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How To Track Droplet Performance with DigitalOcean Droplet Graphs

PostedNovember 30, 2016 30.2k views DigitalOcean


Keeping an eye on your server's performance is important, and DigitalOcean provides Droplet graphs with up-to-the minute visualizations of how your server is performing over time. In this guide, we will review the graphs that are available by default, as well as additional graphs available by installing the DigitalOcean Agent, a small utility that gathers information about memory, disk utilization, and top consumers of CPU and memory on the system.

Default Droplet Graphs

To view a Droplet's graphs, click its name on the Droplet page:

Screenshot of a Droplet name

When you follow the Droplet name, you'll arrive directly on the Graphs page. If you leave the Graphs page, you can return by clicking the Graphs link in the left-hand navigation:

Screenshot of Default Graphs
The Droplet graphs can span 6 hours, 24 hours, 7 days, or 30 days. Three of them are available for any Droplet:

  • The Bandwidth public chart displays public bandwidth usage in megabits per second. Incoming bandwidth is dark purple and outgoing bandwidth is light purple.
  • The CPU usage shows the percent of total processing power being used, with light blue for user jobs and dark blue for system processes.
  • The Disk I/O displays disk read and write operations in megabytes per second, with read operations in dark green and write operations in light green.

If you have enabled Private Networking, you'll also have access to a fourth graph to track private network bandwidth usage. Like the Bandwidth public graph, the Bandwidth private graph will not appear until there is actual network traffic. Once there is, then the "Bandwidth private" chart displays the private bandwidth usage in megabits per second. Incoming bandwidth use is shown in dark purple and outgoing bandwidth in light purple.

When you mouse over any of the graphs, a line appears on all of them, pinpointing a moment in time. A graph legend appears along with readings for that specific moment. The graph below, for example, shows the the state of the system at 12:12 pm on November 21, 2016.

Screenshot of default graph mouseover

Additional Agent-Powered Graphs

The default Droplet graphs are measured and calculated using external tools. They require nothing special on the Droplet itself. Other metrics, however, like memory and disk utilization, require server-side data collection. The DigitalOcean Agent, a small utility that runs on the Droplet, provides the additional metrics for memory and disk utilization. You can learn more about the DigitalOcean Agent and the access it requires in How To Install and Use the DigitalOcean Agent for Additional Droplet Graphs

The Agent is automatically installed by checking the “Monitoring” box when you create a Droplet:

Screenshot of Monitoring checkbox

The Agent can also be installed retroactively from a terminalwith the following command, issued as the root user:

  • curl -sSL http://agent.digitalocean.com/install.sh | sh

You can also find this command by following the link at the top of the default graphs, which will present the command to install it:
Screenshot of Monitoring checkbox

Screenshot of Update Droplet instructions

Once the Agent is enabled you’ll have access to the additional graphs which include:

  • The Memory line graph displays the percentage of physical RAM in use.
  • The Disk Usage line graph shows the percentage of space being used on the Droplet's disk.
  • The Top processes bar graph shows the current top processes running on the Droplet, filtered by CPU or Memory. Unlike the other graphs, this bar graph does not display historical data. Screenshot of Agent Graphs without Private Networking

Mousing over any of the line graphs will display an expanded Graphs legend, along with expanded details from the specific moment in time.:

Screenshot of Graph mouseover
Finally, if you have enabled Private Networking and have used private bandwidth, the Graphs page will display these seven charts:

Screenshot of all seven Droplet graphs


In this article, we reviewed the default and extended graphs available for DigitalOcean Droplets. If your graphs indicate performance issues, there are several Server Optimization tutorials that can provide guidance. You might also like to check out the following ways to increase the capacity of Droplets:

If you have questions about DigitalOcean graphs, please ask them in the comments below.


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