Populate metrics in InfluxDB with handlers

A Sensu event handler is an action the Sensu backend executes when a specific event occurs. In this guide, you’ll use a handler to populate the time-series database InfluxDB. If you’re not familiar with handlers, consider reading the handlers reference before continuing through this guide.

The example in this guide explains how to populate Sensu metrics into the time-series database InfluxDB. Metrics can be collected from check output or the Sensu StatsD Server.

Register the dynamic runtime asset

Dynamic runtime assets are shareable, reusable packages that make it easier to deploy Sensu plugins. This example uses the Sensu InfluxDB Handler dynamic runtime asset to power an influx-db handler.

Use sensuctl asset add to register the Sensu InfluxDB Handler dynamic runtime asset:

sensuctl asset add sensu/sensu-influxdb-handler:3.1.2 -r influxdb-handler

The response will confirm that the asset was added:

fetching bonsai asset: sensu/sensu-influxdb-handler:3.1.2
added asset: sensu/sensu-influxdb-handler:3.1.2

You have successfully added the Sensu asset resource, but the asset will not get downloaded until
it's invoked by another Sensu resource (ex. check). To add this runtime asset to the appropriate
resource, populate the "runtime_assets" field with ["influxdb-handler"].

This example uses the -r (rename) flag to specify a shorter name for the dynamic runtime asset: influxdb-handler.

You can also download the latest dynamic runtime asset definition for your platform from Bonsai and register the asset with sensuctl create --file filename.yml or sensuctl create --file filename.json.

Run sensuctl asset list --format yaml or sensuctl asset list --format wrapped-json to confirm that the dynamic runtime asset is ready to use.

NOTE: Sensu does not download and install dynamic runtime asset builds onto the system until they are needed for command execution. Read the asset reference for more information about dynamic runtime asset builds.

Create the handler

Now that you have registered the dynamic runtime asset, you’ll use sensuctl to create a handler called influx-db that pipes observation data (events) to InfluxDB with the sensu-influxdb-handler dynamic runtime asset. Edit the command below to include your database name, address, username, and password. For more information about the Sensu InfluxDB handler, read the asset page in Bonsai.

sensuctl handler create influx-db \
--type pipe \
--command "sensu-influxdb-handler -d sensu" \
--env-vars "INFLUXDB_ADDR=http://influxdb.default.svc.cluster.local:8086, INFLUXDB_USER=sensu, INFLUXDB_PASS=password" \
--runtime-assets influxdb-handler

You should receive a confirmation message:


To review the complete resource definition for the handler resource you just created with sensuctl, run:

sensuctl handler info influx-db --format yaml
sensuctl handler info influx-db --format wrapped-json

The influx-db handler resource definition will be similar to this example:

type: Handler
api_version: core/v2
  created_by: admin
  name: influx-db
  namespace: default
  command: sensu-influxdb-handler -d sensu
  - INFLUXDB_ADDR=http://influxdb.default.svc.cluster.local:8086
  - INFLUXDB_PASS=password
  filters: null
  handlers: null
  - influxdb-handler
  secrets: null
  timeout: 0
  type: pipe
  "type": "Handler",
  "api_version": "core/v2",
  "metadata": {
    "created_by": "admin",
    "name": "influx-db",
    "namespace": "default"
  "spec": {
    "command": "sensu-influxdb-handler -d sensu",
    "env_vars": [
    "filters": null,
    "handlers": null,
    "runtime_assets": [
    "secrets": null,
    "timeout": 0,
    "type": "pipe"

You can share, reuse, and maintain this handler just like you would code: save it to a file and start building a monitoring as code repository.

Assign the InfluxDB handler to a check

With the influx-db handler created, you can assign it to a check for check output metric extraction. For example, if you followed Collect service metrics with Sensu checks, you created the check named collect-metrics. You can update the check’s output metric format and output metric handlers to extract the metrics with your influx-db handler.

To update the output metric format, run:

sensuctl check set-output-metric-format collect-metrics influxdb_line

To update the output metric handlers, run:

sensuctl check set-output-metric-handlers collect-metrics influx-db

You should receive a confirmation message:


To review the updated check resource definition, run:

sensuctl check info collect-metrics --format yaml
sensuctl check info collect-metrics --format wrapped-json

The updated collect-metrics check definition will be similar to this example:

type: CheckConfig
api_version: core/v2
  created_by: admin
  name: collect-metrics
  namespace: default
  check_hooks: null
  command: metrics-disk-usage.rb
  env_vars: null
  handlers: []
  high_flap_threshold: 0
  interval: 60
  low_flap_threshold: 0
  output_metric_format: influxdb_line
  - influx-db
  proxy_entity_name: ""
  publish: true
  round_robin: false
  - sensu-plugins/sensu-plugins-disk-checks
  - sensu/sensu-ruby-runtime
  secrets: null
  stdin: false
  subdue: null
  - linux
  timeout: 0
  ttl: 0
  "type": "CheckConfig",
  "api_version": "core/v2",
  "metadata": {
    "created_by": "admin",
    "name": "collect-metrics",
    "namespace": "default"
  "spec": {
    "check_hooks": null,
    "command": "metrics-disk-usage.rb",
    "env_vars": null,
    "handlers": [],
    "high_flap_threshold": 0,
    "interval": 60,
    "low_flap_threshold": 0,
    "output_metric_format": "influxdb_line",
    "output_metric_handlers": [
    "proxy_entity_name": "",
    "publish": true,
    "round_robin": false,
    "runtime_assets": [
    "secrets": null,
    "stdin": false,
    "subdue": null,
    "subscriptions": [
    "timeout": 0,
    "ttl": 0

Assign the InfluxDB handler to the Sensu StatsD listener

To assign your influx-db handler to the Sensu StatsD listener at agent startup and pass all StatsD metrics into InfluxDB:

sensu-agent start --statsd-event-handlers influx-db

Validate the InfluxDB handler

It might take a few moments after you assign the handler to the check or StatsD server for Sensu to receive the metrics, but after an event is handled, metrics should start populating InfluxDB. You can verify proper handler behavior with sensu-backend logs. read Troubleshoot Sensu for log locations by platform.

Whenever an event is being handled, a log entry is added with the message "handler":"influx-db","level":"debug","msg":"sending event to handler", followed by a second log entry with the message "msg":"pipelined executed event pipe handler","output":"","status":0.

Next steps

Now that you know how to apply a handler to metrics and take action on events, read the handlers reference to learn more about using Sensu handlers.