How to Track Performance with Droplet Graphs

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.

Droplets come with some graphs available by default. You can get additional graphs in the control panel by enabling DigitalOcean Monitoring, a free, opt-in service.

Default Droplet Graphs

To view a Droplet’s graphs, click its name on the dashboard. You’ll arrive directly on the Graphs page:

Screenshot of Default Graphs

The Droplet graphs can span 6 hours, 24 hours, 7 days, or 30 days. By default three graphs 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 Metrics Agent-Powered Graphs

The default Droplet graphs are measured and calculated using external tools. They require nothing special on the Droplet itself.

You can enable graphs for other metrics, like memory and disk utilization, with DigitalOcean Monitoring. The DigitalOcean metrics agent, a small utility that runs on the Droplet, provides these additional metrics. You can automatically set up the metrics agent when you create a Droplet or after a Droplet has been created.

Once the metrics 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.

Screenshot of metrics 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 six charts:

Screenshot of all six Droplet graphs

An additional Load Average plot is available with the new beta metrics agent. Load average is a measure of whether the CPU is keeping up with queued processes.

Screenshot of the load average plot

There are three lines representing 1-, 5-, and 15-minute load average calculation timeframes in blue, green, and purple, respectively. You can find more details on load average in the Monitoring glossary.