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Reporting Metrics to StatsD

StatsD is a simple network daemon that continuously receives metrics over UDP and periodically sends aggregate metrics to upstream services like (but not limited to) Graphite. Because it uses UDP, sending metrics data to StatsD is very fast with little to no overhead.


Add the kamon-statsd dependency to your project and ensure that it is in your classpath at runtime, that’s it. Kamon’s module loader will detect that the StatsD module is in the classpath and automatically start it.

Please note that even while the Datadog Agent uses a StatsD-like protocol, the protocol features used by this module are not compatible with Datadog’s implementation. If you need to send data to Datadog then use our Datadog Module.


At the very basic level, you will certainly want to use the kamon.statsd.hostname and kamon.statsd.port configuration keys to ensure your data is being sent to wherever your StatsD instance is running. Additionally to that, you can configure the metric categories to which this module will subscribe using the kamon.statsd.subscriptions key. By default, the following subscriptions are included:

kamon.statsd {
  subscriptions {
    histogram       = [ "**" ]
    min-max-counter = [ "**" ]
    gauge           = [ "**" ]
    counter         = [ "**" ]
    trace           = [ "**" ]
    trace-segment   = [ "**" ]
    akka-actor      = [ "**" ]
    akka-dispatcher = [ "**" ]
    akka-router     = [ "**" ]
    system-metric   = [ "**" ]
    http-server     = [ "**" ]

If you are interested in reporting additional entities to StatsD please ensure that you include the categories and name patterns accordingly.

Metric Key Generators

By default, the kamon-statsd module will use the entities’ information to create a predictable metric key that follows the pattern, where each portion of the pattern corresponds to:

  • application: Uses the value of the kamon.statsd.simple-metric-key-generator.application configuration key. Defaults to kamon.
  • host: Uses the local host name. You can also change the host value to a arbitrary value using the kamon.statsd.simple-metric-key-generator.hostname-override configuration key or completely remove the host portion from the key pattern by changing the kamon.statsd.simple-metric-key-generator.include-hostname configuration key.
  • category: The entity’s category.
  • entity-name: The entity’s name.
  • metric-name: The metric name assigned in the entity recorder.

This metric key generation mechanism seems very useful and flexible, but in case it falls short for your needs then you can create your own implementation of kamon.statsd.MetricKeyGenerator and let Kamon know about it by setting the kamon.statsd.metric-key-generator configuration key to the FQCN of your implementation.

Metric Senders

kamon-statsd module allows you to control the way data is flushed to StatsD server. By default Kamon is shipped with two diferent senders:

  • kamon.statsd.BatchStatsDMetricsSender which batches data and sends a UDP packet every kamon.statsd.flush-interval or as soon as kamon.statsd.batch-metric-sender.max-packet-size is reached. It is advisable to experiment with both of these settings to find the right balance between network bandwidth utilization and granularity on your metrics data. This sender is used by default.
  • kamon.statsd.SimpleStatsDMetricsSender which sends a UDP packet for each piece of data it receives.

One can choose one over another changing kamon.statsd.metric-sender-factory configuration key to kamon.statsd.BatchStatsDMetricsSender or kamon.statsd.SimpleStatsDMetricsSender respectively. Also custom senders can be pluged-in this way. The value for kamon.statsd.metric-sender-factory should represent a FQCN for a Scala object that implements kamon.statsd.StatsDMetricsSenderFactory interface.

Metric Units

Kamon keeps all timing measurements in nanoseconds and memory measurements in bytes. In order to scale those to other units before sending to StatsD, set time-units and memory-units config keys to desired units. Supported units are:

n  - nanoseconds
µs - microseconds
ms - milliseconds
s  - seconds

b  - bytes
kb - kilobytes
mb - megabytes
gb - gigabytes

For example,

kamon.statsd.time-units = "ms"

will scale all timing measurements to milliseconds right before sending to StatsD. Note that if timing measurements are below 1 millisecond when you set time-units="ms", the measurements are reported to StatsD as zero values by dropping everything below the decimal point, because Kamon holds all timing measurements in Long internally.

Visualization and Fun

StatsD is widely used and there are many integrations available, even alternative implementations that can receive UDP messages with the StatsD protocol, you just have to pick the option that best suits you. For our internal testing we choose to use Graphite as the StatsD backend and Grafana to create beautiful dashboards with very useful metrics. Have an idea of how your metrics data might look like in Grafana with the screenshots below or use our docker image to get up and running in a few minutes and see it with your own metrics!