructure

Metrics from common DevOps tools and frameworks

Metrics from common Monitoring systems

Low-level OS system telemetry

Telegraf supports the following generic sources

  • File — Consume the contents of an entire file

  • Tail — Tail a file

  • SocketListener — Receive input from socket over TCP and UDP

  • HTTP Listener — Receive POST over HTTP

  • HTTP Poller — Periodically get data from a configured endpoint

  • Exec — Execute a process and get metrics from stdout

  • Execd — Execute a daemonized process

2. Download GoLang and clone the Telegraf repository

Now, we will start creating our own input plugin which will collect the statistics from Youtube. Before writing the plugin we must download the GoLang since the Telegraf is Go executable

Install GoLang on ubuntu

Use the below command to download the go binary file

curl -O

Once done check the sha256sum using the below command

sha256sum go1.15.7.linux-amd64.tar.gz

Once done unpack it using the belong command

tar xvf go1.15.7.linux-amd64.tar.gz

You should now have a directory called go in your home directory. Recursively change go’s owner and group to root, and move it to /usr/local

sudo chown -R root:root ./go sudo mv go /usr/local

Now we will set the Go paths, for that open the profile file using the below command

sudo nano ~/.profile

at the end of the file add the below line

export GOPATH=$HOME/work  
export PATH=$PATH:/usr/local/go/bin:$GOPATH/bin

Refresh the profile using the below command

source ~/.profile

Now we will clone the influx data repo in the Go working directory

go get

Once it is cloned navigate to the plugin directory go/src/ you could see the directories like below

Plugins folder

Now navigate to the inputs directory and list down the plugins where you could see the list of plugins like below

input plugins list

Now we have cloned the InfluxData repo to our local machine next we will write the logic for the custom plugin

3. Create a custom Telegraf input plugin to collect Youtube Statistics

Now we will create the custom input plugin to collect the Youtube statistics of a channel

First, create a directory named youtube using the command mkdir youtube . Once done create a new file named youtube.go

Open the text editor and add the basic skeleton for the custom plugin like below

Once the basic skeleton is created now we will add the logic to collect the metrics from Youtube based on the list of channels we provide

What we have done in the above code we have created a youtube service that will collect the API key from the input configuration file and in the Gather function we have used a loop to list down the channel-ids based on the channel-ids we will get the channel details and tags using the getFields() and getTags() functions.

Once all the metrics are collected we will add these fields to youtube_channel measurement (a.k.a table) using the below snippet

acc.AddFields("youtube_channel", fields, tags, now)

Now we have written the logic to collect the statistics from Youtube. Now we will build the Telegraf binary

Open the all.go file in telegraf/inputs/all the directory and add the youtube plugin in the all.go file like the below image

all.go file

Now save the all.go file and navigate to telegraf directory and build the binary using the command

make telegraf

Now the Telegraf binary file has been created.

4. Create a dashboard to visualize the Youtube statistics

Now we will create a telegraf.conf file and add the youtube plugin as input and push the metrics to InfluxDB

Open the InfluxDB and create a new bucket named youtube once the bucket is created, create a Telegraf configuration and download the Telegraf configuration file along with the InfluxDB token

Now open the telegraf.conf file which you have downloaded now and add the below snippets to the bottom of the configuration file

Once the above snippets are added to your telegraf.conf file run the telegraf configuration file using the below command

./telegraf --config path-of-your-telegraf.conf

Note: If the Telegraf binary file which you have created is in a different location then provide the path of the telegraf binary file like the below command

/path-of-your-telegraf-binary --config path-of-your-telegraf.conf

Now the data will be pushed to the InfluxDB like below


Once done we can create the dashboard based on the fields we have received from the input plugin. And the final dashboard would look like below


5. Create a dropdown menu to change the values dynamically

Now we have created a dashboard for one channel but what if we have provided multiple channels id. In that case, we cannot create n dashboards for that we can create a variable that will list down the channel names and once a channel is created we can visualize the data of the selected channel

To create a variable click Settings -> Variable

Create variable named channels and add the channel names for the ids which we have added in the telegraf.conf file like below


Once the variable is created in the dashboard you can see the drop-down but if you change the channel it won’t make any changes in the dashboard since we have not linked it with the query.

Click on the settings of a panel in the dashboard click on the query builder and add the query like the below image

Adding a filter for the channel

Now add filters for all the panels in the dashboard. Once done if you change the drop-down value the statistics for the selected drop-down value will take place in the dashboard.


You have learned how to create a custom input plugin in Telegraf and visualize those metrics by changing the values dynamically.

Now you can play around by customizing the dashboard and the input-plugin. Catch you up in a new post till then Happy Learning!