Monitoring & Metrics

Cilium and Hubble can both be configured to serve Prometheus metrics. Prometheus is a pluggable metrics collection and storage system and can act as a data source for Grafana, a metrics visualization frontend. Unlike some metrics collectors like statsd, Prometheus requires the collectors to pull metrics from each source.

Cilium and Hubble metrics can be enabled independently of each other.

Cilium Metrics

Cilium metrics provide insights into the state of Cilium itself, namely of the cilium-agent, cilium-envoy, and cilium-operator processes. To run Cilium with Prometheus metrics enabled, deploy it with the prometheus.enabled=true Helm value set.

Cilium metrics are exported under the cilium_ Prometheus namespace. Envoy metrics are exported under the envoy_ Prometheus namespace, of which the Cilium-defined metrics are exported under the envoy_cilium_ namespace. When running and collecting in Kubernetes they will be tagged with a pod name and namespace.


You can enable metrics for cilium-agent (including Envoy) with the Helm value prometheus.enabled=true. To enable metrics for cilium-operator, use operator.prometheus.enabled=true.

helm install cilium cilium/cilium --version 1.11.5 \
  --namespace kube-system \
  --set prometheus.enabled=true \
  --set operator.prometheus.enabled=true

The ports can be configured via prometheus.port, proxy.prometheus.port, or operator.prometheus.port respectively.

When metrics are enabled, all Cilium components will have the following annotations. They can be used to signal Prometheus whether to scrape metrics: true 9090

To collect Envoy metrics the Cilium chart will create a Kubernetes headless service named cilium-agent with the'true' annotation set: true 9095

This additional headless service in addition to the other Cilium components is needed as each component can only have one Prometheus scrape and port annotation.

Prometheus will pick up the Cilium and Envoy metrics automatically if the following option is set in the scrape_configs section:

- job_name: 'kubernetes-pods'
  - role: pod
    - source_labels: [__meta_kubernetes_pod_annotation_prometheus_io_scrape]
      action: keep
      regex: true
    - source_labels: [__address__, __meta_kubernetes_pod_annotation_prometheus_io_port]
      action: replace
      regex: (.+):(?:\d+);(\d+)
      replacement: ${1}:${2}
      target_label: __address__

Hubble Metrics

While Cilium metrics allow you to monitor the state Cilium itself, Hubble metrics on the other hand allow you to monitor the network behavior of your Cilium-managed Kubernetes pods with respect to connectivity and security.


To deploy Cilium with Hubble metrics enabled, you need to enable Hubble with hubble.enabled=true and provide a set of Hubble metrics you want to enable via hubble.metrics.enabled.

Some of the metrics can also be configured with additional options. See the Hubble exported metrics section for the full list of available metrics and their options.

helm install cilium cilium/cilium --version 1.11.5 \
  --namespace kube-system \
  --set hubble.metrics.enabled="{dns,drop,tcp,flow,icmp,http}"

The port of the Hubble metrics can be configured with the hubble.metrics.port Helm value.


L7 metrics such as HTTP, are only emitted for pods that enable Layer 7 Protocol Visibility.

When deployed with a non-empty hubble.metrics.enabled Helm value, the Cilium chart will create a Kubernetes headless service named hubble-metrics with the'true' annotation set: true 9091

Set the following options in the scrape_configs section of Prometheus to have it scrape all Hubble metrics from the endpoints automatically:

  - job_name: 'kubernetes-endpoints'
    scrape_interval: 30s
      - role: endpoints
      - source_labels: [__meta_kubernetes_service_annotation_prometheus_io_scrape]
        action: keep
        regex: true
      - source_labels: [__address__, __meta_kubernetes_service_annotation_prometheus_io_port]
        action: replace
        target_label: __address__
        regex: (.+)(?::\d+);(\d+)
        replacement: $1:$2

Example Prometheus & Grafana Deployment

If you don’t have an existing Prometheus and Grafana stack running, you can deploy a stack with:

kubectl apply -f

It will run Prometheus and Grafana in the cilium-monitoring namespace. If you have either enabled Cilium or Hubble metrics, they will automatically be scraped by Prometheus. You can then expose Grafana to access it via your browser.

kubectl -n cilium-monitoring port-forward service/grafana --address --address :: 3000:3000

Open your browser and access http://localhost:3000/

Metrics Reference



To expose any metrics, invoke cilium-agent with the --prometheus-serve-addr option. This option takes a IP:Port pair but passing an empty IP (e.g. :9090) will bind the server to all available interfaces (there is usually only one in a container).

Exported Metrics

Name Labels Description
endpoint   Number of endpoints managed by this agent
endpoint_regenerations_total outcome Count of all endpoint regenerations that have completed
endpoint_regeneration_time_stats_seconds scope Endpoint regeneration time stats
endpoint_state state Count of all endpoints
Name Labels Description
services_events_total   Number of services events labeled by action type
Cluster health
Name Labels Description
unreachable_nodes   Number of nodes that cannot be reached
unreachable_health_endpoints   Number of health endpoints that cannot be reached
controllers_failing   Number of failing controllers
Name Labels Description
datapath_conntrack_dump_resets_total area, name, family Number of conntrack dump resets. Happens when a BPF entry gets removed while dumping the map is in progress.
datapath_conntrack_gc_runs_total status Number of times that the conntrack garbage collector process was run
datapath_conntrack_gc_key_fallbacks_total   The number of alive and deleted conntrack entries at the end of a garbage collector run labeled by datapath family
datapath_conntrack_gc_entries family The number of alive and deleted conntrack entries at the end of a garbage collector run
datapath_conntrack_gc_duration_seconds status Duration in seconds of the garbage collector process
Name Labels Description
ipsec_xfrm_error error, type Total number of xfrm errors.
Name Labels Description
bpf_syscall_duration_seconds operation, outcome Duration of eBPF system call performed
bpf_map_ops_total mapName (deprecated), map_name, operation, outcome Number of eBPF map operations performed. mapName is deprecated and will be removed in 1.10. Use map_name instead.
bpf_map_pressure map_name Map pressure defined as fill-up ratio of the map. Policy maps are exceptionally reported only when ratio is over 0.1.
bpf_maps_virtual_memory_max_bytes   Max memory used by eBPF maps installed in the system
bpf_progs_virtual_memory_max_bytes   Max memory used by eBPF programs installed in the system

Both bpf_maps_virtual_memory_max_bytes and bpf_progs_virtual_memory_max_bytes are currently reporting the system-wide memory usage of eBPF that is directly and not directly managed by Cilium. This might change in the future and only report the eBPF memory usage directly managed by Cilium.

Drops/Forwards (L3/L4)
Name Labels Description
drop_count_total reason, direction Total dropped packets
drop_bytes_total reason, direction Total dropped bytes
forward_count_total direction Total forwarded packets
forward_bytes_total direction Total forwarded bytes
Name Labels Description
policy   Number of policies currently loaded
policy_count   Number of policies currently loaded (deprecated, use policy)
policy_regeneration_total   Total number of policies regenerated successfully
policy_regeneration_time_stats_seconds scope Policy regeneration time stats labeled by the scope
policy_max_revision   Highest policy revision number in the agent
policy_import_errors_total   Number of times a policy import has failed
policy_endpoint_enforcement_status   Number of endpoints labeled by policy enforcement status
Policy L7 (HTTP/Kafka)
Name Labels Description
proxy_redirects protocol Number of redirects installed for endpoints
proxy_upstream_reply_seconds   Seconds waited for upstream server to reply to a request
policy_l7_total type Number of total L7 requests/responses
Name Labels Description
identity   Number of identities currently allocated
Events external to Cilium
Name Labels Description
event_ts source Last timestamp when we received an event
Name Labels Description
controllers_runs_total status Number of times that a controller process was run
controllers_runs_duration_seconds status Duration in seconds of the controller process
Name Labels Description
subprocess_start_total subsystem Number of times that Cilium has started a subprocess
Name Labels Description
kubernetes_events_received_total scope, action, validity, equal Number of Kubernetes events received
kubernetes_events_total scope, action, outcome Number of Kubernetes events processed
k8s_cnp_status_completion_seconds attempts, outcome Duration in seconds in how long it took to complete a CNP status update
Name Labels Description
ipam_events_total   Number of IPAM events received labeled by action and datapath family type
ip_addresses family Number of allocated IP addresses
Name Labels Description
kvstore_operations_duration_seconds action, kind, outcome, scope Duration of kvstore operation
kvstore_events_queue_seconds action, scope Duration of seconds of time received event was blocked before it could be queued
kvstore_quorum_errors_total error Number of quorum errors
Name Labels Description
agent_bootstrap_seconds scope, outcome Duration of various bootstrap phases
api_process_time_seconds   Processing time of all the API calls made to the cilium-agent, labeled by API method, API path and returned HTTP code.
Name Labels Description
qdn_gc_deletions_total   Number of FQDNs that have been cleaned on FQDN garbage collector job
API Rate Limiting
Name Labels Description
cilium_api_limiter_adjustment_factor api_call Most recent adjustment factor for automatic adjustment
cilium_api_limiter_processed_requests_total api_call, outcome Total number of API requests processed
cilium_api_limiter_processing_duration_seconds api_call, value Mean and estimated processing duration in seconds
cilium_api_limiter_rate_limit api_call, value Current rate limiting configuration (limit and burst)
cilium_api_limiter_requests_in_flight api_call value Current and maximum allowed number of requests in flight
cilium_api_limiter_wait_duration_seconds api_call, value Mean, min, and max wait duration
cilium_api_limiter_wait_history_duration_seconds api_call Histogram of wait duration per API call processed



cilium-operator can be configured to serve metrics by running with the option --enable-metrics. By default, the operator will expose metrics on port 6942, the port can be changed with the option --operator-prometheus-serve-addr.

Exported Metrics

All metrics are exported under the cilium_operator_ Prometheus namespace.

Name Labels Description
ipam_ips type Number of IPs allocated
ipam_allocation_ops subnet_id Number of IP allocation operations.
ipam_interface_creation_ops subnet_id, status Number of interfaces creation operations.
ipam_available   Number of interfaces with addresses available
ipam_nodes_at_capacity   Number of nodes unable to allocate more addresses
ipam_resync_total   Number of synchronization operations with external IPAM API
ipam_api_duration_seconds operation, response_code Duration of interactions with external IPAM API.
ipam_api_rate_limit_duration_seconds operation Duration of rate limiting while accessing external IPAM API



Hubble metrics are served by a Hubble instance running inside cilium-agent. The command-line options to configure them are --enable-hubble, --hubble-metrics-server, and --hubble-metrics. --hubble-metrics-server takes an IP:Port pair, but passing an empty IP (e.g. :9091) will bind the server to all available interfaces. --hubble-metrics takes a comma-separated list of metrics.

Some metrics can take additional semicolon-separated options per metric, e.g. --hubble-metrics="dns:query;ignoreAAAA,http:destinationContext=pod-short" will enable the dns metric with the query and ignoreAAAA options, and the http metric with the destinationContext=pod-short option.

Context Options

Most Hubble metrics can be configured to add the source and/or destination context as a label. The options are called sourceContext and destinationContext. The possible values are:

Option Value Description
identity All Cilium security identity labels
namespace Kubernetes namespace name
pod Kubernetes pod name
pod-short Short version of the Kubernetes pod name. Typically the deployment/replicaset name.
dns All known DNS names of the source or destination (comma-separated)
ip The IPv4 or IPv6 address

When specifying the source and/or destination context, multiple contexts can be specified by separating them via the | symbol. When multiple are specified, then the first non-empty value is added to the metric as a label. For example, a metric configuration of flow:destinationContext=dns|ip will first try to use the DNS name of the target for the label. If no DNS name is known for the target, it will fall back and use the IP address of the target instead.

Exported Metrics

Hubble metrics are exported under the hubble_ Prometheus namespace.

Name Labels Description
dns_queries_total rcode, qtypes, ips_returned Number of DNS queries observed
dns_responses_total rcode, qtypes, ips_returned Number of DNS responses observed
dns_response_types_total type, qtypes Number of DNS response types
Option Key Option Value Description
query N/A Include the query as label “query”
ignoreAAAA N/A Ignore any AAAA requests/responses

This metric supports Context Options.

Name Labels Description
drop_total reason, protocol Number of drops

This metric supports Context Options.

Name Labels Description
flows_processed_total type, subtype, verdict Total number of flows processed

This metric supports Context Options.

Name Labels Description
http_requests_total method, protocol Count of HTTP requests
http_responses_total method, status Count of HTTP responses
http_request_duration_seconds method Quantiles of HTTP request duration in seconds

This metric supports Context Options.

Name Labels Description
icmp_total family, type Number of ICMP messages

This metric supports Context Options.

Name Labels Description
port_distribution_total protocol, port Numbers of packets distributed by destination port

This metric supports Context Options.

Name Labels Description
tcp_flags_total flag, family TCP flag occurrences

This metric supports Context Options.